The Day Before – Testing the Seals of the Jars (Seal shocker!)

My husband helped me to pressure test and vacuum test the jars before I load them with sauerkraut in the morning.

Testing for pressure tells us whether or not any air can get out. If it can, it will let the excess CO2 escape. If not, you’ll need an airlock for your ferments.

Testing the vacuum tells us whether or not air can get in. If it can, this is not a lid you want on the jar since it won’t prevent oxygen from getting to your ferment.

We’re looking for jars that allow air out without letting any in.

We used our air compressor, set down to just one pound (vented ferments will never have this much pressure, so this was a good test) and tested the jars set-ups with testable lids.

We placed the nozzle into the test port and let the air build up. We held it and listened for any air escaping.

Then we used this vacuum pump and tested to see which jars could hold a vacuum.

Here are the results of our tests, and what they mean:

White lid -
Pressure test: PASS
Vacuum test: FAIL
What this means: The lid can hold pressure, so it gives a tight seal. To allow pressure to release, install an airlock. Because it failed the vacuum test, air could get in. That said, if you are making a ferment, the CO2 will be exerting pressure out, and the likelihood of
oxygen pushing through that kind of pressure is very unlikely.

Metal lid with ring -
Pressure test: PASS
Vacuum test: PASS
What this means: The lid can hold pressure, so it gives a tight seal. To allow pressure to release, an airlock will need to be installed. It holds the vacuum well, so no oxygen will penetrate.

Lacto-fermentation Air-Lock System from Cooking God’s Way -
Pressure test: PASS
Vacuum test: PASS
What this means: The lid can hold pressure, so it gives a tight seal. To allow pressure to release, an airlock will need to be installed. It holds the vacuum well, so no oxygen will penetrate.

Pickle Pro from Homesteader’s Supply -
Pressure test: PASS
Vacuum test: PASS
What this means: The lid can hold pressure, so it gives a tight seal. To allow pressure to release, an airlock will need to be installed. It holds the vacuum well, so no oxygen will penetrate.

Pickl-It -
Pressure test: FAIL
Vacuum test: PASS
What this means: Initially, I was shocked this couldn’t hold pressure. I was led to believe this was an airtight set-up, which is why the airlock was installed. Instead, the air was whooshing right out the sides. But when you really think about it, it makes perfect sense.The Pickl-It is simply a Fido with a hole drilled, grommet inserted, and airlock pushed into the grommet. Fido jars are meant to release CO2 build-up while at the same time prevent oxygen from getting in. It did pass the vacuum test which proves it won’t allow air in even though it allows it to escape. The gasket appears to work as an airlock all by itself.

Salsa Jar -
Pressure test: PASS
Vacuum test: PASS
Notes:
I was shocked that the salsa jar held the pressure. With its seemingly wimpy threads, I expected air to leak out, but it did not. Since the lid can hold pressure, it gives a tight seal. To allow pressure to release, an airlock will need to be installed. It holds the vacuum well, so no oxygen will penetrate.

So there you have it! Now you know which lids provide an airtight seal, which hold a vacuum, and which do not.

Stay tuned for later this afternoon when I introduce you to all the jars in the link-up for Sauerkraut Survivor…

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Lea Harris founded Nourishing Treasures in 2006. A mom passionate about her family's health and well-being, Lea believes education is power. Encouraging others to take baby steps in the right direction of health for their families, Lea's goal is to raise awareness of what goes into our mouths and on our bodies, providing natural alternative information that promotes health and prevents disease by using traditional foods and nature's medicine.

Lea is a Certified Health Coach graduate from Beyond Organic University, and a Certified Aromatherapist graduate from Aromahead Institute.

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The Day Before – Testing the Seals of the Jars (Seal shocker!) — 41 Comments

  1. I’m not sure what you mean by some of these terms (eg. what’s a salsa jar). Is there any possibility you could add pics?
    Thanks! Great project.

  2. Thank you so much for this! I am now going to purchase Fido jars for my fermenting (well, maybe just one or two before your final results come out! :)

    Thank you for your dedication to science and bacteria!

  3. Hmm – interesting but testing the jars empty is not really indicative if air can get in it while fermenting – the various gases that are created during fermentation are of different weights/pressures and they do leak out of metal mason jar lids that are screwed on tightly – that’s a fact that many of us have experienced – so they are not airtight…not sure how your testing method really gives us accurate information.
    if stuff can leak out than air can get in…no two ways about it…This would also hold true for any of the other alternative mason jar set-ups with airlocks …the Pickl-it folks tried all those variations and found that they failed to be air-tight – that why they moved onto the fido jars…

    • You’re right – during fermentation gasses are produced. Pressure-testing was done to simulate a strong CO2 pressure. We tested at one pound, but in reality ferments release just ounces of pressure (if that) when they ferment, which readily goes out the airlock.

      The thing is, when you use an airlock set-up, that is where the pressure is going to go, as it’s the area with least resistance – not the seals. But pressure testing is good to do if you don’t plan on using an airlock so you can predict whether the jar could explode with CO2 build-up.

      I used to think the same as you – “if it can leak, it can get in” but if that was true, oxygen would get into the Fido jars, but they do not. The Fido jars are designed with a rubber gasket so as to allow the CO2 to push out when it build pressure, but there is no way oxygen will get in as I proved by the vacuum test.

      I encourage you to try your own test if you disagree with my results – it’s easy to prove :)

  4. I’m sorry if I am just not getting it, but does that mean that my (moderately expensive) Pickl-it jars that I bought 2 months ago are not safe? ‘:-(

  5. Thank you for your efforts in bringing us this very useful information. Although the Fido jar is not mentioned on this page, I can deduct from the information that it would be suitable. It has made me think about the results and convinced me that a bail wire jar is the way to go and will save me a lot of money or effort. I had contemplated creating a bootstrap Pickl-it knock-off. I just made inquiries to a glazing company to find out if they could drill thick glass lids (yes they can, at about £5 a lid – about $7.50) so I could fit an airlock. Together with the airlock and grommet (also sourced silicone grommets) it would still add up to a fair bit of cash. I also thought of making wooden lids on a lathe shaped like the glass lid (wood is easier to drill, but maybe too thick for a grommet, and maybe not so hygienic).

    Now I will just buy a load a small jars, which would be just big enough for a day’s supply, so nothing to go off once the jar is opened. It would still be possible to make large batches for efficient work, as the ferments can be consumed over a period of a few months. The ones consumed later in the cycle would be more mature than the earlier ones, so it would require a bit of experimentation about how often to do a batch, and it would be done in such a way that there would always be some available, i.e. batches would overlap. Smaller jars may possibly be safer when it comes to pressure build-up. The ratio of food and gas to glass substance would be more favourable in a small jar.

    I think the pressure test is the critical one. If no air can get out, then none can get in, especially when there is a positive pressure inside the jar from the CO2 production. The important thing is that the jar will also not break in the process. I am not sure the vacuum test is useful though. A vacuum will suck the lid down onto the rim more firmly and not suck in air more forcefully. That is one of the principles in cold vacuum-sealing jars with a pump. Not only will it extract the air, it will also make a better seal. A more meaningful result would be achieved if the jar to be tested for ingress of air was put into another container which was pressurised, thus forcing air into the jar from outside. However, it is unlikely that it would differ to pressurising the inside of the jar, and would probably not be necessary.

    The way I interpret the Fido jar’s ability to release the pressure without an airlock is perhaps the way a pressure cooker valve works. When a critical pressure is reached inside the vessel, the weakest part gives way to the pressure. On a pressure cooker the weight will lift to let off steam. With a bail wire jar the weakest part is the elastic material of the gasket. Whilst it holds up well under a fair bit of pressure, it may still compress a little under extreme pressure. It has a large surface area (unlike the small stoppers on brewing bottles, which don’t prevent explosions) to allow the escape of gases even with a small amount of compression. The rubber may be slightly less dense in some parts and allow more compression there to form an escape channel. Also, the wire has a certain amount of flexibility. It would be interesting to see if a pressurised jar submerged in water would show up any escaping bubbles. If you are worried about the glass breaking, briefly releasing the clip whilst still holding the lid down firmly will probably be enough to let the gas out without letting any air in. The bail wire jar has the unique ability to allow simultaneous pressure on the lid whilst burping the jar.

    • “Thank you for your efforts in bringing us this very useful information. Although the Fido jar is not mentioned on this page, I can deduct from the information that it would be suitable.”

      You are correct. The only way to test the Fido would be to drill a hole and put the air compressor nozzle in the hole. So we just used the Pickl-It :)

      ” It has made me think about the results and convinced me that a bail wire jar is the way to go and will save me a lot of money or effort.”

      I think the cost savings of a Fido is going to be appreciated by many.

      “I had contemplated creating a bootstrap Pickl-it knock-off. I just made inquiries to a glazing company to find out if they could drill thick glass lids (yes they can, at about £5 a lid – about $7.50) so I could fit an airlock. Together with the airlock and grommet (also sourced silicone grommets) it would still add up to a fair bit of cash. I also thought of making wooden lids on a lathe shaped like the glass lid (wood is easier to drill, but maybe too thick for a grommet, and maybe not so hygienic).”

      Making an airlock in your own Fido is about half the cost of a Pickl-It. You can get a 1-liter Fido for just $4.95. Grommet is just a dime or so on ebay. Airlock is under a dollar.

      But yeah, save yourself the trouble and just buy a Fido :)

      “…It would still be possible to make large batches for efficient work, as the ferments can be consumed over a period of a few months. The ones consumed later in the cycle would be more mature than the earlier ones, so it would require a bit of experimentation about how often to do a batch, and it would be done in such a way that there would always be some available, i.e. batches would overlap…”

      This is a wonderful idea, and if you come up with a system, please let me know! I was going to deal with shuffling them from one size to the next smallest.

      “I think the pressure test is the critical one. If no air can get out, then none can get in, especially when there is a positive pressure inside the jar from the CO2 production. The important thing is that the jar will also not break in the process.”

      Yes, this is what we have found as well. You definitely want an airlock in a jar that passed the pressure test – the seals are way too snug and can cause a problem when you have CO2 building up.

      ” I am not sure the vacuum test is useful though. A vacuum will suck the lid down onto the rim more firmly and not suck in air more forcefully… A more meaningful result would be achieved if the jar to be tested for ingress of air was put into another container which was pressurised, thus forcing air into the jar from outside. “

      You are exactly right. Particularly with the white lid, as the white lid bends and creates a better seal.

      My husband thought the same as you. We were to the point of almost buying a pressure cooker just to be able to test this. Since I have no desire to own a pressure cooker, we decided against it. The method you described would be the ideal.

      “The way I interpret the Fido jar’s ability to release the pressure without an airlock is perhaps the way a pressure cooker valve works. When a critical pressure is reached inside the vessel, the weakest part gives way to the pressure.”

      Yes, that is how the Fido works. I have sauerkraut in a non-burped Fido and it’s doing just fine – foam oozing out the side, but no explosions!

      ” It would be interesting to see if a pressurised jar submerged in water would show up any escaping bubbles…”

      Yes, that would be very interesting.

      I do plan on doing an experiment with water kefir in various jar set-ups, and since I now have those soda bottles you mention, I can use them in my testing.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave your thoughtful message. Have a great day!

      • A fido heremetic jar is designed to allow up to 5 atmospheres of pressure buildup .. The folks at pickl-it appear to have done their homework and designed a very nice product. As a fido master distributor for over 30 years – we have had experience with many who drill the lids … these folks appear to have incorporated a great food safe system into one of the finest glass jars on the market.

        I am at a loss on some of the conclusions – sorry – but the methodolgy leaves me questioning what you were actually looking for? to prove a fido is a great jar? or to try to disprove a product like pickl-it .. to me – their success speaks volumes as to actual usage in the world court.

        • “A fido heremetic jar is designed to allow up to 5 atmospheres of pressure buildup .. “

          Do you mean the seal vents at 5 atmospheres, or it explodes?

          We tested the jar and found at even one atmosphere of pressure the air was whooshing out.

          The folks at pickl-it appear to have done their homework and designed a very nice product…”

          Pickl-It is a Fido jar with an airlock. I love Fido jars.

          “As a fido master distributor for over 30 years – we have had experience with many who drill the lids…”

          I understand there are those who are led to believe a Fido needs an airlock. My personal opinion, based on experience and testing, has shown me an airlock is redundant. The gasket on a Fido allows for excess CO2 build-up to escape – the gasket is the Fido’s built-in airlock.

          “I am at a loss on some of the conclusions – sorry – but the methodolgy leaves me questioning what you were actually looking for? to prove a fido is a great jar? or to try to disprove a product like pickl-it .. to me – their success speaks volumes as to actual usage in the world court.”

          What conclusions confused you? Maybe I can help explain them.

          My purpose in testing the seals was defined in the first part of this post:

          “Testing for pressure tells us whether or not any air can get out. If it can, it will let the excess CO2 escape. If not, you’ll need an airlock for your ferments.

          Testing the vacuum tells us whether or not air can get in. If it can, this is not a lid you want on the jar since it won’t prevent oxygen from getting to your ferment.

          We’re looking for jars that allow air out without letting any in.”

  6. By the way … FIDO is trademark for the Bormioli Rocco glass company – not just a style of jar … is a registered trade mark for a specific jar (used to be made by Fidenza until Bormioli aquired them) so be careful in the way many stores and sites bandy about the name “fido” jar – if it is NOT made by Bormioli Rocco – it is NOT a genuine fido quality jar.

  7. Lea, I wanted to tell you that I have been making water kefir in my 1L Fido jar. One thing I noticed is that when I pick it up by the rim, just the act of pulling up on the gasket ever-so-slightly, even while the jar is sealed, causes the CO2 to escape with a little “pffffffft.” So, for anyone wanting to burp the jars, I don’t even think that is necessary. You can just nudge the rubber a little. Or maybe not burp at all, as you say. My finished batch fizzed like crazy when I popped the lid on day 2. That’s going to be some tasty water kefir!

  8. Lea I want to thank you for sharing this really valuable info with us. I too am thankful to your dedication of science and fermented food. As well as helping others. Just stumbled on to your blog today after stumbing on to Melanie’s blog. :)
    So, last week, I ordered the half gallon mason jars and wide mouth white plastic lids from amazon. Yesterday I sent my husband to the local brew shop for airlocks and grommets. Have ordered some gaskets, that I read if you cut off the tab they fit the plastic lids.
    Would this be a safe method for fermenting foods in?
    I’ve only been doing milk and very recently water kefir. I stopped drinking the milk kefir bc of a bad reaction and was worried I was not doing well on it bc of lyme disease.
    But now I just cut back on it. Now that I know how to store the grains and not make a pint a day of the stuff. Felt like I was on a treadmill there for awhile! lol.
    Oh…sorry for all the questions but after reading on all these different methods, I’m not ever going to ferment food or kefir the open cheesecloth method.
    A little while ago, after reading your helpful comments on one of your other posts, I had to run downstairs to throw a lid loosely over my milk kefir. It’s in a gallon jar(from pickles we got from walmart) but is only half full of milk and kefir grains. (my grains have been growing so had to add them to a bigger jar!)
    I didn’t know whether to do it with the lid on or not. After reading on another blog how someone’s gallon of water kefir exploded so with such pressure, shards of glass gauged their fridge and counter and went flying everywhere. Thank goodness her family was not in the kitchen at the time!
    So, I was concerened since my half gallon jars haven’t arrived yet, that using this gallon jar with all the space above would make it explode with the top on.
    So just did the cheese cloth with a rubber band. Until I read your comments on bacteria. Can’t remember exactly what you said. :) I’d have to go look.
    Anyway, it now has the lid on top of the cheese cloth. Do I need to throw out my milk and keifer grains? Milk only and save the grains?
    Thanks for any help. Sorry for so many questions. I’m still learning. :)
    I appreciate all your hard work on this project very much though. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Can’t believe the timing on this.

    • Allie,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      From what I have been observing so far, the white lid with airlock and grommet and gasket will be a great method to use. We pressure and vacuum tested this method and it showed that it would hold the CO2 and not let air in.

      What kind of jar exploded? A regular pickle jar? I can see that happening. Those jars hold a seal very well. If you screw the lid on tightly, there is no place for the CO2 to escape. Any tight-fitting lid you’ll want to install an airlock on.

      You can use a mason jar with a tight lid and airlock: white lid with gasket and airlock, but not plain white lid with airlock; or metal lid and ring with airlock. The Fido jars are also good for keeping oxygen while letting CO2 escape, but they aren’t as affordable as the mason jars.

      If the milk and grains appear fine, I would keep them. I would probably rinse them off and start a new batch with a better jar. It’s hard to see what’s going on, bacterially speaking, so better safe than sorry.

  9. I got a couple of tablespoons of water kefir a week ago and feed them in a Kilner jar (the UK equivalent of the Fido). I am only on the third water/nutrient change and am worried they will grow like The Blob (the old Steve McQueen horror movie)!

    The grains have increased to about a cup. I feed them soft brown sugar (same volume as the volume of grains), a little molasses and some egg shell. The kefir fizzes nicely, and when I give the jar a gentle shake, there is definitely a slight escape of gas and liquid from the gasket, but most of the gas stays in the jar, as there is an even more noticeable pssst when I open the jar.

    The little critters seem happy with that simple meal, but I will also give them some dry fruit to give them some variety.

    After 48 hours I pour off the liquid into another Kilner jar and give the grains some fresh nutrient water, and add ginger and just a little sugar to the other jar for a second, brief fermentation, basically to allow the ginger to permeate the drink and get a little more fizz. The kefir has obviously consumed the sugar, as the drink is not sweet. It is a refreshing drink, with a slight yeasty smell and taste and is slightly viscous, but not stringy.

    It is perhaps a little early to tell, and I confess, I have not paid very close attention to it, but I think I no longer have wind problems since drinking the Kefir. Because the grains are increasing so fast and vigorously, I also ate a tablespoon of the grains. Me thinks, it is doing my gut some good.

  10. Thank you for getting back to me Lea!
    I appreciate all these answers! I’m very excited about your blog and will be camping out here a lot. So much to see and learn here!

    The lady whose gallon jar exploded said it was a an old wine jug. She had made water kefir w day old whey so she wasn’t sure if it would turn out. (I thought whey was suppose to last months?)
    So she wasn’t sure it had done anything and it didn’t “look” like it had done anything so let it go a day longer then she should have. Not sure how long it was in total.
    Anyway, the result was flying glass everywhere. She did say she had air space left in the bottle, it was 2/3 full.
    So, after reading that and that open crock methods can create a lot of mold, I decided the only way to do this is closed with an airlock. But now I see from your experiment that Bormelio Fido’s have the gasket acting like the airlock. I’m so paranoid about exploding bottles now I think what if I get a defective Fido and an accident occurs. My common sense husband reminded me I can just have to hold it under the water to see gas is escaping.
    I do have the bormelios in the swing top bottles for making kefir soda.
    I’m even afraid to open those now! Maybe they have an escape gasket like their counterpart Fido jars so not to much CO2 builds up. I don’t know.
    Right now I just open it a lot and don’t let it go longer then 24 hours on the first and second ferment.
    I ordered some bormelio replacement gaskets to go in the mason jars, so hopefully they will fit. But there not here yet. And I have a ton of produce that we bought from
    Whole paycheck. I mean Whole Foods that I don’t want to go to waste. It’s been a week since we bought them so I need to go ahead and juice it. And shred the rest for veggie kraut.
    I was thinking since the salsa jars worked well for you, and you let me know that any thread jar seals well just make sure I put an airlock on it, I was going to take one of my gallon pickle jars and drill a hole for the airlock and fill it to about an inch below the top full of vegetable juice.
    I need to get well!
    I saw a lady on the wild fermentation forums say she makes her juice and ferments it. After doing a lot of juice feasting and fasting, etc. I’m so ready to ferment the juice rather then have to make it four times a day. When I fast, I don’t like to store juice even for a few hours because the enzymes get lost. Now that I’m starting to ferment I thought this will be an easier way and healthier too.
    Do you think since my gaskets and half gallon mason jars with lids aren’t here yet I can go ahead and make a huge gallon batch of vegetable juice and drill thru the metal top?
    Oh…I wanted to also ask you if you can tell me where I can buy those red gaskets. Mine are the black kind and I read negative things about them in the comment section on Melanie’s diy airlock blog post.

    I did buy a vegetable master from Cultures for Health to make saurkraut in. It’s the half gallon size and I haven’t used it yet. The interesting thing is they did not put a gasket on theirs. Just a glass bottle with plastic lid and airlock.
    Thanks for reading. :)

    • I definitely wouldn’t ferment in any old jug. The Fido is a great choice. There’s no way they could accidentally not let the CO2 out – unless you glued the gasket on top and bottom and it had no way out. Even at that point, the wire bale would bend and give before the glass would break.

      You can also use a mason jar with several lid options. Just make sure the lid is super right and use an airlock.

      When you open your swing-top bottles (I have some and they are awesome!) just open it over the sink until you get the hang of the carbonation.

      The Fido gaskets are bigger than the mason jar, and they won’t fit. I actually thought of your mentioning this yesterday when I was out driving running errands, and realized I hadn’t addressed that when I replied back to you – and for that I am sorry!

      Yes, absolutely you can use a pickle jar with an airlock. Or drill through the metal lid and install one there, or just screw the metal lid on loosely so it has room to let the CO2 out, then open carefully.

      These are the grommets I bought: ebay.

  11. When asking where to purchase something, I meant to say red grommets not gaskets. I have the black kind that are supposedly food grade but might have to switch to the kind you used to be on the safe side. Sorry for the long post.

  12. Lea, thank you SO much. I mean, really,… thank you for being here. Making this a short reply so you don’t feel obligated to answer anything back. Just enjoy your weekend. :) May God bless you richly for all your kindness!

  13. I will! And thank you! I didn’t get the vegetables fermenting yet, my husband’s safety glasses got chewed up by the dog. Now that they’re replaced, and the airlock is on the jar, I can start.

    I did have a couple questions though. Thank you for letting me ask.

    I went ahead and threw out the kefir that I made before reading your blog. It was made with only the cheese cloth and rubber band covering it.
    I just realized that the whey I have in the fridge and was going to add to my kraut, (1st time to make it) is whey made the same way with only the cheese cloth covering it.

    So I guess I need to do the kefir first so I’ll have whey to put in the kraut and seperate jar of veggie juice. Except the gasket rings haven’t arrived yet. The half gallon jugs and everything else is here just waiting on the gaskets.

    I noticed you like Jordan Rubin. I do too! He’s awesome. He sold Garden of life but I have some of their primal defense probiotics.
    You might like the interview below of Dr. Mercola’s with Caroline Berringer http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/18/mcbride-and-barringer-interview.aspx (you have to scroll way down the page to get to the interview)

    she says they open up capsules of their probiotics and add it to their kraut. I think 3 or 4 capsules, however many billions that is. The lady on the forums who ferments her juice throws in Body Of Ecology’s culture starter.

    Since I’m making a whole gallon of organic juice I want to get it right. But can’t wait to make the whey since I bought these a week and a half ago.

    So I guess my questions are,

    1) Can I just add the probiotics from garden of life to the juice and or kraut?

    2) Do I even need whey for juice or is it more for kraut?

    3) For veggie juice only, not kraut, do you know if I still need to add salt? I’ve never brined anything in my life and I haven’t read of anyone fermenting veggie juice except the lady on the wild fermentation forums. I’m going to show her your website too. A lot of people are doing it the wrong way that produces mold.

    I noticed Garden of Life’s probitics have some Barley Grass and Oat grass in them. Hopefully that won’t hurt it either. ugh. So many factors to wade thru.

    I just remembered my other question. I saw a link but didn’t get a chance to read the article yet and now I’ve lost it. It was either in one of your posts or on Melanie’s blog somewhere.

    It was on whether we need to even add cuture’s like probiotic starters or not. At least I think that was what it was going to be on. 4)Do you know if it was on your blog? I’ll probably just confuse myself more since Caroline Berringer is saying she adds them. But would love to hear your opinion too. I’m trying not to mess to many things up at the same time.

    I had to throw out my first bone broth today. Left it in the sink in cold water to cool down before putting it in the fridge. Told the kids not to wash their hands in the sink. I had strained it in to another crock pot but it was older and didn’t have the rubber seal around the lid. Was not water tight. My husband came in and washed his hands over the top of it which added all his soapy tap water to the broth. Not a good start! Thankfully I still had the bones so have another broth cooking. I searched all over the web yesterday trying to find out if we should add the pan drippings from roasting the turkey to the crock. Finally found out we can! I will be glad when I get caught up on the learning curve a bit! Thank you for reading. :)

    • Allie,

      Jordan Rubin’s probiotic products (Primal and Ultra) helped my husband cure his gut issues several years ago. I highly recommend them.

      Actually, whey isn’t necessary in ferments. I’m tracking down the exact info for you, but adding whey (calcium) can inhibit your iron absorption from the ferment. Plus, the enzymes in whey digest lactase and not amylase. I’ll get more info on this for you, but just so you know, I have not added any whey to my ‘kraut and it’s wonderful.

      I have never fermented veggie juice before, but I am pretty sure you still need to add salt. A good group to ask would be the Wild Fermentation group on FB.

      I did mention starters in one of my posts. You don’t need them, but if you’re having trouble with consistency, you can use them. They won’t hurt. I don’t use them, and don’t plan to, at least not at this point :)

      OH NO! Bummer about the bone broth!! :( That is liquid gold to me. Oh yes, definitely add the pan drippings – I think that is key, really!

      Have a great day!

  14. Lea I am so sorry it’s taken me so long to thank you for your reply. Our internet has been down for the past 4 days.
    And AC as well. It’s been fun!
    I did get to read your reply before it went out but didn’t say thank you right away, was browsing and trying to get all this straight in my head.
    That’s great that Primal Defense helped heal your husband.
    I’m sure it has made a believer out of him! I need to get my husband healtier but unfortunately one of his problems is suppose to not be curable. He’s got a hietal hernia and lives on medication. He complains a lot about his stomach.
    But maybe if I can get him on at least water kefir and kraut, it might just heal him. I’ll have to see.
    Glad to know we don’t have to have whey in fermenting things. And same with a starter. If I were to open up some capsules of primal defense do you think any of the things in there would hurt a ferment? Like it shows there is barley grass and oat grass as the second and third ingredients in PD. It has a small 2 after both of them. HSO probiotic blend has a small 1, so it looks like those two aren’t probiotic strains of good bacteria.
    The reason I’m wanting to add them, (and I’d have to go back and listen to that interview w Caroline Barringer to be sure) but it sounded like the probiotic you add is going to proliferate quite a bit. Primal defense is expensive! I know it’s well worth it but I figured if I can help these beneficial bacteria increase by adding it to juice or kraut, it would be a good thing to do!
    I’m sorry I’m asking so many minutia type questions. I know once I start doing this over and over I will get better at it.
    Right before our internet went out I saw an incredibly moving testimony of the impact that kefir has had in this lady’s life. Then I read your post on the premie. She might want to look at this testimony and get encouraged bc it really helped them. I don’t want to give away the story, it’s better just to watch. It’s here. http://culturedfoodlife.com/
    click on the video Donna’s story. It’s amazing.
    Once again, sorry for the long post. One day (soon) I’m going to come back and just say a simple “thank you”.
    Don’t stress about getting back to me right away, I know you have a family. :)

    • Oh boy, no AC? That must have been lousy. It’s finally cooled off here, but the past several days were quite warm.

      My husband had hiatal hernia as well – and you know it’s now gone? Getting off heartburn medication and drinking salt water and ACV has helped a lot. He had adrenal issues, which is why he was drinking the salt. He noticed it helped his heartburn as well! Drinking aloe vera didn’t hurt, either.

      I have never tried adding probiotics to the ferment. I think it may disrupt the normal chain of events. It probably would be fine to mix it in just before consuming, though. If an expert says you can do it, go with that – I honestly don’t know.

      I’m curious to know what you do with it, though, so keep me posted! :)

  15. Glad it’s cooled off for you! :) I’ll have to ask my husband more about this but I was thinking the circuits got burned up from me having the crock pot on for 3 days. They were fried. But then we also had a bad storm and may had the box struck by lightening. Anyway, I feel spoiled having ac now and don’t know how our ancestors did without it! Thank God, it’s cooler here in MO then where we’re from, Houston TX where it’s sweltering and humid till mid Oct.

    I am stunned to hear that your husband’s hiatal hernia is gone! Yea! That is amazing! So very encouraging. I have to get well and take my family along with me on this traditional fermenting journey. (have been a raw foodist failure for over 10 years now)
    I saw the book you were talking about on What the Bible says about Healthy Living and have it in my cart. A few months ago, I started to join the group at Heart of Wisom that is all about healthy eating but have been so defeated I didn’t even want to join! I’m finding my way now and know there is hope for me and my family to really do this way of eating. Can’t wait to wean my 5yo off her orange juice which is the ONLY thing she’ll drink at this point. I’m going to start juicing fresh oj and pineapple and start flavoring water kefir with it and then branch out from there.

    Thank you Lea, for all these wonderful recipes your sharing, and all the good info here as well.
    Take care and God bless. Yes, I will certainly keep you posted! :)

    • Yes, it was very surprising (hiatial hernia). He had adrenal issues and started drinking salt water and discovered his heartburn and hiatial hernia issues went away.

      Oh, I love the Heart of Wisdom group! I love her homeschool books, too. Such a wealth of wisdom and a real blessing.

      I love how you plan to wean your daughter off the OJ with (eventually) water kefir. I was going to suggest that very thing. Water kefir is super good for you!

      Thanks for keeping me posted! :)

    • I’ve just read this, can you tell me why it is wrong to do water kefir with kitchen roll and elastic band on? I’m worried I’m doing it wrong now. It has helped so much with our tummy upsets.

      • Water kefir is a whole other ball game :) Mine seem happier in the Fido (airtight), but they were also happy with the white lid (not airtight).

        When I am done with Sauerkraut Survivor I will be doing a series on water kefir – stay tuned!

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