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Old 11-07-2011, 08:42 PM   #1
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Default smallest batch in a 5 gallon bucket?

I am still fermenting my first batch in a plastic bucket. I want to try some more brewing (once this one is bottled) but the rate I drink means doing 5 gallons each time will mean not many batches. What is the smallest size fermentation I can realistically do in a bucket designed for 5 gallons?

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Old 11-07-2011, 08:44 PM   #2
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As small as you want really. The CO2 given off will take care of any excessive headspace issues. I'm sure you can do a 1 gallon batch and end up just fine if you chose to.

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Old 11-07-2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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The only problem I could see is if you tried a really small (say 1 gallon) batch where you'd end up with about 2" of beer over 1/2" of trub. Might make getting clear beer into the bottling bucket a little more difficult. If you want to go that small, I'd consider getting some 1 gallon glass jugs and use a blowoff tube.

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Old 11-07-2011, 08:53 PM   #4
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The only problem I could see is if you tried a really small (say 1 gallon) batch where you'd end up with about 2" of beer over 1/2" of trub. Might make getting clear beer into the bottling bucket a little more difficult. If you want to go that small, I'd consider getting some 1 gallon glass jugs and use a blowoff tube.
Very true. You can "technically" go as small as you can imagine. You need to figure out what is feasible though.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:00 PM   #5
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simplest solution?


DRINK MORE! YAY!

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Old 11-07-2011, 09:14 PM   #6
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I wouldn't go lower than 2.5 gallon in a five gallon, even with co2 production, that is still a lot of headspace to contend with. At some point, you're going to open the vessel to take a reading and you'll lose some of that co2 protection.

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Old 11-07-2011, 10:00 PM   #7
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The good news is, finding a smaller vessel should be pretty easy. I know Better Bottle makes a 3 gallon size, they're probably available in glass also. Plus, buckets with lids can probably be found in almost any size up to and including 55 gallons or so, you might just have to look around and scrounge.

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Old 11-07-2011, 10:06 PM   #8
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If you are really looking at doing 1 gallon batches and the like, I would highly recommend getting a smaller bucket, like 2-2.5 gallons, because of the trub thing as mentioned before.

The good news is you should be able to get these for free from a local bakery or your grocery store. I know the one by my house has 2.5 gallon buckets that they get frosting in.

EDIT: I take it back. The frosting buckets are ~4 gallons, and the smaller ones I have say "garlic spread" on them.

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Old 11-08-2011, 01:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewnoob1 View Post
simplest solution?


DRINK MORE! YAY!
Ockham's Razor. It's science.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:01 AM   #10
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Argh.

Why do people ferment in plastic buckets?

Large glass bottles are more sanitary and come in enough different sizes that you could make tiny little batches -- 1/2 gallon or gallon -- with little trouble if you're not all that into drinking beer all the time.

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