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Fermenting is a science, and a bit of an art. It requires care in a few specific things, but doing it right is not particularly complicated. We provide instructions that are accurate to the best of our knowledge, and which are based on the methods we successfully practice ourselves. There are no guarantees of success or safety with fermented foods. While properly fermented foods are not only safe, but healthy to eat, it is up to you to follow instructions to ensure safety, and to trust your eyes and nose, and don't eat things that do not look or smell like food. We offer no guarantees of success with our product. We do warrant that it is as described, and will do what we say it will, but how you use it is your choice.

If you ferment kefir, you can make kefir cheese. The easiest cheese in the world to make!

We make two basic types – a simple drained cheese, and a simple cooked cheese. Both are good, and work for a wide variety of uses.

For both of them, you need cheesecloth. NOT the kind they sell at the hardware store or grocery store. Something with a tighter weave.

A piece of cheesecloth about 18″ square, and a colander or strainer set over a bowl will get the job done, as long as you have the right kind of cloth, which isn’t all that hard. There are a lot of things you can use.

Some options:

  • Old sheets – these are very tightly woven, so you have to loosen the cheese from the edges periodically or the middle and top of the kefir won’t drain. May take more than a day to drain.
  • Muslin – this is a traditional option, though it is only slightly looser weave than sheeting material. Will still need to be loosened periodically. Should drain mostly within a day.
  • Dish towels (NOT terrycloth) – flour bag dish towels, linen weave dish towels, waffle weave dish towels (leaves a nice print on your finished cheese), or other towels that will release the curd. All of these are loose enough that you will still have to loosen the curd, but only once or twice, and the cheese will drain mostly within 12 hours, completely within 24.
  • Birdseye cotton – Ok, people, this means diaper cotton – NEW diaper cotton. Yes, it makes great cheesecloth! It is designed to let moisture through rapidly, and as such, makes a perfect fabric to drain kefir or cheese curd. You’ll want to pink or serge the edges though, it does unravel.
  • Looser weave cottons – anything between a 90 and 150 weave cotton will likely do the job well. The looser the weave, the more reason to pink or serge the edges.
  • T-shirt fabric – this drains cheese wonderfully! Pretty much any weight knit will do just great.

You really want cotton. Nylon sheds moisture more than it absorbs it, and that tends to make the whey puddle in the cheese instead of draining through. Cotton is generally considered safer for food use also.

White fabrics are actually NOT the best, natural undyed ones are preferrable. White is second best.

Ok, now that you have located something to use, you’ll need to care for it.

Wash it before use. We usually do this by hand, using dishwashing detergent, not laundry detergent. Since the cheesecloth is coming in direct contact with the food, you want it to be clean, and free of chemicals that should not be ingested. Rinse it really well, so it does not smell like dishwashing detergent when you are done. Hang it to dry where it is not going to get dusty.

During use, always let your kefir or cheese drain for a few hours before you loosen the curd from the edges. This allows it to dry out sufficiently to peel right off the cloth, instead of smearing into it. You can then use a spoon to peel it away and into the middle, thus getting the wetter stuff from the middle back out near the edges. Wider weaves only need you to do this once or twice. Tighter weaves may require additional times, or longer wait periods before it is dry enough to loosen.

When you are done making the cheese, you can usually round it into a ball right in the cheesecloth, and then tip that ball into a container. You may also wish to put it in a fresh piece of cheesecloth, and wrap it to press it, if you are making a pressed cheese.

You’ll then need to wash the cheesecloth. Again, we wash it by hand, using dish soap, which also acts as a disinfectant.

Fill a bowl or sink with warm or hot water. Drop the cloth in, and agitate it in the water, to loosen any remaining curds. When the cloth looks free of curds, dump the water, and refill, this time adding dish detergent.

Scrub the fabric with your hands, rubbing it against itself, and working it against the bottom of the bowl, working water through the fabric. It just takes a few minutes. Drain the soapy water.

Refill the bowl or sink, and rinse. Again, work the fabric against the bottom, working water through it. The water will still turn cloudy this time. Work for a few minutes. Drain the water, and repeat the rinse process one more time.

Pre-rinse to get the curds out. Wash with dish detergent. Rinse twice.

Fold the cheesecloth up into a square, about 4 or 6 inches square (size is not critical). Roll that up, and twist it to wring it out. This is the most efficient way to wring it, and it keeps from distorting the cloth.

Unfold it, and lay it or hang it to dry. I often dry it overnight in the dish rack, and it is often on top of dishes that are air drying there.

This process can allow you to reuse cheesecloth over and over.

So what if you can’t wash it as soon as the cheese is done? Sometimes these things happen! Just put it in a bowl filled with hot water and dishsoap, and get to it as quickly as you can.

If your cheesecloth gets stained, or has an odor you cannot remove from washing, simply fill a bowl with water, add a splash of bleach, and toss in the cloth. Let it sit for about an hour.

Smell will tell you whether the cloth is clean. Ideally, it should not smell like anything at all – not detergent, not sour milk, not anything.

It is a bit easier to wash cheesecloth if you have a small washboard, but you don’t actually need it.

The ORIGINAL one-way valve fermenting airlock! Imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery, and we have noticed that our product has been copied by other sellers of fermenting products. Remember, if you see someone else selling a one-way valve airlock for fermenting, THEY copied US, not the other way around! Fermenta Lock is still the only original invention, handmade in the US. If it isn't orange, it isn't the original!

We invented Fermenta Lock, Fermenta Free, and the valve used for Fermenta Fido and other Fermenta Airlock products. We invented Fermenta Dunk Extender. Patents are prohibitively expensive, and designed by the government not to protect the rights of individuals, but to provide another source of revenue and control for the government and lawyers. We are good at what we do. We have endless ideas and endless creativity, and competition does not scare us. Impatient thieves do not scare us - they are too busy taking shortcuts to make a success of it anyway, and they won't want to take the effort to actually MAKE a product and fill orders.

So if you want to copy our idea, go right ahead. If you want to market and sell a competing product, you are welcome to do so, as long as you do not patent our idea - we had it first, and our posts on FaceBook announcing the invention and launch of it will prove that. This idea is officially in the public domain, placed there by us. We will NOT release supply sources, or part names unless you want to buy them - we'll be happy to sell you an instruction kit. If you buy our product, or look at the images and figure it out for yourself, good on you. Compete with us if you like, just don't screw us, and we'll get along just fine. Big companies who might want to screw us may have more money, and more lawyers than we do, but we have more to gain by suing the pants off a big company, and believe me, we will be well motivated to do so if anyone patents our idea and claims it as their own - this is a free idea. Everybody now owns it.

Published June 23, 2012

Wholesale, Export, and Manufacture of this product by other companies is an option. International distributorships are available for those wishing to export. Please email us to inquire about access to our wholesale website, or in regards to manufacturing any of our products.

Business Building Services Are Available - If you are wanting to build a business like this, where you make things in the home and sell them direct to the customer, or if you want to build a business that you can sell to other people as a complete business package, Firelight Heritage Farm is now offering Cottage Industry Services to aid small business owners in building a successful product or service business from the home. Don't know what you want to do? We can help you figure that out too (something original, and just yours, not a canned business). You get the wisdom and uniquely successful perspective and experience of people who have been business, marketing, and website professionals for more than a dozen years. For more information, visit Why copy someone else's business when you can do something uniquely you and enjoy it so much more?

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This website is only equipped to handle orders from US customers (International shipping must be calculated for each order). International Orders are now accepted BY EMAIL from UK, AU, CA, and shipped USPS (other countries will be considered if requested). Please email a list of the items you wish to order, using our Contact page, and we will give you a shipping quote, and then invoice you from PayPal for the total.
Uses of Fermenta Lock

Fermenta Lock is a compact airlock cap for mason jars, to help in making old fashioned brined pickles, and other lacto-fermented foods. Use Fermenta Lock for:

Pickles (all kinds)
Sauer Kraut
Milk Kefir
Bean Paste/Hummus
Sourdough Starter (if started with culture or yeast)
Anything which needs gas release without a lot of air circulation.

Customer Comments

“Living down in Guatemala, we have quite a lot of dampness in our houses and mold is an ongoing battle. After a long dose of antibiotics due to a parasite, I absolutely required probiotics to get my gut back in order and I know homemade sauerkraut has more probiotic content than anything else I could find here. I wasn’t able to make my beloved sauerkraut or even Kombucha in my kitchen because mold would start growing immediately on the top. Your Fermenta Locks have literally been a lifesaver for me! No more mold, and PERFECT Kraut EVERY time!!! Thank you for creating such a wonderful product!!!”

A. Kratzert

“Oh how I wish I had found you first!! Too many experts and too many bucks later I discovered your “Lock” and the sheer elegance and simplicity of your system.Thank you for your help and affordability, it makes healthy food attainable.”


“I came back to order more FermentaCaps. A wonderful innovation. I have not lost a single batch of sauerkraut since I started using the original Fermenta Locks.”


“Please continue your good work on producing such a great product. I’ve tried lots of other kinds of airlocks- the 3 piece water lock, pickle pipes, fermilid, boss pickler, and I think yours is the best design and quality. I’d like to order another 100 of them right now, but I’ll have to wait a bit. I’ve had lifelong health challenges. I’m 38 and about 20 years ago my health was so bad I didn’t feel like living most of the time. Now my health is the best it’s ever been and it wouldn’t be possible without fermented vegetables, they have made a huge improvement in my health.”


(Last names omitted to protect customer privacy.)