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Rick60

Lifespan of an LBK

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Hello Mr Beer Community -

 

Would anyone care to offer advice on the expected lifespan of an LBK? The first fermenter I began with appears to be unable to hold a viable seal on a spigot.

 

I have tried replacing the washers on the original spigot and, when that failed, I replaced the spigot assembly with a brand-new unit. Still the damnable leakage was present when testing it with water. That said, I have had previous success when placing a #10 O-ring (3/4-inch) on the interior portion of the spigot prior to tightening everything in place. This time, however, there seems to be no bringing it back to brewing effectiveness.

 

Do LBKs eventually wear out? This unit has produced 15-20 batches (30 to 40 gallons), so I bear it no malice -- indeed, it has my unending gratitude. And, yes, they are $10 to replace, so I probably sound like an authentic cheap bastard for inquiring about the matter. Still, I'm sentimental about the old girl and might enshrine it somewhere out on a shelf in the garage if its days have come to an end.

 

All thoughts and observations are appreciated. Too, hats off to all the contributors here -- what a great hobby and pastime we share. The history of humankind is intertwined with its ability to brew beer. For all the BS we deal with on a daily basis, Mr Beer is a welcomed port of colorful characters, interesting stories, friendly people and helpful brewers.

 

Cheers . Rick60

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No, they don't wear out. My first LBKs are almost 5 years old.  No o-ring is needed,  washer on outside with rounded side facing in.

 

Some LBKs may have irregular holes or holes with not flat surfaces that need to be sanded flat.

 

 

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Sounds like you may need to retire this one, Rick60. One thing you may want to check is if the plastic around the hole may have warped over time. Warping can happen in excess heat or major temperature fluctuations.

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I don't have near the mileage on the one that gives me fits during leak testing. Usually a lot of cussing and reseating does the trick though!

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This may sound elementary, but the gasket should be tight enough to seal the opening, but not so tight as to crush the washer assembly. 

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Thanks everyone.

 

RickBeer, Big Sarge and Brian N = I'm always careful about hand-tightening the set-up. Never overdoing it or giving it far too much gaff. We're talking plastic here -- the limitations are understood and accepted. I am curious as to how much mileage others get out of using these set-ups. Again, I don't expect it to last forever. At the same time, if there was something basic that was overlooked, I'm on that too.

 

Placing the washer in the correct position is a given -- I always back-turn (gently reverse the outer side of the spigot counter-clockwise) before the final tightening. I give it the last quarter-turn whilst holding the interior in place.

 

MRB Josh R = One last try will be given, perhaps this afternoon should time permit. Getting ready to do up a batch of "El Gordito". If LBK #001 fails this time, it will never be recycled. Instead, as mentioned, it will find a spot of honor in the garage -- somewhere between the 1912 NH license plate and my 1976 Central Vermont Hockey League Championship trophy. Crikey, who knew brewing could be so fun, right?

 

Thank you, guys. Check back for the outcome, should you be interested.

 

Cheers . Rick60

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I've cheated! On my original set up of the LBK it took 2-3 tries to get it not to leak. For three + years I have never touched it again. No problems with LBK sanitation either. I swish it around a few times with dishwashing liquid, rinse then let the sanitizer sit inside for 20 minutes.

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