Pickle Pipe - Waterless Fermentation Airlock for Mason Jars
Hi Kickstarter!! Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about Masontops and our newest product, the Pickle Pipe:
The only one-piece, silicone, self-sealing, and waterless airlock designed specifically for wide-mouth mason jar fermentation.
Like many of you out there, we love making healthy and delicious naturally fermented foods at home. But we've become frustrated at the lack of a mason jar fermentation airlock that will let you "set it and forget it", mind the cliche. We wanted to create something that eliminated the need for monitoring your jars everyday, and took care of a bunch of other inconveniences at the same time.
The Pickle Pipe has made fermentation easier and more fun and we think you’ll love using it in your own home.
The benefits of lacto-fermentation are truly too great to list. They range from promoting strong gut health to improved digestion and nutrient absorption, they have detoxifying powers, and even help reduce sugar cravings. No wonder fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and real pickles are referred to as the modern day Superfoods.
Lacto-fermentation is an anaerobic process (complete absence of oxygen) which encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria commonly known as probiotics. Exposure to oxygen can encourage the growth of surface scum and microbes and often leads to fermentation’s nemesis: mold. Oxygen can also deprive your ferment of Vitamin C, and lead to soft or soggy food without any crunch as well. For these reasons it is critical that no oxygen is allowed to enter your fermenting environment.
Once the process is underway, carbon dioxide is produced as the probiotics convert the natural sugars in your veggies into tasty amino acids (this is what you’re seeing when your jar is bubbling).
For these two reasons, an airlock becomes a critical component serving two very important functions:
1) Allowing carbon dioxide to escape the jar and avoid it from exploding; and
2) Keeping oxygen out of the jar to prevent mold from spoiling your ferment.
Complicated, inconvenient, expensive.
Simply put, current airlock solutions are over-complicated, inconvenient, expensive, and after all that, still require regular maintenance and monitoring.
A popular airlock solution uses a three-piece plastic water-filled airlock system whereby gas can escape one way but not re-enter. The problem is the airlock is made from brittle plastic which is prone to breaking and requires an additional three-piece lid mechanism to attach it securely to a mason jar. The end result is a clumsy six-piece contraption which is designed to relieve you of checking on your ferment to "burp" it. Ironically, it still must be monitored regularly to ensure the water has not evaporated, allowing oxygen into the ferment, and rendering the airlock useless.
Even with these drawbacks, these water-based systems regularly sell for over $15 each! And that does not include the inevitable costs to replace a broken airlock from time to time.
The Pickle Pipe solves these problems by eliminating the need for multiple components AND the use of water. The Pickle Pipe is a super simple one-piece waterless airlock that allows gas to escape as necessary without letting any contaminants back flow into the jar, and it screws into place using any standard mason jar band. FDA food-grade certified, waterless, dishwasher-safe, and more compact... the Pickle Pipe is the natural evolution of the mason jar airlock.
Once screwed into place, you can forget about the Pickle Pipe for days, or even weeks.
There is ZERO maintenance or monitoring required at all.
We sent samples of the Pickle Pipe to some incredibly knowledgeable experts in the fermentation community. The feedback they provided helped shape this campaign, and also let us know that we had created something with real value that actually simplifies a key part of the fermentation process. Here's what they had to say:
The Pickle Pipe relies on a tried and tested engineering component: the one-way valve. One-way valves are designed with the simple purpose of allowing the flow of a material (usually gas or liquid) in only one direction, and preventing it from flowing in the opposite direction. This is the exact objective of an airlock: to allow carbon dioxide gas to flow out of the jar, and prevent oxygen (or anything else) from flowing into the jar.
The Pickle Pipe is simply placed on top of a mason jar opening and then secured using any standard mason jar screw band (not included). The flexible nature of the silicone provides a perfectly airtight seal with the rim of the jar. The one-way valve works to release carbon dioxide as pressure builds up within the jar during the ferment, and it cannot open to allow oxygen or other contaminants in the other way. It's really as simple as that!
We cannot do this without your support and so rewards should be just that: rewarding. Every reward will feature at least one Pickle Pipe, so backing this campaign is the fastest way to get your hands on one (or three, or six!). We're also bundling the Pickle Pipe with some complimentary Masontops fermenting tools, at up to 40% off standard pricing!
Best of all, we are confident that we can deliver these rewards by December 25, in time for the gift giving season.
We started masontops.com a year ago to help bring our first fermentation product to market: Pickle Pebbles. We saw a need for a product that was made with quality and consistency, and we delivered on those attributes. We are now the leading seller of glass fermentation weights in North America and the Pickle Pebbles have received a 94% approval rating across hundreds of reviews. This is only mentioned to demonstrate that we have a track record of delivering an excellent customer experience around a product that we manufacture. After the success of the Pebbles, we set our sights on another product that was being under-served in the market: The Pickle Packer - a vegetable tamper made from all natural Acacia wood and designed to work with regular and wide mouth mason jar ferments. The Pickle Packer has quickly become a hit with our customers, with a 98% approval across dozens of reviews in just a few short months since being introduced.
We love mason jar fermentation. We understand it, and we have a proven track record of developing and manufacturing high-quality products.
We've spent nearly a year, hundreds of hours, and thousands of dollars getting to this point. 3D design engineers, testing out various valve types and sizes, silicone shore hardness levels, and much more. The Pickle Pipe is finally designed, tested, and ready to go... but production molds for silicone products are quite expensive, and the minimum order quantity is rather high if we want to bring the price of the unit down to something affordable.
This Kickstarter campaign has two purposes: (1) to gauge the interest in the Pickle Pipe, and (2) to help offset some of the initial expenses of bringing this product to market. We are so grateful for any assistance received that help accomplish either of these goals.
Lots of ways! In addition to taking advantage of the great rewards being offered, you can share your feedback on the product with us and with your friends and families! Tell your favorite blogger about this campaign! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Every bit helps and we're so appreciative of your support.
Developing this product and this Kickstarter took many many hours and was truly a collaborative effort. First and foremost, we have to thank our families for being so supportive of this project and the many late nights that it demanded. In no particular order, we'd like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the following people and organizations as well:
Kickstarter Video - Jesse Cappe, Big Ticket Productions
Social Media Wizardry - Andrew Simon
Graphic Design - Kelly Lemme, Kelly Lemme Graphic Design
Product Development Feedback - Sharon Peterson, Simply Canning | Sarah Nelson Miller, Killer Pickles | Marisa McClellan, Food in Jars | Jane Campbell, Fermenters Kitchen | Kate Payne, Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking
YOU! If you are reading this right now, THANK YOU! Thanks for your interest, for your time, for considering backing this project, and for hopefully telling your friends about this campaign. We can't do any of this without you!
Risks and challenges
We have taken every step possible to ensure that the entire life cycle of this campaign is pre-planned and ready to go smoothly.
- We have pre-approved and thoroughly tested samples and packaging. All that is required is to purchase the production mold and issue a purchase order.
- We have had all materials tested to ensure compliance with FDA food-grade silicone requirements.
- We have a third-party logistics provider we've been using for several years ready to fulfill all rewards efficiently and quickly once the Pickle Pipes arrive at their facility.
We are aware of the challenges, and have game plans in place to address them in the unlikely event that they do arise. However, designing, manufacturing, and fulfilling orders of a new product is a process that we have executed many times and do not foresee anything more severe than a few days delay in transit or something similar.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)