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Sterilising Your Agee Jar

26.10.17

Sterilising Your Agee Jar

 

Oven method

Wash jars thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinse and drain. Place on oven racks with space between jars and heat from cold to 120°C for 10-15 mins. Immediately before use, carefully remove from oven, place on a clean wooden board, newspaper or tea towel and pour in your hot preserve.

Microwave method

For a small batch of 2-3 Jars Wash jars thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinse and drain. Fill jars with cold water leaving approximately 12mm head space and microwave on high power until the water boils (approx. 2-3 mins). Immediately before use, carefully remove from the microwave and discard the water. Place on a clean wooden board, newspaper or tea towel and pour in your hot preserve.

 

Hints on Home Preserving using the Overflow/Open Pan method.

 

 Note: Although the simplest and most commonly used method, the overflow method is not suitable for vegetables or other low acid produce. Vegetables must be preserved using the pressure cooker method where the temperature is greater than 115° C

Important: Before starting the preserving process visually inspect the consistency of unused seals. In rare cases the seal compound may not have formed correctly during manufacture and may not form a good seal. If there is any doubt, do not use the seal.

1.       Sterilise Agee Jars using the Sterilising Your Agee Jar instructions.

2.       Top and Edges of Agee Jars should be smooth with no cracks

3.       Sterilise and soften Agee Seals by placing in boiling water for 3-5 minutes immediately before use

4.       Keep jars warm in the oven until ready to use.

5.       Prepare your jam, relish, sauce or fruit in syrup following the appropriate recipe instructions.

6.       While hot pour or spoon the finished product into your jar until it flows over the top.

7.       Remove air bubbles with knife slid down the side of Agee Jar and rotated.

8.       Ensure rim of jar is free from pulp/pips/seeds etc

9.       Slide Agee Band up hand and place Agee Seal on Agee Jar using the same hand, making sure the Agee Seal is central and seated evenly against the top of the Agee Jar. While keeping pressure on the Agee Seal, slide the Agee Band down your hand and screw down firmly by hand. Do not use bent or rusty bands.

10.   Let the full Agee Jar cool for at least 12hrs before removing band and stacking away. DO NOT TIGHTEN BANDS AGAIN AFTER PROCESSING. If the domed centre of the lid is down and stays down when pressed, sealing is successful. The band may be safely removed.

11.   Store jars in a cool dark place until required.

As a general rule for fruit syrup

  • Light               1 cup sugar to 3 cups water
  • Medium         1 cup sugar to 2 cups water
  • Heavy             1 cup sugar to 1 and half cups water

Failures

Most failures are caused by the band not being screwed on tightly enough, by seals not being placed against the lip of the jar properly or by under processing.

Fruit preserving times

Overflow & Open Pan Method

Type of Fruit

Type of pack

Time in minutes after adding fruit to boiling syrup

Apples

Hot

20

Apricots or Peaches

Hot

20

Berries

Hot

15

Grapefruit or Lemons

Hot

15

Grapes

Hot

20

Guavas

Hot

15

Kiwifruit or Tamarillos

Hot

20

Loquats

Hot

15

Mixed Fruit

Hot

20

Nectarines or Feijoas

Hot

20

Pears or Plums

Hot

20

Quinces

Hot

40+

Rhubarb

Hot

15

Tomatoes

Hot

20

     

This method must only be used for fruit.  Fruit must be firm and ripe.  Not over ripe.

Hints on Home Preserving using the Water Bath method.

 

Note: The water bath method is not suitable for vegetables or other low acid produce. Vegetables must be preserved using the pressure cooker method where the temperature is greater than 115° C.

Important: Before starting the preserving process visually inspect the consistency of unused seals. In rare cases the seal compound may not have formed correctly during manufacture and may not form a good seal. If there is any doubt, do not use the seal.

Water Bath

Any large metal container may be used for a water bath preserver.

1.       It must have a meal plate/trivet to stand the jars on inside the boiler approximately 20mm off the bottom.

2.       It can be heated by gas, stove element or electric jug type element.

Hot Pack

The washed or peeled fruit is boiled for 3-5 minutes immediately prior to packing into hot jars.

Cold or Raw pack

The fruit is peeled and/or washed thoroughly and packed into warmed jars.  Note: With cold pack methods as the fruit cooks up slightly, it is easy to end up with 25% or more liquid at the bottom of the jar after processing. To minimise this effect, put together the fruit, almost squashing it in but leaving a 12mm headspace.

As a general rule for fruit syrup

  • Light               1 cup sugar to 3 cups water
  • Medium         1 cup sugar to 2 cups water
  • Heavy             1 cup sugar to 1 and half cups water

To preserve without sugar

Use fully ripe firm fruit hot pack method, top up jars with hot water and process in water bath as normal.

To keep fruit from Darkening

1.       Preparation
Drop apples, apricots, peaches, pears etc. into a solution of 2 tablespoons salt, 2 tablespoons vinegar to 4 litres of water as they are pared, cored, peeled or pitted.  Leave in solution ideally no longer than 40 minutes then rinse the fruit before packing.
 

2.       In the Jar
½ teaspoon Ascorbic Acid to each quart.  Sprinkle over the fruit just before capping jar.

 

Method

1.       Sterilise Agee Jars using the Sterilising Your Agee Jar instructions.

2.       Top and Edges of Agee Jars should be smooth with no cracks

3.       Sterilise and soften Agee Seals by placing in boiling water for 3-5 minutes immediately before use

4.       Keep jars warm in the oven until ready to use.

5.       Pack jars with fruit leaving a 20mm space from the top by either hot pack or cold pack method below.

6.       Cover fruit with hot to boiling water, syrup or brine leaving 12mm headspace.

7.       Ensure the top of the jar is clean.

8.       Place seal and band on jar and tighten firmly by hand. Do not use bent or rusty bands.

9.       Place the jars into a water bath (see hints below) and cover with water allowing 50mm of water above the tops of the jars.  Cover with a lid and bring to the boil.

10.   Boil for the specified time in the table below. Note; these times are approximate only.

11.   Once the cooking process has been completed, remove jar from boiling water and stand on a folded Agee tea towel to cool slowly. 

12.   Let the full Agee Jar cool for at least 12hrs before removing band and stacking away. DO NOT TIGHTEN BANDS AGAIN AFTER PROCESSING. If the domed centre of the lid is down and stays down when pressed, sealing is successful. The band may be safely removed.

13.   Store jars in a cool dark place until required.
 

Water Bath method, approximate time in minutes after water bath is boiling

Type of Fruit

Type of pack

Pints

Quarts

 

 

200-600ml

600-1200ml

Apples

Cold Raw

Not recommended

Not recommended

Apples

Hot

20

20

Apricots or Peaches

Cold Raw

25

30

Apricots or Peaches

Hot

20

25

Berries

Cold Raw

20

20

Berries

Hot

15

20

Figs

Hot or Cold Raw

85

90

Grapefruit or Lemons

Hot or Cold Raw

10

10

Grapes

Hot or Cold Raw

20

20

Guavas

Hot or Cold Raw

15

20

Kiwifruit or Tamarillos

Cold Raw

20

25

Kiwifruit or Tamarillos

Hot

20

20

Loquats

Hot

15

20

Mixed Fruit

Hot

20

25

Nectarines or Feijoas

Cold Raw

25

30

Nectarines or Feijoas

Hot

20

25

Pears or Plums

Cold Raw

25

30

Pears or Plums

Hot

20

25

Quinces

Hot

85

90

Rhubarb

Hot

10

10

Tomatoes

Cold Raw

35

45

Tomatoes

Hot

15

20

 Failures

Most failures are caused by the band not being screwed on tightly enough, by seals not being placed against the lip of the jar properly or by under processing

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