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Old 09-05-2007, 03:02 PM   #1
St. Jon's Wort
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Default Using a bottling bucket as a secondary?

I'm still a newbie. I bought one of those $60 "starter kits" at my LHBS with two 6.5 g buckets (a primary and a bottling bucket). I was wondering if, after I siphon from my primary, can my bottling bucket be used as a secondary? My plan was to siphon over to my bottling bucket, then steal the lid and airlock from my primary and let the brew sit for two more weeks in the bottling bucket and then bottle directly from the bucket after the two weeks. Is this advisable? I know the simplest answer is to just buy a secondary fermenter but my wife has banned any further equipment purchases until I can produce a good beer to prove to her that home brewing isn't a waste of time or money. Right now, her mindset is "why not just go buy a case of beer and save the time and trouble."

Cheers everyone!

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Old 09-05-2007, 03:10 PM   #2
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Does it have a spigot? If so, you would need to sanitize it really well from the outside before bottling.

It is best to use a bottling bucket just for bottling, because your primer will be mixed in if you siphon into the bucket. If you just stir it in, it may not be well mixed....even if you stir it...which I think is a bad idea!

If I were you, I would buy a cheap spigot and put it on your other bucket. Then rack into it (after putting your primer in) to bottle.

Don't put sugar in bottles to bottle.

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Old 09-05-2007, 03:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon
If I were you, I would buy a cheap spigot and put it on your other bucket. Then rack into it (after putting your primer in) to bottle.

This is how I started. Using two bottling buckets and transfering between the two. Works well.
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:29 PM   #4
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5 gallon carboys are preferable because they have less extra room, so there's less space for your beer to be in contact with air. The beer will produce a layer of CO2 though, so it would probably be okay- until time to bottle. Then you have to deal with the priming sugar, like cheezydemon said.

A number of people here don't use secondaries at all, and it sounds like the easiest approach for you. Just leave it in the primary for 3 weeks and move it to the other bucket for bottling.

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Old 09-05-2007, 03:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Jon's Wort
I know the simplest answer is to just buy a secondary fermenter but my wife has banned any further equipment purchases until I can produce a good beer to prove to her that home brewing isn't a waste of time or money.
Actually the simplest answer is to leave it in the primary for the same length of time...unless you were planning on a secondary going beyond a month or so.
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by brewt00l
Actually the simplest answer is to leave it in the primary for the same length of time...unless you were planning on a secondary going beyond a month or so.
I thought that secondary fermentation was important to get rid of all the dead yeast?

I'm making a bock using one of those Munton pre-hopped kits. It calls for only 4-6 days of fermentation but I've read on here that it should be allowed to ferment a minimum of 2-3 weeks.
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Jon's Wort
I thought that secondary fermentation was important to get rid of all the dead yeast?

I'm making a bock using one of those Munton pre-hopped kits. It calls for only 4-6 days of fermentation but I've read on here that it should be allowed to ferment a minimum of 2-3 weeks.
You can achieve the same basic results by allowing the beer to clear in the primary for that period of time (2-3 weeks post fermentation).

Pros: Leave your beer in the primary and you avoid the exposure to oxidation and bacteria from the transfers to the bottling bucket. No more equipment. Con: Moving to a secondary is desired for most folks to open up their primary for the next brew, get the beer off the flocculated yeast if it is going to sit past a month or dry hopping/secondary additives with out trub in the mix.
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:23 PM   #8
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You can skip the secondary all together for a regular ale, big beers that need extra time to age and lagers are the only things the NEED a secondary stage. Many of us still use a second stage even though it is not necessary because we want more time to clear the beer or because we are bulk aging. As long as you get the beer off the trub within a month, secondary is optional.

Now, if you want to secondary, invest in a 5 gallon carboy. Not only will you have the benefit of reduced headspace, but plastic is oxygen permeable so leaving the beer in your bottling bucket for extended periods of time could result in some oxidation. Also, trub builds up in secondary too so you'll have a layer of it at the bottom, right by the spigot, come bottling time. It's also harder to get the sugar mixed in if you pour the sugar into the beer, better technique is to rack the beer onto the priming solution already in the bucket which you can't do if your beer is in there.

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Old 09-08-2007, 06:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJadedDog
You can skip the secondary all together for a regular ale, big beers that need extra time to age and lagers are the only things the NEED a secondary stage. Many of us still use a second stage even though it is not necessary because we want more time to clear the beer or because we are bulk aging. As long as you get the beer off the trub within a month, secondary is optional.

Now, if you want to secondary, invest in a 5 gallon carboy. Not only will you have the benefit of reduced headspace, but plastic is oxygen permeable so leaving the beer in your bottling bucket for extended periods of time could result in some oxidation. Also, trub builds up in secondary too so you'll have a layer of it at the bottom, right by the spigot, come bottling time. It's also harder to get the sugar mixed in if you pour the sugar into the beer, better technique is to rack the beer onto the priming solution already in the bucket which you can't do if your beer is in there.

Oh gosh did I need that reassurance.

Should we compile a list of criteria for beers that do not need a secondary, or has this been done already?
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:34 PM   #10
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Secondary is a luxury for a normal beer. You don't need to do it but if you want to....

It's your beer.

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