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Faulty Airlock

So, I’m not new to home brewing, just coming from a Mr. Beer.

I got the 1 gallon starter kit as I’ve moved to a much, much smaller space (Texas → Oregon) and I followed the instructions to the T for the first batch with NB. I got all the way to the airlock and it’s physically incapable of holding liquid. The middle tube/cylinder doesn’t extend into the body/reservoir, and liquid just dribbles out. This was definitely something I should have inspected and looked into first, but never having used an airlock before with Mr. Beer, it looked normal to me.
I was able to get it to hold some water for about 2-3 days from suction (don’t ask… there’s no way I could replicate it) and it bubbled CO2 and all that, looked normal. About day 5 I checked on it, and the sanitizing solution had completely leaked into the carboy. This was about the time I checked around online and noticed my airlock was completely defective on arrival. I e-mailed NB and they were super fast to send me out a new one and another ingredient kit for the same recipe.

My question: Is there any way this will turn out drinkable? Everything has pretty much settled to the bottom of the carboy and I think fermentation has ceased.
Thanks for your thoughts.


It will probably be drinkable. A small amount of sanitizer won’t ruin it, assuming the amount was small. Hopefully you didn’t cause an infection doing whatever you were trying to get the faulty airlock working. If the future, consider using vodka in the airlock so you don’t have to worry about suck back.

What sanitizer were you using? If it was a “no rinse” like Star San, you are probably fine. If it was a sanitizer that needs rinsing before use, like Iodophor or a bleach solution, it might be best to dump it.

And yes, vodka is an ideal liquid to use in the airlock. It will kill any microbe or fruit flies that try to get to your beer, but is perfectly safe for you if it spills or gets sucked into the fermentor.

It was Star San, so hopefully it will be ok. I will try to use vodka in the future.
Live and learn. Thanks!

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