bad seal on airlock - options?

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ShivaSteve

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Hey all, first time brewer here with a minor dilemna. I am using a BetterBrew plastic bucket for primary fermentation, and the lid utilizes a simple airlock that inserts through a rubber gasket. The problem is that it is very difficult to insert the airlock without pushing the gasket through the other end of the lid, and that is exactly what I did!...partially. It seemed like the seal was still good so I left it overnight. Fermentation has not started (its been about 17.5 hours) but I can very clearly smell my beer around the interface between the airlock, lid and gasket. It just not fully sealed.

So...greater risk in taking the lid off, reinstalling the airlock properly and (after sanitizing with no rinse cleanser) putting the lid back on? Or in simply letting it sit as is? Put some silly putty or playdough around it? ;)

Opinions much appreciated! I knew the first batch would probably raise issues...boiling the wort was easy but my transfer techniques need some work. BTW it is Potomac Brewing Company's recipe for Doublenut Brown Ale - nicely hopped, should be a winner if it comes off!
 

jcarson83

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I haven't had this happen but I've been close. Make sure the stopper is mostly dry when installing and it will stick better. Mine kept popping out until I did that.

As far as trying to reinstall it, DO IT. Some might disagree but it obviously doesn't have a good seal if you can smell it before it starts bubbling. Removing it for a few minutes to reinstall properly is better than letting it sit for one or two weeks not sealed at all. Provided your careful with sanitation but that shouldn't be hard.
 

Yooper

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EVERYONE pushes the grommit through! Next time, put the airlock on the lid then put the lid on the bucket! I bought an extra grommit so if it happens again, I don't have to worry about it- just replace with the other one and stick in the airlock.

For now, you don't have to worry about the seal so far, because the fermentation causes lots of co2 to come out, so the beer won't get oxygenated. But what I've done in the past is this: use duct tape! There have been other more, um, creative ways to make an airlock (do a search and you'll see what I mean!) but duct tape works just fine to seal the area around the airlock.

Lorena
 
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ShivaSteve

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Duck tape it is...I would never disobey the Mistress!

I figured since the opening is about 2/3 properly sealed and the remainder is pretty tight, this would be preferable to reopening the fermenter (I am being careful, but proper sanitation seems a learned art...)

Thanks for the advice!
 

Orpheus

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Steve,

I did the EXACT same thing. I was worried about the seal around my airlock with the black seal pushed through, but it turned out by pushing the airlock so hard, the seal was good.

Other than that little snafu, everything else turned out great!
 
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