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Old 08-24-2009, 02:22 PM   #1
pretzelb
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Default Advice on second fermenter

I am tempted to look at getting a second fermentation vessel to go with my 6g Better Bottle and I wanted some advice. I'm new but I've been around long enough to know that this touches on some age old debates (bucket vs carboy, primary vs secondary, glass vs plastic) and I don't want to get into that if possible. But I would like to hear from others who have had experience with several different vessels and what they would recommend after using different types. To let you know my point of view, here are my thoughts:

  • A bucket would be nice since buckets should be easy to clean and can be stacked with my bottling bucket to save space
  • A glass carboy has a high cool factor with me just because it's glass, and it would be nice to get something in the 6.5g range, but I think I'd hate the weight and storage is an issue
  • A 5g Better Bottle might be useful as a secondary so I can just reuse my primary and I get the benefits of a light plastic vessel but storage is an issue again
  • Getting a 6 or 6.5 vessel would be more universally useful since it can be used as a primary as opposed to a 5g vessel that can't handle a primary volume
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:10 PM   #2
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It all depends on where you plan to go with your brewing in the near future, IMO. If you plan on some big beers like barleywine that needs to age for a year or so, personally I use glass for that. But since you are only on your second fermenter (I'm up to about 10 now), I would think another 6/6.5 vessel would be in order. Your preference whether bucket or glass/BB. I have 1 6g BB just for Apfelwein, 2 6.5 carboys for primary, and a number of other 5 & 6 carboys for secondary or primary for smaller brews. I'm also starting to collect smaller vessels, 3g and 1g for small batches of mead and other specialty brews. Once the madness sets in the storage issue gets smaller and smaller...

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Old 08-24-2009, 03:21 PM   #3
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After the coolness of watching my first couple of batches ferment in a glass carboy, I switched to the easier-to-carry/cheaper/stackable/in-stock-at-my-LHBS buckets. I'm using the carboy for secondarying an old ale now. Buckets might be cheap and ugly, but they get the job done. And they are cheap, so buy two and brew more!

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Old 08-24-2009, 03:29 PM   #4
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Buckets make wonderful primarys and for those rare occasions you need a secondary, glass or PET is great.

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Old 08-24-2009, 03:48 PM   #5
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I prefer a bucket for primary as they are easier to clean and a glass carboy or bettlebottle for secondary so i can see the clarity of the beer before bottling/kegging

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Old 08-24-2009, 03:52 PM   #6
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consider something that fits well in your fridge/beer fridge. this lets you crash cool or control fermentation with a temp controller.

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Old 08-25-2009, 02:05 AM   #7
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My better half bought me a starter kit for a present and (while nice) it caused some troubles. Had I done the purchase I think I would have gone with the 6.5g bucket for primary and THEN look to a BB carboy for a secondary. I could use the 6g BB carboy as a secondary but seems silly when they make a 5g that would be better suited. Also seems a bit silly to get a 6.5g bucket when I have the 6g BB carboy. At any rate, I'll figure something out.

Thanks everyone.

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Old 08-25-2009, 02:27 AM   #8
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You'll most likely end up with a good mix of each. As you get into doing lots of batches, you'll suddenly say "man, i think I want this huge beer to be in 5 gallon glass for 5 months"...or "man, i really want a 6 gallon better bottle to watch my primary better"...etc.

You actually said it best in "At any rate, I'll figure something out"

The right tool for the right job...

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Old 08-25-2009, 03:38 AM   #9
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I like buckets myself. I have just added another one to my inventory, and I plan to retire my 5-gallon glass carboy. I like the buckets for the reasons you mentioned, but mainly for the ease of cleaning and the stackability factor. They don't take up a lot of storage space. They are also a helluva lot easier to move around when you need to. I hate moving a full carboy. I bought one of those nylon strap carboy carriers and it doesn't really make things much easier overall. I'm well beyond the point of caring to watch what's going on in the fermenter. There is some amount of novelty to that when you first get started, but the cons of glass, IMO, outweigh the pros. Just my two-cents worth...

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Old 08-25-2009, 09:59 AM   #10
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Here is a handy link that helped me make a decision on equipment. Perhaps it will help you, too.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/vs-pro-con-analysis-109318/

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