Buy a wine thief when you're there to get samples out of your carboy.Done - sort of. I bought an auto siphon and I think I can sample with that. As far as I or the guy in the store could tell was that a wine thief would allow me to put the sample back but I'm so paranoid of contamination that once something comes out, it never goes back in (too many GLP courses over the years). So it shouldn't matter.
I bought two more 23L pails. Brewed another cali common. Only complaint (two actually but related) is that I can't get the damn plug to stay in the hole. It doesn't have the little tight hole, it's just got one that fits a rubber stopper and since the stopper is wet with Star-San, it keeps coming out. And if I drop the friggin lids one more time I'm gonna blow a gasket. Other than that, they should be fine.