Foil Covers

Nan's Nook : Archives : Jars : Lids : Foil Covers
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Read What PF Says... 1

Tape  -    
Inoculating Jars  -    
Jar Lids  -    

By nuecrew (Nue) on Saturday, December 22, 2001 - 11:43 pm:

I was thinking of the thousands of potatoes I used to have to wrap with pre cut Al foil. I find cutting and sizing foil from a roll for 9er Tek or the top of a 1/2 pint a pain. With this pre cut foil there are three folds that when torn against the edge of a counter then put together and torn in half are the perfect size for the top of a 1/2 pint. Two sheets of it are just right for lining the 9er tek.Pre cutfor tops of jars

By Breeze (Breeze) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 01:34 am:

"When steaming or pressure canning is performed, the jars must be protected from water dripping down from the underside of the pot lid caused by heavy condensation and drip off during boiling. This water can get into the jars by entering under the jar lids that aren�t tight and soaking the substrate - throwing off the formula and setting up failure. To prevent this, wrap some tin foil around the cap to ward off the water. The tin foil can be removed after steaming (with the tape guarding the needle holes - or the tin foil can be left on until it is inoculation time.) " *PF Tek

I am new to this and misread the PF tek part about the foil during the boiling process. I put it around the ring lid, but not over the top of the jar... Anyway I have some very wet looking substrate which I did go ahead and inoculate.. There is no movement of water in the jars when tilted or anything, but the rice flour seems to have turned into a very wet looking goo, that hugs the side of the glass in spots. There is still some loosely packed areas with gaps between the substrate and the glass.. Very little to no condensation is evident (if you don't count the wet looking flour). Are these ruined? I am scared to open the jar lids or leave them loose to allow moisture to escape because I don't want to risk any contamination... Should I wait four or five days and if I see no activity then loosen the lids? I have heard to moist of a substrate slows colonization, but will it still occur at all in these conditions? I can take a pic and post out here if anyone needs better detail to help me figure this one out... How do I post the pic anyway?

By Lichen (Lichen) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 01:41 am:

I would caution you to wait a week and see what happens

By Nanook of the North (Nanook) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 02:22 am:

I would not wait, go ahead and dump them, reload, and reshoot. They got soaked, there really is no way to dry them, you are better off learning from your first attempt, and starting another batch knowing that you are familiar with all the pitfalls.

Good luck, keep your chin up, we have all ruined a batch at one point or another.


By Breeze (Breeze) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 02:46 am:

Just as a thought...
What if one had an airtight container to set all the jars in and loosened the cap a bit on each jar and put a layer of Desiccant at the bottom? Do you think it might be sufficent to save them? I really don't want to wait another two weeks for another spore syringe if I can help it. I'd also feel better if you guys could see pics of one of these jars.. They are all about the same looking and it could be I am just too paranoid about how wet they look.. All the pics I have seen on the net look drier by comparsium though.. Do I just put the path of the filename for the pic in the formatting to get it to post? Thanks


By Breeze (Breeze) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 03:11 am:

c: c:jar.jpgjar.jpg

By Nanook of the North (Nanook) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 03:17 am:

Dude it is soaked and there is no way to dry them. I am sorry, I really am, but it's gonna fail

By greenthumb (Greenthumb) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 11:44 am:

When I compare this jar to mine, my verm is looking a might to fine. My substrate is like wet sand after I add BRF and H2O. This jar looks like it's got corned beef hash in it. How does large chunky Verm compare to fine sandy verm for the PF tek?

By Nanook of the North (Nanook) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 12:15 pm:

Medium verm is better than coarse, it's the best. Fine verm and coarse verm do both work well. Yes this jar is chunky, but it still would have worked just fine had water not dripped in through the holes. Notice how the very grainy substrate was loosely packed? He did a perfect job of loading this jar, really it would have been just fine... It is a shame it got wet.

Keep your chin up Breeze and give it another try. I am sure you will get it down on your next try.


By Black Star (Mr_Bug) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 01:19 pm:

The chunks may also be a result of the BRF getting wet and expanding. I used to use foil around my jars. But I stopped. Was this a bad decision? I leave the lid on loose and steam it in a pot for an hour. Should I wrap the jars in foil, too?

By Nanook of the North (Nanook) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 02:23 pm:

The lids... The lids... The lids must be capped with foil to keep water from dripping into the holes and drowning the jars. Steam condenses on the top lid of the steamer/pressure cooker. Liquid water falls onto the jar lids like rain. Without a foil cap the water seeps and drips into the jars and ruins them before you ever unseal your needle.

You can get by with just tape... But it is not a sure thing. Always use foil caps over the jar lids.

By Sillycybin (Sillycybin) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 02:43 pm:

I've always wondered about the foil...

I never understood why putting foil over the tops would keep water from collecting and dripping onto the jars.

If water is condensing on the lid of the steaming container, why would it not also condense on the bottom side of the foil caps and then drip onto the jar?

Maybe it's a silly question,

By Nanook of the North (Nanook) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 02:56 pm:

The foil caps heat up and stay hot being exposed to steam all around, so there is no significant condensation here. It is normal to find some droplets under the foil covers after sterilizing, but these form during cooling and don't affect the tek.

The lid of the sterilizing container is exposed to cool air on top, so water condenses on the under surface due to the temperature difference.

Simple physics, something you do not need to know in order to grow, but you did ask...


By Black Star (Mr_Bug) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 03:12 pm:

I keep the holes covered with tape at all times. Do you think this is enough? I suppose it couldn't hurt to cover them with foil. I'll add that to my shroom instructions today.

By Nanook of the North (Nanook) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 03:38 pm:

Always cover with foil... There is an added benefit that the foil caps provide a sterile dust cover for the jars... I make the skirts long enough to cover the band, and I incubate with the covers on. It reduces cobweb and incidents of other airborn contams. It's a good practice, cheap, and easy to do. I save my foil caps and reuse them.

By greenthumb (Greenthumb) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 03:48 pm:

I used waterproof first-aid tape on my jars and a foil cap during sterilization. I had a bitch of a time getting it off to innoculate my jars. Gooey tape stuck to foil, stuck to lid. Some tape came off with the foil. Could I just use foil caps to sterilize, using tape only after I innoculate. As long as water is not pouring/sloshing into jars some steam access to the substrate is good anyway right?

By Nanook of the North (Nanook) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 05:09 pm:

To be completely honest... I do not use tape for exactly the reasons you describe. And when I have tried tape I liked masking tape. There is surgical micropore tape available that is pretty good...

But the extra step of fingering the tape messes with the "flow" of my sterile technique. I went back to using just the foil caps. I loosen the foil caps first, wipe a plate down with rubbing alcohol, and prepare the needle. Then with one hand (holding the needle in the other) I remove the loosened foil cap and set it down "upright" on the clean plate where contams cannot fall "inside". I shoot the jar, then replace the cap loosely. My hands never touch the top of the jar.

When I am done shooting all the jars I squeeze down around the sides of the foil caps to secure them, and put them in a clean draft free incubator at 86*F.

Other people do it differently, any number of procedures here work, this happens to be the one that works for me.

Innoculating : Incubation : Pressure Cookers : Substrate : Shroom Glossary : Tape