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Old 12-10-2011, 04:32 AM   #1
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Default What's good for fermenting gear for 3 gallon batches?

I'm using Mr. Beer fermenters, but the things are such a pain to clean and transfer from. Is going to a 5 gallon fermenting bucket and a 3 gallon Better Bottle w/ a port a better solution?

I'm not going full 5 gallons, but I'm trying to simplify the transfer process especially to bottles. Anyone?

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Old 12-10-2011, 04:43 AM   #2
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If you want something brand new, get yourself to Home Depot and buy a *white* 5 gallon bucket and lid. They say "food safe" right on them and are a good size for you.

If you are trying to get something REALLY cheap, go to the grocery store, and walk up to the bakery counter and ask if they have any empty buckets you can have. You do NOT want any buckets that have held pickles, but they have buckets for frosting and garlic butter and stuff like that which vary between 2.5-5 gallons.

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Old 12-10-2011, 04:46 AM   #3
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I've heard that the water bottles they've been carrying at Walmart are brew-safe as they are actually made by Better Bottle. I think someone said they were scoring 5 gallon bottles for around $8, but I'm pretty sure they have 3 gallon jugs as well.

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Old 12-10-2011, 04:51 AM   #4
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So, you transfer out of the primary bucket in to the secondary bucket or Better bottle with a siphon, right? That keeps the sediment away. But out of secondary, can you transfer clear from a spigot on the end of port? Again, trying to go simple.

I've heard the thing about the buckets. I may try that next time I'm at the store.

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Old 12-10-2011, 05:00 AM   #5
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If you use a secondary (actually a conditioning vessel), then you should still siphon out of it into your bottling bucket. After several weeks in secondary, there will be a lot of yeast and other particulate matter that drops out as the beer clears.

I think few people use a secondary these days. Most people just leave the beer in primary for a few weeks after fermentation is complete. Apparently, the autolysis monster was an overblown threat. A lot of people think a beer clears better if left in primary for an extended period.

Anyway, extended primary does simplify things a bit. You have one less transfer to worry about, less cleaning and sanitizing, less handling of the beer.

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Old 12-10-2011, 05:03 AM   #6
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If you are going for simple then definitely don't worry about a secondary. It is an easy thing to syphon out of your primary fermenter without sucking up a bunch of crud from the bottom.

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Old 12-10-2011, 05:24 AM   #7
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Wait, when did they debunk using a secondary? So, sitting on the yeast cake is not a big deal?

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Old 12-10-2011, 06:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
I've heard that the water bottles they've been carrying at Walmart are brew-safe as they are actually made by Better Bottle. I think someone said they were scoring 5 gallon bottles for around $8, but I'm pretty sure they have 3 gallon jugs as well.
YUP. I use the2 1/2 gal for aplweifen. Sanatize the spigot real well to bottle, and the spigot will accept a 3/8 dia. hose for filling the bottles. Sitting on the yeast longer does not matter, it flattens out and hardens when the yeast is done cleaning up after itself.Cheers
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101DDD
Wait, when did they debunk using a secondary? So, sitting on the yeast cake is not a big deal?
Not unless you are in a commercial setting where the sheer weight of the beer is putting serious PSI on the yeast..
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Old 12-10-2011, 06:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101DDD View Post
Wait, when did they debunk using a secondary? So, sitting on the yeast cake is not a big deal?
When? Sometime after I started brewing in 2006. The dangers of yeast autolysis resulting in off- flavors from leaving your beer in primary too long were loudly heralded at the time. I'm thinking the trend to stop using secondary began to gain real momentum after the March 2010 BN show where John Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff discussed it. But it was already being discussed on this board prior to that time.

One of many threads on the subject, worth reading:

To Secondary or Not? John Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff Weigh In
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