HERE’S HOW WE UTILIZE THEM FOR CULTURING.
1. VEGETABLE FERMENTS
I know there are two camps on fermenting vegetables in canning jars. I’m in favor of it, if you know what you’re doing and can provide the right circumstances. If not, you can get yourself an airlock system that can be used with your vast collection of mason jars. I make pint-sized batches of cultured condiments, use the quarts for storing open-crock sauerkraut, and make big batches of whatever needs to be fermented in those lovely half-gallon jars.
2. SOURDOUGH STARTER
I always start my sourdough starter in a quart-sized jar. Because I’m feeding it to increase the yeast population for the first week or two, much of the discarded starter goes into sourdough pancakes or to the chickens anyways. Once I’m in full baking mode, I like to switch over to a half-gallon jar so that I can keep lots of fresh starter for baking loaves of yummy sourdough bread.
3. WATER KEFIR BREWING
Water kefir is fun to brew in quart jars, at first, because you can check on the state of the grains and watch the little bubbles float to the surface. As we get more serious about churning out larger batches, I inevitably switch to the half-gallon size. I’ve also successfully performed a second fermentation in quart-sized jars. The key is to use the canning ring and lid and to check to see that the lid has not been damaged in anyway. This will create a tight enough seal to hold carbonation, but I always check it once or twice a day to be sure the lid isn’t popping up from too much pressure.