I was water bath canning tomato juice. I filled them within 1/2" from top and put the lids on. The juice wasn't scalding hot but hot enough. When I was lifting the wire rack out all of a sudden the juice starts coming out from under lid and ring. I wasn't pressure canning and I don't know the temperature of the water bath canner. Do i need to reseal the jars or put them all in the fridge?
The lids were most likely on too tight on the jars during canning, trapping the air in the headspace and building pressure. The combination of trapped pressure and agitation from lifting the jars would cause the lids to lift and break the seals.
The sudden release and rapid drop in pressure caused the juice to 'boil-over' even with the canner water being below boiling temperature, similar to rapidly opening a carbonated beverage.
To fix this, try having the rings slightly looser for the next batch.
You can find other troubleshooting tips from Clemson University Extension's page on canning.
For future batches with similar boiling-over or seal issues, you can reprocess the jars following the same processing time and standard guidelines:
- with new lids immediately, optionally with new jars if damaged and with additional 1 inch headspace,
- within 24 hours with new lids if the jars sealed
otherwise, refrigerate or consume immediately.