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Old 12-06-2012, 01:01 AM   #1
jmfitzgerald
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Default 2G bucket fermentation thoughts...

so i started a 1G blueberry melomel batch in a 2 gallon bucket... actually made a bit more than a gallon, and then added the blueberries on top of that so, it's sitting about 1.5G full now. i added half the blueberries at primary, and plan on half in the secondary... my original plan was to re rack it back into the same bucket, add the remaining blueberries to do the secondary in, before moving it to a 1G jug filled to top. i've experienced some weird airlock issues with this bucket... i have yet to see a single bubble come out of the airlock but it has gone from 1.100 to 1.010 already in 5 days... but when you push on the center of the lid when it's sealed, you see the liquid in the airlock go up and down, kind of showing a seal??? but obviously the CO2 had to go somewhere, i just don't understand why not out the airlock and where it would be going, when i can see the pressure change in the airlock when pressing on the lid???

so the main question here, is do you think i'm safe to continue with doing the secondary fermentation for 30 days or so in this bucket before moving it to glass, or if CO2 isn't going through the airlock, does that mean O2 is getting in somehow??? confused. i would like to do the secondary in the bucket for easy of getting the berries in and out of the jug, and so when i take the berries out, i don't have a lot of extra headspace to deal with, i can just fill the glass to the top and let it sit!

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Old 12-06-2012, 01:06 AM   #2
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I'd move it to a carboy sooner, rather than later. I've never seen a 2G carboy, which would be great, but a 1G and a growler might work great for you. I have an assortment of bottles I use for fermenters- growlers, wine bottles, 1.5L wine bottles, etc. A #6 stopper works with the smaller jugs like growlers but for wine bottles you need a smaller stopper. I think it might be a #3, but I'm not sure. Winemaking shops have them. Then an airlock, and you're in business!

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Old 12-06-2012, 05:25 PM   #3
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I occasionally do a 1.5+ gallon gbatch in a 2 gallon bucket. Then I either transfer to a 1 gallon carboy and growler or 2 liter bottle. The nice thing about using a 2 liter bottle is that you can squeeze all the air out before putting the cap on.

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Old 12-08-2012, 01:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmfitzgerald View Post
... i've experienced some weird airlock issues with this bucket... i have yet to see a single bubble come out of the airlock but it has gone from 1.100 to 1.010 already in 5 days... but when you push on the center of the lid when it's sealed, you see the liquid in the airlock go up and down, kind of showing a seal??? but obviously the CO2 had to go somewhere, i just don't understand why not out the airlock and where it would be going, when i can see the pressure change in the airlock when pressing on the lid???
Does your lid have an o-ring gasket? I've seen some Lowes and HD buckets that are simple "covers" that snap on but don't have o-rings...these leak. If your bucket doesn't have an o-ring you might could get some plastic food wrap or some "Press N Seal"...sanitize the wrap, wrap the edge of the bucket with it, and then snap the lid back on...this should give you a better seal. The small o-ring in my lid was too big for my airlock...I wrapped the stem of my airlock in the press-n-seal stuff and it worked like a champ.

I wouldn't think that because the co2 is escaping "somewhere" that it is pulling oxygen into the vessel, but it would still compel me to figure out what is going on. From your description it sounds like you're using a 3-piece airlock? Lightly pressing on the top of my bucket yields a good string of bubbles.

I don't see a problem with another 30 days in your plastic bucket...whether a primary or secondary fermentation. The problem I see is a lot of movement back and forth between vessels that could be avoided and that may introduce avoidable oxidation. From what I understand, as mead gets older more caution is required to reduce chances of oxidation. What are you going to use as an intermediary vessel between the primary and secondary?

Best wishes,

Ed
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:35 PM   #5
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what kind of 2 gallon bucket is it?
I experience problems like that with the northern brewer plastic buckets. The lid didnt get a good seal until i smacked around the edge [gentley] with a plastic mallet.

I switch to the ones at my lhbs [they have ropak printed on the bottom] and havent had a problem since.

I also have fermented and am now secondarying in a bucket, as long as the yeast pruduce some co2 to cover in the secondary, no worries about using the bucket. Atleast mine dosnt taste off yet [1.5 months in secondary northern brewer bucket].

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Old 12-09-2012, 04:35 PM   #6
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thanks for all the replies... i got the bucket at the LHBS, it has an o-ring in the lid, and really seems tough to get that lid on and off, thinking that seal is tight? mine isn't ropac, but it's HDPE food grade from Letica Corperation. i'm guessing the leak must be around the drilled grommet area in the lid. going to research it a bit more today now that i've moved the mead out of there.

so i'm making a blueberry melomel, and was thinking of doing a vanilla blueberry melomel... i ended up finding another water bottle that a stopper with airlock fits in perfect, added the second addition of blueberries to the 1G carboy, racked as much mead as i could get in the there with leaving room for expansion of the blueberries. then in the water bottle, the remainder of the primary blueberry mead with 1/2 a vanilla bean. so after about a month or so when i rack it off the blueberries, i'll use this vanilla portion of the mead to top off the the space the blueberries were taking up. as of now, seems like a good plan and not worried about the bucket now. both bottles are producing a bubble or 2 in the airlocks every 2 min or so now after the transfer. now back to finding the air leak in this bucket.

thanks to all!

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