After 30 extract batches over 2 years, I just had my first real catastrophe and I'm wondering if I should just dump it.
Quick version: The plastic spigot on my ale pail cracked and I just let it drain into my brewpot.
Long version: 2 days ago (Saturday) I finished brewing what promised to be a delicious IPA and put it about 4.5 gallons into my 6 gallon plastic bucket. I fitted the bucket with a plastic spigot so that when I bottle or transfer to secondary, I don't have to use a racking cane, I just attach a vinyl hose and open it up.
When I came home from work today (Monday), about 48 hours after pitching, I went to check on airlock activity and noticed a small puddle around the bucket. The spigot was still attached and dripping slightly, I moved it to the kitchen sink and it started streaming, so I tried to tighten the spigot. I guess the gasket was holding it to the bucket before I moved it, but the spigot turned loosely when I tried to tighten it, as if the nut on the inside had fallen off. I held it in place and let beer trickle out while thought about what to do.
I rolled up the sleeve of my free arm, rinsed it in hot water, sighed, and plunged my hand into the beer, hoping to find the nut and tighten the spigot back up. Then, I discovered what I should have already known, the spigot had cracked at the base of the threads.
I quickly grabbed my brewpot, gave it quick rinse with hot, sink water and let the bucket drain into it. It foamed up a bit, but I was able to put the lid on it, its floating on the foam a little bit as I write.
I think I'm going to run to home depot, get a new spigot, pour it back in the bucket and hope for the best. What do you think?
SHOULD I JUST DUMP IT?
Here's the facts:
I put my rinsed, but not sanitized arm in it, introducing possible infection.
I poured it into a somewhat clean brew pot, introducing a little chlorinated water and possible infection since it was not sanitized.
I aerated the bejesus out of it by letting it drain out of the hole into the brewpot (but it was only 48 hours into fermentation and still going).
It's been sitting almost an hour and will be another hour before I can get a new spigot, so it's sitting open to the elements with a loose fitting lid on it.
Good news, I probably lost less than a gallon. So, is it worth putting the extra time, energy, bottle cleaning and bottle caps into it to let it sit for a few weeks, bottle it up and hope its not infected?
Or, should I just cut my losses and accept that I lost a brew day plus about $40 worth of ingredients?