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Old 08-09-2006, 08:04 PM   #1
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Default Is it OK to use plastic buckets after primary fermentation?

Here's my dilemma: I have an IPA that's just finishing up primary fermentation, and I'd like to rack it and dryhop it. I'd rather not dryhop in a carboy, because it's a pain getting the crud out afterwards. I have a big 7-gal bucket that I use for primary fermentation and bottling---but I've heard that it's not a good idea to rack into plastic, because the alcohol can extract odd/plastic-ey flavors and aromas into the beer.

Should I just use the bucket to dryhop? Or should I avoid racking into buckets (outside of bottling, of course)?

Thanks!

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Old 08-09-2006, 08:12 PM   #2
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I use a plastic bucket as my secondary. I think it is fine, but then again I havent ever used a glass carboy so I have nothing to compare it to.

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Old 08-09-2006, 08:45 PM   #3
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I often use a plastic secondary with no problems.

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Old 08-09-2006, 08:54 PM   #4
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Plastic os OK - To each their own! I do glass and deal with the mess of dry hopping. To me it is worth the trouble for a GREAT TASTING BREW!

I'll have a brew Christmas for certain!!

I'll drink a brew till my head is a hurtin!!

Fermentation so strong with the smell of great beer

Im' making home brew with nothing to fear!


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Old 08-09-2006, 09:06 PM   #5
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I've never used anything except plastic buckets and cornies. Never had a problem with flavors.

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Old 08-09-2006, 09:16 PM   #6
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Thanks all! It was just something a friend mentioned, wanted to see what the general consensus was. I'll go ahead and rack + dryhop in plastic.

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Old 08-09-2006, 11:49 PM   #7
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It isn't so much a matter of off flavors with regard to using a plastic bucket as a secondary fermenter. The problem lies in the fact that the head space in a bucket will be excessive. The aggressive, CO2 producing fermentation is all but over, so the air sitting on top of the beer may not get completely purged out, which can lead to oxidation.

The HDPE plastic that food grade buckets are made of is oxygen permeable. That is not an issue during primary fermentation due to the fact the the large quantity of CO2 produced will keep the fermenting bucket in a positive pressure, and also, the primary fermentation phase does not last that long. This oxygen permeability could be a problem with extended secondaries. Many people do it, and claim to not have any noticable problems, so go for it if you no other choice. I wouldn't do it, but that's just me.

John

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Old 08-10-2006, 01:29 AM   #8
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I don't find carboys much harder to clean than plastic buckets.

Fill 1/3 with water, swish around, dump out. Then put in a small amount of oxyclean, let sit for an hour and done. My last beer was a double IPA with 2 ounces of hops dry hopped. Cleanup wasn't any harder than normal.

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Old 08-10-2006, 04:52 AM   #9
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I use a carboy brush on my glass carboys. And lots of rinsing. Followed by a good long soak with some sanitizer. Followed by more brusing and a little more rinsing with sanitizer. Then some rinsing with just-boiled water. Then it's "sealed" with some aluminum foil.

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Old 08-10-2006, 05:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatabbot
I don't find carboys much harder to clean than plastic buckets.

Fill 1/3 with water, swish around, dump out. Then put in a small amount of oxyclean, let sit for an hour and done. My last beer was a double IPA with 2 ounces of hops dry hopped. Cleanup wasn't any harder than normal.
I don't have a whole lot of experience dryhopping in carboys, but it seems to me that getting clumps of hops out of a carboy would not be as easy as getting it out of a bucket.

Anyway, as another poster noted, I guess I should worry more about the oxygen in the free space than extracting off-flavors from plastic. I do have a free 5-gal carboy---I think I'll just use that, and deal with the crud from dryhopping.
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MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
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.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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