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Old 09-19-2007, 06:10 PM   #1
Jul 2007
Posts: 36
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So the other night I am brewing up a Pumpkin Ale. I put it in the primary fermenter (6.5 gallon bucket), pitch the yeast, and I go to put the air lock into the hole in the lid. As I do this, the black rubber washer pops out of the hole and sinks to the bottom of the bucket. I used a slotted spoon to fish it out, but i had to stick my hand in the wort because the spoon wasn't long enough.

I got the rubber washer and airlock on and everything seems to be fermenting properly. Do I need to worry about contamination?

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Old 09-19-2007, 06:14 PM   #2
Aug 2007
Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 955
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As long as your hand was clean it's, probably, OK. You said it's fermenting, so it should be fine.

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Old 09-19-2007, 06:22 PM   #3
Here's Lookin' Atcha!
TexLaw's Avatar
Sep 2007
Houston, Texas
Posts: 3,670
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Welcome to the club of fermenting klutzes!

I remember when I pushed a stopper through the neck of a carboy, right after pitching. Fortunately, my supply store was still open, so I could go get a replacement and not have to fish the fallen stopper out until after I racked.

Like Iordz said, you should be fine. Only time and tasting will tell, though. There's no reason to throw out the batch until it's complete, so just relax and try it when it's done.


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Old 09-19-2007, 08:09 PM   #4
Money Pit Home Brew
Apr 2007
Birmingham, AL
Posts: 25

I did the same exact thing a few months ago with a double IPA. The beer turned out just fine.

Someone from the board (yooper chick I think) recommended that I pick up a few extra grommets at the LHBS next time. I now have a stash of extra grommets and carboy stoppers.
Primary: air
Secondary: air

Conditioning: Chris Colby's PM ESB, English Bitter with all the wrong hops, Kolsh

Drinking: NB Fat Tire Clone, English Pale, California Common, and NB Tongue Splitter

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Old 09-19-2007, 08:10 PM   #5
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,885
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Yep! Welcome to the grommet through the hole club! I think my first post here on HBT was the same question! I solved the issue by buying another $.35 grommet and it never happened again!

I also started putting my airlock on the lid first, and then putting the lid on the bucket, muttering to myself as I do it.

Don't worry about it. Your beer will be fine.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

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Old 09-19-2007, 08:22 PM   #6
Mar 2006
Brownstown Township MI
Posts: 165

When I did exactly the same thing on my second ever brew It turned out fine

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Old 09-19-2007, 09:05 PM   #7
Jul 2007
Indiana, PA
Posts: 210

Ah, yes, the old "grommit in the brew" issue. I joined the club on my second brew, a brown ale. Same thing, as I was putting the airlock in the grommit fell into the brew. I, though, was not smart enough (read: drunk) to sanitize a slotted spoon, so I just reached on in there, found it, pulled it out, and replaced it. I then put the lid on let it ferment. My friends said, and still say, that it was the best batch I've made. I've never told them that I had to reach into it. Haha.

I learned to put the airlock on BEFORE putting the lid on the fermenter. It's a good tip. I haven't had any issues since.
Muckney Brewing

Primary: Nada
Secondary: The Ultimate Table Beer
Bottled: The Mothman Barley Wine, Hwart's Bitter
Drinking: Water
On Deck: ???

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Old 09-20-2007, 12:22 AM   #8
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 6,922
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Yes, you ruined it.
You can ship it to me after you let it ferment out, and I'll dispose of it in a proper, environmentally safe way.

I use a process that naturally turns it into a form of fertilizer.
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

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Old 09-20-2007, 01:59 AM   #9
DrunkTrucker's Avatar
Sep 2006
Posts: 286
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Dont feel bad Ive done it too.

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Old 09-20-2007, 01:08 PM   #10
Jul 2007
Posts: 36
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Guess I don't feel so bad now. Thanks for the input....I will put the airlock on before snapping on the lid from now on....sounds like that is the solution! And Malkore, I am sure I can find a proper way of disposing it, but if I do need help you will be the first person I contact!

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