I am pressure canning for the first time and I have a horrible liquid loss / syphoning situation going on. Basically 50% of my slightly larger jars (250ml) end up with less than 50% liquid and I need to put them in the fridge. The situation is somewhat better with smaller jars.
I try to follow some basic best practices in order to avoid these problems:
- I try to remove bubbles as best as I can
- I don't raw pack, however by the time the paprika are skinned and ready for packing, they are already cold.
- I top up with hot water to mitigate the coldness.
- After finishing the canning, I stop the heat and don't open the vent, I let it cool down, before I open the canner.
My pressure canner unfortunately is designed for medical applications and it has an automatic vent, which releases when 125C is reached. However in practice the pressure fluctuates between 125C and 130C.
Is this level of pressure fluctuation bad?
Should I try to optimize for more stable pressure, or should I rather work on other factors like preheating before packing, experimenting with produce to liquid ratio when packing, getting better jars and lids or perhaps try to heat up and cool down even more gradually?
I tried manually operating the on / off button and keeping the temp between 122C and 124C (with some exceptions, every now and then I would need to leave for a minute and the pressure would rise to 130C and than fall down back to 125C with the help of the automatic release), but the result was the same: lots of liquid loss.