Summer is drawing to a close and most preppers are in the process of clearing their area of any edible produce at this time. Their goal is to freeze or can their harvest for use in the winter months. The only problem here is that many times as you begin canning your food which includes liquids such as soup you will likely experience some form of fluid loss. There are a number of logical explanations for this condition.
To help you better understand some of the problems that you could encounter, I have enclosed a sample trouble which could occur using potato soup as the product to be canned. First suppose you prepare your jars just as you do every other time that you can something. You fill each jar up to the one inch mark and place the lid and rings on them. Next you prepare the pressure canner with a 10 pound weight and leave it process for 90 minutes. You next turn the heat off and watch as the temperature drops to zero. As you take off the weight you notice that no steam is escaping. You carefully move the jars to a towel on the counter to allow them to cool down. When removing the rings you notice that out of seven jars only five sealed properly. Upon inspecting the two that failed to seal they appear to have overflowed during the procedure. What do you think the problem could have been?
There are various reasons that this problem may have occurred to you. Was there a vast difference in your canner pressure during the entire process? Results from this are frequently known as the "siphon effect." This usually will draw liquids and some of the small solids from within the jar and eventually cause problems with the jars seal. People often times blame their canner pressure for issues such as this particularly if the canner is experiencing difficulties maintaining pressure.
Another problem encountered is not leaving a sufficient amount of headspace when you are filling the canning jars. That would be an automatic guarantee that you will experience liquid loss and possible seal problems. Sealing problems can often be traced to the lack of proper cleaning and wiping of the jar rims prior to capping it with the lid. Therefore always consider first whether the jars were wiped clean before the canning process begins.
Usually the venting isn't the cause of the liquid loss. On the issue of the canner pressure it has been my experience that turning the burner up or down is frequently the root of problems such as these. Your goal should be to maintain the canning pressure at a steady 12 pound measured by the use of the dial gauge. This steady pressure is far superior to allowing the unit to fluctuate from 10 to 12 pounds.
Another reason for the possible liquid loss could be the thickness of your soup. Did the soup border on a puree thickness? If so it may perhaps have been much too thick. Thick liquids when simmering or boiling will frequently spit out in huge bubbles. This can eventually cause liquid lose. My wife once made her favorite cream of potato soup and she pureed the potatoes. Although it did not appear to be too thick it actually was and ended up experiencing huge liquid losses during pressure canning. What happened was that the potato soup began to boil within the jars and started oozing out. of the jars. In the end each of the jars had about 2 inches of headspace when finished. Keep in mind there was no heat fluctuation of any kind and the venting was proper and the headspace was set as it should be.
In conclusion, the problem had to be the thickness of the soup and nothing else. I hope that if you are experiencing these types of canning problems that this article points you in the correct direction towards finding a resolution.
Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish
For more information relating to survival visit us at http://www.survival-training.info