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Old 09-21-2009, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default My new botteling bucket rule.

I have bottled 35 batches with the same bottling bucket.

Having been through hell with 5 straight bottle side infections and knowing what I believe is the only thing that can cause it - the bottling bucket, I have a new personal rule.

I will only use the bucket for 20 brews. Even being careful it can get a micro scratch and since the bucket is basically soft plastic!

someone mentioned "If you have used the bucket for 35 batches it's time for a new bucket". I agree.

This will cost me an additional 1 penny per bottle but I feel this insurance will be worth it.
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Don't even mention kegging unless you have an inexpensive way to keep 8 to 10 styles cold and portable.

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Old 09-21-2009, 07:36 PM   #2
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I am wondering if the bucket is less likely the culprit and the spigot is more likely. Sanitizers are only good if the soil load is removed.

Maybe there is some gunk in there that you just can't get out. Personally, I have never used a bottling bucket.

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Old 09-21-2009, 07:46 PM   #3
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Switched out the spigot after infection #2 - my first thought - had gunk in the inside (red handled ones have a dip on the inside that catches gunk).

Also new bottling wand, hoses, not the Auto siphon but if that was the problem I would expect carboy infections. This is a very specific infection. Always shows itself at the 2 week in the bottle stage - never 1 week.

How do you bottle without a bucket??

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Old 09-21-2009, 07:53 PM   #4
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I had some similar issues, and came to a similar conclusion. Also, when replacing my bucket I specifically got one without a hole drilled in the lid then kept it sealed and half full of StarSan when not in use. Every few days or whenever I walked by I would shake it really well.

Then I started kegging.

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Old 09-21-2009, 07:54 PM   #5
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If you use very hot water to soak your bucket the inside bottom where it connects to the walls can start to form a fissure when the bucket is full. When it is full the fissure opens, when the bucket is empty is closes up and you wouldn't see it if you were looking for it. If I didn't bottle wine and noticed the stain around the edge I would never have noticed. It has happened twice for me.

So... my policy is to fill a rubbermaid storage container and then put my whole bucket in after a solid rinse. I can then reuse it for cleaning bottles.

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Old 09-21-2009, 07:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinder12000 View Post
Switched out the spigot after infection #2 - my first thought - had gunk in the inside (red handled ones have a dip on the inside that catches gunk).

Also new bottling wand, hoses, not the Auto siphon but if that was the problem I would expect carboy infections. This is a very specific infection. Always shows itself at the 2 week in the bottle stage - never 1 week.

How do you bottle without a bucket??
Didn't say I bottle without a bucket just that I don't use a "bottling bucket" (pointing specifically to the spigot.) and from that I just used my Auto-siphon.

As for the buckets, mine gets a new liner each brew. Reynolds Turkey bags. Going on 12 or 15 batches without an incident.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:30 PM   #7
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I have bottled about 40 batches with the same bottling bucket- no problems. OTOH, I don't put hot water in it, either, except out of the faucet when I wash it. I wash it with dishwashing detergent immediately after use, then sanitize with Star San.

I have enough HDPE utility buckets around the spread to know that that plastic does have a life expectancy before it starts developing cracks. I will probably retire this bucket after 5 years or so.

The spigot is another issue entirely. I got lucky- didn't disassemble my spigot because I couldn't get it apart, and stayed lucky for 20 batches. Finally read a thread that told how to get it apart (the red-handled one). You run it for 5 seconds under your hottest tap water, that will soften the plastic enough to pull the rotating part up & out. Sure enough, the grooves in the stem were full of gunk, but I never got any infected beer out of it. Now I disassemble, clean & sanitize the spigot.

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Old 09-21-2009, 10:03 PM   #8
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I'm at probably brew 30+ and using the same bucket. I tried searching but no luck. Got a link to the post to disassemble the spigot so I can take some proactive action? Or is it really just as simple as really hot water and pull/twist apart? Thanks.

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Old 09-21-2009, 11:54 PM   #9
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I have fermenters and a bottling bucket I've been using for a very long time. Hot PBW soaking is key. This removes any beerstone that nasties can hide under.

As for the spigot, its extremely easy to disassemble. There is a threaded plastic "nut" inside the bucket. Twist it while twisting the spigot the opposite direction. Kind of like a tea urn if you have ever worked in a restaurant. Once you have the spigot off of the bucket, run the valve under hot water. You should be able to pull the red valve straight out of the housing.

And you asked about kegging? You can fill bottles from a keg. There!

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Old 09-29-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
As for the spigot, its extremely easy to disassemble. There is a threaded plastic "nut" inside the bucket. Twist it while twisting the spigot the opposite direction. Kind of like a tea urn if you have ever worked in a restaurant. Once you have the spigot off of the bucket, run the valve under hot water. You should be able to pull the red valve straight out of the housing.
To add to this... if you are using a spigot in a hole you cut yourself... make sure the hole in the bucket is not the source of infection... especially if it is roughly cut.
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