I just bought a "kit" that my LHBS puts together. It will make 5 gallons of a Guinness clone.
I own clean, food-grade buckets with lids:
- Three (3) 5-gallon buckets
- Two (2) 4.5-gallon buckets
I believe that I need something larger than 5 gallons, though, to allow for the foaming that will take place. My problem is that I don't know if this is a one-time thing for me, so I am reluctant to buy a larger bucket.
Would any of these work?
- Use a 5-gallon bucket and let the foam/kreusen overflow
- Mix it in a 5-gallon bucket, but then pour half of it off into a second bucket (4.5- or 5-gallon) and ferment as two batches
- Only add enough water for 4 gallons, ferment in a 5-gallon bucket, then add the extra gallon of water to the bottling bucket
I plan on letting it ferment for 3 weeks in the bucket, then bottling (i.e., no time in a secondary fermenter). For using a bucket as a primary, should I drill a hole and insert a fermentation lock, or can I just lay the cover on the bucket and not snap it down tight? (With the second option, I'm figuring that the CO2 layer would build up and cover the wort, but the loose lid would keep bugs and dirt out. If I do need to use the fermentation lock, should I snap the lid down or just place it on top?)