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Old 02-25-2013, 02:45 PM   #1
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Default using a bottling bucket as a primary?

I just saw Alton Brown's Good Eats episode on home brewing. One thing that I thought was interesting was using a spigotted bottling bucket as a primary. At the end of fermentation, he simply drained the bucket into another bucket with a spigot for bottling, instead of racking it. Seems simpler, and removes some possibilities of contamination, no?

What say the experts??

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Old 02-25-2013, 03:01 PM   #2
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Well, I'm just one opinion, but I would advise against it. I know that some do it, and apparently with success.

Upside: you can run it out of the spigot when done, instead of siphoning. Frankly, I don't see the advantage. Siphoning is pretty darn easy, if you ask me.

Downside: adding a potential infection route via the spigot. Lots of nooks and crannies to harbor various nasties. Overall, it seems like an unneccessary risk.

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
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Plenty of people ferment in buckets but most without a spigot. The advantage is ease of transfer into you next vessel through the spigot. However there is a small chance of the spigot leaking or infection getting in. Most people just use an auto siphon to transfer. Either way would probably be fine. If you do use the spigot I would put some sanitizer in a spray bottle and spray it in there before you use it.

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:50 PM   #4
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Depending on your brew you could also pick up some unwanted trub from the bottom if you used it as a primary. With that said I used my bottling bucket as a secondary for this current batch of beer. I really dont like doing secondarys but my beer really needed it for clearing.

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:53 PM   #5
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I wouldn't worry too much about an infection from the spigot the first time you use it, but trust me, they can be a great place to harbor bacteria! I'd certainly have no problem using one, but I'd make sure to disassemble the spigot when the beer was done and clean and sanitize thoroughly.

But since I have a few spigotless primaries, I don't foresee the need arising. For $15 it's pretty cheap to prepare yourself.

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:57 PM   #6
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Like others have said, people apparently do it successfully. I wouldn't personally though. My bottling bucket spigot has a very, very slight leak. Hardly noticeable when bottling. I just lose a few drops. However, if this was sitting for 3+ weeks, I'd probably lose my whole batch!

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:00 PM   #7
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Williams Brewing promotes a siphonless primary in their brew kits. I've used it for all my brews. For the record, the spigot is mounted a little higher than in a typical bottling bucket, and has a special turned-down tube on the back nut to help keep things where they need to be.

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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Better bottle makes a fermentor with an adjustable spigot so you can put it right above the trub/yeast cake.

My fear would be an unnoticed leak making you lose beer.

Also, if you use your bottling bucket as a fermentor it could interfere with your pipeline.

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:09 PM   #9
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Here are several threads that have already discussed this topic. My best advice is to put a small shim under the spigot side of the bucket in order to tilt the bucket back while fermenting a few degrees. This will help the trub/cake slant backwards in the bucket so when you rack you leave it all behind.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/bottling-bucket-primary-182870/

BTW many people use the ported better bottles this way and the Speidel fermenters this way too.

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:09 PM   #10
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I've done it and liked it but now I use my bottling bucket almost weekly or there about. I need it to often to use it as a primary.

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