After the great response to my post on pre hopped kit brewing, I thought I’d follow up with a brief post on tap maintenance/replacement on a coopers fermenter.
Let me start at the very outset by saying we don’t get paid or given freebies by anyone (Although I think my brewing bud Paddy is highly corruptible in this area so hit him up), but in all the time I’ve been brewing, there’s always been at least one Coopers fermenter floating around the place, and I wanted to do something to address what I think is their one area requiring maintenance on a semi regular basis.
Coopers have had a couple of key fermernters in the time I’ve been brewing, the current design (As far as I’m aware) is the DIY beer kit. These get around the need for an airlock with a krausen collar that seems to let some air escape (Somewhat idiosyncratic in home brewing, but it seems to work just fine).
Now if you’re careful when you clean the fermenter and clean with non abrasive cloths and recommended chemicals, these should last you a long time. I’ve owned upwards of five in my time brewing at various times, and the main reason I’ve had to replace these is usually they get lost when a mate lends to mate lends to mate type of thing. However, the taps on these fermenters have a limited shelf life, and while they’re good for a lot of brews, they eventually degrade and need to be replaced.
Firstly, after every use, you should be pulling these taps apart and cleaning thoroughly (Then sanitising - Sanitation is king people). This is a requirement to ensure you don’t infect your future brews, but it does add to the general wear and tear on a tap. But never fear, a replacement tap cost under $10, so it’s not a huge expense (After all, SS taps start at about $30 so good luck if you manage to repeatedly ruin these).
You can buy a replacement Coopers tap here.
To see if your tap needs replacing, simply fit it to your fermenter and put it under a full load (IE: about 25L of water). If you see any leaks, firstly, make sure the tap is firmly installed in the fermenter, dry it off, and wait to see if more water escapes. If water is escaping where the tap fits into the fermenter, you need new seals. If there’s water coming from the faucet itself, it’s time to replace the whole tap. When you’re cleaning a tap, check the rubber for cracks, this is a tell tale sign.