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OfflineListless69
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Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong
    #27452678 - 09/01/21 09:22 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

So I'm zero for two in my attempt, all the jars have excess water in them and i don't want to keep banging my head against a wall if i don't even know what i'm doing wrong. I'm really hoping someone can point out something obvious and stupid for a quick fix


What I'm working with.

    16qt pressure cooker

    5x 1/2 pint jars (regular, not wide mouth)

    2:1:1 verm, brown rice flour, water. 1/2" layer of dry verm on top

    Ring on top has the 4 small holes punched. Tried both rubber up and down

    1-2 layers of tin foil over the top of the jar

Water level filled to the minimum level (states 4qts of water, 12 cups). Jars immersed in water no more than 1.5", not touching the bottom. 15psi for 90 minutes. No jars have broken, but every jar has been clearly contaminated by the water in the cooker.


I wasn't as meticulous as I should have been for the first attempt, but I was overboard with the second, doubling up on the foil and going over edges of the lid multiple times.

I'm a little desperate as I don't have any idea what I could be doing wrong. The only things that come to mind are jar tightness and holes in the top.

    Finger tight. I tried this first since I never used a pressure cooker and they intimidate me with the horror stories you hear. Second time I put a little more torque into it

    Holes on top. Every video I watched had the holes in the jars when they went into the PC. Could I maybe sterilize the nail and punch the holes in afterwards? I feel like the answer is no, but I don't know what else I can do.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated


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OfflineCrackatoaS
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Listless69]
    #27452713 - 09/01/21 09:49 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

How's the field capacity when you mix it? Next run try keeping your jars completely out of the water. I don't see why it's affecting as they are though.


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OfflineInsultingLizard
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Listless69]
    #27452715 - 09/01/21 09:52 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

4 liters is too much for such a short cycle. I use 3 liters when I do grains and most of the water is still there after 2 hours. For agar I use just 1 liter and it's almost gone after 30 minutes, but it still retains pressure until the end. Don't worry about the "minimum level", nothing is going to go wrong if you just go below it. You just have to make sure you put enough in so it doesn't completely run out before the cycle ends.
Put no more than up to the bottoms of the jars, maybe even less.

Don't worry about the lids, either. Get those fuckers as tight as they'll go. If there's any evaporation inside, the vapor will have more than enough force to exit through the inoculation holes.

Next time you run into this problem get some pictures of the jars and post them. What you're seeing might be perfectly normal.


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InvisibleSmartattackS
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: InsultingLizard]
    #27452740 - 09/01/21 10:22 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

4 quarts is way too much. I use 2 quarts in a 23 qt PC for 2.5 hours at 18+ psi and have enough to run it again when done. I bet you could use 1-1.5 if running it so that it isn't losing a lot of steam in cycle.


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OfflineListless69
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: InsultingLizard]
    #27452770 - 09/01/21 10:58 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Its at field capacity, have to give it a good squeeze to get any drops.

Are you supposed to be able to smell the strong earthy grain when opening the pot? I never saw anything about it either way, but it doesn't seem right


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OfflineListless69
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Smartattack]
    #27452776 - 09/01/21 11:04 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

I have a healthy dose of respect/fear for these, so I have been doing everything by the letter
I followed the instructions from bodhisatta that I found here

https://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/24180711

I see now I also mistyped. It's 3qts, not 4. Still 12 cups though


Edited by Listless69 (09/01/21 11:06 PM)


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InvisibleSmartattackS
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Listless69]
    #27452792 - 09/01/21 11:17 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Its been shown time and time again that you dont need that much water. That is also for a 23 qt and you have a 16. Its a pretty big difference. I mean do what you will But I prefer as little water touching jars as possible personally, and sure as hell dont want water 1.5 - 2" up the jar.


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OfflineOra
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Smartattack]
    #27452799 - 09/01/21 11:25 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

whats wrong with water touching the jars? the buildup?


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InvisibleSmartattackS
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Ora]
    #27452806 - 09/01/21 11:31 PM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Well the steam does the work not water for one thing. And if you want to keep churning bubbling water out of your jars it makes sense to keep it as far below the lids as possible. I ran a lot more water early on in my attempts and my bottom grain jars would mysteriously be mushy after.


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OfflineOra
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Smartattack]
    #27452852 - 09/02/21 12:22 AM (1 month, 15 days ago)

i thought i read under pressure everything will be at the right temp. hope i didnt screw up my last jars cause i put extra water that went like an inch or two up the jars so i could turn the heat up and not worry about the water level.


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InvisibleSmartattackS
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Ora]
    #27452863 - 09/02/21 12:46 AM (1 month, 15 days ago)

Quote:

Ora said:
i thought i read under pressure everything will be at the right temp. hope i didnt screw up my last jars cause i put extra water that went like an inch or two up the jars so i could turn the heat up and not worry about the water level.





If you didn't get any excess moisture then its not an issue. And it has been described here many times better than I will now but steam is way more energetic than water is. Even though everything in the pot is similar in temperature the steam dumps way more energy into what you are trying to sterilize than water. If water did the work, we wouldn't do steam sterilizing we would do water sterilizing.


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OfflineOra
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Smartattack]
    #27453001 - 09/02/21 02:50 AM (1 month, 14 days ago)

i pray for my jars


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Offlinegone-pear-shaped
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Ora]
    #27453220 - 09/02/21 08:21 AM (1 month, 14 days ago)

Sorry but that steam warning is silly. In 90 minutes there is plenty of time for everything to equalize. And in fact the water gets hot first, though later the steam can transfer heat very efficiently. But if your jars are in water, they can heat unevenly and sometimes crack. Mainly if your heat is too high. And 3 qts is perfect for a newbie that doesn't know how to pull off water/steam conservation.

OP: How do you know water got into the jars? Normally steam gets in and makes everything a little wetter. You can reduce that by heating more slowly. Water normally only gets in if you use too much foil and the foil edges are underwater.


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OfflineListless69
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: gone-pear-shaped]
    #27454067 - 09/02/21 09:31 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

I'll be real with you here. I laid in bed thinking about it, showered while thinking about it, spent all day at work thinking about it, and finally the whole damn drive home thinking about it.

I can't actually say with one exact reason. It was a bunch of little things I noticed, mixed with the gaps in my knowledge.
Paper tape was wet, dry verm on top wet, beads of water in side of jar wet, very strong earthy smell. None of this was previously mentioned in the how to's and what to do's that I found, so I just kind of came to that conclusion.

I think I may have thrown out about ten perfectly fine jar fulls of uncontaminated substrate. It just kind seemed obvious at the time. I was upset and emotional, thinking I was repeatedly screwing up. I tried again last night with a third set. I laid down a stack of lids and put foil over top of it. No jars touched any water this time. There wasn't an overwhelming earthy smell this time. I pulled the jars out this morning before work and am about to take a look at them when i finish posting this. Unless its some obvious, catastrophic...something? I'm gonna try to inoculate


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InvisibleSmartattackS
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Listless69]
    #27454076 - 09/02/21 09:37 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

Go at it.


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OfflineListless69
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Smartattack]
    #27454199 - 09/02/21 11:50 PM (1 month, 14 days ago)

So technically a success and a failure. Putting down a layer of lids with some foil over them kept them completely out of the water. And they were much better looking and didn't have any of the smell Ive been starting to get familiar with.

But, being the third time in a day I had done this process, I was going too light on the jars. I was only jiggling at the end, not really putting in as much as I could have. So there was a good inch or two of open air in the jar. The needle wouldn't reach past the dry verm layer.

BUT! Now I know I can be a little heavier putting it in there, and how to ensure that I am able to can correctly. So overall, with a LOT of help from you folks, I feel comfortable moving on to grain when pay day comes around. You've all been very patient with me, and I can't thank you enough


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OfflineFunguycide
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Listless69]
    #27454979 - 09/03/21 04:26 PM (1 month, 13 days ago)

I got cursed with a successful first attempt
Got all this is so easy...
Man I've gotten humbled since
Lots of failures
Made a bad batch of liquid culture ruined a whole batch of jars
Had contamination in another set of jars
Got all super careful..made another batch
And the cheapo shelf you get from midwest collapsed..broken jars and bird seed everywhere..
I refuse to lose..but man..so frustrating
I'm definitely at the second stage..knowing what a pain in the ass it can be and tired of everyone's does this look good posts..lol


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OfflineCocaineBuffet
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Re: Zero for two attempts with pressure cooker. Not sure where I'm going wrong [Re: Funguycide]
    #27455307 - 09/03/21 09:41 PM (1 month, 13 days ago)

You can go back and look at my and any other user and see that we learned by doing and a lot of learning comes from failure. Lots of questions I answer today were questions I asked in the past.

If I was successful with my first half-assed attempt and tried to recreate the lightning in the bottle failing relentlessly I might have dropped the hobby completely months ago.


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