The Cultured Guru School of Fermentation

The Best Fermentation Jars and Lids

Choosing the best fermentation jar and lid depends on what you plan to ferment. You don’t need expensive fermentation jars or a fermentation airlock. Learn how to choose the best glass fermentation jar, fermentation weight, and mason jar fermentation lid.

Fermenting in a Jar

No matter what you want to ferment, I suggest using a glass fermentation jar. You can use glass jars for fermenting almost anything. 

Glass jars are great for:

Glass is the best material for fermentation because it doesn’t rust, won’t leach chemicals, and lasts forever when you take care of it. For large fermentation batches, gallon glass jars and ceramic fermentation crocks work well.

Choose a Fermentation Jar

The best vegetable fermentation jar is a Ball mason jar or a weck jar. Ball mason jars are easy to find, and you can usually get them locally at Walmart or a tractor supply store. You can use the regular lids that come with Ball jars, but they typically rust, so it’s best to get a rust-free top (more on that below). Weck jars are my favorite but are more pricey and not as accessible. Weck jars have a glass lid, making them rust-proof and perfect for fermentation.

Choosing a fermenting jar depends on price, accessibility, shape, and size. Ball jars with an additional rust-free lid will be more affordable and easier to find. They come in two forms, wide mouth and regular. Weck jars are more expensive and harder to find locally, but they have a desirable glass lid. Weck jars also come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The Best Fermentation Jars

Click the links below:

You can also click here to visit my amazon storefront for recommendations on all fermentation equipment and supplies.

golden roasted garlic in a glass jar, topped with salt water brine.

Fermentation Lids

If you decide to go with a weck jar, there’s no need for additional fermenting lids. You can use the glass lid secured with the metal hooks without the gasket. When fermenting vegetables, or anything that produces gas, in a weck jar, it is best to leave the orange gasket off. It would be best if you also placed the jar in a glass dish to catch anything that drips out.

If you decide to go with mason jars, you can use the metal lid it comes with, but it will rust eventually. So I suggest getting a rust-free lid.

When fermenting foods and drinks that require oxygen, such as kombucha primary fermentation, sourdough fermentation, vinegar fermentation, primary kefir fermentation, and wild fermented beverages, you can use a cloth lid secured to the jar with a rubber band.

The Best Mason Jar Fermentation Lid

You don’t need a special lid to ferment vegetables anaerobically in a mason jar. A solid, sealing lid will do just fine. You need to burp the jar during the bubbly fermentation stage when using a Ball mason jar and solid lid. Just loosen the cap daily to let the gas out.

Here are my two favorite mason jar fermentation lids and reusable mason jar lids:

Do You Need A Fermentation Airlock?

I do not recommend any special fermentation lid or an airlock for fermentation. These lids are expensive, unnecessary, and hard to clean, leading to contamination problems—most people who decide to learn with us after many failed fermentation attempts have used airlock fermentation lids.

I also do not recommend using silicone burping lids or self-burp lids. The flexible silicone lids with the nipple are sometimes called airlock fermentation lids. These lids are made of porous silicone, and if you use one when making fermented vegetables, it can cause many problems. When the fermenting vegetables bubble, undesirable microbes, like yeast and fungi, can harbor in the porous silicone and the nipple apparatus. This often leads to fungal contamination about two weeks into fermentation.

All you need for anaerobic vegetable fermentation is a glass jar, a regular fitted lid, and a glass fermentation weight.

a round glass fermentation weight, shaped like a puck, sits on top kimchi fermenting in a jar.

Fermentation Weights for Fermentation Jars

Using a fermentation weight is ideal for keeping everything anaerobic in vegetable fermentation. As long as the vegetables stay submerged in the brine, anaerobic fermentation will go off without a hitch. A wide-mouth glass fermentation weight fits in wide-mouth Ball mason jars and the Weck jars I linked above. Click here for wide-mouth fermentation weights.

To use a fermentation weight in vegetable fermentation, you fill your jar according to the fermentation recipe, then place the fermentation weight on top and secure the lid. If you are using a Ball mason jar, you should burp the jar daily and regularly press the fermentation weight back down into the brine if it comes up. If using a Weck jar without the orange gasket, and the jar is full, and you secured the lid with the clips, the top will hold the weight down, and gas can escape naturally from the jar. Don’t forget to place the jar in a glass dish to catch and drips.

After you choose your fermentation jars, get started fermenting with our online courses

If you are just getting started fermenting foods and drinks at home, enrolling in our online courses is a great choice! We teach you how to ferment the most delicious foods and drinks at home, and how to get it right on the first try.

graphic with images of vegetables fermenting in jars that reads "the Best Fermentation Jars and Lids"

1 thought on “The Best Fermentation Jars and Lids”

  1. Jonathan Larson MD

    Love what I’ve seen so far and can’t wait to keep learning and sharing! Expanding my experience and sharing it with patients who are interested as part of my emerging integrative medicine practice. Thanks!

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