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I've been brewing beer (totally amateur) for a few years as a hobby. I now want to get into canning my own garden-grown veggies.

I've bought several books and watched several videos (like this one from Ball) which recommend:

  1. Using hot soapy water to clean all jars, lids and bands/rings; as well as all other utensils (ladles, jar funnels, jar lifters, cutting boards, etc.)
  2. Keeping the lids in hot water (not boiling) until ready to be used

In brewing there is a product called Star San that is a "no rinse" sanitation solution. You basically dip your utensils into a tub of it, take them out and they are ready to be used.

I'm wondering if this product would be safe and effective for use in canning. Any thoughts?

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No rinse sanitizer like Star San works great for sanitizing canning tools & jars. The sanitary considerations for canning and beer have quite a bit in common, so for the most part, if you sanitize things like you're bottling, you'll be in great shape.

Except...

You'll still want to follow the instructions to simmer your flat lids. The rubber seal on the lid needs the heat to "activate" in order for it to be appropriately soft to create a good seal between the lid & jar.

Edit I just grabbed a package of lids to check the instructions, and they appear to have changed to no longer recommend / require the hot water simmering prep. A quick internet suggests this changed about 5 years ago. Who knew?!

I've been continuing to simmer the lids for about 5 minutes before canning--and probably will keep doing so out of habit. However, it would seem that based on the package directions, you just need to sanitize, not heat. So Star San should do the trick for the lids as well!

Ball Lids-back package

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  • Thanks @AMtwo (+1) -- so for the lids should I hit them with Star San and then simmer them? And when it comes to "simmering", what do you usually do (specifically)? Just put them in a sauce pan and keep a medium flame on them, without allowing them to boil? How long do you simmer them for? Thanks again! – hotmeatballsoup Aug 4 '20 at 23:59
  • I went to check the package for simmer time--and seems they've changed the recommended instructions. Yes--I do exactly what you suggest: Medium flame just short of a boil, for about five minutes. However--it seems that is no longer necessary based on the package instructions. – AMtwo Aug 5 '20 at 1:29
  • This part of the Star San product description is concerning: "use caution since it is an acid; contact with soft metals, rubber, and plastic should be kept to a minimum." Does this mean that Star San will degrade the rubber seals on the lids? – csk Aug 5 '20 at 4:41
  • @csk The Star San I have does not include this in the package directions. In fact, it specifically directs you to use rubber gloves--which makes me think there's not a major concern, particularly for single use lids with only 1 minute of sanitizing exposure. Can you provide a link or photo of the product description you're looking at? – AMtwo Aug 5 '20 at 12:06
  • It's in the "Additional Information" section on the page that OP linked to, on the right side of the page. – csk Aug 5 '20 at 18:08

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