Alcohol and boiling water bath

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thestripeytiger
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Alcohol and boiling water bath

Postby thestripeytiger » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:07 pm

Hi Everyone, As a newbie I have lots of questions this is my first...

I've done loads of reading and find that most recipies for bottling fruit in syrups containing alcohol (say brandy- as well as sugar and cinamon or other spices, for example) do not finish off with processing in a boiling water bath. Is there a reason for not using the BWB in this instance?

Initially I wondered if the alcohol interferred with the processing somehow then I found one lonley recipe (somewhere online) that had brandy in it and finished with a boiling water bath. It gave me confidence to process my oranges in a brandy, cinnamon & clove syrup in a boiling water bath. There wasn't any alcohol induced explosions. I was relieved! And they seem to have turned out very prettily.

But I am still left wondering:
Why most recipes with alcohol as an ingredient don't specify a BWB.
and
Is it different if you were to use all alcohol and no syrup. (eg cumquats in brandy) Do you need to process using BWB then or is the alcohol enough to kill the bacteria?

Thanks and cheers Sharon

minnie
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Re: Alcohol and boiling water bath

Postby minnie » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:49 pm

Hi Sharon,

I BWB my fruit in brandy and sugar syrup but don't BWB my chutneys and some sauces (based on the amount of vinegar).

I didn't even consider them exploding... I've done peaches, nectarines, cherries, apricots and pears with brandy and some with creme de cacao without mishap.

Year before last I dehydrated cherries and then put them in a couple of jars and filled up with straight brandy, didn't BWB this and left them until a few months back... lovely cherry brandy to pour over desserts and the cherries were yummy too. ;)

Some people do BWB their chutneys and will say 'everything' should be BWB but I believe that as long as we understand what and why it's a personal choice with some things... not unlike pastuerised as opposed to raw milk and product. We are lucky in this country as we have a TB free status at the moment and if we have good hygiene and use the milk on the same day for cheese then it's a risk worth taking, but somethings aren't such as low acid foods (vegetable) should only be preserved using the canning method.

In saying all of this I always sterilise my jars and use new lids.
:D
Vicki

ellengray
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Re: Alcohol and boiling water bath

Postby ellengray » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:58 pm

My main problem in hot water bathing stuff immersed in alcohol ... is that you'd risk losing the alcohol content (as in cooking). No way would I lose the brandied part of my peaches/cherries/plums! LOL

I used not to hot water bathe things like chutneys and jams but have slowly converted over to doing it that way as it does apparently extend shelf life (I have a book home that compared shelf life of these things to not bathed and bathed) and it does cut down on the risk ... I also have spent much of this past year without an immune system (I lost it in town one day) so have not been taking chances.

Mojojo
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Re: Alcohol and boiling water bath

Postby Mojojo » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:26 pm

As the BWB is in a sealed container - the jar, the alcohol would precipitate out, but then be trapped by the lid and just drip back in, surely? Would be interesting to test to see if there is a difference... BWB against not I mean.
~ Jo
_________________
Two roads diverged in a wood and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost

ellengray
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Re: Alcohol and boiling water bath

Postby ellengray » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:14 pm

The heat would destroy the alcohol content. As it does in cooking. It wouldn't 'escape' but, as in cooking, the alcohol-ness of it would vanish. If you know what I mean. It would no longer be alcoholic brandy, only non-alcoholic brandy or rum or whatever. And that may also stop its preservative effects. So if you destroyed the alcohol content by hot water bathing, would it no longer preserve?

In any case, no one ever hot water bathes alcohol! LOL

Mojojo
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Re: Alcohol and boiling water bath

Postby Mojojo » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:17 pm

Ahh, but it is not destroyed in cooking, just some of it evaporates out...
In a closed system it can't go anywhere. It all got me interested, so I asked a chemist here at work, who said that the alcohol will not be destroyed at those temperatures. Some would escape in vapour on opening the jar, but most would be in the liquid and in particular, the fruit. With sufficient heat (way more than would happen in a water bath) and with other liquids ie water, it may change the type of alcohol - into something toxic to humans - but would not destroy it. He also mentioned that alcohol, or at least the mash ie in distilling, is heated significantly to create it, so the heating does not destroy it. He also added that he may be wrong but will find out...

But yes, no reason to BWB the alcoholic fruit ;)
Still would be interesting to test.

While looking it up I came across this on wikipedia about alcohol in cooking, which suprised me, as I thought most, if not all of it evaporated off:


Alcohol in finished food

A study by a team of researchers at the University of Idaho, Washington State University, and the US Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Data Laboratory calculated the percentage of alcohol remaining in a dish based on various cooking methods. The results are as follows:

list]alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat - 85% alcohol retained
alcohol flamed - 75% alcohol retained
no heat, stored overnight - 70% alcohol retained
baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture - 45% alcohol retained
baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:
15 minutes 40% alcohol retained
30 minutes 35% alcohol retained
1 hour 25% alcohol retained
1.5 hours 20% alcohol retained
2 hours 10% alcohol retained
2.5 hours 5% alcohol retained.[/list]
~ Jo
_________________
Two roads diverged in a wood and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost

minnie
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Re: Alcohol and boiling water bath

Postby minnie » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:45 am

Hi Jo,

Very interesting... I'll have to not BWB next time I put alcohol in the fruit and see how it goes.
:D
Vicki

thestripeytiger
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Location: Far Meadow, Berry NSW

Re: Alcohol and boiling water bath

Postby thestripeytiger » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:36 pm

Thankyou Jo, Vicky and ellengray for your 'food for thought' . It seems that I'll continue to BWB syrups with brandy - if only to ensure a vacuum seal - but wont bother if it's all booze & fruit.
If only I'd found the forum sooner. It could have saved me hours of frustration at the library!

I'm intrigued by your list of alcohol remaining in cooking Jo - amazing- I always assumed most of it was lost!
Happy days
Sharon

Mojojo
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Re: Alcohol and boiling water bath

Postby Mojojo » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:43 pm

I am also amazed for the same reason, it came from here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooking_with_alcohol
might be worth reading the reference later when I have time!

pinkukulele
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Re: Alcohol and boiling water bath

Postby pinkukulele » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:49 pm

minnie wrote:
Year before last I dehydrated cherries and then put them in a couple of jars and filled up with straight brandy, didn't BWB this and left them until a few months back... lovely cherry brandy to pour over desserts and the cherries were yummy too. ;)



Ooh now I'm getting intrigued by this - just by reading about cherry brandy! How do you seal the jars in this case?

Yuuuum!

Cheers,

Carolyn

minnie
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Re: Alcohol and boiling water bath

Postby minnie » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:03 pm

I just put the steralised lid on. ;)

Vicki


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