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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Canning, Preserving and Dehydrating / Halving a water bath recipe
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    Halving a water bath recipe

    ala-kat
    Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:51 pm
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    I always read cautions about cutting a canning (water bath) recipe in half, and I don't understand why. How is it any different that only canning half the batch, and throwing out the rest? All ingredients can easily be halved, as well as the pectin (by weight). What am I missing?
    Molly53
    Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:51 pm
    Forum Host
    ala-kat wrote:
    I always read cautions about cutting a canning (water bath) recipe in half, and I don't understand why. How is it any different that only canning half the batch, and throwing out the rest? All ingredients can easily be halved, as well as the pectin (by weight). What am I missing?
    If you're asking about a jam/jelly recipe, they're fairly precisely written for the best chance of success. Altering ingredients or multiplying the recipe can lead to a failure to jell. Not sure why, but there it is.

    I don't see why one couldn't reduce the size of a batch of pickled vegetables, though.
    ala-kat
    Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:23 am
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    Molly53 wrote:
    ala-kat wrote:
    I always read cautions about cutting a canning (water bath) recipe in half, and I don't understand why. How is it any different that only canning half the batch, and throwing out the rest? All ingredients can easily be halved, as well as the pectin (by weight). What am I missing?
    If you're asking about a jam/jelly recipe, they're fairly precisely written for the best chance of success. Altering ingredients or multiplying the recipe can lead to a failure to jell. Not sure why, but there it is.

    I don't see why one couldn't reduce the size of a batch of pickled vegetables, though.


    Things that make you go hmmmm....I'm going to half the next recipe. I will then see for myself, but it still makes no sense to me. The last recipe I did, although very precisely written, was that persons spin on a recipe (margarita jelly..turned out good). Perhaps the failure goes back to a time when measurements were not so easily obtained? I don't know. Has anyone else tried this?
    Zeldaz
    Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:42 pm
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    It's because it skews the cooking time. Less volume means it heats faster, so will not cook as long, double volume means it cooks longer. When you're timing a boil, the amount of time the mixture is exposed to heat is a factor, too. It doesn't mean you are doomed to failure, it's just less precise and increases the odds of failure.
    See this post about doubling (nothing about halving, though): http://www.foodinjars.com/2011/01/canning-101-why-you-shouldnt-double-batches-of-jam/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FoodInJars+%28Food+in+Jars%29
    ala-kat
    Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:20 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Zeldaz wrote:
    It's because it skews the cooking time. Less volume means it heats faster, so will not cook as long, double volume means it cooks longer. When you're timing a boil, the amount of time the mixture is exposed to heat is a factor, too. It doesn't mean you are doomed to failure, it's just less precise and increases the odds of failure.
    See this post about doubling (nothing about halving, though): http://www.foodinjars.com/2011/01/canning-101-why-you-shouldnt-double-batches-of-jam/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FoodInJars+%28Food+in+Jars%29


    Well, dang icon_cry.gif
    Zeldaz
    Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:58 pm
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    Better to know the risks, though, eh?
    ala-kat
    Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:37 pm
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    oops, double post
    ala-kat
    Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:37 pm
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    Zeldaz wrote:
    Better to know the risks, though, eh?


    You are so right, but still might try it with something that is cost effective and I can take it as a lesson learned. Inquiring minds and all... icon_biggrin.gif icon_biggrin.gif
    texasbjs
    Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:51 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Maybe that explains why my last preserves were a bit off......I had made half a recipe!!!
    Zeldaz
    Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:10 pm
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    ala-kat wrote:
    Zeldaz wrote:
    Better to know the risks, though, eh?


    You are so right, but still might try it with something that is cost effective and I can take it as a lesson learned. Inquiring minds and all... icon_biggrin.gif icon_biggrin.gif


    I have a book about preserving small batches of things, if you are interested. I've been posting some recipes from it. Just let me know what you want me to check.

    My guess/feeling is that it's probably better to HALVE, as it's overcooking that kills the pectin.
    ala-kat
    Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:23 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Zeldaz wrote:
    ala-kat wrote:
    Zeldaz wrote:
    Better to know the risks, though, eh?


    You are so right, but still might try it with something that is cost effective and I can take it as a lesson learned. Inquiring minds and all... icon_biggrin.gif icon_biggrin.gif


    I have a book about preserving small batches of things, if you are interested. I've been posting some recipes from it. Just let me know what you want me to check.

    My guess/feeling is that it's probably better to HALVE, as it's overcooking that kills the pectin.


    You are a dear icon_biggrin.gif Right now I'm looking at strawberry, but am also interested in the book itself. Is it one I can find easily?
    Zeldaz
    Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:48 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Very easy to find, it's current. I have the 2nd edition in paperback. The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving, by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. It has 300 or so recipes, most of which make a pint or two of things like pickles, salsa, relishes, and fruit preserves, plus some freezer recipes. We have a household of 2, so making big batches of stuff means it would be around for years!
    ala-kat
    Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:40 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Zeldaz wrote:
    Very easy to find, it's current. I have the 2nd edition in paperback. The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving, by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard. It has 300 or so recipes, most of which make a pint or two of things like pickles, salsa, relishes, and fruit preserves, plus some freezer recipes. We have a household of 2, so making big batches of stuff means it would be around for years!


    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I will be ordering this tonight.
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