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Old 10-14-2009, 06:41 PM   #1
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Default Alternatives to an Official Bottling Bucket

Hey guys, first post on the forum but I've been reading some great tips!

My first kit is in the mail and on the way, and while I've been reading about the various steps, I have begun to realize that having a bottling bucket of some kind is just about a necessity. Unfortunately I only have one plastic bucket that I will use for fermenting. The only homebrew supply store around me is about a half hour away so if I can avoid making that trip I will.

I have read that you can use just about anything for a bottling bucket. Some have said that they just went to a local hardware store and picked up a plastic bucket with a spigot built in. My question is, does this have to be made of the same food grade plastic that the fermenter's are, or can it be just about anything since the beer will only be in there for about 20 mins or so?

Would it also be possible to use the same kettle that you used to make the wort, or is there something that would throw the process off (I bought a 21.5 quart enamel canner for making the wort).

Also, I'm assuming that you would have to sanitize any vessel that you decide to use for bottling purposes.

Thanks for any help...I'm getting really excited to give this a go when the Irish Stout kit shows up in a few days!

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Old 10-14-2009, 06:44 PM   #2
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Pick up a 5 or 10 gallon beverage cooler with a spigot. Replace the spigot with a ball valve from Home Depot. It'll get you by for now as a bottling bucket, and then when you move up to partial mash or all grain, it becomes your mash tun!

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Old 10-14-2009, 07:05 PM   #3
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I was going to suggest that too. Just make sure to get the 10 gallon size, that way you won't outgrow it and you can bottle larger batches.

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Old 10-14-2009, 07:15 PM   #4
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Wow - that's actually a really good idea. I was going to say "yes, the bottling bucket should be food grade (HDPE 1 or 2). 5-gallon buckets like that aren't too hard to find." But damn, I really like that cooler/future mash tun idea.

On the other hand, when you do finally go AG, you'll still need a bottling bucket. So the hardware store bucket might actually be the right purchase now.

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Old 10-14-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
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I use a five gallon Leaktite bucket from the local ace hardware store.



The nice thing is that 5 gallons is below the first band, so there's room for plenty of beer in there.

There's a picture of my setup in this thread you might be interested in.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/revvys-tips-bottler-first-time-otherwise-94812/

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Old 10-14-2009, 07:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help guys!

Revvy, could i use that setup and just siphon into a bottle filler instead of getting the spigot attached? Or are there models that come like that? I just don't have the tools to get anything like that done at the moment.

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xr5/R-100087613/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

Would something like that work or is there something wrong that I wouldn't know about?

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Old 10-14-2009, 07:44 PM   #7
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I will say I'm not a big fan of using the orange homer bucket...they are supposedly food safe, even with the orange dye, and some folks even ferment in then, BUT, I'm old enough to remember the banning of red dye number 2...so my preference is to find a white or opaque one.

I don't quite get your question about the bottle filler. All it is is the regular bottling wand that comes with several feet of hose. You take off the hose, cut about a 1 to two inch "bridge piece" of hose, slip the tiny pice of hose onto your spigot and then attach the bottle wand. It is nothing too complicated. It's just juryrigging. Just like the dip tube inside.

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Old 10-14-2009, 07:44 PM   #8
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You can use your boil pot .Its a little more work without a spigot but its doable.I used a racking cane with some vinyl hose and a pinch pliers that I had to clamp off vacuum lines on cars. Then I bought a bottling wand made it much easier. I never had a bottling bucket with spigot

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Old 10-14-2009, 08:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
I don't quite get your question about the bottle filler. All it is is the regular bottling wand that comes with several feet of hose. You take off the hose, cut about a 1 to two inch "bridge piece" of hose, slip the tiny pice of hose onto your spigot and then attach the bottle wand. It is nothing too complicated. It's just juryrigging. Just like the dip tube inside.
I was just asking in case I couldn't find a 5 gallon that had a spigot built in. I don't think I would have the tools to drill a hole and attach a spigot, so I was wondering whether it was possible to just create a normal siphon and do it that way.

Thanks again for all the help, it is much appreciated.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbad View Post
I was just asking in case I couldn't find a 5 gallon that had a spigot built in. I don't think I would have the tools to drill a hole and attach a spigot, so I was wondering whether it was possible to just create a normal siphon and do it that way.

Thanks again for all the help, it is much appreciated.
=Oh...I've never seen one with a spigot built in...if you can that's great. I actually had a hole saw thingy that fit on my hand drill. and a piece of wood under it. But if you traced the spigot circle on the bucket, you might be able to carefully cut it out with an exacto knife.
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