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Old 11-25-2007, 11:47 PM   #1
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Default buckets vs carboys

So I've made several batches in glass carboys, and all has been good. Recently I made a batch in a bucket. With the glass- I'm able to see when the sediment in the beer has settled and things clear up a bit. With the bucket- I'm not, and I just waited for a few days after activity had ceased in the fermentation lock (which was well over two weeks). To me dismay, when I went to bottle it (my one 5 gal carboy was already in use as a secondary) a lot of the sediment had not settled. I thought about putting everything back and letting it settle a while longer- however- I was concerned about the exposure to air causing everything to spoil- so I bottled it........and ran into more issues. I was unable to see clearly where the inactive yeast was on the bottom, and ended up with a good bit of cloudy mess in the bottling bucket. I thought that buckets would be a nice change because they are both easy to clean, and easy to pour wort back and forth (that’s how I'm currently aerating) Now I'm rather unamused with them, and doubt I'll do it again unless really necessary. I'd like to know if I was really risking much if I had let things settle further- regarding the exposure to air from removing the lid (remember that all evidence of active fermentation was done, so its not like CO2 from the yeast would be pushing everything out). I'd also like to know if anyone has any tricks or procedures for buckets that would have helped me.
Thanks!

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Old 11-26-2007, 12:38 AM   #2
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Have you considered a conical? Minibrew conicals are a nice way to go. I have a 6.5 gallon and LOVE using it! I found it on craigslist for 80$. It changed my brewing life. It is so easy!

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Old 11-26-2007, 02:03 AM   #3
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Please give your bucket one more try. After the ferment has stopped, wait a week to 10 days. Rack the beer into your carboy & have your priming solution in the carboy. Immediately bottle.
I’ve been doing it that way for years.

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Old 11-26-2007, 02:46 AM   #4
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Going conical would be awesome- however- the last thing swmbo needs to see is more stainless steel objects invading our home. three cornys' are already bringing a little heat. I am all about looking on criegslist now though.
And I will def. have to resort to the bucket again- and will take the advice to let them sit a full week-10 days after fermenting stops.
Was I right to assume that once I had taken the lid off of the bucket that I'd be risking oxidation by placing it back on?

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Old 11-26-2007, 04:57 AM   #5
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My bigger problem with buckets is that they're plastic, so they absorb all sorts of flavours.

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Old 11-26-2007, 05:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oguss0311
Going conical would be awesome- however- the last thing swmbo needs to see is more stainless steel objects invading our home. three cornys' are already bringing a little heat. I am all about looking on criegslist now though.
And I will def. have to resort to the bucket again- and will take the advice to let them sit a full week-10 days after fermenting stops.
Was I right to assume that once I had taken the lid off of the bucket that I'd be risking oxidation by placing it back on?
While it's best to have all the oxygen forced out of there (eg by fermentation), my understanding is that as long as there's not a lot of splashing or that sort of mean nasty stuff, relatively little oxidation (ie below taste threshhold) is likely from one little peek. Put the lid back on and don't make a habit of opening up the fermenter.

I ferment single-stage in glass. I let it condition on the yeast for ~10 days after all signs of fermentation have stopped, then bottle. As soon as I have a grain mill, my old primary buckets will be grain storage. One of them is a bedside table now.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judd
My bigger problem with buckets is that they're plastic, so they absorb all sorts of flavours.
I use 1 oz bleach per gallon of water, plus a small amount of calgon type of auto dishwasher clearer to sanitize, clean, and deodorize. I just started to use Iodine. However I really do not want the yellow/orange shade in my plastic so, bleach/calgon for my plastic & Iodine for everything else.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:58 AM   #8
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I've exclusively used ale pails for primary. I've never had a problem at all- in fact I like the buckets because they give me so much more headspace for primary and they are so easy to clean. I don't have any off odors or colors, either. After my bucket is empty, I just wash with super hot water and that's it. I sanitize right before using. I never use bleach or soap on any of my brewing gear.

I usually leave my beers in the bucket for about 10 days before racking to a carboy. If I'm not using a clearing tank, I'd leave them about 3 weeks in the bucket before bottling. One thing I do is start my siphon with the end of the siphon tip about half way down into the beer. As the beer empties, then I slowly lower the racking cane down into the bucket, and keep it above the trub on the bottom. Since you're lowering it slowly, you can see the end and just keep it above the level of the trub. My beers are crystal clear, and I never use fining agents in them.

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Old 11-26-2007, 01:46 PM   #9
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I've recently switched to the Better Bottle for both Primary and Secondary....really easy to clean and light weight (plastic).

I think I may be done with Buckets unless I'm cleaning equipment @ this point

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