Almost all of us have suffered from a beer leak at one point during our homebrewing days. I’m so famous for it that one of my homebrewing friends got me set of brewing towels for my birthday. It always seems to come down to one point of vulnerability, the Achilles Heel of homebrewing… the drilled hole at the bottom of the bottling bucket.
Of course I never filled the bottling bucket without first putting a spigot in. My problem is making sure the spigot is reliable. I once put in a spigot with a bad gasket… leak. I once used a spigot that was broken and wouldn’t close all the way… leak. I’ve also just plain forgotten to close the stupid thing before filling the bucket… leak. My point is, these all could have been avoided if I’d just checked my spigot before attaching it.
Just like a car needs regular maintenance, so does your fermenter. You should test your spigot every time before you attach it, and replace them every six months or so. Here are a few spigot options we have at Bull City Homebrew.
The Italian spigot: This is the older style spigot that they tried to replace with the Vintage Shop spigot. I actually prefer this one.
Vintage Shop spigot: This is the newer style spigot. It used to have a single gasket on it that went on the inside, but now they come with two, similar to the Italian spigots.
Easy-On/Off Spigot: This spigot works like a tap. It’s designed for fast flow and connects to 1/2″ hose.
Extra gaskets: You never know when one is going to break. Simply over-tightening the nut on the spigot can cause these to bulge and tear. Better to pick a few extra up than need one in a pinch and not have it.