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Old 01-22-2010, 06:44 PM   #1
betterbeer1
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Default How many buckets do I need?

I'm new to the beer brewing world but I have been doing lots of reading and suprised myself with a couple better than expected MR. Beer kits (I know how most feel about MB but it is a great confidence builder).

I'm slowly gathering the equipment I need to take the next step to making 5 gallon batches. I found a 5 gallon glass carboy that I would like to use but from what I read it's main role will be best used as a secondary. The better homebrew kits that I've seen come with a glass carboy, bottling bucket and fermentation bucket.

My question is do I need two buckets AND a carboy? Couldn't I just use the bottling bucket as primary, carboy as secondary and then back to the bottling bucket? It doesn't save me any work to have 2, either way I am washing twice.

Thanks

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:11 PM   #2
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You could. As long as your spigot won't leak and you always secondary. You want a clean bucket for bottling so you don't stir up a lot of sediment when adding the priming sugar. My advice: buckets are cheap, get 2. It's just easier. And you can have a beer in the primary and secondary while having your bottling bucket ready to go whenever you want. Easier to build up a pipeline. You could also use the 5gal carboy as primary and don't secondary, but I wouldn't recommend it. You'd have a lot of blowoff.

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:14 PM   #3
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you need a fermenter (bucket, carboy, whatever) and a bottling bucket. In most cases you do not need a secondary. The 5 gallon carboy is too small to ferment 5 gallon batches. You need some head space in the fermenter. 6 gallon would be the min size for fermenting 5 gallon batches.

you could do as you say and ferment in the bottling bucket move the beer to the glass secondary and then back to the bucket to bottle. But that's not the way I would recommend doing it.

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetav View Post
You could. As long as your spigot won't leak and you always secondary. You want a clean bucket for bottling so you don't stir up a lot of sediment when adding the priming sugar. My advice: buckets are cheap, get 2. It's just easier. And you can have a beer in the primary and secondary while having your bottling bucket ready to go whenever you want. Easier to build up a pipeline. You could also use the 5gal carboy as primary and don't secondary, but I wouldn't recommend it. You'd have a lot of blowoff.
What he said.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:19 PM   #5
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You need as many buckets as you can fit in your home.

Buckets are the only fermenter you need.

They are the easiest to clean and are multi taskers.

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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honestly ale pales are cheap and worth every cent. As you mentioned in your post, your getting more and more into brewing. What will it hurt to have another primary.

I have 3 primarys and 1 secondary. I don't usually use the secondary. I just let it sit in the primary for 3 weeks which is what most experienced home brewers are doing. I find unless you are doing a barelywine or a lager, 3 weeks primary is the way to go. Letting the beer sit on the yeast for that extra time conditions the beer. The yeast clean up after themselves and make the beer taste better. I try to brew once a week which cycles out my primaries perfectly.

bottom line, you will not regret buying another primary.

Cheers

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies... 2 buckets it is.. Now I just have to reassure the wife that our house will not turn in into a brewery..at least not anytime soon.

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:55 PM   #8
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dont tell her, but it will =)

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Ingredients: Jamil's Taddy Porter, O'flannagin stout, 15 min extract pale ale.
Primary: BIAB Oatmeal Cookie
Kegged: Strawberry Blonde, Pale ale, Apple Cider, Pumkin ale.

"....yeast have to start growing an army to best eat the sugar, so they have a wild orgy and then make a bunch of yeast babies." - Revvy
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betterbeer1 View Post
Thanks for the replies... 2 buckets it is.. Now I just have to reassure the wife that our house will not turn in into a brewery..at least not anytime soon.
haha.. im glad my wife supports my hobby... ive been brewing less than a year and i have 10 cases of beer conditioning/aging throughout our cupboards, 2 bottling buckets, 2 6.5 gallon carboys, one 5 gallon carboy and a 30 quart brew pot.. the brew pot and bottling buckets sit on top of our cabinets when not in use
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