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oven sterilization of PF jars


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#1 chill

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 03:26 AM

No one ever talks about steralizing jars in the oven. Steaming sure, PC of course, but never the oven. Why is that?

A couple of grows ago my stainless steel pot I use for steaming sprung a leak in the middle of 36 jars worth of work. So I popped the remainder in the oven at 225F for 45 minutes and had great results.

Next grow I did the same and also had great results.

Why aren't more people doing this? You can easily put 40 jars in an oven and there is no additional cost or mess as compared to a steamer or a PC.

Feedback anyone?

#2 cheshire

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 04:27 AM

good idea, steamer always is effort plus if stealth is needed can be so suspect, and every1 knows how to use an oven properly :)

gonna try for next grow

#3 lsd child

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 06:13 AM

can you tell us about what kinda jars u used....normal 1/2 pint pf jars in the oven ? ive heard ovens dont work well and jars often crack?....if their is a good way to do it im very interested as my p/c is shit.

#4 golly

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 08:12 AM

The moisture is gonna boil off in the oven ...The higher you go above 212F ,the faster they will dry out...
The PC traps that moisture and a steamer keeps the temp at the threashold value of 212 which means , any loss of moisture occurs very slowly..

The low oven temp u had Chill, may have been low enough that not too much
water was lost ...

#5 meatwad

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 01:52 PM

The moisture is gonna boil off in the oven ...The higher you go above 212F ,the faster they will dry out...
The PC traps that moisture and a steamer keeps the temp at the threashold value of 212 which means , any loss of moisture occurs very slowly..

The low oven temp u had Chill, may have been low enough that not too much
water was lost ...


Ya like golly said

However I wounder about your steaming methods, do you have luck with steaming stacked jars?

I tried stacking jars while steaming, 90 minute steam sessions, and my top jars always failed..
My jars that were halfway submersed in water however, have always turned out GREAT

I pressure cook now though, so no worries

#6 chill

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 05:23 PM

The moisture is gonna boil off in the oven ...The higher you go above 212F ,the faster they will dry out...
The PC traps that moisture and a steamer keeps the temp at the threashold value of 212 which means , any loss of moisture occurs very slowly..

The low oven temp u had Chill, may have been low enough that not too much
water was lost ...



Hi Golly,

that's what I figured as well so I never tried it until I had to. Doesn't seem to be an issue. Here's a pic of why I think the water doesn't boil off. The metal band over the foil traps the moisure, that and the low temps.

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  • oven band jar.jpg


#7 chill

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 05:29 PM

I wounder about your steaming methods, do you have luck with steaming stacked jars?

I tried stacking jars while steaming, 90 minute steam sessions, and my top jars always failed..
My jars that were halfway submersed in water however, have always turned out GREAT


Excellent results with steaming. I ditched my PC as an unnecessary expense. PF cakes work great for spawn so no need to use PCs for grains.

I would raise my jars off the bottom of the steamer by placing a row of upside down, empty, 1/2 pint jars on a dish cloth. Then I'd fill with water to the tops of the upside down jars. Then I'd put in my PF jars. That way I'd have plenty of water and not worry so much about boiling dry. I would have to add water 1/2 way through tho.

I'd also do it at a rolling boil the whole way through. I'd also weight the lid down so that more pressure inside was required to force the steam out.

worked great.

#8 malefacter

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 05:35 PM

iv ben thinking of using my flavor wave convection oven it uses Inferred for its heat sorce i love cooking with it

#9 golly

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 05:38 PM

Wondering if you used an oven thermometer for the temp or just dialed into that number..?..Some can vary quite a bit from the setting....

If you could nail down a specific method that works for u, That could be quite helpfull to many...

I would be interested to know what the difference in the weight of the jars are before and after gett'n baked...:rasta:

#10 Lazlo

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 08:26 PM

I think there's a lot of potential in using an oven for sterilizing jars as well. I've tried it with whole grain and came close to getting it right. I may try a few more jars soon just to see if I can come up with something sound.

#11 eternalfrost

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 08:39 PM

the dry heat of an oven drys ur poor jars out. if doing PF-tek just throw them in a normal pot with water on the range (no 'steamer' needed) . just as easy and 'stealthy' and cheap as an oven but with no worries.

a pressure cooker isnt suspicious anyhow. and if your worried it is, then just learn how to use it to cook come food. makes great food real quick if you know what your doing.

#12 Hippie3

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 08:41 PM

a jar with foil under the lid like that
would seem prone to two problems-
lack of good air exchange
and wet vermiculite barrier,
both problems would seem to
make the foil less than optimum,
i wonder how much drying would occur
in just 45 minutes
without the foil under the lid,
over it instead would seem better
in that once done it can be removed
without risking breaching sterility
so air can get in
and the lid area can dry out after steaming.

#13 chill

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 09:03 PM

a jar with foil under the lid like that
would seem prone to two problems-
lack of good air exchange
and wet vermiculite barrier,


The foil is under the ring, the lid is under the foil.

Also, the foil under the ring was actually used to prevent wet jars when using the steaming / boiling method in a stock pot. Makes for a tighter seal than an elastic around the foil. I assume it also prevents moisture from boiling off although I don't know that for a fact.

After steralization the foil is removed and the jars are treated like regular PF tek jars so there is no issue with air exchange. As for wet verm, since they are in the oven the risk is most likely to be that the jars are too dry rather than too wet.

Finally, as to boiling off the water, I can say that it doesn't happen. I'm on my second batch and the jars are performing as per normal. I've got the shrooms to prove it.

Important: wetter jars are a bigger risk than drier jars as spores will germinate if a little too dry but won't germinate if a little too wet. I went thru many syringes back in the day figuring that tidbit out when I was first learning to use a stock pot for steralization :(

#14 chill

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 09:07 PM

just throw them in a normal pot with water on the range (no 'steamer' needed) . just as easy and 'stealthy' and cheap as an oven but with no worries.


This will not work as described IMHO. I have dozens of grow attempts (some successful others not) based on the steaming of jars and feel quite confident as to what will work and what won't.

Steaming requires certain parts of the process to be just right or the jars will get wet and not germinate.

Boiling of jars is too risky as water will get in when the jar is submerged. Water expands when boiling and will easily swamp a jar that is only partially submerged prior to boiling.

#15 Hippie3

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 09:08 PM

where are the pictures friend ?

#16 Hippie3

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 09:11 PM

This will not work as described IMHO. I have dozens of grow attempts (some successful others not) based on the steaming of jars and feel quite confident as to what will work and what won't.

Steaming requires certain parts of the process to be just right or the jars will get wet and not germinate.

Boiling of jars is too risky as water will get in when the jar is submerged. Water expands when boiling and will easily swamp a jar that is only partially submerged prior to boiling.


only a problem if one doesn't elevate the jars,
common in small units that don't hold much water.
but a bigger pot and something under the jars
easily solves this 'problem'
so that steaming is certainly a viable alternative for pf tek,
as has been proved many times before.
but the oven is a decent alternative, it seems, for pf tek
although i doubt one would get away with it
doing grain

#17 chill

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 09:31 PM

only a problem if one doesn't elevate the jars,
common in small units that don't hold much water.
but a bigger pot and something under the jars
easily solves this 'problem'
so that steaming is certainly a viable alternative for pf tek,
as has been proved many times before.
but the oven is a decent alternative, it seems, for pf tek
although i doubt one would get away with it
doing grain


Elevation is critical. My reply to the above post was to prevent people from thinking they could just puts some jars in pots and boil away. There's more to it than that. Steaming really deserves its own tek or write up.

I'm not sure the oven would work for grains like popcorn. I don't know at what temperature the endospore die and grains seem to take longer to 'cook' than do jars meaning that the water loss would be greater.

Fortuantely grains aren't necessary to be successful in this hobby so spending $200.00 + shipping on an All American PC is strictly optional.

#18 Lazlo

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 09:31 PM

I remember when doing the whole grain jars that; when the jars began to cool down, there was a considerable amount of moisture still inside of the jars. The grain looked really nice after a complete cooling and a few shakings to disperse the moisture evenly throughout the grain. I think my main problem with that thread was an old liquid culture.

I'd have to think that moisture loss would be minimal considering the moisture's contained and only has a small amount of space to escape (inoculation holes, exc.).

#19 Hippie3

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 09:34 PM

spending $200.00 + shipping on an All American PC is strictly optional.


true enough, pf 's genius made all that 'optional',
if all one wants is the magic
it doesn't require much more than
items found in almost every kitchen.

#20 Travesty

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Posted 03 February 2007 - 10:17 PM

i tried to use a dishwasher on my first try. I ran 40 pf jars thru 2 cycles. everything worked well. then the second time 1/2 failed. now i use a pc. with a 99% success rate.(the 1% is my own carelessness). I alwas thought an oven would crack my jars, cause one time my pc's seal broke and all the water steamed out cracking all the jars inside.
maybe it would help to give them a hot water bath while in the oven. (baking dish w/ water and jars in the water) to prevent cracking. just a thought




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