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Old 04-25-2009, 12:47 PM   #1
WayneTree
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Default Help- Next Step after plastic buckets?

With the economy the way it is,I want to get as much as I can from the 2 Plastic Buckets.
All I am doing, is the extract beers at the moment.
1st Batch - Ironmaster Porter= Came out great many compliments.
2nd Batch in fermentation stage= Ironmaster Northern Brown Ale
(Was going to do a Porter again with liquid yeast and Mollasses but the store accidently gave me brown ale so I did it with the supplied dry yeast)
Can I add a flavor to the brown ale?
What is my next upgrade and how many batches should I get from the buckets?
This site is TOP-SHELF Keep up the Good Brews

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Old 04-25-2009, 01:06 PM   #2
histo320
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You can use the plastic buckets as long as you want. I've heard to not make a really big beer, barleywine, or anything that needs to age for an extended period of time. I would suggest when you get a chance to upgrade to a glass or plastic carboy, but not hurry.

What flavoring agents are you planning on adding?

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Old 04-25-2009, 01:23 PM   #3
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There are many ways to go about things. Personally, I still use the pails for primary fermentation and then transfer to a Better Bottle for secondary. Seems that there are as many opinions on this subject as there are brewers. You should be able to use you pails for many, many batches so long as you keep them from getting scratched on the inside. Scratches make it nearly impossible to sanitize and gives those nasties that could cause infection a nice hiding place.

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Old 04-25-2009, 01:42 PM   #4
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Aside from what histo mentioned, there is only one reason I can think of that your beer might not turn out as well when using a plastic bucket as opposed to a glass carboy. That is for beers where you need to take some sort of action based on the krausen level or stage of fermentation. For example, I just made a beer where I needed to add honey just after high krausen. That would be hard to do accurately in an opaque container.

The biggest problem with those buckets is not that a typical beer won't turn out as good as with a glass carboy, it's that there's a greater risk that it will be ruined. The plastic can get scratches, and there are many nooks and crannies in the lid. All of these things can be hiding places for bacteria which will ruin your beer. But if you clean thoroughly, and you don't use anything abrasive on the plastic, the risk is negligible. If I found a noticeable scratch on the inside of the bucket, I would just throw it away and replace it. If you account for having to replace buckets from wear and occasionally wasting ingredients when a batch gets infected, a glass carboy (which costs about twice as much as a bucket) can be cheaper in the long run.

However, the carboys, especially the glass ones, are more difficult to work with than the buckets. They are heavy, slippery, and difficult to clean (although they do get cleaner than buckets). So while glass carboys are better than buckets when they're fermenting, they are a bit tougher to work with.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and with carboys you get to use carboy caps to start a siphon. Just as easy as the autosiphon but without the extra piece of equipment to clean and sanitize.

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Old 04-25-2009, 04:05 PM   #5
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Default Flavors

Thanks for the input, I was going to add a rasberry or blueberry to the Brown Ale , something like a" Brownberry Blue Ale"
Say this 10 times fast
Blueberry Brown Ale Brewed and Bottled by Bald Hill Brewery.LOL
Thanks Wayne ,

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Old 04-25-2009, 04:11 PM   #6
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OP: If you're really worried about buckets harboring scratches (which, if you don't use a brush and instead use CIP cleaners, is pretty much a non-issue) you can always invest in some turkey bags from any grocery store. I started off with a few buckets, and I still use them with no problems to date. I do also use Better Bottles, and I like them both.

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Old 04-25-2009, 04:16 PM   #7
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This might be an option for you for the time being. I've not tried it yet myself, but it sounds like a good idea. Turkey bags

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Old 04-25-2009, 04:28 PM   #8
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Yep, turkey bags are my next move as well.

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