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Old 08-01-2013, 08:57 PM   #1
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Head space and lid questions

OK, I just put up 16 jars of pickles on Sunday. I've had 3 pop their seals! ARGH! I suspect that the issue was that I didn't leave enough head space for them dang it. However, I've tried using both the jars with sealer rings and glass lids, and then this time I tried the pop top disposable lids. So, questions:

1. How much head space do I need to leave? Is it 1 inch from the TOP of the jar or 1 inch from the shoulder?

2. Which lids are better? I've had the same problems with both types. Thoughts?

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Old 08-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #2
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OK, I just put up 16 jars of pickles on Sunday. I've had 3 pop their seals! ARGH! I suspect that the issue was that I didn't leave enough head space for them dang it. However, I've tried using both the jars with sealer rings and glass lids, and then this time I tried the pop top disposable lids. So, questions:

1. How much head space do I need to leave? Is it 1 inch from the TOP of the jar or 1 inch from the shoulder?

2. Which lids are better? I've had the same problems with both types. Thoughts?
1. I wonder if you left too much head space. One inch is an awful lot. I measure from the top of the jar. Most recipes I've seen call for 1/4-1/2 inch head space. You may have some floaters, it shouldn't matter.

2. I only use the disposables, the "dink" noise tells me they're sealed. You can reprocess using new lids if they didn't seal, or put them in the fridge.

You have to remember to wipe the threads before you put the tops on, I've forgotten to do this, with unsatisfactory sealing on a jar. It had a dill seed under the lid. I wiped the threads, stuck a new lid on, screwed the band down, and reprocessed.

What's your recipe?
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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I'm just curious what happens with the ones who popped? Can you re-do them, eat them as is in something, do you have to toss them?
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:38 PM   #4
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I'm just curious what happens with the ones who popped? Can you re-do them, eat them as is in something, do you have to toss them?
Yup, just reprocess or refrigerate or freeze them. No tossing.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #5
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That's good.
As long as you notice it quick I guess.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:48 PM   #6
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That's good.
As long as you notice it quick I guess.
Oh, that's something you always check for once the jars are cooled.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:31 AM   #7
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we alway use the pop kind. I re-use the rings, as I remove the rings once the lid has "poped sealed". The head space is dependant also on how hot the liquid is in the jar. The cooler the more expansion you will get when it heats. When we can green beans, I use hot water to fill (although I use very little water, just enough to boil) the jars and that way I get a minimum amount of expansion.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
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@pacanis, well we opened one jar and they are delicious! The other 2 are in the downstairs mini fridge. I'm not THRILLED about having 3 jars to power through.

@GA Home Cook. Thanks for the info.

Anyone got some help on the head space question?
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:54 AM   #9
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No need to power thru--they should last quite a while in the fridge--in my house, opened jars of pickles last forever.

Half inch of headspace for pickles, measured from the top of the jar. This site will help you: National Center for Home Food Preservation | How Do I? Can Fruits
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:08 AM   #10
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@Dawgluver - oops! Didn't see your post. You think I have too MUCH headspace? Mom always told me 1 inch, and I never thought to ask questions. I can't ask her now, she doesn't remember much about cooking. My recipe is almost identical to CharlieD's. Clean and sterilize jars, wash and prepare cukes, garlic and dill. Fill jars. Boil 4c distilled water and 1/4 cup coarse salt, pour over cukes while boiling. Place rings and seal finger tight. Wait for pop and you're set.

@sparrowgrass, thanks! We go through these pickles like there is no tomorrow because we don't get them often. Thanks for the link.

Hmmm...now I want to try one with 1/2 inch headspace. I may have to go get some baby cukes on my shopping trip later.


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