So I decided to use a pressure cooker and sterilize some nalgene bottles to repitch yeast ala Jamil. My only problem is I don't know the specifics and so I have some questions. 1. Does the bottle need to be completely submerged in water, or will the steam kill everything too. 2. How long do I need to keep it at temperature, 1 min. 15 min? 3. Anyone have any tricks for pulling it out without recontaminating it? I figured I would just be super careful.
I would suggest checking out the book for your pressure cooker. The point of the pressure cooker is to have whatever you are trying to sterilize IN the steam. Be careful not overfill it with water.
I started canning wort thanks to Drew Beechum's tech and tips on the Maltose Falcons site. I love it. 15 minutes seems to be fine for the wort as I haven't had any lids pop. That seems to be good enough evidence that things are sterile.
I can pints because my pressure cooker isn't big enough for quarts. I use extra canning rings to keep the jars off the bottom (I imagine the same would work for plastic). I follow Drew's procedure with some adjustments made for my own pressure cooker. Mine has a weight (regulator) that can be held up to vent the steam or turned a bit to hold preesure. I let it vent for 5 minutes to make sure that the vessel is filled with steam and then close it. I start my 15 minute timer when steam again starts coming through the regulator. I also adjust the flame as low as I can get it with steam still escaping. I let it come down to temperature on it's own. The inside of the vessel will be sterile until it is exposed to outside air. My cooker has a vent on one side that opens when there is no pressure in the vessel, so it doesn't remain sealed, but I don't let that make me too paranoid.
I have been trying to decide whether the break that is in the jars is good for the starter or bad for the beer. I have just been swirling it all up and putting it in my starter, usually a half gallon growler. I pitch my whole starter in the wort since it usually has just been going for a few hours. A little break is good for the yeast, right? Nutrients and all that?