Lost Rubber Stopper in Glass Carboy

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efreem01

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Hey All,

Just wanted to share a bit of my own stupidity. Usually i use the Universal Stoppers which aren't half bad, but a rubber stopper came with one of the kits i bought. So i tried pushing a wet (with starsan) rubber stopper into the opening of my 6.5 gallon carboy and the damn thing kept popping back out! So i pushed it a little harder and what do you know, the damn thing went through the opening of the carboy and fell into the German Altbier i had just brewed. Thank god i sanitized it.

Any ideas how to get the damn rubber stopper out or is this carboy useless? Im not really worried about the beer itself, although i'm trying to think of a creative name to commemorate this event.
 

talleymonster

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When you're done, amybe a good long pair of needle-nose pliers.
 

shafferpilot

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this idea is assuming the stopper has no hole in it.

after your beer is racked out, put some very cold water in it. Turn the carboy upside down and try to get the stopper to plug the opening. Then warm the carboy with light heat. Do this as slowly as you can to avoid thermal shock to the glass which will make it shatter. Maybe start with warm water poured over it, then step up to hot tap water and then heated water. As the air in the carboy expands it should push the stopper into the neck. If your lucky it may get pushed all the way out. Otherwise, hopefully it will be wedged in there enough that you can grab it with pliers or stick it with a sharp hook or something to pull it on out. BTW if you want to try this method don't be tempted to lubricate the opening since you want the stopper to be wedged in the opening to avoid it slipping back in to the jug. oh, and good luck. If it works we all need to have a moment of silence for Mr. Wizard;)
 

WOP31

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This Guy had the same thing happen and he tells how he got it out.

Cheers
 

The Pol

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My guess is that it is a drilled stopper, so there will be no pressure in the carboy at all...
 
OP
efreem01

efreem01

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I'll tell you something, I've brewed enough beers not to worry too much about my batch getting infected. But this gave me a fairly hardy laugh when it happened. I just sanitized a universal stopper, and closed the opening with the rubber stopper inside.

Does anyone have any amusing names for my batch of beer?
 

bluelou6

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place a cloth napkin or tee shirt into the carboy (hold onto the end) and jiggle the carboy so the stopper lands on the napkin. Very slowly pull the napkin out. The stopper should come with it because the coefficient of friction between the napkin and the stopper is greater than the coefficient of friction between the stopper and the glass carboy. It may help to lube the neck of the carboy first.
 

macs

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How about driving a wood screw into the end of a wooden dowel, cutting the head off and sharpening it. Then you reach it down in there and screw it into the rubber stopper and pull the stopper out? Seems like it would work to me. Actually, you can buy a tool like that from a gun store. They use them to pull stuck bullets from the barrels of muzzleloaders.
 

jrpark22000

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bluelou6 said:
place a cloth napkin or tee shirt into the carboy (hold onto the end) and jiggle the carboy so the stopper lands on the napkin. Very slowly pull the napkin out. The stopper should come with it because the coefficient of friction between the napkin and the stopper is greater than the coefficient of friction between the stopper and the glass carboy. It may help to lube the neck of the carboy first.

Use the above method!! it works with corks in wine bottles as well, very simple and effective. (you can also use a plastic grocery bag instead of a napkin)

Happy brewing.
 

e lo

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[YOUTUBE]<object width="425" height="353"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/uL1ovAYtKuQ&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/uL1ovAYtKuQ&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="353"></embed></object>[/YOUTUBE]

Easy Peasy, just as bluelou6 said.
 

HenryHill

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This will work-I had to use it to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew....

I first shoved the cork INSIDE the bottle with the business end of a ski pole. Then I removed a shoelace from one of my mountain boots and tied a knot or two into the lace to make one large knot, near the end of the lace. I fed the knot end of the lace into the wine bottle and coaxed it below the bottom end of the cork. I then held the wine bottle very firmly between my legs and with my left hand and with my right hand I PULLED firmly and quickly straight up and the cork was out.

I then drank the wine with my friends and continued skiing.

You may or may not want to sterilize the lace...
 

WBC

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Leave the stopper in the carboy. You will infect the beer trying to get it out of it. You can fish later after the beer is transferred to another vessel. You will be able to see what you are doing too. If you have no other stopper, don't worry as you can put some foil over it and it will be fine.:)
 

gyrfalcon

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efreem01 said:
Any ideas how to get the damn rubber stopper out or is this carboy useless? Im not really worried about the beer itself, although i'm trying to think of a creative name to commemorate this event.

Just reheat the end of the carboy and expand the neck so the stopper will fall out. Once you've done that, re-heat the carboy and mold it back to it's original shape! :)

You could also cut it up like the one guy did (that's my recommendation)... Or use acid to dissolve it. :p
 

Otis The Drunk

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bluelou6 said:
place a cloth napkin or tee shirt into the carboy (hold onto the end) and jiggle the carboy so the stopper lands on the napkin. Very slowly pull the napkin out. The stopper should come with it because the coefficient of friction between the napkin and the stopper is greater than the coefficient of friction between the stopper and the glass carboy. It may help to lube the neck of the carboy first.
This salution works, in 20 years of brewing I have gotten stoppers stuck in a carboy a time or two. And the above salution is how I've gotten them out.

The Amazing Gob-stopper Porter :D
 

rohanski

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The easiest way to remove a stopper from a bottle is obvious. Break the bottle and remove the stopper.
 

wild

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rohanski said:
The easiest way to remove a stopper from a bottle is obvious. Break the bottle and remove the stopper.
A hammer works every time!

Wild
 

Evan!

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I've had this happen exactly once. After getting the beer out of it, I washed it out, turned it upside down and shook it up to get the stopper in the right position/orientation...then I took a wire hanger and formed it into a "Y", with each upper leg of the Y bent inwards to form small hooks. Pushed it up into the carboy, squeezed the legs of the Y together, and grabbed the stopper. Got it out in 5 seconds.
 

glitch32

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Holy crap the napkin thing did the trick! I just used a large trash bag, doubled it up and put some lip balm around the opening of the carboy to help ease it out. Didnt think that it was gonna be that easy but it just popped right out (then my cat started chasing it around the kitchen as it rolled around) :) Thanks for the help fellas! Now, to wash this lip balm off.
 

Frohike

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I just did this today... The stopper had been sitting in iodophor for 3 minutes so I'm mostly ok with it (I'm still bottling tonight since the gravity is good to go). My main concern was getting the damn thing out when finished. Thank heavens for this thread.
 

JKoravos

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I've lost a stopper in a carboy a couple of times. A bent wire hanger and needle nose pliers both work.
 

Grasslands

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This happened to me today with my glass carboy as I was racking my wheat into a secondary (on top of a blueberry puree). My only issue: the drilled stopper was only partially sanitized (i.e. in and around starsan bubbles). I'm trying to RDWAHAB, but that's a bunch on my mind.

FWIW, I don't think it'll get infected as it's been 12 days in the primary and I think the majority of the alcohol has been produced. Uggh...universal stoppers from now on.
 

Grasslands

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Frohike said:
By the way, the beer did come out fine, of course.
I haven't noticed any nasty creations yet so I'm going to say that either my stopper was sanitized enough or there was already enough alcohol in the wort. Fingers crossed!
 

Jethin

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Found a cool old carboy on the street with a stopper stuck in the bottom. Maybe the last guy thought it was trash? Read this thread and pulled the stopper out in under 2 minutes using a cloth napkin. Thanks y'all!
 

Franco

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this idea is assuming the stopper has no hole in it.

after your beer is racked out, put some very cold water in it. Turn the carboy upside down and try to get the stopper to plug the opening. Then warm the carboy with light heat. Do this as slowly as you can to avoid thermal shock to the glass which will make it shatter. Maybe start with warm water poured over it, then step up to hot tap water and then heated water. As the air in the carboy expands it should push the stopper into the neck. If your lucky it may get pushed all the way out. Otherwise, hopefully it will be wedged in there enough that you can grab it with pliers or stick it with a sharp hook or something to pull it on out. BTW if you want to try this method don't be tempted to lubricate the opening since you want the stopper to be wedged in the opening to avoid it slipping back in to the jug. oh, and good luck. If it works we all need to have a moment of silence for Mr. Wizard;)
I came here to post the EXACT same advice, complete with the Mr. Wizard reference and everything! :mug:
 

kclark2690

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I'll tell you something, I've brewed enough beers not to worry too much about my batch getting infected. But this gave me a fairly hardy laugh when it happened. I just sanitized a universal stopper, and closed the opening with the rubber stopper inside.

Does anyone have any amusing names for my batch of beer?
Call it "The Botched Brew" or Check out the upcoming brewery in Eugene, OR!

https://www.facebook.com/BotchBrewingCo
 

jcom87

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place a cloth napkin or tee shirt into the carboy (hold onto the end) and jiggle the carboy so the stopper lands on the napkin. Very slowly pull the napkin out. The stopper should come with it because the coefficient of friction between the napkin and the stopper is greater than the coefficient of friction between the stopper and the glass carboy. It may help to lube the neck of the carboy first.
You are a GENIUS!! I just had this same thing happen to me, so I looked on this thread for answers. I tried this and it worked like a charm! Thanks!
 

n8tivebrew

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I lost my stopper in my 5 gal glass carboy after I had racked to it for secondary. Later on during bottling I rinsed the carboy out and immedatily used a plastic grocery bag to get the stopper out. Luckily I had ran across this thread prior. Thanks all for the solutions.
 

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