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Old 01-20-2012, 12:43 PM   #1
J187
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Default Did my airlock gasket seriously just fall into my wort??

So, I brewed last night

My first ever recipe beer (only other brew was a kit) which took me a fair amount of time with steeping and the fact that measuring ingredients and such was new to me. After several hours of effort, I was very tired and it was around midnight. I poured my cool wort into my bucket and dry pitched my yeast on top (decided to try not rehydrating this time).

What could go wrong now? How about right as I'm inserting the airlock, the grommet for the airlock pushes through the lid and into the wort. I really had no idea what to do. I thought for a few minutes about various ways to retrieve it. I narrowed it down to two. I don't really know about yeast that have been pitched and whether it would be good to pour the beer into another vessel to try to retrieve the tiny rubber grommet. I was concerned about the yeast just having been pitched. So, I decided to fill up my bottling bucket with sanitizer, soak my entire arm in the solution for 5 minutes, then reach in and retrieve my gasket. I hope I did the right thing....

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:47 PM   #2
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You did. That happened to me when I first started brewing. I did exactly the same thing. No issues. Beer was great.

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:47 PM   #3
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You definitely infected your beer. Send it to me for proper disposal.

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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Your other choice would have been to find another way to seal the hole. Maybe food wrap then seat the airlock and retrieve the grommet in 3 weeks.

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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Airlocks are nice. I'd rather have one than not.

But I'd probably do what kh54s10 suggested and just throw some plastic wrap over the top and let it do it's thing. When it's time to rack to secondary, or bottle (depending on your personal preference) recover the lost grommet.

If you are worried about bad flavors, then scrub your arm, sanitize it, and reach in and grab it out. But you have to sing "Never Gonna Give You Up" at the top of your lungs while you do it to prevent an infection.

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Old 01-20-2012, 01:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
Airlocks are nice. I'd rather have one than not.

But I'd probably do what kh54s10 suggested and just throw some plastic wrap over the top and let it do it's thing. When it's time to rack to secondary, or bottle (depending on your personal preference) recover the lost grommet.

If you are worried about bad flavors, then scrub your arm, sanitize it, and reach in and grab it out. But you have to sing "Never Gonna Give You Up" at the top of your lungs while you do it to prevent an infection.
Well, I already did it. I cleaned and sanitized my arm very thoroughly.... I'm just hoping that singing "are you *%#*#$&$ serious, you $$&%*@ piece of $*$& airlock grommet, I swear if I get you out I"ll burn you in the fire pit you #*$%#*$*%#$&" is a suitable substitute for "never gonna let you go".
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:31 PM   #7
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I did the same thing on my first batch but didn't have your presence of mind. Without thinking I went in after it and spent 4 weeks praying to the beer gods. Turned out to be one of the best batches I've ever made.

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Old 01-20-2012, 01:38 PM   #8
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Totally done that also, I just left it in and used a spare. The lock didn't cause any off flavors. This is also why I use vodka in my airlocks and not sanitizer

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Old 01-20-2012, 01:43 PM   #9
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I have a few spares for this very reason. There only a dollar or two. Haven't had one go into my wort yet though. I always spray my grommet and airlock really well with sanitizer. Seems to help the airlock slide into the grommet easier.

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Old 01-20-2012, 02:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justdrinkit View Post
I did the same thing on my first batch but didn't have your presence of mind. Without thinking I went in after it and spent 4 weeks praying to the beer gods. Turned out to be one of the best batches I've ever made.
LOL... maybe you should dry hop your arm in your next batch!

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I have a few spares for this very reason. There only a dollar or two. Haven't had one go into my wort yet though. I always spray my grommet and airlock really well with sanitizer. Seems to help the airlock slide into the grommet easier.
Yea, luckily I had just found a new way of sanitizing my lid that I love. After everything sat in the starsan in my fermenter long enough to sanitize, I put my lid upside down in my sink and emptied the fermenter into the sink. The rubber lid acted as a stopper for the sink and thus, the lid sat immersed in the solution for a few minutes before the liquid drained or I moved it. So the grommet was VERY thoroughly sanitized - much more than spraying the lid and letting it sit I guess.
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