You're going to love this! Jen, a Traditional Cooking School member, came up with a do-it-yourself airlock for fruit and vegetable ferments. She got the idea from seeing a commercially available product and thought, “I can do this, and at a fraction of the cost!”
Once her airlocks were made, she compared finished ferments: those done in a plain old Mason jar versus in her DIY airlock. She shares her results at the end of this guest post. Thanks, Jen, for sharing your idea with all of us! –Wardee
I'm still enjoying making fermented veggies! My cabbage tends to get supper bubbly, so I've started using airlocks. I also wanted to keep from opening the lid too much, to let the air out, during fermentation.
Here's How I Made My Own Airlocks
I purchased 3/8″ rubber grommets at the hardware store. I purchased the airlocks at a local wine and beer hobby store. They have all kinds of groovy stuff!
I first drilled a 3/8″ hole in the top of the lid (secured with a clamp on a work bench) with a 3/8″ drill bit and drill. Then I inserted the grommet, which was not easy to do. I had to use a small flat headed screwdriver to help get it into place. When I went to wedge the end of the airlock into the grommet, it wouldn't fit snuggly, so I had to remove the rubber grommet and drill a slightly bigger hole. I'm unsure of the size of the bigger bit, but it was the next size up. Then I inserted the grommet and the airlock fit better. Nice and snug.
I could definitely tell a difference between a jar of cabbage that had the airlock, and the one that did not. The flavor from the cabbage with the airlock was much better, the cabbage was crunchier, and my digestion of the cabbage improved. The ginger carrots fermented with an airlock jar tasted better than the one without as well. I plan on using the airlocks in the future!
The airlocks were $1.25 at our local brewery hobby shop. I'm sure you can get them cheaper online. The same brewery hobby shop sold the rubber grommets for 35 cents each. Before I saw those, I bought a package of 5 grommets at my local hardware store for $2.45 per package. One may be able to find the rubber grommets sold individually at a large hardware chain like Lowe's, which I plan on doing if I have to buy more in the future. A quart size mason jar is about 90 cents.
Total cost: $2.50 per quart size jar with airlock.
Fantastic! Please share in the comments how this works for you!
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