Saving the Good Times (Plum and Cherry Wine)

Homebrew, cordials, cheese, dehydrating, smoking and soap making. An area for all problems to be asked, tips to be given and procedures shared.
rhyddid

Post: #843 rhyddid
Mon Feb 07, 2005 3:42 pm

...
Last edited by rhyddid on Mon May 02, 2005 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Andy Hamilton
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Post: #925 Andy Hamilton
Thu Feb 10, 2005 4:48 pm

I was right to wait. I just went to charity shop and got a self sealing jar for £2.50. Does not look like it has been used etheir. Nice
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Post: #950 Jed
Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:21 pm

primrose wrote:n we would be as well going Starbucks and wearing bowler hats
:flower: Is that from the time machine?

What a strange argument to be having 8)

skerby

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Post: #1036 skerby
Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:34 am

:brave: I have read with much interest the preceding banter. As a first timer to your discussion I have someting to ask, how does one use grandma's vacola collection of bottles, metal lids and botle locks? I have much interest in her last gift to me but see no seals that u speak of nor have found any information at local country womens club as they cluck like hens and shoo away any one under 30. your assistance would be greatly appreciated..

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Post: #1037 Wombat
Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:01 am

G'Day Skerby,

There are various types of preserving bottles around, and I am most familiar with the Vacola style. The jars are re-useable but the rubber rings (more later) and the tin lids are single use only. If you have stainless steel lids, they are re-useable. If you are in Aus, I know that you can buy the rings & lids in hardware stores and some department and specialty kitchen shops. I have no idea about OS - anybody?

The way you use it is to put your fruit, veggies etc into a clean jar, then pour in your bottling liquid (brine, water, juice, sugar syrup etc.) to within 1 cm of the top. Use a spatula or fork to ensure that no air bubbles are trapped. Wipe the sealing surface clean and apply your (new) rubber ring which fits into the groove around the top of the bottle, the ring is square in section and fits into the groove on edge. The ring has a matt and a shiny surface, it is important to have the shiny (I think :? ) surface facing up. Put on your lid and apply the clip which keeps the lid on.

You then process the filled bottles in the vacola water bath at the required temperature and for the required time. These will vary depending on the product that you are preserving and are in the manual that comes with the kit. Fowler's Vacola are still around :shock: and can provide an instruction book, I think they have a website.

Once the bottles have been processed, pull em out, cool em down and the lid should click in, at which point you can remove the clips. test the seal and then label and store if OK - there you have it, preserving in a nutshell. :cheers:

If what I have described does not seem to fit, can you give me more details? Is there any writing on the bottles?

Nev
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Post: #1041 diver
Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:21 pm

I only use ordinary glass jars for jams ,marmalades, chutneys and pickles...and I make lots of all of them. I keep the jars for jam and marmalade seperate from those for pickles and use wax disks to seal the produce. My friends and family collect their jars for me and ,in return, I refill some for them on a regular basis......I give them jam and chutney and I give them jars.

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Post: #1043 skerby
Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:02 pm

:cheers: G'day to u Wombat .. said with difinitive aussie twang. Thank u that does indeed steer me back to the kitchen. Apart from the vacola brand the bottles have sizing numbers ie, no 20 corresponding to a 4'' metal lid marked also with a reg no of 28195 on all 38 of the gifted glassware and lids.. granny ate alot of jam...I have of course over looked the obvious and when searching vacola came across multiple sales & merchandising sites so thanku kindly.The condition of afew of the lids is as we say a dodgy but others look shinier than the bonnet of my car. I am presuming that it would take a lot of fruit to produce a full jar as surely when from stewing apple the final quantity reduces markedly.any suggestions ona beginners fail safe recipie...
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Post: #1044 Wombat
Fri Feb 18, 2005 10:17 am

G'Day Skerby,

Glad to be of help!

One of the advantages of using the vacola system is that you can bottle the fruit whole if you want to and it is good enough quality if you are putting jam into the jars, you just need to fill em up and seal em 8) .

I have bottled peaches, pineapple and did some mucking around with veggies. The peaches were peeled, stoned (ie stone removed, no drugs around here! :shock: ) and then bottled in sugar syrup. place tem in the bottles cut side down, put on the lids and clips (rubber rings assumed to be in place) then stick em in the striliser and boil for 10 minutes than allow to stand for 40 minutes in the hot water or bring to77c and process for 2 hours. The lower temperature tends to give a better product :mrgreen: .

what sort of fruit do you have access to?

Nev
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Post: #1048 Andy Hamilton
Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:16 pm

Hello skerby,

Welcome to the site. If you feel like telling us a bot more about yourself then please post in the say hello section. You really do not have to if you do not want to and you are welcome just to keep asking for advice. :andy:
First we sow the seeds, nature grows the seeds then we eat the seeds. Neil Pye
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Post: #2492 catalyst
Mon May 02, 2005 11:20 am

we bottle a lot of our surplus stuff, re-using the jars that we buy in the winter when the garden doesn´t feed us.

unfortunately, what happens as we get better at this self-suff lark? our harvests will grow, and we wont need to buy food in jars, so eventually we´ll run out of used jars and HAVE to buy new...

A CONUNDRUM..... :?

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Post: #2498 Wombat
Mon May 02, 2005 12:09 pm

Yep!

Have you considered drying? :cheers:

One of the problems that I have with large scale bottling is the energy consumed. As previously mentioned, buying made-for-purpose bottling bottles is one way out, but you usually still need to buy one-shot lids, seals or both! :cry:

Nev
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Post: #2515 catalyst
Mon May 02, 2005 8:09 pm

yep... we dry tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, apples and pears (dried pears are the best), with the sun, oh and of course various herbs in the shade...

and mushrooms in autumn, in the warming drawer of the range...

the worst thing about using old jars for bottling is the need to scrub them all... we don´t have running water sorted yet.... building phase 1 soon to be completed, and that will bring water to the house... so, we are seriously considering a dishwasher for jars and bottles... sounds dodgy, but they can be very energy/water efficient... and portugal´s electric is mainly hydro and wind...

i guess we mainly make various ratatouille type slops, to add to beans and stuff in the winter...

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Post: #2517 Chickenlady
Mon May 02, 2005 8:58 pm

I have been most encouraged by this thread (apart from the odd argument in the middle from somebody with grumpy old man syndrome!). I bought a load of kilner jars cheaply when I was in France and was all set to do some bottling, but was put off by all the warnings about botulism so just stuck to my jam and chutney making.

It was fruit I was most interested in bottling, so now I know that it is veg that will make you ill I will have a go at bottling some of my currants. Having said that, I had a friend who successfully bottled her own ratatouille for years!

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Post: #2524 Wombat
Mon May 02, 2005 9:35 pm

I hesitate to use the term, but I suspect that all that is needed is a bit of common sense. Be scrupulous in your hygiene, use enough heat for the required time and if the stuff looks a bit dodgey when you want to use it, toss it out instead!

Nev
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Post: #3300 ina
Tue May 24, 2005 10:28 pm

You are right, Nev. It's just so hard to toss out stuff that you spent so much time and effort on...

Veg is just as easy and safe to bottle as fruit, it just takes a lot longer. If I remember right, my mum used to boil green beans for about 2 hours or so - I think freezing is probably more energy efficient than that! But I very successfully bottled veggie pasta sauce last year, in jam jars, a perfect single portion, and great "fast food". It was fully cooked before I filled the jars, and then took 30 minutes of boiling.

I get plenty of empty jam jars from friends, and all jars with lids that look dodgy get relegated to the garden, as a slug container - but that should be a different forum...


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