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View Full Version : Rubber in my booze!



jon667
12-10-2011, 02:23 PM
Hi all,

I have received such good advice about my mead-making here, I thought I might ask a question about a cider I am making as this seems like this stupidity in which I have engaged in could be a problem for mead makers as well

I put together a cider that fermented out in ten days, then sat for a month in a 5 gal carboy...only problem is that when I was fixing the airlock after transferring from the primary, I lost a rubber bung in the cider (it was just a fraction too small!). I then went into full freak out mode and got to the brew store for another bung that fit.
So this rubber bung has been resting at the bottom of the cider for a month now as I thought it less troublesome than all the O2 I would be introducing with two additional rackings (one would have to be back to the primary, which could not build back up the CO2 as well as a carboy).
I have two questions:
1) Is it ruined?
2) I am leaving my home for most of December and had not planned to bottle until January...should I go ahead and bottle after only a month to get it off the plastic?

Any help is welcome.

Just so you know, this is a standard rubber bung that you buy from a home brew supply store that fits with an air lock.
The cider should have fermented out to 7.3% ABV, so quite a bit lower than most meads.

PitBull
12-10-2011, 11:25 PM
Hi all,

I have received such good advice about my mead-making here, I thought I might ask a question about a cider I am making as this seems like this stupidity in which I have engaged in could be a problem for mead makers as well

I put together a cider that fermented out in ten days, then sat for a month in a 5 gal carboy...only problem is that when I was fixing the airlock after transferring from the primary, I lost a rubber bung in the cider (it was just a fraction too small!). I then went into full freak out mode and got to the brew store for another bung that fit.
So this rubber bung has been resting at the bottom of the cider for a month now as I thought it less troublesome than all the O2 I would be introducing with two additional rackings (one would have to be back to the primary, which could not build back up the CO2 as well as a carboy).
I have two questions:
1) Is it ruined?
2) I am leaving my home for most of December and had not planned to bottle until January...should I go ahead and bottle after only a month to get it off the plastic?

Any help is welcome.

Just so you know, this is a standard rubber bung that you buy from a home brew supply store that fits with an air lock.
The cider should have fermented out to 7.3% ABV, so quite a bit lower than most meads.
I would remove the rubber bung as soon as possible as it could impart undesirable flavors.

I took a wire hanger and used wire cutters to to get a nice straight piece. I bent the end to make a "J" shape. I then sterilized this device and fished out the bung in a matter of seconds.

Good luck to you.

jon667
12-12-2011, 06:39 PM
Gave it a shot with the hanger...all I managed to do was stir up the lees and get the damn thing to the top just to have it be too tight to get it out. Unfortunately, I can't bottle now because I stirred up all that sediment.
I'll have to wait a few weeks and let it settle, hoping it will not leave too much of a plastic taste.
Thanks for the advice though, it might have worked if it was not such a tight fit.

brian92fs
12-12-2011, 07:03 PM
I had the same problem with a OB traditional batch. I didn't worry about it and left it in for about two months before I racked. I didn't notice any off flavors. Once the carboy was empty, it was pretty easy to pull it out.

PitBull
12-13-2011, 09:51 AM
Gave it a shot with the hanger...all I managed to do was stir up the lees and get the damn thing to the top just to have it be too tight to get it out. Unfortunately, I can't bottle now because I stirred up all that sediment.
I'll have to wait a few weeks and let it settle, hoping it will not leave too much of a plastic taste.
Thanks for the advice though, it might have worked if it was not such a tight fit.
When it happened to me the bung was a bit too small. The top of the bung was flush with the top of the carboy. When I pushed in the airlock, the bung went depth charge. When retrieveing, the wet bung came out pretty easily.

Now that your mead is stirred up, you may want to give it one more try... or not. When the bung reaches the mouth of the carboy, you could try a thin flat blade to compress the bung a bit to help it through. A small butter knife or similar blade might work. You could also get a very solid grip on the top edge of the bung with some needle nose pliers.

Again, best of luck to you.

brian92fs
12-13-2011, 11:52 AM
A small butter knife or similar blade might work. You could also get a very solid grip on the top edge of the bung with some needle nose pliers.

Needle nose pliers did the trick in my case. I tried the knife approach, but that just pushed it back in.

Braxton
12-13-2011, 01:36 PM
I've also had this happen and just left the stopper in there for a couple of weeks. Didn't notice any off flavors.

huesmann
12-15-2011, 03:24 PM
Just rack it to another carboy/vessel. Then fish out your bung by whatever means necessary. I'd just turn it upside down and grab at it with a pair of needlenose pliers.

jon667
12-17-2011, 01:22 PM
Thanks to you all for your advice.
I will return from a vacation in a couple weeks and will just bottle then. I pulled a sample the other day and did not notice any off flavors.
I think if I had another carboy I would have just racked it, but I would need to rack to a primary and then re-rack to the same carboy (all my other glass is being used for bulk aging my last mead), too much O2 exposure for my taste.

Happy holidays to everyone and thanks as always for the good advice!

Soyala_Amaya
12-17-2011, 08:32 PM
Or it could be a holiday excuse to pick up a new carboy? :) Present to yourself, and look...you obviously NEED it! (That's my reasoning for my new 3 gal carboy I'm getting next week at least.)

HumanBlockhead
12-20-2011, 06:13 PM
Or it could be a holiday excuse to pick up a new carboy? :) Present to yourself, and look...you obviously NEED it!
:clock:

I'd go for the new carboy... 5gal is a big batch to waste because of a dropped stopper. My vote is to sulphite, rack to a new carboy, and retrieve that pesky bung.