Mason Jar Air Lock Fermentation Lids 3 Ways

To have the best success with fermentation you want gases to escape and you don’t want oxygen coming in. To solve this problem “on the cheap” without investing $100+ on equipment the answer is using a simple mason jar.

I find the lids that come with the mason jars are too difficult to make a clean hole unless you have a high speed drill press (which I do, but that’s besides the point :D)

Common Concerns

Concern #1 – Not using a gasket. Not 100% air tight seal


During the fermentation, CO2 is released, filling the non-liquid part of the jar and putting pressure on the water in the airlock. Assuming the water in the airlock moves and occasionally bubbles, it means that there is a positive pressure situation inside the jar which means that air (CO2) is being released out of the jar while nothing is getting in. If the lid wasn’t sealed well enough, the airlock would never bubble because the built up pressure would be released through the lid.

If you’re making wine or beer then yes you let it go until there are no fermentable sugars left but for kombucha, kefir, etc you always stop the fermentation early.

That said, that’s how we do things, if an air tight seal is important to you, then definitely spend the couple of cents to get a gasket.

Basically if you aren’t doing really long ferments you don’t need a gasket. An example of a long ferment would be making wine or beer. Making lacto-fermented foods won’t be an issue.

Formaldehyde in Tattler Reusable Lids

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. (source)

The important take away is that even if you think it releases at a lower temperature than 460 degrees F it is indisputable that the process involves heat. Laco-fermentation does not involve cooking or heating the food. This is a mute point.

Without further ado:

Mason Jar Air Lock Fermentation Lids 3 Ways

GOOD: Re-Cap lid – “No Drill” Method

I first learned about this method on Northwest Edible Life

A rubber stopper (Car boy bung)
A mason jar pour lid (
A wide mouth mason jar


No tools!


Expensive lid
No Gasket means it is not truly air tight.

GOOD: One Piece BPA Free Plastic Ball Lid

You will need

1/8″ or smaller drill bit
1/2″ drill bit
1/2″ rubber grommet (available at any home brew supply store, like this)
A sharp knife
Home brewing air lock (from any home brew supply store)
Plastic One Piece Mason Jar Lid I got a box of these at Target

Screw the lid onto a mason jar for stability.
Drill a 1/8″ pilot hole in the lid
Drill a 1/2″ hole through the lid

These lids are flimsy.

Let the tool do the work! Do not press down on the lid when drilling the hole or it will most likely crack the lid. Ask me how I know.

Take a sharp knife and clean up the hole. I pressed a thin blade hunting knife in front of the hole and slowly dragged it across the hole to remove the lip the resulted from drilling.

Insert the grommet

Pros: Cheap lids, I could get all the materials without placing an order online

Cons: Lid is flimsy and you may crack a few making your lids. The lid does not have a gasket so it’s not truly air tight.

BEST: Tattler Reusable Canning Lids

Steps and instructions are the same as for the previous one except you will need standard ball bands and some Tattler reusable canning lids.
This setup is the same as the “Pickle Pro” which sells for about $15 PER LID (ouch!)

Air tight seal. Lid is thick and sturdy.


Skills in 10 minutes #1: The “Whey” Cool Epsiode

Skills in 10 minutes is the new Save Our Skills Podcast. Everything you need to know to get started on a new skill in just 10 minutes!

In addition to the article each post is going to give you absolutely every resource you need to get rolling.

Web Resource

Making Whey
Cheeseslave: How to make Whey

Whey use #1- Fermentation
Lacto-fermented dilly beans
What is lacto-fermentation & how to make lacto-fermented sauerkraut

Whey use #2- Neutralizing anti-nutrients and phytates in grains
Why you must soak your beans!
Soaking beans and grains: a must

Videos: Books
Making Sauerkraut and pickled vegetables at home

Wild Fermentation – The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

Image credit Rakka

Paleo Bread is not Paleo

Today I have to get something off my chest, and that is about these so called “Paleo” breads and “Paleo” desserts floating around Facebook and the willingness of advocates of “The Paleo Diet” to jump on anyone using some sort unapproved sweetener all while condoning these “Paleo” treats to be eaten liberally.

The folks over at Whole 9 call this “Sex with your pants on” and their article explains the phenomenom much more succinctly.

Some people seem to think you can chug as much maple syrup and honey as you want since it’s on some dubious whitelist. You can eat 5 cups of almond meal and that’s fine becaues nuts are “Paleo” nevermind that we are told to eat a few raw nuts only as an occasional snack by the prominent “Paleo” talking heads.

Then they have the audacity to give someone a lecture that uses a tablespoon of brown sugar in a BBQ rub coating a 10 pound pork shoulder.

Oh My Gosh – Brown Sugar is not Paleo.. don’t you know you are going to basically die if you eat that?

Let me ask you which is going to have the higher GI?

Guess what, honey functions exactly the same as white sugar in the blood stream, and I am truly sorry to burst your bubble. I guess the point of this rant is that eating the equivalent of 40 raw almonds in a slice of so called “paleo” bread doesn’t seem very “paleo” to me. Stop kidding yourself. Swapping out cane sugar for maple syrup in dressing or sauce isn’t going to make it more effective at controlling your blood sugar.

Granted there might be other reasons to avoid certain sugars such as GMO beet sugar or HFCS… but that goes with anything, you always need high quality ingredients.. not the point AT ALL.

I’m not suggesting that Robb Wolf is telling people to load up on maple syrup by the way. People are being extremely literal and trying to game the system by manipulating these ingredient lists. You can’t game healthy eating. If you want a piece of cake don’t try to game the system, just eat a piece of cake using flour and eggs. Don’t do it very often and admit to yourself the truth about eating it.

Making something with paleo approved ingredients does not make something paleo. You were never meant to eat the equivalent of raw almonds that it would take to use 2 cups of almond meal in a recipe. Period, end of story. By all means eat your “paleo” bread, just know that it isn’t paleo and above all relax, if you eat a real slice of pizza once a month your not going to explode unless you are a celiac.

OK I feel better now, back to your normal programming.

Image credit: rprata

You Can Afford Grass-Fed Beef! – The ultimate guide to saving money by eating high-quality, local meat

You really can afford grass-fed beef. Please check me out on the air in Canada with Pam Killeen

The book is doing phenomenally well and I’ve gotten nothing but great feedback. I have 29 five star reviews right now and the feedback keeps rolling in. Thank you so much for your support.

Episode 35: 2012 hunting recap

This episode is going up VERY late and I am sorry about that. I had some technical issues at home to sort out and then I was gone for a few weeks over the holidays.

Jeff and I are committed to getting new episodes out on a weekly basis for 2013.

This episode was recorded back in early December.

I promise we won’t be doing another hunting episode for at least a little while as we get back to other topics such as sausage making and herbal remedies.

Episode 34- A beginners guide to bow hunting

Today I introduce the new co-host of the Save Our Skills podcast.
Please give a warm welcome to Jeff Price. Jeff grew up as a country boy deep in the woods in West Virginia where his family was involved in hunting, fishing, gardening, and even making their own clothing.

I’m really excited about what Jeff can bring to the table week to week. We are going to try to stick to a Friday release schedule with this weeks Episode being the first of this new, and hopefully lasting, trend.

This weeks topic is A Beginners Guide to Bowhunting

Today we go over how to choose and use a bow, and specifically focus on the compound bow. Bow season is upon us now so that gives everyone a full year to get this skill honed so you can get out there and hunt next season.

I hope you find the future of SOS more exciting that it has been as we breath new life back into this blog.

Jeff’s Beginners List for Bow Hunting

  • Bow
  • Quiver
  • Sites
  • Peep site
  • Arrow rest
  • Stabilizer
  • Silencers
  • Arrows
  • Field tips
  • Brodheads
  • Target
  • Trigger release
  • Shooting glove