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Topic: Peaches and Air Bubbles - Confused!?!  (Read 738 times)
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jennique
« on: September 02, 2011 07:43:21 AM »

I am so confudled right now! I've canned many different things - but never peaches. Well my boyfriend comes home with 14 litres of peaches the other day so here I am canning away.

I decided to make about six jars of Bourbon Peaches (a first time for me) with some of the fruit. I like bourbon, I like peaches, sounds like a good plan. I used a recipe for brandy peaches and substituted bourbon when I realized I had no brandy in my liquor cabinet.

I packed my boiling hot poached peaches into the hot sterilized jars, with the hot syrup and room temperature bourbon. I used a plastic knife to get out any air bubbles, just as I always do. When I was satisfied I gave the jars a firm tap on the cutting board to settle the peaches, wiped the rims and put on my lids and rings. Then I dropped them in the hot water bath and boiled them under 1 1/2 inches of water for about 25 minutes.

I took them out, let them cool, heard them POP! and have nicely sealed jars. However, this morning as I was picking them up to put them away in the cupboard my jostling of the peaches released a bunch of tiny bubbles to the surface of the jar. What's going on here? I've never had a problem with bubbles before. I've also never canned with alcohol before - is this related?

Is this something to do with the alcohol boiling and releasing air? Do I need to worry? Should I reopen my jars, reheat my peaches and re-process or will the high sugar and alcohol content preserve them ok regardless? I definitely have a good seal on all the jars.

Any help would be appreciated!
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011 07:44:50 AM by jennique » THIS ROCKS   Logged

~~jenny
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2011 08:20:06 AM »

I'm thinking that this is caused either by contamination in the peaches or jars, or possibly you have some fermentation going on possibly due to the bourbon.  Undecided
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jennique
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2011 08:36:11 AM »

I just wikipedia-ed fermentation and it says:

Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions.

So maybe.. my sugary syrup is fermenting and releasing carbon dioxide?

>.< I've looked up a variety of recipes about peaches in alcohol or other fruits canned in alcohol and can find no notes about my bubbles. However, it sounds as if plenty of people don't even process fruit once they put it in with alcohol so maybe it's not a big deal after all.
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~~jenny
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011 06:37:47 PM »

I'm thinking that this is caused either by contamination in the peaches or jars, or possibly you have some fermentation going on possibly due to the bourbon.  Undecided

Isn't it curious how bourbon is actually made by fermentation as well?

As for the peaches,

**Warning, science content. If boring, skip to tl;dr**

Botulism is not the nicest thing to deal with. I don't believe the alcohol has a large role to play with the bubbles (ethanol (the 'alcohol' in alcohol)) because the bubbles, if they are indeed alcohol bubbles, could be rectified by putting them into the fridge (which would cause the gaseous alcohol to go back into a liquid [like turning steam into water]). That would be my first course of action.

If it is indeed fermentation (i.e. yeast turning the yummy peach sugar into alcohol/carbon dioxide/other organic goodies), then, sorry to say, the canning procedure failed as the boiling is to kill off the natural yeasts and microbes in the jars. It's also interesting to note that alcohol would aid in the killing of the yeast (as alcohol is a waste product of yeast, and rubbing alcohol and ethanol are both used in hand sanitizer).


tl;dr
Put in fridge, see if bubbles go away. Otherwise, keep a very careful eye on the jars for mold. If comfortable and you end up opening them, smell very carefully. Have one bite and wait a day before consuming more. If the top is too easy to open, don't touch them Cheesy
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jennique
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2011 06:50:53 AM »

Thanks for your suggestion! I will put them in the fridge and see. I've been looking at them every couple days and so far no mold...
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~~jenny
jennique
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2011 08:24:47 AM »

I just wanted to update on the situation. As per the suggestion by Brunoise, I put the offending jar in the fridge. Bubbles disappeared! The other jars seem fine now so I feel much relieved. Thanks for the information!
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~~jenny
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