**Update: With new information coming to me about Tattler Lids containing formaldehyde, I’m hesitant to recommend them at this time. Until, I know for sure, I’m putting my lids away. Though I’m thinking while far from perfect, doing this with a metal lid is still ok. Please correct me if I’m wrong (nicely please).**
**Update to the Update Before you decide to give this DIY Lid a try, please read my post on these lids. I am convinced that they are not safe for use in ferments. http://www.picklemetoo.com/2012/06/19/diy-lid-update-or-the-day-i-gave-up-plastic/ **
Lactofermentation is best in an anaerobic environment. The best way to achieve that is with an airlock system but boy can those be expensive and I am a cheapo. I have a ton of jars and want to be able to use them. I’ve had this idea in my head for a long time now but just recently found the perfect lid for my plans. I discovered Tattler Reusable Canning Lids. They come with a BPA free lid and a rubber washer.
To get started you’ll need:
- Tattler Reusable Canning Lids, I prefer wide mouth for ferments
- 1/2″ drill bit
- airlock (any brew shop carries these or you can order them inexpensively online)
- grommet (the little black thing, again a brew shop would carry these)
Place a plastic lid on top of some scrap wood. Either have someone hold the lid down tightly or use vice grips. Carefully drill a hole in the center. The first few I made, I put on the jar and tightened the lid before drilling. One worked but the next two didn’t. Brush off plastic pieces. You can sand the edges if they are rough. Push the grommet into the drilled hole. That’s it! You now have an airlock jar.
The rubber washer is what really sold me on these. It does a much better job of getting an airtight seal than a metal top. You can do the same with a metal top but these aren’t going to get rusty and the metal ones aren’t quite as airtight as these.
So of course my boys see Mom with power tools and want to help. What boy doesn’t love power tools? And then they got to thinking, maybe we could make these and sell them! I love their entrepreneurial spirit! So maybe some day soon you’ll see Pickle Me Too Lactofermentation Lids…
ETA: Based on some great discussion in the comments, I want to make a couple notes. First, this system, while a giant step up from a loosely covered lid, is still not as airtight as a Pickl-It Jar. But I do still think it is a good option if you can’t afford a Pickl-It Jar yet. Fermenting is still great whether you have a special airlock system or not (I had never used them until just recently). Second, the grommet I used is rubber, aka petroleum based. You can either look for a silicone based grommet or just try to avoid contact with your food if you are concerned. They are food grade though.