I’ve been concerned at the lack of airlock activity on these two recently started ciders, and wondered if the strong smell of CO2 in the brewery might be due to gas escaping around the side of the lid or past the airlock grommet. My suspicions weren’t helped by the fact that I’m using two buckets which are different from all the others, and that there’s a sticker on each lid recommending the application of petroleum jelly to the grommet and around the rim of the lid in order to get a good seal. I hadn’t done this because I don’t want to run the risk of contaminating my brew with Vaseline, and because the lids and grommets appeared to fit tight enough, though a little warm water did escape from the edge of the lids during vigorous sanitisation.
On lifting the lids to check the state of the brews I was greeted with a slight foam of small bubbles, with more rising around the edges to the point where a distinct fizz could be heard. Satisfied that fermentation was happening I taped over the join between one lid and the bucket all the way around, but still the airlock remained static. Very strange. Could it be the grommet after all? Maybe I’ll try some silicone sealant before using those vessels for the next brew, and hopefully I’m not going to get any contaminants via the potential leaks before this one’s finished. Fingers crossed. 🤞