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Old 01-04-2010, 11:23 AM   #1
Dec 2009
Lancaster PA
Posts: 210
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I'm not trying to start a religious debate here, I'm just curious.

I did my first batch in the 6.5gallon bucket that came with my kit and my second in a 6 Gal Better Bottle.

Currently I am doing partial boils.

I found the bucket much easier to work with and I'm wondering about others workflow.

For me it was easier to poor my mostly cooled wort (Ice bath and water) into the bucket through a strainer and add water to 5 gal while stirring. With the Carboy I had to add the water in the pot which is about 5.5 gal and then pour though a funnel to strain. I know I could have racked into the primary but I had a hop bag open and wanted to strain out most of the residue. Also I don't plan on using a secondary so I figured cleaner is better.

When moving the two Primaries around again the bucket wins, It has a handle. The only PIA with the backet is drawing off sample. Popping the lid off is a pain.

Just looking for opinions and workflow suggestions.


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Old 01-04-2010, 12:37 PM   #2
Jun 2008
Henrico, VA
Posts: 259
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:48 PM   #3
HomerJR's Avatar
Oct 2009
Posts: 309
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I'm strongly considering going bucket-only. Just read a horror story in Zymurgy about a guy who almost lost his hand when a carboy broke, so if I DO purchase another carboy it'll be plastic. But other than getting to watch the yeast "get it on" I don't see a strong advantage of a plastic carboy over a plastic bucket.

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Old 01-04-2010, 01:35 PM   #4
Jul 2009
Macungie, PA
Posts: 332
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I have a bucket and a glass carboy. While it is nice to see the action of fermentation it is a pain to clean the carboy. Fully filled the carboy weighs a lot (~50#'s). I prefer the buckets. Easy to clean and move and not being able to see in helps me stay away and not keep checking in on it. I can live with the annoyance of having to pop the top off when I want to take a gravity reading.

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Old 01-04-2010, 02:31 PM   #5
HomerJR's Avatar
Oct 2009
Posts: 309
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Originally Posted by Sithdad View Post
I can live with the annoyance of having to pop the top off when I want to take a gravity reading.
I use buckets with spigots. Makes collecting gravity samples a breeze.

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Old 01-04-2010, 02:41 PM   #6
torque2k's Avatar
Jul 2009
Lowell, MI
Posts: 299
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I just went through this same back-and-forth debate with myself a few weeks ago. After much research into Better Bottles, and literally adding the whole setup to the shopping cart on Northern Brewer, Austin Homebrew, Midwest, etc. like five times, I never did pull the trigger. After some discussion with Forrest from AHS, I decided to go with a new bucket/lid to replace an aging yellowed one. I got the biggest one they carry under 10 gallons (7.9 gallons, I think), and I'm glad I did. Plenty of headspace for primary fermentation, and if I really wish to rack to a secondary, I have two 5gal glass carboys sitting idle most of the time (if not filled with graff cider).

I just found that the initial cost of the Better Bottles with the fittings and racking adapter was too high for what it gave, and only having 6 gallons for a primary didn't appeal to me. I don't have time to watch for blowoff, not being home all the time, so the extra headspace in the bucket clinched it for me.

I'm thinking about drilling and bunging a larger hole in the lid to take samples through. May be an option for you, as well.
On deck: Peat-smoked Porter
Primary 1: air
Primary 2: air
Secondary 1 and 2: air
Bottles: air/dust

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Old 01-04-2010, 02:44 PM   #7
craigd's Avatar
Oct 2008
Central Florida
Posts: 316
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I started with a carboy but now use buckets almost exclusively. I don't get blowoffs and they are more economical. (I should probably point out that buckets don't guarantee absence of blowoffs but they do help - especially if you use the 7-8 gallon models for a 5.5 gallon batch.)

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Old 01-04-2010, 02:49 PM   #8
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,414
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I'm also a bucket fan. It's much lighter than glass, and I like the larger sized opening than with the better bottles. I use my glass carboys mostly for secondaries for wine.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

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Old 01-04-2010, 03:19 PM   #9
Dec 2008
North liberty Iowa
Posts: 207

I am also going with the bucket know. I had a blowoff with the last batch and it cracked my glass carboy. So the price to replace the carboy, I can get almost two buckets. And yes the buckets are alot easier to clean.

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Old 01-04-2010, 03:41 PM   #10
Richabt's Avatar
Sep 2009
Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 436
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I like them both. I will use my carboy for primary on smaller batches, just so I can see the action. Bigger brews alway go to my buckets.
On Deck:
Primary: Hefe
On Tap: Backporch IPA, Rosemary Pale Ale

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