Pressure Canning Wort

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flyangler18

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Just finished canning 5 gallons of starter wort in quart jars.

While time consuming, this ensures I have an ample supply of sterile 1.040 starter wort for normal-sized starters, slants/plants and intermediates. I can fit 4 quarts in my pressure cooker at a time.

I really should take a picture.....there's 20 quarts of 1.040 wort lined up on my countertop now.

:mug:
 

Bokonon

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How long did it take you to do all that? I've never done more than 7 quarts at a time since thats all I can fit in my pressure canner. I've never timed how long the cool down takes, I usually just leave it until I've got free time to deal with it.

If you have to do it 4 quarts at a time I'd guess it took around 8 hours or so total?
 

Ryan_PA

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I did this for the first time a few months ago. Still working through the wort, should last all year. I need to refine my process somehow, I got a ton of break material in the jars.
 

nathan

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I just made 3.5 gallons this way, mostly in pint jars, but some in quart jars (I use more pints).

I just warm up the 3.3 gallons of water, dissolve in the extract I just weighed, add in the appropriate yeast food and yeast energizer, stir, stir, stir, stir, then use a glass measuring cup to pour through funnels into jars, lid the jars, and put in canner, seal up and start heat.

Once it holds pressure, climb to 15 psi, and I set timer for 20 minutes. When done, take it off burner, wait till it depressurises, then take out jars, reload with next batch, and keep going.

I do this while I brew, and when I run out, I do it again!
 

nathan

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the break material is fine as yeast food, btw, and I have thought of no way to separate (since the boil occurs in the jars, and they are self-sealed). But I have done my starters with this for years and don't have problems. I chill for the last 12-16 hours (put flasks in fridge) and decant before pitching. Likely I am pitching yeast and hot break from the starter, but it doesn't seem to effect even my light colored lagers (bo pils)
 
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flyangler18

flyangler18

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I don't concern myself with keeping the hot break out of the jars before they go into the pressure cooker; careful decanting when making a starter keeps it out of the flask when it goes onto the stirplate.

I switched out jars when I had the time during the day (I work remotely from my home office) - it probably would have taken 4-5 hours continuous otherwise. The quart is a nice size, because I can split between normal-sized starters and step up as necessary and use the remainder for making up slants that can be stored in a big plastic storage back until I need to streak them.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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You're just teasing the yeast. They're in their jar in the fridge and they see all that yummy wort right next door...that's just cruel.:eek:
 
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flyangler18

flyangler18

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I'll tell you what - having canned wort in convenient sizes on hand sure makes prepping 25 slant vials easy as pie.

They're out of the pressure cooker and cooling slighty elevated on chopsticks so the agar media can set. Then into the fridge, sealed in a gallon-sized storage Ziplock, they go!
 

PseudoChef

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What size pressure canner do I need to look for in order to fit 4, quart-sized mason jars in? Seems like the perfect stage that I would start out with.
 
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flyangler18

flyangler18

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What size pressure canner do I need to look for in order to fit 4, quart-sized mason jars in? Seems like the perfect stage that I would start out with.
Something around 7 quarts will do the trick. I have a Wolfgang Puck 7-quart electronic one I scored from the Goodwill store here in town. Cost me $20. :rockin:
 

Bokonon

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To throw some more numbers out there. My 16 quart pressure canner can hold 7 quart jars.

Really wish I had the 22 quart, but I got mine cheap with a ton of jars/supplies on craigslist
 

Shay

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I got a 41 quart All-American for around a 100 off of craigs list. I can pressure can a 4 gallon batch in it in one shot. It is huge so it takes up a lot of room the garage.
 

WortMonger

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I've got a 23 quart, love it for canning wort. I use mne as a double boiler for cooking meals in too. I have a pot big enough to through 3 gallons of mash fraction for decoctions as well. Works real nice.
 
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flyangler18

flyangler18

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Do you have to use a pressure cooker for this or can I just use a regular canning pot?

Do you put them in the fridge to store them?
The official stance is yes, you need to use a pressure cooker. Not only do I can wort for regular starters, I also use that wort for making slants and plates - which needs a sterile media because I'm working with such a low density of yeast cells. Sterilization is not possible at atmospheric pressure, so you need the pressurized vessel to kill all the organisms and spores, i.e. the bacterium responsible for bolulism.

Canning techniques for food will tell you that high-acid foods don't require pressure canning, but wort isn't sufficiently acidic to qualify.

As far as storage of canned wort, no refrigeration necessary. I have some shelves in the basement lined with quart jars of wort. Before I got my pressure canner, I used a canning pot but the longest I ever stored the jars was 2-3 months; also, I've only been slanting for a few weeks now - once I had the canner.
 

rsmith179

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Will be canning wort soon as well. Wondering if any of you guys have experience with vials as well. I'm picking up some 5ml vials that I will be using for the very initial stages of culturing. Here's the question... How can I tell for sure if this is sterile?

For example, with canning, if your lid's popped you know it didn't work and you need to use it sooner than later. With a vial, I understand that you should "loosely" tighten the cap to allow for steam to enter and exit the vial. When do you close the lid all the way?

I'm planning on a nice 5 gallon brew for canned starters and wanted to make sure that I got some in the vials as well. Any info regarding how to make sure the vials are sterilized, particularly when to tighten the cap, would be greatly appreciated.
 

smellysell

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The official stance is yes, you need to use a pressure cooker. Not only do I can wort for regular starters, I also use that wort for making slants and plates - which needs a sterile media because I'm working with such a low density of yeast cells. Sterilization is not possible at atmospheric pressure, so you need the pressurized vessel to kill all the organisms and spores, i.e. the bacterium responsible for bolulism.

Canning techniques for food will tell you that high-acid foods don't require pressure canning, but wort isn't sufficiently acidic to qualify.

As far as storage of canned wort, no refrigeration necessary. I have some shelves in the basement lined with quart jars of wort. Before I got my pressure canner, I used a canning pot but the longest I ever stored the jars was 2-3 months; also, I've only been slanting for a few weeks now - once I had the canner.
How long can the pressure canned wort be stored for you think?
 
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