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Old 05-22-2012, 04:34 AM   #1
A-Juice
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Default 5 gallon bucket question

OK. so i am a brand new aspiring brewer. I am doing research and acquiring equipment and hope to start brewing in the near future. I have some friends in the hobby and am excited to start.

I came across two 5 gallon food grade buckets with lids from a restaurant and cleaned them out. i am planning on buying 5 gallon batch recipie ingredient kits. At some point, i was thinking about having multiple fermentations going on at once but initially it will be one at a time. I also have a 7 gallon bucket with a spigot and two 6 gallon carboys.

so here is my question - is there a use for the 5 gallon buckets as fermentors? the only solution I have thought of so far is to mix a 20 gallon batch and put it in four 5 gallon buckets. but that probably wont work because i probably need to leave some headroom. could I split a 5 gallon batch in 2.5 gallon parts and ferment in the two 5 gallon buckets or would that be too much head/air space?

i suppose I could mix 4 gallon batches and leave 1 gallon of head space. Or mix 20 gallons and ferment in five 5 gallon buckets each with 4 gallons of wort and 1 gallon of head space.

somebody point me in the right direction on how to use these 5 gallon buckets.

Thanks.

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Old 05-22-2012, 04:37 AM   #2
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You can use them, just leave about 1/2 to 1 gallon of headspace and if you make a big beer use a blowoff tube

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Old 05-22-2012, 04:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TwoGunz View Post
You can use them, just leave about 1/2 to 1 gallon of headspace and if you make a big beer use a blowoff tube
+1, 5 gallon buckets should be just fine for 4 gallon batches.
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:33 AM   #4
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I'd use the carboys first with a blow off tube in case of high kreusen and save the buckets for secondary, side projects, bottling, etc.

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Old 05-22-2012, 05:43 AM   #5
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Similar conundrum here with some carboys i bought at a yard sale that turn out to be 4.75G in size. Clearly marked 18L. Depending on how well i calibrated my old empty vinegar jug, the 5G mark is either half way up the neck or a few tablespoons on the floor.

I'll find a use for 'em i guess. But since my primaries are 6g i shoot for 5.5g batches, and bottle a sixpack before filling the keg.

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Old 05-22-2012, 07:22 PM   #6
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So based on these responses and some searching through old posts, I think the best use of the 5 gallon buckets would be as bottling buckets when doing 5 gallon batches.

For me personally, that would allow me to ferment in my other 3 vessels (two 6 gal carboys and a 7 gallon bucket w/ spigot).

I assume that a 5 gallon batch would fit in the 5 gallon bottling bucket along with the necessary primer on bottling day. If it doesnt fit entirely, could I fill it and start bottling and then add the remainder and finish bottling? Do you think this would cause any problems? And I think I could add a spigot to the 5 gallon bucket easy enough.

The other reasonable uses would be to ferment a 4 gallon batch (dont want to do this with a 5 gallon recipie kit) or to split a 5 gallon batch in half for fermenting which doesnt seem to be problematic according to other posts I have read. I could also use one bucket for a sanitizer reservoir which probably doesnt require food grade plastic but couldnt hurt.

Thanks to all for a great forum.

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Old 05-23-2012, 03:26 PM   #7
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I use a 5 gallon bucket for bottling, drilled a 1" hole and installed a spigot. Super easy. They actually hold a little more than 5 gallons so you shouldn't have any problems.

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