Originally Posted by Mattsbay18
Thanks for your responses. I'm excited to get started. Brewing has been something I've been wanting to do for a long time.
1) As I learn more about the brewing process, the more I'm learning about what can wreck a batch of beer. I guess I'm worrying too much about possible oxidization when fermenting in a bucket. To me, the bucket doesn't sound like it would be as good as the glass carboy at keeping oxygen out. Am I reading too much into oxidization?
2) When cleaning your buckets, are you worried about bacteria getting caught in between scratches? How do you clean your buckets?
1) HDPE does have a higher permeability, but shouldn't make any difference unless you are aging for a very long time (years I think).
2) Don't scrub your buckets with anything that will scratch them. I would soak in PBW or oxy-clean free (don't get the scented stuff) and spray out. You can wipe down with a sponge, or just shake vigorously for the carboy (be careful with the glass, I only use plastic because I can be clumsy at times and don't want to risk cutting myself).
My typical cleaning routine is soak in PBW solution for several hours, shake with top on, rinse with warm water several times, and let air dry upside down. Then just rinse and sanitize next brew session. Just make sure you clean your fermenters right after you empty them.
I have carboys and have never scrubbed them, so I have no scratches. If I had a scratch, I would clean really well and use until I had an issue with contamination. Best strategy is to not get any scratches on the interior if you can help it.