I've researched all the posts on this board and some government sites about the risk of botulism when canning (or to be more accurate, jarring) at home. I want to follow my own tomato pasta sauce recipe, not one from a cookbook or website, which I know is considered a no-no. But if botulism cannot reproduce at a pH below 4.5, why don't I just make my pasta sauce, and test its pH with a small chemistry kit (close friend is a microbiologist, and is willing to lend me the necessary stuff), and if it's below 4.5, go ahead and waterbath it and assume it will be fine?
Or am I missing some other key bit of information here, and oversimplifying by focusing on the pH?
Thoughts from food scientists and other knowledgeable cooks welcome!