Author Topic: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters  (Read 2935 times)

Offline mikeypedersen

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Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« on: January 12, 2010, 05:35:38 PM »
Howdy all!  Sorry if this is a repeat post.

I was wondering about Pressure Canning wort to use in starters.  My girlfriend has a very large stove-top canner and I would love to start using that a couple times a year rather than make a starter every time I'm about to brew.

So my questions are:
1. What pressure level should I maintain and for how long?
2.  How full do I fill the jars?
3.  Is there anything else you need to add other than boiled wort?
4.  How long have you kept it for?

Any info would really help me out!

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2010, 06:23:03 PM »
Let's see.. standard recipe is: 15 minutes at 15 p.s.i.

I usually go up to the shoulder

I actually normally make mine from DME/yeast nutrient and water

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Offline hokerer

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2010, 06:25:56 PM »
1. What pressure level should I maintain and for how long?
I always give it 15 minutes at 15 pounds
Quote
2.  How full do I fill the jars?
I fill them to the bottom of the threads
Quote
3.  Is there anything else you need to add other than boiled wort?
I haven't but some people add yeast nutrient.  Might start doing that.
Quote
4.  How long have you kept it for?
Only been doing for six months or so so that's all the longer I've kept 'em
Joe

Offline mikeypedersen

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2010, 09:55:28 PM »
Awesome!  Thanks for the info everyone!

Offline yaleterrace

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2010, 09:55:12 AM »
i think it depends on whether you are extract or all-grain brewing.  it would be a hassle to mash just for a little wort to use as a starter, but if you are extract brewing, or don't mind using extract for a little batch of wort, i'd boil it up fresh in a little pot.  your wort, (extract or all-grain, though more so in all-grain,) has fresh nutrients and natural chemicals that yeast really get off on, and they will degrade -- even minutely -- with time, so why not boil it up fresh?

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2010, 10:00:49 AM »
so why not boil it up fresh?

The PITA factor for me. By spending a couple of hours canning about 3-6 gallons worth of wort (and as noted, I make mine from DME), I can save myself from my self and in particular my lazy self. It makes it really hard to sell myself on avoiding a starter when all I have to do is sanitize a growler, sanitize a jar lid, pop the jar, pour and pitch. It takes 10 minutes - all but a minute of it waiting.

Plus the wort in the jars has one huge advantage over freshly boiled wort - its perfectly sterile.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2010, 10:04:42 AM »
it would be a hassle to mash just for a little wort to use as a starter

No hassel at all, pressure can an entire batch of wort, just runoff and can, no need to boil, the canning process will take care of that. As far as longevity, maillard reactions will continue to slowly darken the wort over time even at room temp, but it will keep indefinitely so long as the seal is intact. I've kept it for several years without issue.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2010, 10:08:19 AM »
The OP specifically asked for alternatives "rather than make a starter every time I'm about to brew".  Plus there are lots of other advantages to canning starter wort.

1. No need to do the mix-boil-chill hassle every time you need a starter.

2. No need to keep DME around.  When I used to handle that stuff, I could never avoid making a giant mess (plus it's expensive).

3. If you're culturing yeast, you've got "sterile" starter wort for the intial steps.  Boiling only gets you "sanitized" starter wort.

4. Gives you more to do with your pressure canner :)

and it's really not much hassle to mash up a small batch to get your wort collection started.  You don't even have to boil it - the pressure canner takes care of that.  Once you've got some jars canned up, then it's an easy thing to just bump your batch size up slightly each time you brew and can the extra for more starters.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 10:10:53 AM by hokerer »
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Offline abraxas

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2010, 12:45:22 PM »
I've messed around with growing some edible mushrooms and one thing to keep in mind is that a sterilized growth medium may not be as good as pasteurized growth medium unless you are able to maintain a completely sterile growth environment.

First because you are creating an ideal environment for other undesirable microorganisms that might outcompete other microorganisms that typically survive pasteurization.

Second because yeast might have some symbiosis with some of the microorganisms present like other types of fungii do (or so I have read).  

Maybe these aren't issues with yeast->beer, I'm just bringing them up for discussion.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 12:50:27 PM by abraxas »

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2010, 01:15:59 PM »
A while back I was involved in an on-line discussion with some Australian folks about the necessity of pressure canning wort if you need long term storage. Some of them were saying that their no-chill process with the cube is also safe for long term wort storage. We never came to an agreement but my position is that the FDA says that foods with a pH above 5 (or even 4.5, I don’t remember) have to be pressure canned. That’s why we pressure can wort.

Now thinking about that, one could make the argument that if you acidify wort to a pH of 4.0 – 4.5 , with lactic acid for example, you should be able to can it w/o the use of a pressure cooker. I don’t think the lower pH would harm the yeast. It would also cut down on the formation of Maillard products which consume amino acids and have been reported as been a hindrance in fermentation.

One of the big (+) of pressure canning is that you don’t have to watch out for boil-overs when making starters. I usually boil a small amount of water in the starter flask to sanitize the flask, the foil and most importantly the stir bar. Mine has gotten old and may have cracks in which infections can hide. Heat will take care of that.

Kai



Offline 1vertical

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2010, 11:30:00 PM »
A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2010, 04:52:35 AM »
Kai, Kai, Kai - as much time as you spend researching and the magic acidified foods pH of 4.6 isn't right there on the tip of your tongue? tisk tisk  ;)

Now here's something to research, if you did add enough acid to take a roughly 5.4 pH wort to 4.0, how much acid would it take per quart to acidify and even more interesting how would that lowered pH effect the yeast in the starter as opposed to the 5.4 wort.
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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2010, 06:24:05 AM »
Kai, Kai, Kai - as much time as you spend researching and the magic acidified foods pH of 4.6 isn't right there on the tip of your tongue? tisk tisk  ;)

Looks like someone works in the food business ;). I should have known it too. I even looked it up once: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=How_pH_affects_brewing#Inhibition_of_beer_spoilage_organisms


Quote
Now here's something to research, if you did add enough acid to take a roughly 5.4 pH wort to 4.0, how much acid would it take per quart to acidify and even more interesting how would that lowered pH effect the yeast in the starter as opposed to the 5.4 wort.

The idea of canning acidified word starts to intruige me. There might be a lot of brewers out there who would love to can wort  but lack a pressure canner. I used to be one of them and pressure canners are not necessarily cheap. If we can develop safe but simple quidelines (i.e X ml 88% lactic acid to Y l of wort) and show that acidified wort works just as well in starters those brewers may be helped. I'm not sure if I would use other acids than lactic. Vinegar is more readily available but I'd be concerned with flavor that carries over into the beer. Phosporic acid may work. Muriatic acid is way to dangerous to recommend brewers to mess with it. In addition to that It may not be food grade.

Kai

Offline hokerer

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2010, 07:30:58 AM »
I used to be one of them and pressure canners are not necessarily cheap.

Here's mine, I'd put $80 close to the "cheap" category, especially since you can also use it for regular canning.

http://www.amazon.com/Presto-23-Quart-Aluminum-Pressure-Cooker/dp/B0000BYCFU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1263565577&sr=8-1-spell
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Pressure Canning Wort For Starters
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2010, 07:44:35 AM »
I'm not sure if I would use other acids than lactic. Vinegar is more readily available but I'd be concerned with flavor that carries over into the beer. Phosporic acid may work. Muriatic acid is way to dangerous to recommend brewers to mess with it. In addition to that It may not be food grade.

Kai


 Citric acid, maybe?
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