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1 23rd March 08:01
adam preble
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Posts: 1
Default My first attempt at canning strawberry jam didn't seal


I'm new to canning, and I'm trying to get used to the whole process.
I've canned some salsa and tomato sauce without a problem. However, I
made a pint jar of strawberry jam and it didn't seal. I filled it up
without a mess, but I found jam all around the rim when the seal lifted
right off.

My first impression is that I overfilled. The recipe itself was
alarming; it suggested filling to a quarter of an inch of where the
threading starts--if I recall correctly. I didn't fill this high for
salsa or tomato sauce.

I'm presuming more like 3/4" or a full inch is more practical, but I was
hoping to get some confirmation. I don't need two pints of strawberry
jam in my fridge! I could reprocess, but I don't know if it'd be worth
it if I'll never get a seal.
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2 23rd March 08:01
ellen wickberg
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Default My first attempt at canning strawberry jam didn't seal


1/2 inch is the usual headroom for jam, but the processing is usually
for only 10 minutes in a boiling BWB. You need to let the jars sit for
24 hours undisturbed to know whether you have a seal or not. Things
that need to be processed longer usually have a larger headroom. You
can reprocess with no problem. Did you make sure that you wiped the top
surface of the lid with a damp cloth or paper towel? That can prevent
the lid sealing to the jar.
Ellen
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3 23rd March 08:01
adam preble
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Default My first attempt at canning strawberry jam didn't seal


I had tested the jar the next day; it was roughly 24 hours. I had given
the jar's top a quick wiping before putting on the lid. I'm thinking
the reduced headspace is the way to go. I'm using smaller jars for this
next pass, so hopefully there will only be a few bad ones.
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4 23rd March 22:11
melbas jammin
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Default My first attempt at canning strawberry jam didn't seal


Not to me. One-fourth inch is what the Ball Blue Book and the USDA say.

Why? My standard is 1/4" for jams, maybe a tad less for jelly, and 1/4"
- 1/2" for relishes and everything else..


Any chance that your jars tilted when they were processing? Maybe some
produce seeped between the lid and the rim of the jar? Did you
carefully wipe the rim of the jar with a clean damp cloth or paper towel
before positioning the lid? Were your lids hot when you put them on? I
drop the lids into the water when I pull the empty jars out for filling
- the water is either boiling or darned close. I have *very few* seal
failures in about 400 jars of stuff each summer -- fewer than 5, I'd say.
--
-Barb, <http://www.jamlady.eboard.com> 5/8/05.
"Are we going to measure, or are we going to cook?" -Food Critic Mimi Sheraton
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5 23rd March 22:12
adam preble
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Posts: 1
Default Update: The second effort was much better


I just tried canning some more jam. I got smaller, half-pint jars and
no pressure. Eleven came out ok, but the 12th had to be reprocessed. I
think it tilted a little while processing.

That's much better than when I first started out, but it sounds like I
have a long ways to go before I get up to some folks on this group that
haven't had to reprocess in years.
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6 23rd March 22:12
melbas jammin
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Default Update: The second effort was much better


Huh? Did you pressure-can the first batch? --
-Barb, <http://www.jamlady.eboard.com> 5/8/05.
"Are we going to measure, or are we going to cook?" -Food Critic Mimi Sheraton
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7 23rd March 22:12
adam preble
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Default Update: The second effort was much better


Well... I tried.
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8 23rd March 22:12
melbas jammin
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Default Update: The second effort was much better


Er-r-r-r, WHY? *A boiling water bath is the processing method of
choice for fruit spreads. * Now that you've told us that you
pressure-canned the stuff, it makes a little more sense about why your
jars didn't seal. Since the temperature in a steam pressure canner gets
hotter than a boiling water bath, I'll wager dessert and coffee that
your strawberry jam was boiling inside the jar and got between the lid
and the jar rim to prevent a good seal.

Who told you or where did you get information saying you need to
pressure can strawberry jam? They lied. Do you have a
relatively-recently-published paper preserving text? Have you looked at
the rec.food.preserving FAQ file? Have you checked the NCHFP site for
information? http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/

Do a little reading, Adam, and learn why you don't pressure-can jam, but
most definitely DO pressure-can vegetables and other low-acid products.
Get some basic understanding that will help you along the way.
--
-Barb, <http://www.jamlady.eboard.com> 5/8/05.
"Are we going to measure, or are we going to cook?" -Food Critic Mimi Sheraton
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