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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