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Old 02-22-2011, 03:52 PM   #1
aomagman78
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Default Secondary Fermenter - Not Air Tight

I am brewing my second batch and I am using a Lowe's 5-gallon bucket as the secondary fermenter. I thought it was air tight because any pushing on the top cause air bubbles to come out the blowoff tube and I didn't hear any hissing. The primary fermenter was bubbling once every 10 seconds before we transferred to secondary. The secondary has always been more like once a minute. 4 days later - - I just shook it up a bit (thought it might help mix up the sugars and yeast) and I noticed beer coming out the lid. Now I'm worried it's not air tight.

So - should I transfer the solution back to the Better Bottle and let it finish there? Or will this add too much oxygen (another 1.5 gallons at top of bottle).

Or should I bottle early (recipe called for 2-4wks in secondary) to avoid all that extra oxygen?

Thoughts? Thanks.

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Old 02-22-2011, 03:59 PM   #2
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In addition - I just plugged the blowoff tube and put a lot of pressure on the lid of the bucket - no hissing or anything and when I let off the tube all the air shot out. So I'm very confused. I'm thinking the bucket might have deformed a bit when I picked it up by handle and this caused the leak. So it should be fine as long as I don't pick it up anymore.

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Old 02-22-2011, 04:31 PM   #3
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If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Lowes bucket, $3, industrial grade, good for dirt, paint, trash, nuts and bolts, waste.

Homebrew bucket, $10, food grade, good for cooking, cleaning, brewing.

I wouldn't put my beer in anything that isn't considered food grade.

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Old 02-22-2011, 04:32 PM   #4
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Probably true - won't use them again. But as an avid home-improver, they were easily accessible.

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Old 02-22-2011, 09:03 PM   #5
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In addition - I just plugged the blowoff tube and put a lot of pressure on the lid of the bucket - no hissing or anything and when I let off the tube all the air shot out. So I'm very confused. I'm thinking the bucket might have deformed a bit when I picked it up by handle and this caused the leak. So it should be fine as long as I don't pick it up anymore.
Like the man said, It's not food grade, but you can seal it with a couple wraps of siran wrap or any kind of plastic wrap. Just take a roll and pull it tight and give it a couple wraps. I'v done it with my high quality buckets before.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by aomagman78 View Post
I am brewing my second batch and I am using a Lowe's 5-gallon bucket as the secondary fermenter. I thought it was air tight because any pushing on the top cause air bubbles to come out the blowoff tube and I didn't hear any hissing. The primary fermenter was bubbling once every 10 seconds before we transferred to secondary. The secondary has always been more like once a minute. 4 days later - - I just shook it up a bit (thought it might help mix up the sugars and yeast) and I noticed beer coming out the lid. Now I'm worried it's not air tight.

So - should I transfer the solution back to the Better Bottle and let it finish there? Or will this add too much oxygen (another 1.5 gallons at top of bottle).

Or should I bottle early (recipe called for 2-4wks in secondary) to avoid all that extra oxygen?

Thoughts? Thanks.

Couple problems I see...

You shouldn't transfer to your secondary until your primary fermentation is done, so you shouldn't see much airlock activity; did you take a gravity reading to make sure it was done?

You should never shake your beer other than aerating prior to pitching, as this can lead to oxidation problems.

Also, what the previous posters said about only using food grade buckets is right on.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:37 AM   #7
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I just shook it up a bit (thought it might help mix up the sugars and yeast) and I noticed beer coming out the lid.
kinda defeats the purpose of a secondary when you do that.
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Old 02-23-2011, 01:39 AM   #8
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Why do you have a blowoff tube on your secondary?

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Old 02-23-2011, 01:44 AM   #9
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Also the buckets your supposed to use for fermenting have rubber gaskets on the lid to keep it air tight.

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