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Help the Noob

Ok, I tried brewing NB Irish Red Ale on Sunday. All went well. By Monday night things were quite active in the fermentor (6 gal BetterBottle plastic carboy) and I thought the regular airlock was going to get messed with, so following the NB Homebrewing 101 CD, I hooked up the blowoff assembly that came with the deluxe kit into a pail of sanitizer. ( I now know that I pushed the blow-off tube bung in too far, by pushing the sides of the bung below the top of mouth of the carboy.)

We are now up to Wednesday night and I went to switch back to the regular airlock as things have calmed a bit in the fermentor, but some foam from fermentation has cemented the bung in place, so I can’t get it out. I even sanitized a bent steel tool that I could get into the hole and tried pulling up on the bung (quite hard), but it’s stuck and I don’t want to wreck my first batch of beer with more air exposure by fiddling with it any longer. I figure for the rest of primary fermentation, I’ll just keep the blow off tube hooked up and skip the air lock. My question is, how do I get the bung out to move the liquid to a secondary when the time comes? Would it be ok to put sanitizer on top of the bung and push it into the carboy? How do I get it out if I do that? Any other suggestions?


When I was brewing with carboys and this happened I would bend a coat hanger and hook the inside of the bung and pull it out that way. worst case I would punture the bung best case it would pop out. sanitizer in the outside might help get it out as well though

Leave the blowoff assembly in place until finished.
If there is a bit of stopper above the neck of the carboy and you can get your thumbs on it, put your fingers of both hands around the carboy neck and push across and up with you thumbs a little. Rotate the bottle about 1/4 and push again. Over and over until you get it to move. I had to do this once. I am very careful now not to push it in too far.
You might have to poke something like an awl into the stopper and lever it up. Or something very strong through the hole that you can pull from the bottom. Maybe spraying some starsan around the edge might help loosen, lubricate the bung.

Thanks. I’ll try that when it is time to move it to a secondary.

I’d say leave it alone for now. You really don’t need to rack to secondary anyway unless you need the fermenter for another batch. The blow off assembly will work as the airlock and when you come to bottling/kegging time, you can worry about the bung.

I agree with mvsawyer. No need to rack to secondary unless you were to age or dryhop or just need the primary. If you can’t get the bung out, I would siphon the beer out when done fermenting. Then try and get the bung out once it’s empty.

Also, if you siphon the beer out, afterwards run hot water over the top of the better bottle for a few minutes. This should loosen up the plastic and bung a little which may make it easier to wiggle the bung out.

If it’s a single drilled stopper, you could hold a gas line on top of the hole and put 20 lbs on top of it until the pressure pushed it out. I’d spray sanitizer all around the top of the bung and try to loosen it a bit first.

Take pictures of the bung rocket if this works. :slight_smile:

The bung rocket idea is pretty funny. In all seriousness I appreciate the responses. I’m going to not mess with it until its time to bottle. Thanks.

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