Factors to Consider
Human Error: As with all areas of life we must consider the aspect of human error in jam and jelly production. The more consistent you are, the more consistent your end product will be.
Consistency of Ingredients: The consistency of the ingredients will play a very big part in the overall quality of your product. If you decide to change suppliers or brands for your ingredients, make sure you get as much info about the new product and compare it to what you were using, and then make the necessary changes when needed.
Consistency of Tools: It is important to use the same kitchen tools for each batch to remain consistent. For example, when using dry measuring cups, make sure that if you buy new cups that they do in fact hold the same amount. This is where a scale becomes important to ensure accurate amounts. Do not assume that a dry measuring cup holds the exact same amount as a different dry measuring cup. Confirm everything. Think of your kitchen as a science lab.
Consistency in the Kitchen: When you are in the kitchen, make sure to stay focused on your task throughout the entire process. Always add your ingredients in the same order, at the same times, using the same equipment. Whether considering your cooking time, temperature, or brix, always use the same method. This way, if your batch doesn’t turn out right, it will be much easier to narrow the problem and find the solution. Consistency is your best asset in the kitchen.
This is a list of additional products we carry to help you fine tune your product:
FG10 Dow Food Grade Antifoam: Our antifoam is very effective in cutting foam and it will not cause rancidity like oils or butter. Our double strength antifoam is the best value. Instructions are on the bottle for how much to use as a starting point.
Citric Acid: Citric acid is a cost effective way to replace lemon juice and lower your pH. A 50/50 solution of citric acid and water is 9 times stronger than lemon juice. Determine the amount of lemon juice you need and divide by 9 to achieve the correct amount of citric acid/water solution.
Sodium Citrate: Sodium citrate is used to buffer or raise the pH. This is used in products that have too much natural acid: wild berries, lemon jellies, tart marmalades, pepper jellies etc. A safe starting point would be ¼ of 1% of batch weight.
Pacific Fruit Freshener: Our fruit freshener is designed to be used in products where fruit discoloration, or darkening of the fruit, is a problem. This product contains citric acid and ascorbic acid to retain color.
Tips and Tools
If you are using larger cooking apparatuses such as kettles, these tips and tools will help save you time and money in lost product.
- Monitor your fill time. The shorter the fill time the better. Try never to exceed a fill time longer than 30 minutes. Long fill times in an open kettle system will give you less control of your brix due to evaporation as well as possible damage to the pectin.
- Use a refractometer to accurately determine the brix.
- Use a pH meter to accurately determine the acid content.