Melted airlock - Help!?

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markeemaark

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Hi everyone. I am a new member here so this is my first post. I am desperate for answers to what has happened to my plum wine or more specifically, the airlocks.

So my plum wine is now ready for bottling and this is the second batch I have made this year, however, I am now possibly at a point where I may have to dispose of it (I still cannot come to terms with it :(). The reason being is yesterday evening I had noticed the plastic airlocks I am using, look as though they have melted (pictures attached). The wine itself appears and smells fine, with no acetone or other strange type smells and my wife and I had done the much awaited taste test a couple of weeks ago, again the wine was lovely.
Has anyone else experienced this? I am contemplating the fact this batch may now be contaminated with plastic (or oils from it) so I may have get rid of it all.
Any advice will be gratefully received.
Thanks
Mark
 

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Chippy_Tea

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I have made many gallons of wine and have used the same airlocks i have never seen anything like that myself or in the forum.
 

markeemaark

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I have made many gallons of wine and have used the same airlocks i have never seen anything like that myself or in the forum.

It is very bizarre and I just can’t be sure what’s happened. I have brewed the same wine in a different demijohn, using a different brand of airlock, and this one is fine.
I also wondered if it was the sterilised water (diluted Milton) that could have done this (again, same used in the other airlock) but the strangest thing is that for the months that this has been fermenting, the airlocks were ok, so far as I could tell.

One lesson learned - be pickie with equipment, brands and price.
 

An Ankoù

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It's very strange. You said that the airlocks have been fine for months. Did you change anything recently? It looks as if the bungs are corroding the airlock. Did you change the bungs recently or recently use any kind of lubricant to get the airlock into the hole of the bung?
 

markeemaark

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It's very strange. You said that the airlocks have been fine for months. Did you change anything recently? It looks as if the bungs are corroding the airlock. Did you change the bungs recently or recently use any kind of lubricant to get the airlock into the hole of the bung?
Hi An Ankoù

You make some good points that did cross my mind too however, nothing was changed. Once we did the taste test, the same bungs/airlocks were simply placed back on.
In hindsight, I could have replaced the bungs with standard, non-airlock bungs, but I was considering the time between then and when I may get round to bottling and the chance that CO2 may still need to escape. I learned this the hard way too on a previous batch, by bottling too soon which introduced a fizz to my wine. Fortunately, it didn’t bother anyone.
 

markeemaark

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Certain plastic and rubber can react with each other. I've had rubber fishjng lures weld themselves to a plastic tackle box.
This is true, I have seen this too. I think I may look for a glass airlock instead for next time.
 

Chippy_Tea

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ChrisT

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I've had the occasional lock break if the cork is " stuck" and I've levered a bit too much on the lock itself. Never seen anything like that!

I wouldn't throw anything away yet, if you've put another lock in place, wait and see if it has spoiled, or syphon into bottles now and check later. I hope you're lucky though and it is ok.
 
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The only time that something very similar has happened to me is when I’ve tried to remove this type of airlock which is stuck in the bung. The plastic seemed to stretch as I tried to remove it I think it must be some type of reaction between the rubber and plastic. After this happened a couple of times I stopped using them and changed over to 3 piece ones. I don’t think you have anything to worry about .
 

An Ankoù

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This is true, I have seen this too. I think I may look for a glass airlock instead for next time.
Glass airlocks are a nightmare. They break just by looking at them. I don't think they're still made. Try changing the bung for a different make or material. I wouldn't worry about your wine. You could dispense with airlocks all together by fixing a small freezer or lunch bag over the top with a rubber band.
 
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markeemaark

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markeemaark

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I've had the occasional lock break if the cork is " stuck" and I've levered a bit too much on the lock itself. Never seen anything like that!

I wouldn't throw anything away yet, if you've put another lock in place, wait and see if it has spoiled, or syphon into bottles now and check later. I hope you're lucky though and it is ok.
Thanks ChrisT. I haven’t thrown any batch away yet; I just couldn’t bring myself to do it lol.

I’ll be checking the wine again this week, as I placed some standard bungs on since. My main concern was whether I could tell anything from the plastic had made it’s way in.
 

markeemaark

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The only time that something very similar has happened to me is when I’ve tried to remove this type of airlock which is stuck in the bung. The plastic seemed to stretch as I tried to remove it I think it must be some type of reaction between the rubber and plastic. After this happened a couple of times I stopped using them and changed over to 3 piece ones. I don’t think you have anything to worry about .
Thanks Monster Mash. It’s reassuring that someone else has experienced similar.
 

markeemaark

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Glass airlocks are a nightmare. They break just by looking at them. I don't think they're still made. Try changing the bung foe a different make or material. I wouldnt worry about your wine. You could dispense with airlocks all together by fixing a small freezer or lunch bag over the top with a ring bber band.
Thanks for the advice An Ankoù. Much appreciated.
 

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