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Author Topic: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor  (Read 4239 times)

Offline ryeguy88

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Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« on: March 24, 2019, 10:19:36 pm »
Hey All,

My MoreBeer Fermonster looks to have a leaky spigot and I didn't notice it till about 1.5 hrs after containing it all post wort chill and yeast pitch.

I figured since it's still early in the game— I could transfer (via pouring into funnel) into another fermentor (sanitized of course) in order to adjust the spigot and then transfer back to the primary (via the funnel, lots of aeration, good yes?) after sanitizing the primary YET AGAIN and then hope for the best.

Does anyone see a problem with this? I figured it's early enough before inoculation goes into full effect.

PROBLEM IS... I still have a slightly leaky spigot.... will I be okay to just manage the slight leak for a week till I transfer to primary?

Plan otherise... time to invest in a glass carboy even thought I really like my wide mouth fermonster!
« Last Edit: March 24, 2019, 10:26:51 pm by ryeguy88 »

Offline Richard

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Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 10:54:34 pm »
Plan otherise... time to invest in a glass carboy even thought I really like my wide mouth fermonster!

Stick with the Fermonster and double-check your spigots before filling. I have a Fermonster and I would never go back to glass carboys.
Original Gravity - that would be Newton's

Offline Robert

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Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2019, 05:19:58 am »
Anything but glass.  Absolutely.  Anything.  But.  Glass.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2019, 06:32:17 am »
How bad is the leak? Can you fix the leak without transferring the wort?

A while back I had a leak around the ball valve of my brew bucket.  I gauged the leak and determined ‘do nothing’ (aka RDWHAH — which is oftentimes the best choice) was not an option if I expected to have any beer at the conclusion of fermentation. So, I contemplated doing something similar to what you are suggesting:

My initial plan was to transfer from the fermenter thru the leaky valve to a bucket, fix the leak, then transfer back. Two transfers. I don’t love it.

My second thought was to transfer it from the fermenter thru the leaky valve to a bucket and just ferment there eliminating the second transfer. OK. Less O2 pick up.

My final thought was to dip my arm in Star San then reach into the fermenter and tighten the ball valve nut. Easiest but risky. This option might make the leak worse spinning the circumstance into panic mode or worse yet infecting the beer with my butt picking hand.

I finally mustered the courage and went with my third option with the added precaution of washing my hand and arm with anti-bacterial soap surgeon style. The beer turned out great.

That episode re-taught me a valuable lesson: Check ALL leak points beforehand.  I usually test everything I assemble but for some reason didn’t that time.  Which reminds me, I disassembled/assembled my pump after my last brewday but didn’t leak check it yet. Be right back...


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Offline TeeDubb

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Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2019, 10:19:29 am »
That's impressive you put a sanitized arm in the fermenter and had it work out!  Gives me confidence to not fuss over certain things as long as precautions are taken.  Other options that come up include:

- Sanitizing a spanner wrench that fits the nut inside the fermenter and maybe using a sanitized rubber glove that goes up to the elbow.
- Gently turning the spigot clockwise to see if just a little rotation may tighten the nut inside and help seat the o-rings. I've done this once with success to cure a small drip. Of course, be ready for fallback plan if it makes the leak worse!
- If the leak is just an infrequent drip, just ignore it and let fermentation finish. Especially if you won't lose more than a few ounces over a week.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2019, 10:20:09 am »
I finally mustered the courage and went with my third option with the added precaution of washing my hand and arm with anti-bacterial soap surgeon style. The beer turned out great.

Harbor Freight sells gloves that go up nearly to my armpit.  Good to have a pair on hand before you need 'em.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2019, 10:26:19 am »
I finally mustered the courage and went with my third option with the added precaution of washing my hand and arm with anti-bacterial soap surgeon style. The beer turned out great.

Harbor Freight sells gloves that go up nearly to my armpit.  Good to have a pair on hand before you need 'em.

I think I’ll pick up a pair. LOL. Hopefully I’ll never need them.


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Offline Robert

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Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2019, 10:27:31 am »
I finally mustered the courage and went with my third option with the added precaution of washing my hand and arm with anti-bacterial soap surgeon style. The beer turned out great.

Harbor Freight sells gloves that go up nearly to my armpit.  Good to have a pair on hand before you need 'em.
I have a pair I've never used.  But I have them  because I feel secure knowing I have  them if I'm ever in a pinch and need a long, sanitized reach.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Offline laakeay

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Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2021, 12:29:29 am »
How bad is the leak? Can you fix the leak without transferring the wort?

A while back I had a leak around the ball valve of my brew bucket.  I gauged the leak and determined ‘do nothing’ (aka RDWHAH — which is oftentimes the best choice) was not an option if I expected to have any beer at the conclusion of fermentation. So, I contemplated doing something similar to what you are suggesting:

My initial plan was to transfer from the fermenter thru the leaky valve to a bucket, fix the leak, then transfer back. Two transfers. I don’t love it.

My second thought was to transfer it from the fermenter thru the leaky valve to a bucket and just ferment there eliminating the second transfer. OK. Less O2 pick up.

My final thought was to dip my arm in Star San then reach into the fermenter and tighten the ball valve nut. Easiest but risky. This option might make the leak worse spinning the circumstance into panic mode or worse yet infecting the beer with my butt picking hand.

I finally mustered the courage and went with my third option with the added precaution of washing my hand and arm with anti-bacterial soap surgeon style. The beer turned out great.

That episode re-taught me a valuable lesson: Check ALL leak points beforehand.  I usually test everything I assemble but for some reason didn’t that time.  Which reminds me, I disassembled/assembled my pump after my last brewday but didn’t leak check it yet. Be right back...


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Glad to hear this worked. Just did this myself about 15 mins ago

Offline nvshooter2276

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Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2023, 07:04:06 pm »
I had a detailed post about leaking spigots ready to put up when I went to amazon to get the web address for the 1/8" silicone sheet I use to replace the squishy gaskets we get on our transfer valves. I didn't save it before I left the page, so it's gone.

Get yourself some 6" x 6" x 1/8" food-grade silicone sheet and cut 25mm holes in pieces of it cut to 2" x 2" size. The silicone will stretch a tiny bit over the threads of a one-inch valve, and the durometer of it will squish down a bit when you tighten-up the backnut as much as your fingers will allow. In short, your gasket will not squirt out from behind the flange on the transfer valve and you'll see no leaking. I cut the hole for the spigot with a 25mm arch punch.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NNRN9Y5/ref=sspa_dk_detail_1?pd_rd_i=B07NNRN9Y5&pd_rd_w=c8FCW&content-id=amzn1.sym.89ee1d2e-380f-4a05-89e5-d22eb0a17762&pf_rd_p=89ee1d2e-380f-4a05-89e5-d22eb0a17762&pf_rd_r=3CMYX7NNHPB024QRE2JK&pd_rd_wg=aCZqk&pd_rd_r=24a6dda5-5514-4692-a722-829ce362df5e&s=hi&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9kZXRhaWxfdGhlbWF0aWM&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFVN0Y2MjEzSktQQkgmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA3MTYzMjcxUFo4RzhLS1ZIR1NQJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA2NTQ4MzcxSzBJWlVRV0pCMzhMJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfZGV0YWlsX3RoZW1hdGljJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ&th=1

I went looking for the arch punch on amazon, and cannot find it. They have a one-inch made by General Tools, but mine is 25mm and works like nobody's business.

Found the actual product number of the silicone: Matniks Products (www.matniks.com), p/n X0023EQTJ3. Hardness/Durometer: Shore A60/65. Smooth and white finish. 3 sheets in 6" x 6" x 1/8" thick.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2023, 07:34:05 pm by nvshooter2276 »

Offline nvshooter2276

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Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2023, 10:50:42 pm »
I found a black neoprene washer (2" OD, 1" ID, 1/8" thick) at my local hardware store. About three bucks. Tried it on my one-inch spigot: A tiny bit of tightness, meaning there is zero slop around the periphery of the spigot. Just sterilize it in StarSan and use it on the outside of your fermentation vessel. It's some sort of a fender washer. Made by Hillman.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2023, 11:16:01 pm by nvshooter2276 »

Offline nvshooter2276

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Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2023, 02:40:06 am »
I found a black neoprene washer (2" OD, 1" ID, 1/8" thick) at my local hardware store. About three bucks. Tried it on my one-inch spigot: A tiny bit of tightness, meaning there is zero slop around the periphery of the spigot. Just sterilize it in StarSan and use it on the outside of your fermentation vessel. It's some sort of a fender washer. Made by Hillman.

Outside diameter is 2.25 inches, not 2.00 inches. I meant to go back to the hardware store and get the Hillman product number, but have yet to do it. I'm lazy, suffering from a painful bacterial infection and it's hotter than helsinki outside. Have zero ambition to do much of anything. Have enough "beer stuff" on-hand to make four or five batches; just no desire to do a dam-ned thing with how I've felt over the last several weeks...

UPDATE: The p/n of the Hillman neoprene fender washer is 4334A. The SKU barcode is o08236 4482o.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2023, 02:13:02 pm by nvshooter2276 »

Offline nvshooter2276

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Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2023, 07:40:12 pm »

I went looking for the arch punch on amazon, and cannot find it. They have a one-inch made by General Tools, but mine is 25mm and works like nobody's business.

The one-inch punch, which works very well for my purposes (and seems to be the only one offered; no metric sizes) is General Tools p/n 1271M. Cuts a nice hole that has a little bit of tightness on the threaded portion of the transfer valve. No wobble. No leaking when using the silicone sheets for gaskets.