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How to Install a Degassing Valve into a Canning Lid
For those of us with CRS (Can't Remember Stuff Grin), I came up with a way to add degassing valves to canning lids so that I do not have to leave them loose and go back and tighten them up later; I cannot remember to do that no matter how hard I try. I know this is sometimes reviled by those insisting that if you leave the lid a little loose and go back and tighten it later, it will do the same thing. I understand that, but this is for those of us that cannot remember! It is not a novel idea, but I figured out a way of doing it without using any adhesives and it have even been able to run them through the dishwasher. If it is helpful to someone or at least entertaining, then great!


One caveat ... everyone is responsible for his / her own safety! s:3

The lids are inexpensive, flimsy pieces of sheet metal; be more careful about cutting yourself than screwing up a lid. I ruined about 6-8 lids before I got this figured out. Since you are going to be drilling through the lid at a relatively high RPM, it is essential to hold that lid still and keep it from spinning. If it starts to spin, let it go and ruin it. If it is mangled in any way, discard it and start with a fresh lid. The little lip of sheet metal can cut through your skin very quickly. All edges, including around the hole you drill and the piece removed from the lid, are sharp!

I will write this as clearly as possible, but don't let the amount of verbiage fool you; it is very simple and takes only a few minutes. Grin

Materials needed:
Canning Lids (Buy new ones and use the old ones)
Degassing valves (available on coffee bags)
Drill (I use a Craftsman 19.2 volt cordless, set to "high" for speed)
Scrap wood (anything thick enough to catch the bit when it pierces the lid)
7/16" Brad Point Drill Bit (cuts a clean hole without wandering)

Preparing the Canning Lid:
There are two reasons for using the Brad Point Drill Bit:
1) It has a sharp point in the middle that you can use to "stick" in the center of the lid. This keeps the bit from wandering.
2) It has sharp points on the perimeter of the bit that cut the hole very cleanly and quickly.

If you look at the underside of the canning lid, it is slightly concave near the middle. This is where you want to drill. After properly securing your drill bit into your drill, place the canning lid, bottom side up, atop the scrap wood and secure it. I use my hand to hold the lid; I don't recommend nailing the lid to the scrap wood. ;) Point the drill bit right into the center and apply some pressure to at least sink it into the coating on the underside of the lid. With a little more pressure, you can actually pierce the lid, but you don't want to go any further than just piercing.

Again, while the lid is secure, I run my drill at its maximum speed and apply some gentle downward pressure. Watch for the circle that the perimeter points of the drill bit are going cut into the coating. Just a bit more after that and the bit will cut through the lid. With the drill still running, I lift. This generally only leaves the impression of the center point of the drill bit in the scrap wood and maybe just a touch of the perimeter points. Usually, the piece that has been cut out of the lid remains on the bit. With caution, because the edges are sharp, remove this piece from the drill bit (after the drill has stopped) and discard properly. If you flip the lid over and look at it from the top, you will notice that the edges of the hole rise up slightly, like a volcano. Leave it like that, it is going to work to your advantage.

Preparing the Degassing Valve:
These are plentiful; I ask people to save them for me and they usually peel right off of the bag. If you give them a sniff, they smell like rancid coffee oils, so the first thing I do is take them apart and soak them (overnight at least) in a heavy concentration of unscented dishwashing liquid and water. In the center of the valve is a cap (the side that was glued to the bag), carefully "pop" it off and you will see a disc of vinyl / rubber (usually gray) under it. Don't lose this! You will also note that there appears to be oil on the surface. This is to ensure a positive seal for the one-way valve to work.

Before installing the valve into the lid, you need to remove the outer rim, "side walls" that were glued to the bag. I sit it on the kitchen counter and use a stiff-bladed paring knife. You want to cut parallel to the bottom to leave enough surface so that the center of the valve will go through the lid, but the bottom will keep it from falling through. I allow the back of the knife to ride along the center of the valve and turn. This cuts off the side walls and leaves the base flat and flush.

Installing the Degassing Valve into the Canning Lid:
With the degassing valve disassembled, look at it from a side view. You may notice that the top is wider than the bottom. You just need to get that top through the hole that you made in the canning lid. The plastic valve is somewhat forgiving and the metal of the canning lid is even more forgiving. I insert the valve at an angle and at least get it stuck and most of the time, if I push with my thumb and let the lid flex (be careful not to let it fold or kink) it will go through. Sometimes I have to sit back on the counter and use the back of the butter knife to press down on the edges around the valve to get it to snap into place. Either way, once you get the valve into the lid, press the metal down around the valve; this makes for a good seal and will allow the valve cap to "snap" on.

Put a dab of food-safe oil (I use mineral oil) on the portion of the valve protruding through the canning lid and on the little disc of vinyl / rubber. Center the disc atop the degassing valve and "snap" the cap back on.

You are now finished without the use of any potentially harmful (to you or the coffee) adhesives. s:2 These hold up quite well being run through my dishwasher; when I take them out, I apply some fresh oil.

Edited by EddieDove on 11/20/2006 7:10 PM

Eddie Dove

The South Coast Coffee Roaster
vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Reference

GREAT trick. I have wondered about putting those little stinkers in myself.

You have made a snap for me now.


always s:8s:8

Very clever, eodove s:2

Now I want to see the plans for that 'Skyhook" you mentioned elsewhere. ;)
For 3 easy payments of $69.99 ... GrinGrinGrinGrinGrin


Eddie Dove

The South Coast Coffee Roaster
vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Reference
Nice, maybe I will redo mine, I used hot glue and let them dry a couple of hours before use but, still yours sounds nice. Nice job!! s:2 s:2 s:2 s:2
Thanks folks for the help with getting photos added. I hope this is helpful to someone! GrinGrinGrin

Eddie Dove

The South Coast Coffee Roaster
vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Reference
I see this post is a couple of years old. However I just got around to reading it. Verry slick Idea. Thanks. c:3
Thanks, George! Grin

Eddie Dove

The South Coast Coffee Roaster
vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Reference
Thanks for the tip, great idea.
I know this is an old thread... This is a great idea and I have done this on some of my jars. I had to use a larger drill bit since my valves are larger. If you get the right size bit, the valve pops in nice and tight.

KKTO Roaster.
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