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Old 06-25-2007, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default Got to get a new bucket....

I had surgery two weeks ago and let me stay home for a couple of weeks and finally got to catch up with my brewing. However, once I placed my fermenting 5 gal bucket too close to the banjo cooker to try and stop air drafts from it. Sure enough, wouldn't you know it, the side closes to the burner got a little "hot" and deformed it. Now, the lid, I thought, still sealed good. Noticed I wasn't getting any fermentor activity and I popped the lid. Got lots of krauzen and I could tell the wort was churning pretty good. Is an air tight lid really that essential? I mean, once fermenting takes place, your going to get a nice layer of CO2 on top and if the bucket is in a place where there is not a lot of air movement and is in a clean area, should I still need be worried? I'm not getting cocky here, but I feel I've done enough batches and my technique is sound enough that I know, unless the yeast is toast, I will get fermentation. I mean, I can just "smell" it with or without a bubbler.

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Old 06-25-2007, 04:26 PM   #2
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I'd think a fitted lid (even if it's not completely airtight) would be fine. I've fermented in gallon jugs with the lids just loosely screwed on, with no problems. Might want to rub some sanitizer around the rim of the bucket, just to be sure.

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Old 06-25-2007, 04:31 PM   #3
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:02 PM   #4
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Grog
I had surgery two weeks ago and let me stay home for a couple of weeks and finally got to catch up with my brewing. However, once I placed my fermenting 5 gal bucket too close to the banjo cooker to try and stop air drafts from it. Sure enough, wouldn't you know it, the side closes to the burner got a little "hot" and deformed it. Now, the lid, I thought, still sealed good. Noticed I wasn't getting any fermentor activity and I popped the lid. Got lots of krauzen and I could tell the wort was churning pretty good. Is an air tight lid really that essential? I mean, once fermenting takes place, your going to get a nice layer of CO2 on top and if the bucket is in a place where there is not a lot of air movement and is in a clean area, should I still need be worried? I'm not getting cocky here, but I feel I've done enough batches and my technique is sound enough that I know, unless the yeast is toast, I will get fermentation. I mean, I can just "smell" it with or without a bubbler.
You can get away with it, but is it worth the measly 15 bucks or so? I'd get a new bucket as soon as is reasonably possible IIWY.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:02 AM   #6
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hey, if guys could get away with open top fermentation (back before science could explain why things fermented) then you can surely get by with a less than perfect seal.

but do you really want to add that variable?

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Old 06-26-2007, 04:12 AM   #7
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You don't need an air tight lid, it's just better. I know three brewers who don't use an airtight container as preference - they use clingwrap with a pin prick hole. Some people are strange. Me, I like the sound of bubbling brewing going on (probably reminds me of my old home in the womb and the beating of my old mother's heart !!). In the good old days (1970s) we brewed in plastic garbage bins and put a towel over the brew to stop the flies getting in. How things change !!

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Old 06-26-2007, 04:36 AM   #8
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If you're worried about it alot why not just wrap some plastic wrap around the rim and still use the airlock?

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Old 06-26-2007, 08:26 AM   #9
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There is no need for a sealed fermenter to produce high quality beer, in fact in some cases many commercials prefer to ferment certain ales in open fermenters

for homebrewers it's sometimes desirable to ferment in open containers

(more fun than watching fermentation through glass)
and even closed fermenters used by commercials aren't completely sealed and can and are often opened for inspection...

There are far better things to invest time and money in rather than worrying what vessel you are going to ferment in and whether it is sealed. As long as it's food grade I wouldn't worry.

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Old 06-26-2007, 01:10 PM   #10
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The only thing I would be worried about is the chemical breakdown of the bucket. Sometimes when certain plastics get heated like yours they can start to give off residues. Once the plastic cools those residues, usually polymers or epoxies, are at the surface instead of just below it.

This results in a weaker bucket wall in that particular spot and can give some off flavors (epoxy again). As you seem to be an extract brewer, you could sanitize the bucket and use it for DME storage.

In the mean time, consider using carboys. Its so much fun watching the yeasties rolling around.

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