Mar
30

Controversy: Pickl-It vs Mason Jars

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I wasn’t aware until recently that the use of a Pickl-It instead of a mason jar is controversial. I have to admit that I was surprised because the backlash against the Pickl-it seems to be based mostly on the cost of the equipment and not on the science behind why it is needed or how fermention and gut healing works. So let’s look at all three issues. Today we’re go over the health effects of lactic acid bacteria and in a future post we’ll go over more details on how to produce them.

The problem with this comparison is that, although many in the fermentation world are making it, it isn’t accurate.  The Pickl-It is not rivaled against the mason jar.  It is rivaled against the Harsch crock.  Both the Pickl-It and the Harsch are anaerobic.  The other methods, such as an open crock or a mason jar, produce a different type of product with a different bacterial profile.  So all of the buzz about the difference between the Pickl-It and the mason jar isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.  We’ll go into great detail on these differences throughout the series.

First, I want to state up front that I have no financial ties to Pickl-It or their producers and I receive no incentive, no kick-back or other perk for my endorsement of their products. I endorse them because they work.  I own both the Pickl-It and a Harsch Crock.

I believe this discussion is more critical for those who have gut issues, mold allergies or are trying to heal a health problem, but it’s still very important in the long-run for all fermenters to know the differences and the benefits and drawbacks to every available method. If you’re obviously healthy and have no need of gut healing, then there are likely pieces of kitchen equipment that need to take a higher priority on your spending list and you can put the Pickl-It on your list for after things like a crock-pot. However, if you are trying to heal your gut or having health problems, I consider a Pickl-It to be one of the first things for which you save. We’ll discuss that more later.

 

The Cost

Since the most of the outcry against the Pickl-It seems to be about the cost, we’ll start there.

I really don’t consider the Pickl-it expensive. I’m scratching my head over that one considering one of the 1-1/2 Ls including shipping ($40 to NC) is less than a quality crock-pot ($100), a grain mill ($179 on the low end), or most other equipment for a TF kitchen.  If you needed more, you could purchase three of the 5Ls for $135.15 including shipping to NC. That’s a comparable cost to other major items that are a small appliance. On the flip side, you save money from not having to throw out batches that go bad, get moldy or go soggy after a couple of months, so you’re saving additional money.

If you’re healing your gut, you likely wouldn’t blink about spending that much for supplements for one month. Isn’t a high-LAB food a major supplement to return you to health? It’s cheaper to ferment correctly than to have gut problems for longer periods of time and have to invest in more supplements and use the more expensive foods. Not to mention the suffering or possibly having to undo problems from the bad bacteria you introduced!

And as a blogger AND as a mother who doesn’t want to give my kids food poisoning, I would never hesitate to recommend the needed equipment. I don’t think any TF bloggers recommend unsafe canning methods to prevent having to purchase a pressure canner or inferior baking results from grinding grain in a normal blender. Fermentation really should not be any different.

 

The Issue of Probitics

Last I looked, Bio-Kult was expensive compared to comparable probiotics. $42 for one bottle on Amazon right now. In the beginning stages of GAPS or other gut-healing protocols, that $42 bottle wouldn’t even last you a month.

So if you can heal yourself one month faster by using high-LAB ferments from a Pickl-It (and I believe it would be faster), you save money in the long run while experiencing less misery. Having personally been through the gut healing process myself, I can say that less misery was worth a lot of money in my book.

 

The Science of Lactic Acid Bacteria

So let’s look at WHY these little probiotics, lactic acid bacteria (LABs) are the most important type to get into your food and into your gut.

“The proliferation of lactobacilli in fermented vegetables enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, not only keeps vegetables and fruits in a state of perfect preservation but also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine.” – Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, pg 89

You are undoubtedly familiar with LABs thanks to heavy marketing from yogurt makers about how their product is so healthy. However, LABs primarily occur on the outsides of fruits and vegetables. LABs are also used to make another product you know well- fermented cod liver oil!

So why do we want LABs instead of other species?  The short of it is that most all of the benefits you associate with fermented food are actually from LABs.  LABs are known to:

  • Improve lactose intolerance. [1]
  • Many studies have shown that LABs prevent, controls or stops viral diarrhea. [2-5]
  • Might possibly play a role in preventing and controlling bacterial diarrhea including form sources such as E. Coli. [6-7, 17-18]
  • Prevents or lessens diarrhea from antibiotics. [8]
  • Stimulates the immune system to resist invasion via increasing phagocytosis. [9]
  • Stabilizes [10] and reverses [11] intestinal permeability. This is why LABs are SO critical to those healing from leaky gut and food intolerances!
  • Improves immune response when orally exposed to an allergen. [12-13]
  • Is thought to possibly play an anti-inflammatory role in the body.  [14]
  • Enhances immunity to a variety of illnesses.  I have listed a few here but the Handbook of Fermented Functional Foods by Farnworth lists many, many more. [15-16, 19-23]
  • Is known to decrease constipation and improve gut motility.
  • May decrease the occurrence of kidney stones.
  • Breaks down carbohydrates for easier digestion.
  • Possibly increases the seretonin produced in the gut.

 

Why Airtight is So Important

Research shows that LAB thrives best in an anaerobic environment as that removes their competitors that require oxygen. Anaerobic means that oxygen is not present; aerobic means that oxygen is present. In order to get LABs to proliferate, you must have an anaerobic environment to encourage their growth while discouraging the growth of all non-beneficial species, especially the aerobic ones. We’ll go over this in detail in later posts, as it will require a good bit of writing to answer all the questions surrounding this issue.

In order to get an anaerobic environment for home fermentation you need two things- a seal that prevents oxygen from entering and a way for carbon dioxide to escape. Open air fermentation will not produce large concentrations of LABs as they will have to compete with oxygen-loving bacteria for space and food. As the bacteria produce carbon dioxide and use up the oxygen, it reduces the population of undesirable, aerobic bacteria and allows the LAB to flourish in the oxygenless environment. The  Pickl-It and a Harsch provides this type of environment, as it as an airtight seal and an airlock for the growing carbon dioxide to escape.

 

But I Thought Mason Jars Were Airtight?

They are once you have canned in them.  The airtight nature comes not from the threads holding the lid onto the lip of the jar but from the heat processing.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to achieve an airtight lock in a mason jar without heat. In fact, once that heat processing is through, the common recommendation is to remove the rings from the jars to prevent rusting. I store all of my home-canned goods without rings.

When you purchase or make a homemade air-lock for a mason jar, you’ll notice the common advice is to place a plate underneath in case you have liquid seepage out of the mason jar threads. There is little difference between the size of a molecule of water and a molecule of oxygen.  It is impossible to get a seal tight enough in conditions outside of a lab to get your mason jar airtight. To know your set-up is airtight, you must see any seepage go into the airlock and not out the sides of the jar. Seepage, of course, can be prevented by not over-filling the jars, but where your seepage goes when it does happen is a very important indicator of where oxygen can get in.

As far as air goes, the threads on a mason jar might as well be The Grand Canyon. They will not prevent air from getting into your ferments. A wire bail and a thick rubber ring is required to provide enough pressure for an airtight seal. This is why the mason jar and the Pickl-It are not competitors.  They might both be made of glass, but they do not function the same way.

Obviously, traditional cultures didn’t use mason jars. They used crocks, animal skins and other means, such as pits, that were buried. When you bury something, it’s air-tight and doesn’t allow oxygen to enter. In the case of animal skins, the skin allows carbon dioxide to escape but it doesn’t allow oxygen in.

 

My Conclusions

In conclusion, if you want the benefits you associate with probiotic intake, you must be taking in lactic acid bacteria. LABs are best produced in an environment without oxygen. Currently, a Pickl-It or a Harsch is the only way I know to achieve that short of setting up a lab in your house.

Most of the people who frequent my blog who interact with me are wishing to heal their guts. And that is the bottom line of why I recommend airtight fermentation. You won’t get as much of the good stuff you associate with probiotic intake with air reaching your ferments.

All that being said, if you really can’t afford to purchase one right now, then continue using a mason jar while saving money for a Pickl-It. I say that with the caveat that I recommend you watch for mold and discard *anything* that goes moldy, even the ‘harmless’ white mold, if you’re trying to heal your gut. I encourage you to save as you can and purchase a Pickl-It as soon as you can to speed you on your way with your healing journey.

In my next post we’ll go over, in more detail, how airtight conditions produce LABs and my own experience with having no healing from mason jar ferments.

 

 

References
[1] Marteau P, Flourie B, Pochart P, Chastang C, Desjeux JF, Ram- baud JC: Effect of the microbial lactase (EC 3.2.1.23) activity in yoghurt on the intestinal absorption of lactose: an in vivo study in lactase-deficient humans. Br J Nutr 64:71–79, 1990.
[2] Pene P, Linhard J, Bernou JC: The colibacillus-lactobacillus com- bination in the treatment of diarrhea in adults, children and infants. Sem Hop 42:241–244, 1966.
[3] Camatte R: [Microbiologic compensation of oral antibiotherapy and treatment of acute infectious diarrhea with a new compound preparation based on lactic enzymes]. Gaz Med Fr 73:138–141, 1966.
[4] Pearce JL, Hamilton JR: Controlled trial of orally administered lactobacilli in acute infantile diarrhea. J Pediatr 84:261–262, 1974.
[5] Gregori G, de Angelis GL, Caprio P, Banchini G: Use of oral bacteria therapy in childhood during acute enteritis and functional chronic diarrhea. Clinical experience. Acta Biomed Ateneo Par-mense 56:23–26, 1985.
[6] Foster TL, Winans L, Jr., Carski TR: Evaluation of lactobacillus preparation on eterotoxigenic E. coli-induced rabbit ileal loop reactions. Am J Gastroenterol 73:238–243, 1980.
[7] Rani B, Khetarpaul N: Probiotic fermented food mixtures: possible applications in clinical anti-diarrhoea usage. Nutr Health 12:97– 105, 1998.
[8] Contardi I: Oral bacterial therapy in prevention of antibiotic- induced diarrhea in childhood. Clin Ter 136:409–413, 1991.
[9] Schiffrin EJ, Rochat F, Link-Amster H, Aeschlimann JM, Donnet- Hughes A: Immunomodulation of human blood cells following the ingestion of lactic acid bacteria. J Dairy Sci 78:491–497, 1995.
[10] Isolauri E, Kaila M, Arvola T, Majamaa H, Rantala I, Virtanen E, Arvilommi H: Diet during rotavirus enteritis affects jejunal per- meability to macromolecules in suckling rats. Pediatr Res 33:548– 553, 1993.
[11] Isolauri E, Majamaa H, Arvola T, Rantala I, Virtanen E, Ar- vilommi H: Lactobacillus casei strain GG reverses increased in- testinal permeability induced by cow milk in suckling rats. Gas- troenterology 105:1643–1650, 1993.
[12] Isolauri E, Joensuu J, Suomalainen H, Luomala M, Vesikari T: Improved immunogenicity of oral DRRV reassortant rotavirus vaccine by Lactobacillus casei GG. Vaccine 13:310–312, 1995.
[13] Takahashi T, Nakagawa E, Nara T, Yajima T, Kuwata T: Effects of orally ingested Bi fidobacterium longum on the mucosal IgA response of mice to dietary antigens. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 62:10–15, 1998.
[14] Antonopoulou S, Semidalas CE, Koussissis S, Demopoulos C: Platelet-activating factor (PAF) antagonists in foods: A study of lipids with PAF or anti-PAF like activity in cow’s milk and yogurt. J Agric Food Chem 44:3047–3051, 1996.
[15] Ouwehand, A. C., Salminen, S. & Isolauri, E. (2002) Antoin van Leeuwenhoek 82 , 279–289.
[16] Vitini, E., Alvarez, S., Medina, M. Medici, M., de Budeguer M. V. & Perdigón, G. (2000) Biocell 24 , 223–232.
[17] Ingrassia, I., Leplingard, A., Darfeuille-Michaud, A.: Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001 Inhibits the Ability of Adherent-Invasive Escherichia coli Isolated from Crohn’s Disease Patients To Adhere to and To Invade Intestinal Epithelial Cells. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 June; 71(6): 2880–2887.
[18] Reid, G, Burton, J: Use of Lactobacillus to prevent infection by pathogenic bacteria. Microbes and Infection, Volume 4, Issue 3, March 2002, Pages 319-324.
[19] de Vrese M, Winkler P, Rautenberg P, Harder T, Noah C, Laue C, Ott S, Hampe J, Schreiber S, Heller K, Schrezenmeir J. Clin Nutr. 2005 Aug;24(4):481-91. Effect of Lactobacillus gasseri PA 16/8, Bi fidobacterium longum SP 07/3, B. bifidum MF 20/5 on common cold episodes: a double blind, randomized, controlled trial.
[20] Weizman Z, Asli G, Alsheikh A. Effect of a probiotic infant formula on infections in child care centers: comparison of two probiotic agents. Pediatrics. 2005 Jan;115(1):5-9.
[21] Winkler P, de Vrese M, Laue Ch, Schrezenmeir J. Effect of a dietary supplement containing probiotic bacteria plus vitamins and minerals on common cold infections and cellular immune parameters. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Jul;43(7):318-26.
[22] Turchet P, Laurenzano M, Auboiron S, Antoine JM. Effect of fermented milk containing the probiotic Lactobacillus casei DN-114001 on winter infections in free-living elderly subjects: a randomised, controlled pilot study. J Nutr Health Aging. 2003;7(2):75-7.
[23] Hatakka K, Savilahti E, Ponka A, Meurman JH, Poussa T, Nase L, Saxelin M, Korpela R. Effect of long term consumption of probiotic milk on infections in children attending day care centres: double blind, randomised trial. BMJ. 2001, 2;322(7298):1327.

 

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KerryAnn Foster runs Intentionally Domestic, formerly Cooking Traditional Foods.  Intentionally Domestic is the home of the longest running real food meal plan on the internet, now in its eighth volume.

KerryAnn has over eleven years of real food experience.  Read about KerryAnn’s journey to health through multiple miscarriages, celiac disease, PCOS, food allergies and intolerances, obesity, adrenal fatigue and heavy metals. She is also an It Works! Independent Distributor and she loves that crazy wrap thing!

Founded in 2005, we help you feed your family nourishing foods they will love.  With two choices of Menu Mailers, multiple eBooks, Print Books and video-based classes, KerryAnn makes real food easy, accessible, affordable and family friendly for everyone.

KerryAnn founded Nourished Living Network, a network for traditional food and natural living bloggers, in 2011. NLN provides support, publicity and networking opportunities for bloggers all across the traditional foods spectrum. Our Recipe Gallery features recipes from the fifty member blogs and growing.

 

 

Comments

  1. Bethany says:

    So here’s my dumb question. What about the method described in Wild Fermentation where you ferment in an open crock with a weighted plate keeping the fermenting food fully submerged under water to provide the anaerobic environment? This seems like a very traditional way to ferment . . .
    Bethany recently posted..Maple Pecan Slow-cooker Sweet Potatoes: Simple and Sweet

  2. I love my Pickl-it! I usually use it to ferment my vegetables, then store them in a gallon glass jar in the fridge. Hmmmm….now I am wondering if I should be using it for my beet kvass. I have it out on the counter in a gallon glass jar with a lid, but perhaps it should be in my Pickl-It?
    FarmgirlCyn (Cindy) recently posted.."Gourmet" Finishing Salts…

  3. Alyssa says:

    I love my Pickl-Its!! No more slimy carrots, moldy kraut, or other unsavory wastes of produce and time. The health benefits are bigger, the results way more uniform, and both are guaranteed thanks to the truly anaerobic environment (as opposed to the guess work using mason jars and crocks, where you likely have bad bacteria growing). Definitely a must-have in every traditional foods kitchen.
    Alyssa recently posted..Pickl-It Lacto-Fermented Cherry Chutney

  4. Jean says:

    I have had good luck making kraut and other ferments using mason jars AND using my great grandmother’s ceramic crock with a weighted plate on top for large batches. You have to be more careful to keep air out but it totally works.

    Nothing against Pickle-it jars. Am sure they are easier to work with.

  5. lydia says:

    Okay, so first off I’m gonna say, I am not against using the Pickl-It. I do not own one personally, so I cannot vouch for their results by experience. I do wanna throw my few cents into the discussion though, just to add a little more to consider. My instructor Caroline Barringer, owner of Immunitrition (they sell fermented veggies), told me that they had their veggies tested recently. The pH of the veggies tested were 3.47, 3.55, and 3.57 for each of their different blends. The FDA wants cultured foods to have a pH of 3.8 or under ideally, but under 4.0 for sure. Otherwise you have to add pure, food-grade lactic acid to the food for it to be considered shelf stable and/or self-preserved. With a pH as low as 3.47, the lactic acid content is VERY high. Again, this is from veggies that were done in mason jars. Also, to note, and I thought this was profound, they had their veggies tested and just 1 gram contained 54 billion live bacteria. That’s quite a lot, now they did use a culture starter, so it’s true that a wild ferment may not be quite as high. Yet still, I think those are profound results.
    I thought I’d share that for those who are concerned that they aren’t getting great results with their mason jars because of a post like this. I certainly think the Pickl-It jars have benefit and merit, but I am sure our ancestors did not do it this way, which is why I have not gone the route of the P.I. as well as the upfront cost. I agree that long term as you compare it to other kitchen expenses it may be a very sensible purchase, but for the amount of fermenting some of us do, like me who currently has at least a dozen to 3 dozen jars going at all times, it’s just not tangible. So, I thought I’d offer some encouraging news to the ‘wild fermenters’ out there.
    Also, I have not had many batches of ferments go bad at all in my mason jars, except for in the beginning when I didn’t know what I was doing. I have never had mold, or mushy, except for some bread and butter pickles that got frozen in the back of the fridge then ended up a bit mushy. I do think that if I were to get a Pickl-It for anything it would be those pickles, and I have considered it. But I had jars of them in my fridge still good 6 months later (and that is all they lasted because we ate them up).
    Besides, all the bacteria we get from ferments is transient in nature, it does not technically repopulate our guts, it goes in, does it’s job and then goes out in the feces. So, regardless of which method produces MORE we still have to eat it every day and regularly because it’s just passing through. Hope that helps – not trying to sabotage your post KA, just offering some further thoughts and perspective.
    lydia recently posted..These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

    • Lydia,

      Our ancestors DID do ferments anaerobically. If you look at all of the various fermenting methods used historically, they’re all anaerobic in nature. In fact, many of the traditional ferments were buried or put into clay. Clay is anaerobic- it lets CO2 out but it doesn’t let oxygen in! And, of course, buried can’t get oxygen.

      Total bacterial count and total lactic acid count are two different things. Any fermentation type allows bacteria to proliferate. The difference is WHAT is proliferating. So while 54 billion does sound impressive, there’s no break-down of what types and if they’re LABs or not. pH is not the only factor affecting the production of LABs. LABs will not proliferate in an environment with oxygen, study after study has shown that.

      Living in the South, I have had a lot of ferments go bad, spanning across three different houses in three different locations and even sterilizing the jars before starting didn’t help. I believe location does affect the results.
      KerryAnn Foster recently posted..Controversy: Pickl-It vs Mason Jars

      • lydia says:

        Kerry Ann,

        I am compelled by all of this and starting to dig deeper and research more. Are the study after studies that you are referring to the ones you have linked to in the end of your post? Also, lactic acid bacteria are there a variety of these strains of bacteria with a name other than LABS? Or is it just referring to the bacteria that proliferates FROM the lactic acid on the veggies alone? From what I understand these bacteria are transient in nature, like I mentioned before and do not technically repopulate our gut, only native bacteria strains do. There is some amount of native bacteria in Bio-Kult along with transient, though it mostly contains transient. So Bio-Kult is a superior ‘pricey’ product for a reason. The native bacteria actually do stay in the gut and repopulate it. So, I guess I am trying to get to the bottom of some things here – not saying Pickl-It isn’t a worthy investment, BUT what I am thinking is that it would behoove people to take a high grade probiotic in addition to ferments, such as BioKult or PreScript Assist (which actually is ONLY native bacteria, as opposed to both native and transient). We need both, but the native are the ones that actually colonize our gut. I would think that this would truly speed up healing even more.
        lydia recently posted..These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

        • Lydia, I haven’t yet done the post about how and why LABs proliferate. That’s coming up in part two, which I hope to have ready next week. The Functional Hanbook of Fermented Foods is available on Google Books and you can read a good bit of it for free between google and Amazon. I want to get a copy but it’s hard to find.

          LABs are about 60 species named lactobacilii. Lactobacilli refers to a genus grouping and they’re naturally occurring on the skins of fruits and veggies. Many other species can proliferate in ferments, including aerobic species, and they don’t have the same health benefits.

          I’m pretty sure I’ve read about LAB colonization somewhere within the last week. I need to dig it up.
          KerryAnn Foster recently posted..Controversy: Pickl-It vs Mason Jars

  6. Christina says:

    Wouldn’t a harsch crock provide an anaerobic environment as well? My beef with the pickle-it’s is that they are made of common jars with a $1.50 airlock installed. Seems like a DIY project with a hefty price tag.

    • Harsch does provide an anaerobic environment. I own one myself. I got tired of running up and down stairs and only being able to do huge batches and once you get mold in a Harsch, you CAN’T get it out no matter what you do.

      DIY won’t be airtight and provide LABs and this isn’t a quality product that you could make at home. The Pickl-It is not a common jar, it’s extremely thick, thicker than a mason jar and it isn’t a $1.50 airlock. They’re very high quality and meant to last a lifetime. None of the parts are cheap, made in China crap. Pickl-It initially went the airlock-added-to-a-jar route until testing showed it wasn’t airtight and didn’t produce high levels of LABs. It wasn’t until then that they switched to providing the jars as well as part of a whole system to ensure that it is airtight.
      KerryAnn Foster recently posted..Controversy: Pickl-It vs Mason Jars

    • Alyssa says:

      I own a photography business, and some people wonder why my prints are so much more than what they would pay if they got prints at Walmart or Target. But when people buy prints from me, they’re not just reimbursing me for the paper they’re printed on; my clients are paying me for everything from my time spent with them, the years I’ve spent educating myself, all of the equipment and licensing it takes to run a legal business, my time spent editing, etc. This is how businesses work, they have to build the cost of researching, producing, and marketing their product in order to stay in business.

      It’s the same thing with Pickl-It. You’re not simply paying for a jar and airlock, and it’s not just as simple as a DIY project you could do yourself. You’re paying for everything – the research they did to verify safety of all of the parts (a few years ago I bought wire bail jars from Walmart and later found they have lead in the glass AND metal latch. Waste of money and unnecessary health hazard in my home!) along with the trial and error of perfecting the system (have you ever tried drilling through glass? I wonder how many lids broke when they were starting out, and if they still break occasionally now during drilling? Would you know where to get bpa-free, food-grade grommets? Lead-free glass weights in the right size and shape for use with the jars?) You’re also supporting a small family-owned business, and a website that is a wealth of helpful information backed by scientific studies and other resources. Have you browsed http://www.pickl-it.com? I could spend all day reading the articles and recipes…

      Sure, technically you could DIY. But you’d spend WAY more time and money coming out with the same safe product. I’ve calculated that it’s more efficient to just buy the finished product from them and take advantage of their website – let them do all the work for me and save me time and aggravation – so that I can put my time and energy toward my own business, my family, and other things I love.
      Alyssa recently posted..Pickl-It Lacto-Fermented Cherry Chutney

    • Alyssa says:

      Oh, and the customer service cannot be beat; they are some of the most helpful, passionate, and kind-hearted people I’ve ever spoken to. Can you tell they’ve made a customer for life out of me? I owe much of my family’s health to their wonderful product and their generosity with time and information.
      Alyssa recently posted..Pickl-It Lacto-Fermented Cherry Chutney

      • Yes, Kathleen has always provided amazing customer service. I’ve been nothing but pleased with them and their product and I love knowing that it’s safe. Everything is lead-free and Kathleen has been meticulous in making sure it’s all high quality, safe items. If she wouldn’t expose her own kids to it, she wouldn’t expose your kids to it, either.

        A workman who turns out quality products is always worth the wage.
        KerryAnn Foster recently posted..Controversy: Pickl-It vs Mason Jars

  7. lydia says:

    One more thought – you don’t have to use the metal 2 part lids with the mason jars, you can use the solid one piece plastic lids instead.
    lydia recently posted..These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

  8. Baffled says:

    I was in HomeGoods a few months ago and picked up two gorgeous locking jars for about $5 each. One is 1.5L and the other is one gallon. They are both from Italy and have fully functioning lids with rubber seals. I guess I was lucky. I didn’t know these types of jars were so expensive.
    Baffled recently posted..Holding Pattern

  9. lydia says:

    Okay – I’m back! I just couldn’t lay all of this to rest. It’s hard enough for newbies and others to feel that frustration and overwhelment that they need to invest in more stuff in order to ‘do it right’. So, after reading and researching and talking with Caroline (owner of Immunitrition), I have discovered it is possible to have an anaerobic ferment in a mason jar, if you do the following. (which I do for veggies)

    Place the veggies in the jar well packed with brine, in the case of sauerkraut it’s own brine, in other cases, added brine. Use a culture starter if desired for a more ‘controlled’ ferment. Make sure the veggies are completely under the brine. Use a cabbage leaf and push down over the veggies, top with a weight or rocks (I got mine from the dollar store, the decorative smooth kind) keep it all under the brine with an inch of head space remaining. If it all stays under the leaf, the weights and the brine it will be anaerobic and it WILL produce LABS.

    The idea, is to make sure it’s anaerobic. Mason jar fermenting can be successful at producing these good bacteria.

    I AM considering a Pickl-It for my beet kvass!
    lydia recently posted..These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

    • Unfortunately, keeping the food under the water does not define anaerobic. That is poor advice. I’m sorry. If that was the case, as long as the food stays under the water, you could leave it in a bowl so you wouldn’t need a mason jar.

      The fact is, oxygen exchange continues into the brine as long as oxygen continues to be let in. I’ll be posting more about this later in the series, I’m working on the posts now.
      KerryAnn Foster recently posted..What’s in Season- April

  10. Jane says:

    I didn’t know there was controversy over Pickl-It. I bought a Pickle, Sauerkraut and Kimchi maker a few years ago that has a similar valve in the lid, but I am guessing the Pickl-It may be easier to make airtight.

  11. PattyLA says:

    This is very intriguing. Last fall I made a bunch of sauerkraut. I used 2 qt jars. I put a 1/2 cup jelly jar in the mouth of the jar. This held the cabbage under the brine. Then I put the lid on and put a small hole in the lid. I covered the hole with a tab that was held tight to the lid but didn’t stick to the hole part (it is difficult to describe, it is used in my vacuum sealer.) So theoretically this tab will only let stuff out and nothing in although it certainly isn’t perfect.
    I also haven’t ever had liquid seep out of a ferment although I have had some burst out when I opened it and the gas fizzed up.
    I haven’t ever had mold in my ferments except the one time that I made beet kvass using whey instead of just salt.
    I’m wondering if this is something I need to invest in or not.
    PattyLA recently posted..Adrenal Fatigue: What can you do about it?

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We make a good faith effort to keep up-to-date on gluten-free products. However, product formulations change frequently. Always check product labels for the most recent ingredient information and call the company if you have any questions as to the gluten content of a product.

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About Intentionally Domestic



Intentionally Domestic (formerly Cooking Traditional Foods) is a blog about nutrient-dense foods. We provide recipes for a variety of family-friendly, kid-approved meals, snacks and desserts. We follow in the tradition of Dr. Weston A Price.

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Intentionally Domestic
PO Box 1556
Weaverville, NC 28787
(828) 367-7216

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