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Old 10-25-2009, 01:45 AM   #1
Jan 2008
Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 479

I've noticed a lot of brewers on here use carboys to ferment. Is there a difference between using a carboy and a bucket?

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Old 10-25-2009, 02:04 AM   #2
pdbreen's Avatar
Oct 2009
Mad River Valley, VT
Posts: 352
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

For beer - a 6gal carboy (glass or better bottle). Being able to see what's happening is helpful to me. And, it's entertaining!

For wine - a bucket for the primary. Not as much to worry about with wine. And, not as exciting to watch.
Atomic Dog Brewery

On Deck: Centennial IPA, Dry Irish Stout
P: Cascade Pale Ale
S: (nothing!)
K: (nothing!)
T: Carbed Crystal Light, Root Beer, Vanilla Cream Soda, Tripel IPA, Apfelwein

e^(pi*i) + 1 = 0

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Old 10-25-2009, 02:17 AM   #3
Beer Dude in the Sunset
mrk305's Avatar
May 2007
Posts: 1,708
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts

I just use buckets. I have them lined up in the kitchen. I guess clear carboys are cooler and fun to watch, but either one works fine.
Carport Brewery, Lilburn GA

Any advise offered after 10:00p.m. should be regarded as questionable
I can't brew until something is empty

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Old 10-25-2009, 02:27 AM   #4
McKBrew's Avatar
Oct 2006
Hayden, Idaho
Posts: 8,204
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I use better bottles. Buckets work fine.

Someday in the future, I'll use stainless conicals.
Make Beer, Not War.

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Old 10-25-2009, 03:26 AM   #5
arturo7's Avatar
Apr 2007
Huntington Beach
Posts: 9,851
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Beer is in a 6 gal HDPE bucket.

Apfelwein is done in a 5 gal glass carboy.

I'm optimistic that there is a SS conical in my future...
Hey, knock that shvt off. We're drinkin' here.

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Old 10-25-2009, 03:43 AM   #6
scinerd3000's Avatar
Mar 2008
Milton, De
Posts: 2,127
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generally buckets allow easier acessability as well as allowing more oxygen to diffuse through the walls. For certain types of beers such as sours it allows more of that "sour" character for which the yeasties and other bacteria need more oxygen. They are also alot easier to clean due to the large opening and are great if you need a defacto second fermenter for emergencys. I use glass carboys because they never wear out or scratch and dont allow any oxygen to get through which can oxidize beer or wine over time. The downside of a glass carboy is that they can shatter and injure you quite easily. Better bottles are hdpe plastics aurguably allowing minimal oxygen if any through and they never break. You can also get ported versions with a racking apparatus which allows sampling of wine or beers without opening the carboy which can risk contamination of your beer.
On Hiatus: Brewing at work....

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Old 10-25-2009, 03:45 AM   #7
Sep 2009
Fishers, IN
Posts: 156
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Buckets! Or that 5 gallon water cooler jug I found.

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Old 10-25-2009, 04:39 AM   #8
Jul 2009
Posts: 508
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6 gal glass carboy. Wouldnt use anything else. Dont have to worry about scratch's at all. yes there is the breaking downside to them...But to me i treat them like they are crystal and worth $100,000.00 a piece. Yes they may only be 30 bucks or so...but thats a batch of grain!!!

buckets are to easy to scratch, and it only takes one groove for bacteria to grow.

Yes sanitiser works great...but you cant sanitise a turd per say. You may make the outside of the bacteria clean..but if it breaks off...might as well stick a dirty sock it the beer.

Even if you are super super good at getting everything clean, And soaking it in oxy overnight it only takes a little bit to get a infection.

Lots of people use buckets and have good luck with them.
I am just not comfortable of looseing 4hrs of time and $$ to risk a infection on a cheap bucket.

But i am a guy when it comes to beer...I sanitise everything maybe way to much and often...But i havent had a infection yet " knock on wood"

Just my .02 cents on it

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