I clearly overpacked my jars and they leaked a bit during processing (25 min). The lids are vacuum-tight, however. Any thoughts?
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according to the Ball troubleshooting guide, the leakage could have been caused by the fact that I removed the jars too quickly from their waterbath. Still, no mention of whether they'll be shelf stable..?
If the lids are vacuum tight, no problems. A more techical answer is below:
Eugenia Bone answered this several weeks ago: " Usually spewing of the sort you describe is due to too little headroom. 1/2 inch is the usual recommendation, so I guess 1/3 an inch was too little. Also, were your peaches still boiling inside the jar when you removed them from the water? Often if you remove a canned food while it is still bubbling furiously inside, there will be some spewing. (It's a good idea to let the jars rest in the water bath for about 5 minutes after the processing time is up to let the food settle down.) But that doesn't mean your jars won't seal, although it does increase the odds the lids won't be able to adhere to the jar. Even if there is some spewing, the canning process is not complete until the jars cool...so if your seals are good, then your peaches are okay. To check, remove the bands and see if you can lift the jar by the seal. The peaches are floating because they are lighter than the grape juice. I know it seems odd that fruit may be lighter than liquid, but it is a common problem. Peaches often float because they are loaded with air. If you hot pack them (cook them a bit first in the juice or syrup) then some of that air is pushed out and you are less likely to get floaters. While unsightly, floating fruit is okay as long as you have a good seal. But let's say the seals suck. Then I recommend you remove the peaches and pop them in a freezer baggie. The texture will be compromised, but they'll still be useful in a baking application. I'm curious: how come you processed for 45 minutes? Are you in a high altitude location? Raw pack pints of peaches take 25 minutes to process at sea level."
Thanks so much SKK. This makes sense, though I don't know what she means by if "the seals sucks"?
Sucks = bad. If they are loose when you try to lift jar by lids, freeze insteads.
@Midge - After you have completed the water bath process and you pull the jars out and set them on towels to cool - you know when they make that popping sound? We love that sound! I have not heard the term "seal suck" so in my interpretation it means - 'hit the middle of the jar lid and if it is soft and indented, empty the jar, reheat the fruit. sterilize a jar, put on new lid and put through water bath again.'
I do know your cherries are fine if the lids are sealed.
Ah! My bad. I think of that happy sound as a ping. Still, if the lid is not snug enough to stay on when carefully testing the cooled and unbanded jar, it is a sign that the seal failed.
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Actually, I think "seals suck" is vernacular for the seals having failed, i.e., you don't have an airtight seal . . . a poor choice of words under any circumstances -- it's common and vulgar -- but particularly here, given what actually happens during vacuum sealing. ;o)
Relieved this morning to find that my lids are still good. What would I do without foodpickle? Thanks everyone!
Way to go, Midge!