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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > primary fermentation in bottling bucket
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:16 PM   #1
dirtvet
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Default primary fermentation in bottling bucket

i just started my first ever batch 2 days ago and didn't exactly follow the directions. instead of putting my wort into my carboy i put it in the bottling bucket for primary fermentation. what's the best thing for me to do from here? should i transfer it to the carboy once primary fermentation is done and then go back to the bottling bucket to bottle? if so, should i siphon it out or just let it flow through the spigot (i did sanitize it)--just worried about getting too much sediment. also, should the lid on my primary be completely tight or a little loose? i was nice getting nice bubbling in my airlock but it seems to have stopped and i'm only about 40 hrs into fermentation. thanks--next time i'll follow the directions better.

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Old 11-10-2009, 04:39 PM   #2
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I would just let it do its thing in the bottling bucket. Unless you are doing a secondary, I really don't see the need to transfer it to a carboy. If you do end up transferring it, definitely siphon it. Do not transfer it using the spigot. I would imagine this would cause lots of splashing which is something that you definitely do not want (oxidation of beer). As far as the cover being tight, it doesn't matter either way. The beer is still going to ferment. If its loose, you won't get the bubbling in the airlock that you would expect. I have never fermented in my bottling bucket but I would think that the spigot is far enough off the bottom of the bucket that it would leave most of the trub there when bottling. If you do end up getting some, just dump the first few until the beer is clear and go from there. If you properly sanitized everything and have a lid on it you should be all set. Maybe someone who has done exactly this will chime in

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Old 11-10-2009, 05:04 PM   #3
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Your bottling bucket actually came with a lid and a hole for an air-lock? If gas is escaping through your air-lock then your lid is probably air-tight and you are fine. It's preferable that way.

I'm guessing you'll need to bottle from your bottling bucket but it's in use. I recommend:

  • Clean and Sanitize Everything
  • Wait 1 full week (after you pitched your yeast) then move your beer to your carboy by racking your beer (siphon, not the spout)
  • Leave in carboy 2 weeks.
  • Rack your beer (again, using siphon) from Carboy to Bottling bucket, bottle!

When transferring your beer to bottling bucket you should have already mixed in your priming sugar. The siphon should be set up to cause a swirling motion from the bottom for even mix of priming sugar.

Again, before moving beer always sanitize, sanitize, sanitize. Oh, and sanitize.
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:05 PM   #4
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I have fermented in what was supposed to be my bottling bucket (i keg so have no use for it) before when i wanted to brew another batch and didnt have any ale pales or better bottles free. As long as you sanitize the spout really well before you attach it to the bucket because there are a lot of nooks and crannies that infection can hide. When i used this as a fermenter i used a drilled lid for ale pails just like i would on a plastic bucket. You should check your SG because if you had a strong good fermentation then it could be done already or mostly done.

If i were you i would just leave it in the bottling bucket and when you want to bottle or keg just do it as you would normally. I didnt have any problem with trub or sediment getting into the keg when i just opened the spout and let it drain through racking tubing into the keg. It was actually one of the easiest transfers i have done.

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Old 11-10-2009, 05:14 PM   #5
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The danger of using the spout is that it isn't sanitized. I don't care if you sanitized it before hand, after sitting around for a few weeks, it's gonna have crap on/in it again and would need to be sanitized again. It'll probably be fine, but not worth the risk IMO.

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Old 11-10-2009, 06:26 PM   #6
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All of my primaries have spigots on them and it makes for a much easier and possibly more sanitary transfer to secondary, keg or bottle. I sanitize the spigot with a powerful chlorine-based sanitizer before attaching it to my primary, after which I cover the spigot with a clean ziploc bag. After primary is over I use a spray bottle with no-rinse sanitizer to soak the spigot before attaching the transfer tubing to the spigot and opening it up.

I don't have to mess around with a large autosiphon while using this method. It's a lot easier to ensure that the itty-bitty spigot is sanitary than it is to be sure that the entire autosiphon is. Since I've started using spigots on my primaries I've started kegging and skipping secondary in favour of a 3-4 week primary. Altogether I've probably saved myself 2 hours of labour per batch!

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Old 02-25-2014, 04:02 PM   #7
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Default Same problem: When to bottle beer?

I'm a first time brewer, and I too am using my bottling bucket for primary fermentation. As suggested on this forum, I've left the lid loose. After seven days, the bubbling has died down and the SG reading is down to 1.024 from an OG of 1.034.

I've heard that it's possible to just opt for a 3 - 4 week primary fermentation over a secondary. But when do I know exactly when to bottle the beer? Is it about the SG reading? OR something else?

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