0 ITEMS
Home > FAQ
 

FAQ

These are some of our most commonly-asked questions. If your issue isn't addressed below, please get in touch via the contact page!


What is a gem jar?

Why does the glass fermentation airlock only come in gem size?

How does an airlock work?

What’s a SCOBY? What is kombucha, and how is it different from jun?

What is water kefir?

Are the one-piece screw-on canning lids reusable?

Where do you ship to?

If I live in Calgary, can I pick my order up instead of having it shipped?

What forms of payment do you accept?

Is there anything you can’t do with a mason jar?



What is a gem jar?


Gem is a discontinued size of jar, whose opening at 78mm is between regular (70mm) and wide mouth (85mm) jars. Although gem jars are no longer made in Canada, they are often found in secondhand shops in both pint and quart sizes. Gem jars originally used a glass lid, rubber gasket and metal ring as a closure, and were later available with single-use snap lids as well. Gem snap lids and rings are still being made by Bernardin as many Canadians still use their gem jars.


Why does the glass fermentation airlock only come in gem size?


Glass lids for any type of mason jar are no longer made, so we need to rely on what’s available secondhand to make the airlock lids. Glass widemouth lids are extremely rare to source and also require a taller metal ring to hold it on properly. If you’re interested in the glass airlock but don’t have any gem jars, check your local thrift shop! Gem jars are usually embossed with the word ‘gem’ along with the manufacturer’s brand.


How does an airlock work?


Airlocks are a key component in safely fermenting foods at home. An airlock allows CO2 to escape during the fermentation process, but prevents oxygen from entering your jar. If CO2 cannot escape, the jar could explode. If oxygen enters the jar, your food could spoil. A two-piece airlock such as the Holy Kraut airlock or glass airlock works by using water in the airlock piece. A one-piece airlock like the Pickle Pipes uses perforated silicone which expands and ‘burps’ out accumulated CO2 when the pressure accumulates inside the jar.


What’s a SCOBY? What is kombucha, and how is it different from jun?


Kombucha and jun are both fermented drinks rich in probiotics, which have many health benefits. Both are easy to make and enjoy at home! Kombucha is made with black tea and sugar, while jun is made with green tea and honey. Each has a distinctive flavour and there are many additions you can make to the basic brew to give it a unique flavour. Both are made using a SCOBY, or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. The SCOBY is what initiates the fermentation process, which, once started, can be continued indefinitely as long as the SCOBY is kept fed.


What is water kefir?


Water kefir is another healthy probiotic drink. Water kefir grains are made from pure sugar, and can be cultured in water or juice. Water kefir has a different flavour from kombucha or jun, and like those drinks, can be flavoured with fruits as well. Like a kombucha SCOBY, the grains will continue to make water kefir as long as they’re fed.


Are the one-piece screw-on canning lids reusable?


In our experience, yes. Given that there’s no chance of bending or warping when unsealing them like with a snap lid, as long as you give them a careful examination each time for scratches, rust or dents, the one-piece screw-on lids should last several uses. They are dishwasher-safe.


Where do you ship to?


We ship from Calgary, Alberta, all across Canada. For shipping rates, please click here. Shipping is free for all orders over $150!


If I live in Calgary, can I pick my order up instead of having it shipped?


Absolutely! Local pickup is available at no charge. You must put your Calgary-based address into the shipping field at checkout in order for this option to appear. You can also have your order delivered locally for $5.


What forms of payment do you accept?


We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express, as well as PayPal.


Is there anything you can’t do with a mason jar?


No. Mason jars can do literally everything. ;)