We mentioned that we`ll be experimenting by making homemade liqueur (cordial) soon. We also mentioned we`d share an exciting discovery (at least it was a discovery for us!).
The following applies to fermenting cordial – but also applies to other fermenting including sauerkraut, fermented pickles and kimchi.
Fermentation requires the removal of air from your product. The process assists us naturally as gasses produced by fermentation are heavier than air – a layer of gas will easily rest on top of your fermentation unless there is a breeze, someone walks by or airflow changes around your jar.
Kaela at Local Kitchen mentioned using a trick you could do with a balloon and gave a link to find air locks in her article on berry cordial. This sent me on a mission.
I went to a local u-brew store. They help people make wine and beer. They also sell air-locks such as this 3-piece unit (the cork doesn`t count as a piece as you can get different sizes for different jars):
An airlock allows the natural gasses to force air (and excess gas) out without letting air in. The 3-piece unit is pretty easy to use:
- The largest piece is inserted in the cork (the `straw`is gently pushed in).
- Water is poured into the large piece – there`s a fill line which tells you when to stop. The water is poured in the outside `bowl` which surrounds the straw).
- The second largest piece fits inside the bowl and on top of the straw. It also goes into the water – this is the actual airlock. Gas will force air out through the straw and it will bubble through the water to escape – but no air can enter because of the seal made by the water.
- The small cap then goes on the top to seal everything in
Take a look (there`s no water in it):
Our excitement has been the discovery (that I believe Kaela was pointing out but I missed) that the large cork that is used for a carboy (large plastic container for brewing beer) fits a regular-mouthed mason jar!
This means that for a whopping $3 we can easily ferment small batches of `things` in jars.
These are the simple pleasures which excite me!