The End

Gluten Free Kitchen Therapy began as a spin-off of our personal chef business, Dine In!, because a client was diagnosed with celiac disease.  Along with that Linda did speaking engagements to spread her knowledge of gluten-free, and recipe testing to make gluten-free better tasting and better for you.    We did cooking demonstrations to show people how to make gluten-free good for you and tasty.  She invested time and energy to get local restaurants to offer gluten-free items on their menus AND to have the knowledge and policies in place to avoid cross contamination.

 

Eventually www.kitchentherapy.us became our main website.   In addition to the website design, I learned to use and program WordPress, and thus Linda’s blog was born (http://blog.kitchentherapy.us/).   We spent many hours video taping and editing cooking demonstrations that were offered on this site.   There was a lot of effort in making great photos of the dishes, as she always told me, we eat with our eyes first.  But mainly it was Linda’s great writing that made this site come to life.   Her dietetic training and personal chef experience added creditability to her content, but it was her writing style and quest for knowledge that got people to return again and again to her blog.  The videos and speaking engagements never became financially lucrative, but they where fun along the way.

I wish to thank all her blog readers for their many years of subscribing, for it was you who kept Linda going with the blog.   She really enjoyed coming up with the next posting even when time and energy were not abundant.    Linda was very disappointed when the cancer treatments no longer allowed her to think or write to the standards that she had set for herself.   “Chemo Brain” is a real problem.

And please read Linda’s account of her journey with cancer at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lsimon

Thus we come to the end of Linda’s blog.

 Thank you all.

Vincent Simon

How to make an Airlock Cap

start

This was the start of my first airlock cap attempt.

I new that I was not satisfied with our fermenting set up.  Not the antique 2 gallon crock nor the one gallon glass jar with glass lid.  The mold and scum, while expected, was not acceptable.  Internet research had turned up fermenting systems that used an airlock but I was unwilling to spend what they where asking.  So we set out to make our own airlock system.

I started by buying a half dozen, half gallon, wide mouth, Ball mason jars.   3capsThen I found a local beer making supply house that sold airlocks.   So my first airlocks where constructed using the standard wide mouth two piece canning lids,  a couple of varieties of airlocks and some tight fitting o-rings to seal the airlock to the lids.   I also used one piece metal lids saved from grocery store products that fit standard Ball canning jars.

From these first tries I found that the o-rings did not seal well enough by themselves.  And the 2 piece canning lids where not convenient to use during fermentation.   All the metal lids tended to develop rust spots after repeated usage.   And the one piece “S” shape airlocks where too difficult to clean.

 

final

That brings me to my present, and very acceptable, airlock cap system.   The o-rings have been replaced with 100% silicone sealant.   This needs to be food grade silicone,  no kitchen and bathroom silicones with mildewcides.   Most, easily found, aquarium 100% silicone sealants are food grade.  But check the ingredient list.

 

ballcapThen there was the rusty metal lids.  These have been replaced with plastic lids made by Ball.

They come in wide mouth and standard mouth sizes.  I found them at my local grocery store along with the other canning supplies for about $3 per box of 8 caps.   These are also very handy to use to cap the fermentation jars after they are done fermenting and need to be stored in the refrigerator.  If not found locally, they are available on EBay.

airlockAnd for the airlock itself, I have settled on the 3 piece design made by Buon Vino Mfg.- Canada.   It is inexpensive and the unit comes apart for cleaning.   These cylinder airlock units are carried by most beer and wine making supply stores.   I have also seen them for sale on EBay, just search for “airlock”.   Locally they cost me $1 each.

 

 

 

The actual construction of the cap system involves drilling a hole in the center of the plastic cap.  The three piece airlock shaft has a slight tapper, so the hole is sized such that the airlock fits snuggly when inserted to a depth of about half an inch.

outsidebeadinsidebead

A bead of silicone is then applied around the shaft both on top of the cap and then on the underside as well.   Wait a couple of days for the silicone to completely cure before using the cap.

And that is the airlock cap design I am presently using.

Future design changes:  grommetMy next version will incorporate a grommet seal instead of the silicone sealant.   I hadn’t already gone this route because of the cost of the grommets in small quantities and the fact that I could not find the correct size locally.   I’ll post pictures when that design change is made, but until then I’m satisfied with the performance of my current airlock caps.

 

Final design upgrade using rubber grommet.

UPDATE:  

 I just made my final design change incorporating a rubber grommet to hold and seal the air-lock into the plastic cap.  Picture shows completed design with an extra grommet on edge. 

Found an online site that sells them in small quantities for a reasonable price.

Love this design.