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Old 01-27-2008, 03:57 PM   #1
ff186
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Default Buckets VS Carboys

Hey All

I have been brewing for the last few months (Rookie). I have used glass carboys and want to get some additional equipment so i can make more than 1 batch at a time. So my question is, are glass carboys the only to go or can you use buckets and get the same results. I'm just trying to save a little $$$
Thanks for the advise


Jason


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Old 01-27-2008, 04:18 PM   #2
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Buckets work great for short term projects...I would use them w/out hesitation for quick maturing lighter ales. Anything over 3-4 weeks might benefit from something less"open".

Buckets certainly posess no glamour, but they will service most of your fermentation needs quite well!
Mike

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Old 01-27-2008, 04:26 PM   #3
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Use buckets for your primaries and carboys for your secondaries. I know an outstanding brewer who makes great beers this way.

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Old 01-27-2008, 04:31 PM   #4
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Buckets work great too -- in fact they can be nice because they are often a little bigger with more headspace and therefore, make it harder to generate a messy blow-off.

The big downside is that plastic scratches easily, and if you are not careful, a bucket can harbour nasties, even after washing and sanitizing.

The other (small) downside is that you can't watch your active fermentation.

It just comes down to personal preference. Buckets are definitely a cheaper option in the short-term, but in the long term, a glass carboy can last a lifetime if properly cared for.

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Old 01-27-2008, 04:57 PM   #5
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Well ... my local braeuershaus has buckets for $13 and 6.5 carboys for $24 and with that kind of a price spread, I couldn't justify buying plastic. If your situation is similar, I'd scrape together the extra $11 and go with glass.

I've got some four-gallon food-grade buckets that I bought strawberries in last summer, and I use 'em for cider batches (three gallons at a time). After a couple batches they smell like cider and the odor can't be cleaned out of 'em. Not that I mind the smell, but glass is just a better material. Harder to store, though, when not in use.

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--Finn

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Old 01-27-2008, 10:56 PM   #6
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Another thing to consider when deciding is the ease of use of buckets. I much prefer them over carboys for primaries. Put some sanitizer and all your tools in them, brew, empty sanitizer. Once the wort is ready it is a lot easier for me to take my batch off the stove, cool it and then dump from a good distance into a bucket to aerate and transfer in one step. Top it off, pitch the yeast and your good to go.

To do a carboy primary your either siphoning or pouring through a funnel, both of which helps to have a second pair of hands, and your sanitizing in a second container.

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Old 01-27-2008, 11:03 PM   #7
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I prefer carboys. They cost about twice as much as buckets to buy, but I've never had a bucket that lasted more than 3 - 4 years, and my carboys last indefinitely. At least 5 of them are over 20 years old.

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Old 01-27-2008, 11:56 PM   #8
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Carboys can break and cause damage and serious bodily injury...therefore I don't own any. Typically, I am comfortable accepting a known risk, but visions of a wort tsunami crossing my carpeted basement floor as my blood pressure is dropping rapidly has steered me away from glass. No doubt it is the better material, just not for me. Better Bottles are an option for long term aging.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:09 AM   #9
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Two words ..... Better Bottles. I just got through cleaning my first better bottle that I used as a secondary and I sold. No more glass carboys.... Something to be said for holding the thing in one hand while you spray water in with the other. I'm ordering two more tomorrow.
Jimi

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Old 01-28-2008, 12:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn
Well ... my local braeuershaus has buckets for $13 and 6.5 carboys for $24 and with that kind of a price spread, I couldn't justify buying plastic.
I feel robbed!

Plastic Buckets - $11
6.5 Glass Carboy - $36
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