Originally Posted by slykwilli
is that a good idea?
I would argue that using a scratched bucket as a fermenter is even riskier than using it as a bottling bucket (my advice would be to do neither and just use it for grain storage).
There is greater risk of infection at pitching time than at bottling. There is no alcohol to deter any microorganisms in virgin wort. The pH is not as acidic as it is in the finished beer. There is an abundance of sugars and nutrients, and at least initially, no other microorganisms with an established foothold to compete with any contaminants. Many of us have experienced slow-starting fermentations. Combine that scenario with a scratched bucket that can't be properly sanitized, and you have a recipe for some nasty funky contaminated malt vinegar.