Suspected leak.....ARGH

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Paliman

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I am brewing 18 litres of cider in a 23 litre container, it has a 4 inch screw top with a hole in the top for bung. I was worried becuase nothing was happening in my air trap even a few days after i set it going. However, when i put my ear to the tank, i can hear the fizzing. I had a sniff around the 4 inch cap, and i can smell the smell of fermentation, so its working, but i think i have a leak in my cap.
This is the question (sorry it took so long) - Is it worth me taking off the cap and putting a plate or soemthing flat over the hole while i have a look at the cap and try and fix it or rescrew it back on.

Thanks alot, all help appreciated, this is my first brew.
 

zoebisch01

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First off, Welcome to the forums!

As to the problem, the reason an airlock is used is to avoid contamination. The leaking top is much less of a problem when you are in the vigorous stages of fermentation because the a by-product of the yeast consuming the sugar is Carbon Dioxide, which forms a positive pressure in your vessel. So it is much more difficult for something unwanted to get into your Cider at this point. You can try to fix it, or somehow cover it...perhaps dripping hot wax from a candle around the edge could do the trick, but I am not sure. It is not critical at this point, imo. And if you mess with it, you are actually increasing your chances for infection.
 
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Paliman

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Thanks for the help, i tried blue tack to seal it all round the edge of the cap. Its working now, the air trap is bubbling merrily.
I wasn't worried aqbout it for now, i was more worried about when the gas inside it cools down (there is about 5 litres worth of gas in there), and shrinks, and so would pull the air inside. But, no matter now, everything is good.
Thanks
 
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Paliman

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I used one of the cider kits, and the instructions say that it is ready to drink within a week, when it is starting to clear and the air trap has finished bubbling. I had a quick taste just to check it, it tastes very watery and sour/bitter, it has also not started to go clear yet, 8 days after it was started. I'm not familiar enough with brewing to know if that is indicative of contamination or not.
I bought 2 kits just in case, i'm wondering if its time to give the other kit a try and get rid of this current batch.

Any help is very gratefully recieved.

Thanks
 
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