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DIY Airlock System for Lactofermentation

**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
  • drill
  • 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.

Part of Make Your Own Monday, Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday! Fight Back Friday, Freaky Friday! Fresh Bites Friday


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71 comments to DIY Airlock System for Lactofermentation

  • Sweet! I have an airlock I bought for wine making. GREAT idea for mason jars. Have you seen those half gallon mason jars? This would be perfect for sour kraut!

  • Cool! I haven’t done much w/ fermentation but this is good info!

  • Great try – but lots of concerns – there is established toxins in those tattler lids – and these mason jars are no way airtight….the pickl-it designers went through this idea as first iteration – unfortunately no go – those ridges along the lid are like grand canyons for the LAB bacteria

    that gromet is also an issue – petroleum based….not something I would want in contact with my food…

    I so wish this was a true way to achieve anaerobic conditions but it just isn’t. You can email the folks at Pickl-it to get a more detailed explanation why this just doesn’t provide the correct conditions for fermentation.

    • Melanie

      Darn 🙁 Thanks Lisa. Still it is an improvement over a loosely covered lid.

    • Melanie

      I just did a quick google of the grommets and the ones I use are silicone based which I feel safe using. The Tattler lids are BPA free. Is there something else in them? From what I’ve seen of them, I feel safer using them than most other canning lids.
      I know Pickl-It jars are far superior to these but they are out of the price range of most people I know. Something like this seems like a decent compromise (maybe until one can save up for a few Pickl-It jars).

      • Independent lab testing found formaldehyde….and I think they were a few other toxins – I need to find that info – I filed it somewhere clever lol

        Pickl-it jars aren’t really that expensive considering the results are truly full of the correct bacteria and not that pathogenic ones – I know how hard it can be to shell out the $$$ but when you consider how much you are spending on getting true real food – it’s a small investment in making sure it all ends up used to it’s best ends….and a 1/4 of the cost of the Harsch crocks…

        I have never seen silicon food grade gromets in that color – are you sure it is food-grade? That’s quite important…

        • Melanie

          You’re right, I thought it was silcone but it is a rubber one. Silicone would be clear unless it was dyed black.

        • Melanie

          It is food grade rubber but honestly that doesn’t mean much to me when we can still buy tomatoes in BPA filled plastic lined cans :-). Who’s definition of food grade? Lol!

    • KJ

      How is a mason jar “no way airtight”? Are you suggesting the glass is permeable to air?

      • Melanie

        No it’s the lid that is being referred to. Mason jars are meant for canning and in a vacuum situation, they are indeed airtight but with internal pressure threaded jars cannot be truly airtight. Threaded jars are never even considered for hermetic certification.

  • Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!
    http://realfoodforager.com/fat-tuesday-march-13-2012/

  • Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! 🙂

  • Erin

    Alright, here’s my two cents

    This is awesome. I certainly don’t have the money for one of those fancy-pants jars. I’m really impressed that you came up with this.

    I’m coming off of a SEVERE case of orthorexia, induced by the Paleo/Primal community. Too much time spent on forums led to being beaten down by the intense, severe Paleo fanatics. Pushed by fear and science to eliminate FODMAPS and diary and grains and peas and nightshades and on and on and on.

    As if I didn’t cry myself to sleep already, in order to heal my issues I transitioned into GAPS intro and WOAH – all of a sudden it’s no shampoo, no toothpaste, no detergent. No store-bought almond milk – the cartons they come in are poisonous. Go through painstakingly making your own coconut milk, because even the safest can contains chemicals.

    There has to be a balance here. I can appreciate comments like the one above, and I know ignorance to these issues is not the answer. But there has to be a balance here. I believed with all my heart and soul that I could be the person who never used a commercial cleaner for my home or body, never used a microwave, never allowed my future children a taste of white sugar, ect. God bless you if you can do that, but I almost lost my mind…literally. Finding balance, making concessions is what has saved me, and I won’t allow myself to feel guilty for it.

    I’m sorry for ranting. I feel very strongly about this. I think you should be proud of this, and it really disheartened me to see the idea somewhat deflated.

    • RUSSELL

      Erin-your right on.

    • Erin- Not sure if you will even see this ever as your original post was a while ago. But you’re right to rant there is so much bad nutrition information out there it’s quite literally sickening. You’re on the right track with fermented foods- no matter the mannor in which you create them. If you’d like some really great explaination of how we got to this confused state of weird opposing diet/nutriton information I recommend the book “Whole” by T. Colin Campbell. Great read. Also if you like the idea of fermenting “Wild Fermentation” By Sandor Katz is as all recipe books should be a blend of science, personal experience/experimentation and history. The truth is out there Erin- behind many colored veils and is WAY easier than all the frustrating issues you mention above. Happy eating! -Kate

  • Sounds like this is getting personal and off topic – I think the whole point is to share information on safe lactofermentation so everyone benefits and heals. Let’s be kind to one another please as we share knowledge.

    Perhaps keep negative personal comments off the discussion.
    Peace to all and healthy healing fermenting,
    Lisa

    • Melanie

      Thank you, Lisa. I did remove some comments that I felt were rude and attacking. I hate doing that but that is not a great way to teach anyone and doesn’t help at all.

      I completely agree with Lisa. Discussion is great but let’s keep things civil.

      People need to do their own research. Knowledge is power. I have looked further into it and while I do feel comfortable using Tattler lids, someone else may not.
      This is what Tattler has to say http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/BpaFree.aspx.

      My reasoning is, I’m not heating the lids up at all (which is what releases tiny amounts of formaldehyde) and I’m not using 15% alcohol with them. The food is acidic but it is very rarely in contact with the lid unless it bubbles up more than I thought it would. I have not found anything at this time saying acidic foods release the formaldehyde but that of course doesn’t mean it doesn’t. I personally feel completely fine using them but the next person may not.

      • Melanie

        I think I’m going to put my lids away until I know for sure if they are safe. I do appreciate everyone’s comments and while I am bummed, better safe than sorry.

        • Rick

          Hi Melanie.

          I am a lot like you when it comes to food safety. I look at what it comes in and how it is processed.

          On the other hand, I have not found ANYthing that is 100% safe. Even glass can be sometimes be foul, and it always has a toxic lid.

          I have the same concerns with the plastic canning lids, but they are worlds better than the ones that came with my jars. I have decided to use them (for now). The originals get nicked and rust, the gasket stuff on them frightens me even more than the coatings.

          Then there is the gaskets. Tan rubber? Nitrile? I will be using a tan rubber stopper with my plastic lids and nitrile gaskets. It sounds bad when I put it that way, doesn’t it?

          I am wondering what alternative you might have in mind. I would like to keep this discussion going.

          Do you plan to give up on the benefits fermenting because there are no perfect lids? I hope you are not.

          I know that in industry, they use stainless, but stainless leaches massive amounts of metal into food, especially acid foods. I have been undergoing heavy metal chelation and part way through I already feel amazing, so I see stainless as being worse. I avoid contact with bare metal where I can.

          What are your thoughts?

          • Melanie

            I definitely don’t plan on giving up fermenting. In a system that isn’t closed (a Pickl-It jar is fully closed), using a starter culture like whey helps. I’m just fermenting how I did before I made the airlock system, mason jar with a lid screwed on and burping the jar to release gases. And you do ask a good question about whether the metal lids are any better. I do not know the answer to that. Honestly, I’m not one to scrutinize absolutely everything that touches my food. I do the best I can with the knowledge I have but I only have so much time and energy. I am enjoying this conversation though. I have learned a lot from these comments (and email conversation with others).

          • Rick

            Hi Melanie.

            I am enjoying this conversation too.

            I too have been using a starter culture from http://bodyecology.com/, but after reading this: http://www.pickl-it.com/faq/145/do-i-need-starter-culture/ , I think I am ready not to. I only use a fraction of the amount they recommend.

            As for knowing if something is toxic to you, I have been using (through accredited practitioners) electrodermal screening for various purposes in recent years. I first discovered it when my dentist sent me for dental materials compatibility testing prior to having a filling. They were able to tell me what to use and what not to use. Since then, I have switched to a homeopath with a much more complex setup. Among many other things, he is able to test items and tell me if they are compatible with me, if my system reacts badly or well. I will be bringing the various lids/stoppers/jars next time I go for a follow up session.

            I mention this because, if you are super in touch with yourself, you can literally hold something in your hand and test it without a machine. Here’s how I do it.

            I simply hold the item in my left hand. I am right handed, but somehow the left works better for me. I will either feel drawn towards it, neutral, mildly tired and sluggish, or a mild sense of almost panic.

            If I am drawn towards it, it is good for me and my system wants it. If it is neutral, it won’t hurt me but is not being craved either. It is just fine. If it makes me mildly sluggish, it is bad and will likely cause my system to become bogged down and make me tired and feel mildly crappy until it passes. If I feel panic it is also bad and will usually make my system have an immediate reaction, almost like mild poisoning.

            Most people seem to be in a constant state of “feel crappy” or “feel alarmed” and will not be able to discriminate for themselves, but if it is all nice inside of you, you may.

            Most people cannot do it, even I only learned to do it after having it done for me and getting a feel for it. I have to put what I “want” to be true aside and to be willing to accept that something I want may not be good for me. My homeopath was amazed the last time I went there because I brought all the stuff I was using(supplements, teas, some foods, kefir and veggie starters…) and it was all good or neutral. I had nailed it on my own. Of course, his sessions are for more than testing food and supplements, they are only a small part of what he does.

            As a side note, the kefir starter tested very good, but the veggie starter tested borderline neutral/bad). I do feel drawn to the final fermented veggies though.

          • Melanie

            That is interesting Rick. I was a skeptic about muscle testing until I had it done to me. Call me a loon but I think it’s fascinating and seems to be true. I’ll have to give it a try out of curiosity.

    • RUSSELL

      Who’s knowledge?
      Mark Twain quote:
      “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

  • Rick

    Hi all.

    For a better seal, I am using the rubber stopper that came with my airlock (from the wine store). I just drilled a bigger hole using a hole saw on my drill. Drill slowly and go about half way through, then turn it over and drill the rest of the way. Clean it up with a fine file or fine sand paper and you will have a very smooth hole.

    It has sealed well in my experiments with wine yeast, like fermenting sugars in a 15L spring water bottle (didn’t drink it, the plastic may add toxins) when I drilled a hole in that plastic lid. My Tattler lids are on their way.

    PS: I discovered the reusable lids in this post, thank you.

    • Rick – I agree on the glass sources as well – that’s why I only use Italian sourced glass when fermenting.

      Some interesting info on tattler lids, BPAs, and fermenting from the pickl-it forum – this is pasted – you can read the entire conversation here at
      http://www.pickl-it.com/community/#/discussion/comment/436

      For starters, there should be rejoicing that you’re freeing your family from canned foods which are dead-nutrient, lacking digestive enzymes, lacking any essential nutrient that is destroyed by heat, AND, potentially toxic to your heart’s health. Mercola had an article in his latest newsletter about recent studies pointing to canned foods being linked to heart disease, because of the BPA in the canning lids, plastics, and metal can linings.

      Other sources of BPA include thermal-printer receipts, paper money (contaminated from the thermal printer receipts stored in purses and billfolds, etc.) but the good news, for those of us eating properly-fermented foods is this mention made in Mercola’s article:

      “One final tip: certain “friendly bacteria” have the ability to break down BPA, as well as reduce your intestinal absorption of it. So one way to help protect yourself from the adverse effects of inevitable BPA exposure is by eating traditionally fermented foods, such as raw grass-fed organic kefir, organic fermented veggies, like sauerkraut or Kimchi, or taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.”

      I want to mention, too…..some people are using Tattler lids. What a really, really bad idea that is! There’s even a homesteader creating a mason-jar airlock set-up using Tattler lids. It’s appalling to me that people don’t do their research and check the chemicals in material. Tattler lids are a copolymer plastic created back in the 60s with many other bad plastics. I talked with a plastics-engineer/scientist about Tattler and he sent me a chemical-content listing. Tattler chemicals, which includes formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, make BPA look like child’s play.

      http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/

      Just think…..a high-salt brine and a copolymer plastic that leaches formaldehyde in your food. Just when you think people get it that children are suffering and suffer the worst from toxins…..

      • Rick

        Hi Lisa.

        I agree that the Tattler lids are potentially bad too, but what else is there. I live in Canada, BPA has (as I understand it) been banned, so I worry less about it now. But the coatings on regular canning lids seem to fail on a regular basis and I have not has the best luck with the starter culture/burping method. I have has a jar (of cheryy coconut kefir pudding)explode in my hand as I was turning the cap, and I lost two 1.5L jars of organic red peppers last week to mushyness. Where is my alternative? I would love one.

        The pickle it jars are expensive and even more so to ship to Canada. Since the USA begun discouraging exports (by forcing USPS to cancel ground shipping, as an excuse to send EVERYTHING by air where it will be x-rayed and logged) costs have tripled or more.

        I used to order things from the states like it was across the street, but now I had better be willing to pay as much(or more) for shipping as for the item.

        To be blunt, I don’t have hundreds of dollars to invest in enough pickle it’s to sustain my healthy veggie habit long term.

        I am VERY open to alternatives/suggestions.

        PS: As a single man surrounded by other men who seem to be loosing their health and masculinity to BPA and other estrogen like substances, it scares me more than formaldehyde. Do you think my priorities are backwards?

        • Rick,
          Pickl-it does offer a lid kit for international orders – contact them to see what they can do for you – the shipping cost is greatly reduced that way – where there is a will there is a way 😉

        • Mike

          Rick,

          If you still want to use glass. Try old glass canning lids. They came in the standard wide mouth 3 1/4″. If you can’t, have someone drill the holes for you. It is what i use. Even though I am not convinced that the tattler or other plastic lids are going to leach anything into the ferment. Lisa is right, where there is is a will, there is a way. Get some old glass canning lids and drill them. Not only will you recycle, you did something yourself and saved beaucoup bucks.

  • Juan Valdez

    I am 64 years old, in excellent health, and have eaten whole foods all my life, and yoghurt since I was 11. A few years ago I switched from yoghurt to homemade keffir. Easier to make and much more healthy.
    I am also a retired plumber, and have always said that if germs were so deadly, there would not be any old plumbers !
    I am much more concerned about toxic chemicals in my food than I am about the odd pathogen here or there. Remember, fermented foods have been an important part of the human diet since long before Pasteur came up with his theory of germs. Keffir grains used to be carried around in a leather sack. How unsanitary is that !!
    Here is a link to a interesting site that talks about the importance of maintaining the correct alkaline balance
    http://www.alternativehealthzone.com/natural-health/balanced-acid-alkaline-level-is-the-key-to-optimal-health
    You may also want to look at what Edgar Cayce stressed repeatedly about this acid/alkaline balance. “It is all in the asimilations and the eliminations”.
    So, using the whey from my keffir, I am about to start my first batch of fermented carrots w/ginger in a crock pot I bought at the thrift store for $6. It has a glass lid, so no worries about chemicals.It is also self burping. If I was worried about ‘bad’ bacteria getting in, I would spray the lid with food grade H2O2 daily.
    My Credo :- The good (bacteria, in this case) will overcome the ‘bad’,
    The Light will dispel the Darkness
    Fear of the Devil is a lack of faith in God
    Great website and great forum. Keep up the good work. JV

    • Rick

      Hi Juan.

      I agree with most of what you said, but there is something I feel you may have overlooked.

      Some of us have not grown up doing things right. I am one of those. While I am on a good path now, I have not always been.

      For the past 5 years, I tend not to get sick or if I do, it is minor and passes quickly when others around me get sick, full blown.

      Having said that, last night (since you brought up plumbing) I had to pull one of my toilets as it was clogged and other methods didn’t work out. Today, I hurt all over, flu style. It is passing, but I have clearly been stricken by some pathogen. I used nitrile gloves and showered right after. I was sure to keep my mouth closed while I worked. Because my system is not used to being exposed to, um, what it was exposed to, my immune system is scrambling to respond to something new.

      What is it they say about plumbers not biting their nails or eating with their hands?

  • […] PostsLacto-Fermentation E-Course Review and Giveaway! (60)Homemade Formula vs Human Donor Milk (40)DIY Airlock System for Lactofermentation (25)Carrot Ginger Kvass (17)Kombucha Continuous Brewing System (17) […]

  • Carla

    From the Tattler website:

    “What about Formaldehyde?

    Many questions have been asked about the existence of formaldehyde in Acetal Copolymer. While it is true formaldehyde is present in trace amounts, research proves it is only released at very high temperatures, well above any temperatures found in home food canning. Here are the facts.

    Heating our brand of acetal copolymer above 460 degrees F (238 C) should be avoided. At these temperatures, formaldehyde, a colorless and irritating gas that can be harmful in high concentrations, is generated.”
    http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/BpaFree.aspx

    Since high heat is not being used for fermentation. formaldehyde should be a non-issue. It’s apparently not even an issue in home-canning.

  • Rick

    Hi Everyone. Based on the above technique, I tried the following with amazing results. So much so, that I have decided not to order any Pickl-It Jars at all. I may even be happier with this than I could ever be with the purpose built jars.

    I use a Tattler lid. I drilled it with a (cheap) hole saw bit to get clean edges, and used an airlock with a #4 rubber stopper.

    It is completely airtight and works super well. I would recommend the rubber stopper instead of a grommet for a better seal and I know it is food safe because it is sold for wine making.

    I use 1.9L 1.5l, or 1L wide mouth jar as the main jar, and a 125ml or 250ml(longer for jars that aren’t completely filled with veggies) regular mouth jar as the inner hold down device to keep everything below the surface. They fit perfectly and don’t allow food to float past to the surface. Its like they were made just for that. I fill the main jar almost to the rim with brine, and the inner push down jar part way so that there is an airspace below the rubber stopper. I don’t want brine pushing back into my airlock (again).

    If someone can tell me how to post a picture, I will.

  • […] PostsLacto-Fermentation E-Course Review and Giveaway! (60)Homemade Formula vs Human Donor Milk (40)DIY Airlock System for Lactofermentation (28)Kombucha Continuous Brewing System (21)Carrot Ginger Kvass (17) […]

  • […] for a one liter jar is a bit much.  However, I really liked the airlock idea.  Then I came across this website.  This person created lids for standard canning jars.  I decided to simplify a […]

  • […] Traditional Foods did it for me with this great post Pickl-It vs. Mason Jars.  I really wish my DIY lids would be a viable option but it was brought to my attention that we just don’t know if the […]

  • […] recap:  A few months ago I posted instructions for making a DIY Airlock System for your mason jars.  I thought I was pretty clever.  I had been searching for a while for the […]

  • Nancy

    Thank you so much for your post. Easy and simple to do!!! Will save me some money by doing it myself 🙂

  • I just wanted to thank you for posting this method for making airtight fermentation lids. It should be noted that “Lisa’s Counter Culture” is an official reseller of Pickl-it jars so her criticisms of this method might be designed to sell more of her jars. I am always more skeptical of someone that is trying to sell me something over someone that is encouraging me to reuse, recycle or make it myself. 8^)

    I was looking for a way to make my ferments more airtight using an airlock and came across the Tattler lids as an alternative to the flimsy metal lids that ship with mason jars (I tried drilling those and was very unhappy with the results). I thought it was a genius idea and was patting myself on the back when I found your post. Great minds think alike, I guess. BTW, I have multiple chemical sensitivity, ferment veggies and grass fed dairy all the time, and I have had no issues with the tattler lids. I plan to gradually replace all my metal lids with the Tattler ones.

    Please don’t be discouraged by a few negative comments and keep these handy tips coming!

    • Melanie

      Lisa is a reseller of Pickl-its but she only sells them locally as part of her classes.

      I’m glad the lids work well for you. I still just do not feel comfortable using plastic with my ferments.

    • Melanie

      That’s actually an option that I think has potential. I have a small one that fits in my 1 gallon jugs that I use for water kefir and beet kvass. I’ve been wanting to give that a try with my mason jars, just need to get the plug.

      • mary

        I’ve seen these plugs at brew shops, they are quite readily available, but I picked one up and it smelt so rubbery and gross. If I can smell it, it clearly is off-gassing. I don’t want it touching my food. 🙁

  • […] the crock, in alternating layers. (You can alternately use a Pickl-it, Pickle-Pro lid, Fido jar, or Mason jar with a DIY airlock – the idea is to keep air out while allowing gasses produced by the ferment to […]

  • Mike

    I noticed the pickl-it had a plastic air-lock and rubber grommet. Is there any BPA or formaldehyde in either? I’m willing to bet the air-lock has BPA in it.

    • Melanie

      The grommet is actually silicone. Yes, the airlock is plastic but so little of it is in contact with the ferment, I feel safe with it. I haven’t seen anything about whether the airlocks are BPA free or not.

  • Jace McCown

    Melanie, have yu considered drilling you own holes in a Fido lid? Link below to an inexpensive 1/2″ glass hole saw. Could be the answer to your Tattler lid problem!
    http://www.amazon.com/2pc-DIAMOND-HOLE-SAW-DRILL/dp/B000TYIWUW/ref=pd_sim_hi_2

    • Hey Jace! I’ve seen a number of different people post about this and I just don’t feel comfortable drilling glass that will be in contact with my food. Glass dust can do a number on your intestines.

      • Jace

        Do you know how Pickl-it makes theirs by any chance? My guess is they drill the lids, and then polish them down. Do you have a specific source that has you concerned about the glass dust? I wouldn’t think it would be a big deal, I would guess it’s just like eating sand (not that I have a lot of experience with that.)

        • Pickl-it does have an uber expensive special drill that drills and polishes at the same time. I’d think glass dust would be different because the dust is very small shards of glass where sand, even though it’s basically glass, the edges have been worn. I doubt it would be lethal but it could be irritating and cause damage to the gut. Just speculation at this point. I’m not very familiar with working with glass anyway so I might be over thinking things.

          • Jace

            When I make mine (one day) I’ll let you know if I survive! Also here is an article from snopes talking about ground glass, looks pretty innocent to me. http://www.snopes.com/horrors/poison/glass.asp

          • Lol! When I googled “eating glass dust” it gave me that article too. What stuck out to me though is where Dr. Lyle says it might cause irritation and minor bleeding if at all. So maybe someone with a healthy gut ate it, no problem, but if someone with a leaky gut at it, maybe there could be problems. Again, still it’s just a maybe. If someone was trying to heal serious gut issues, I can’t see eating glass dust as being ok. Any other situation might be fine though.

  • Jace

    The other thing is that if I did this I wouldn’t plan to eat any glass dust, a good washing should remove all the dust. If any made it into the food it would be a very tiny amount.

    • I sent you an email, Jace. It might have gotten sent to your spam (happens a lot).

    • Mike

      Jace and Melanie,

      Drilling glass is not rocket science. And you are right Jace, a good wash will wash away any dust or fragments. The trick to drilling glass is keeping it wet. This can be done by removing the lid and drilling it submerged in water. Or using a sponge pressed against the bit as rotates. Also, go slow and do not force the cut, (do not use a lot of pressure) let the bit do the cutting. You can also use oil to keep the bit “wet”. Olive oil works fine. I spotted some fido jars at the store for $5, they do make good pickling jars. There are all kind of things you can do. I am a d-i-y type of person. I like reusing and recycling things. I use glass candle holders as my pickling weights, they work great. A box of 24 cost $5.99, 5 oz each. Good clean soda glass, made by libbey. Give it a whirl. Make something. use the tattler lids, if needs be. I’m not convinced they leach anything into the ferment. I’ve come to the conclusion that many in the “healthy living” movement, can be a little paranoid. Have fun with your projects.

      • Jace

        Spot on Mike. I think that discussing some of the things people get all wound up about is just fine, but in the end its clear that these things don’t kill you overnight. Everything in moderation. Even health food if you ask me.

  • Lily

    ..and also thesse

    SE DH6HS Diamond Hole Saw, 5/32-Inch by 1/2-Inch

  • Dana Musick

    Hi Melanie,

    Thank you for your research on this. I’ve only recently been introduced to ferments from the GAPS diet. I’ve been following the GAPS directions, which I now know are not ideal. I have a question about jar #7 (white lid with bag) which you do recommend. Is there a concern with the plastic from the bag touching the ferment? This seems to be the method I would most like to try since the cost for the fidos and air lock systems are prohibitive. The other option may be using the oil, but how much oil do you use and do you only use olive oil?

    • Hi Dana,
      I’m actually writing a post right now on this 🙂 Just going over different methods and how they compare to each other. Is jar #7 from Nourishing Treasures experiment? I have mixed feelings on that method. I don’t like the idea of plastic being in contact with my ferments because it is quite an acidic environment and likely that the plastic would leach into the foods. I’d recommend the olive oil over the bag. I used enough to make at least 1/2″ of olive oil. 1″ would be better but that gets expensive after a while.
      I’d really save for a few fidos. You can get them quite cheap at TJ Maxx or Ross Stores. Many people have figured out how to drill their own hole in a fido and get airlock supplies from a brew store. I haven’t done that myself though so I’m not sure how hard it is.
      I hope that helps!

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  • You should also check out Modern Fermenting’s tutorial (http://goo.gl/jb2rox) It’s much cheaper, faster, easier and will net you more consistent results.

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  • Ken in Anaheim

    This is a serious question. I’m REALLY cheap. What would be wrong with using 1qt (for instance) Mason jars and just snapping a latex surgical glove over the opening ? I used to make “ballon wine” and it was more or less the same principal. Again. this is a real question. I’ve never pickled/lactofermented before.
    Thanks
    KinA

  • […] previous method of homemade air locks with Tattler lids and the air-lock method that she prefers today of a glass jar with a hole drilled in the […]

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