Update: One of my readers left a comment about what to use for a Dunk’r. He suggests using the lid from a 10 oz. Anchor Hocking jar which can be found at Walmart. Link here to see.
If you are a faithful reader of this blog then you are probably wondering what I am talking about. This is truly random, however, I will be here tomorrow with a tour of Quilt Market.
Here’s a quick recap. During September and October, I’ve been studying how to anaerobically ferment to store fruits and veggies. This is the way our ancestors did it ~ using salt, not vinegar. Think vats of sauerkraut to hold you through the long Russian winter.
Fermenting foods this way insures I achieve a high concentration of lactic acid which will inhibit bacterial growth. Eating lacto-fermented foods can improve your health dramatically.
I ferment in Pickl-It jars to keep out the bad bacteria (salmonella, e-coli, botulism, etc.). These jars cost $$$$, so I figured out a way to make my own.
However, I do have something to contribute to the conversation. I have hacked the system and figured out how to make a something that will work just as well as a Pickl-It and at a fraction of the cost.
1. The Jars
You need to purchase Fido brand jars because they are lead-free and have a vulcanized rubber seal. They are available at Crate and Barrel or Amazon. I found mine at TJ Maxx. I have a friend who rounded up a bunch at Marshall’s. I’ve even seen them at Home Goods.
The most important thing to remember is that they are Fido brand jars.
My stash didn’t even cost me $50 (less than the cost of 2 Pickl It’s).
We purchased our bit at Lowes for $26.20. I will give more details about how the bit works below. Just stay with me.
I purchased these through a company called Grainger. The part number is 3MRR8 and they come 5/package for $9.26. If you have a Grainger’s in your city, they will ship for free and you can pick them up. FYI ~ They don’t usually keep them in stock.
4. 3-Piece Airlocks and Stoppers
2. Remove the baling wire from the Fido lid.
3. Using a fine point Sharpie, mark the center point on the lid.
Draw a 5/8” circle around the dot. We used an inexpensive template for this. You can get these at hardware stores for under $5.
4. Set up the drill by putting in the bit. Mr. SH has a drill press and this made the task very simple.
If you don’t have a drill press, you may want to see if a friend or neighbor has one.
It should still work with a hand-held drill. You will need make some adjustments, however.
5. Whatever drill type you use, you will need a way for the bit to pass through. A drill press has this; if using a hand-held drill, be sure to allow for this.
6. Line up the circle that you drew in #3 above with the drill bit. Place lid on the drill press surface (or whatever you have) with the lid flat side down.
9. Clap the lid in place over the cloth with the top of lid flat side down.
10. Pour some water into the lid. Mr. SH did not completely fill the lid, but there was plenty of water. The drill bit will not work without the water. This helps make a clean cut.
11. I made a short video of the drilling. Notice how the water drops through at the end as the drill finishes.
Reassembling the Jars
1. Before you reassemble the jars, you will need to carefully wash the lid. The residue is ground glass and you do not want this in any of your ferments.
I soaked mine first, then ran the lids through the dishwasher. I wasn’t taking any chances.
2. Notice how polished and smooth the hole is. Put the red rubber grommet into the opening.
3. Reattach the baling wire to the Fido lid.
4. Attach the vulcanized rubber seal to the lid.
7. Add the 3-piece airlock and you are ready to ferment.