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Old 02-10-2010, 02:43 AM   #1
Feb 2010
Posts: 1

Ok, so I took an interest in home brewing just recently and want to get started as soon as possible and as inexpensive as possible for my first brew. I have looked at plenty of the brewing kits offered online and it seems that most of the fermenters shown can be built very easily. Is it ok to just use a 5 gallon bucket (ex. pickle bucket) and drill a hole in the lid and insert a nylon barb and run the tubing into the airlock? Also, apart from this website which is by far the best informational site I have found so far on home brewing, what are some other good reading material on home brewing that are available online for beginners like myself?

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Old 02-10-2010, 02:51 AM   #2
brewagentjay's Avatar
Jan 2010
Posts: 1,157
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well you need a food grade bucket larger than 5 gallons. Needs to be around 6 and 1/2 at least. You don't have to use a bucket either.

Just what I know I'm new only 2 batches of beer and 1 cider under my belt.
Teufel Hunden Brewing Company

Primary - Apfelwein v2, JChrapewein, Light Scottish Ale, SW 420 v2, Devil Dog Ale Version 2
Secondary - OxiClean
Just Bottled - Jay's Irish Stout
On Deck - The Orginal Fat Tire
Planning - "Hail to the Chief -IIPA", "The Straw Berry Blonde"
NTBA - Wicked Ale

Semper Fi

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Old 02-10-2010, 02:53 AM   #3
jamesnsw's Avatar
Mar 2009
, Indiana
Posts: 843
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HowtoBrew.com is a great site from John Palmer.

You definitely can use any food safe bucket to ferment in. I'd stay away from Pickle Buckets, otherwise you're likely to have Pickle Beer...
Some stuff I've made: Odell's 90 Shilling Clone, Abbey Weiss Pottsville Common, Simple Mead, Dry Dock Apricot Blonde Clone, Rye IPA, Maibock, Scrapper's Quaffable Irish Red, Short Sleep Blueberry Ale, Lazy Magnolia Pecan Nut Brown Ale Clone, Graff, Apfelwein, Cascades Orange Pale, Orfy's Mild Ale, Vagabond Gingered Ale
What to Brew for iOS (free)

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Old 02-10-2010, 03:05 AM   #4
lady_brewer's Avatar
Oct 2009
Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 428
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I am pretty sure that the buckets are half cheap... they run about $18 here from the LHBS (local home brew shop)...

But you are also going to need a siphoning hose and a bottle capper for bottling, a long handled spoon early on. You might check you craigslist for people selling old equipment.

When I bought all my started stuff and 2 kits it ran me $210 (I bought a starter kit with a bucket, glass carboy, siphon hose, hydrometer, thermometer, etc, a bench capper, an extra carboy, the bungs, and so on.) - this made me 11 dozen beer, which would have cost about $220 if I bought it in a store. I broke even then.

Start-up costs are worth it if you can afford it.

Make sure that if you are looking for things on the cheap you still ensure that they are food grade.

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Old 02-10-2010, 03:05 AM   #5
Sep 2009
Posts: 164
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I would definitely recommend investing your money into a nice starter kit. "Brewers Best" makes one that contains all the hardware you need to get up and running. They also make starter ingredient kits with easy to read, step by step instructions on the whole process from start to end.

As for literature? You should check into Charlie Papazian's The Complete Joy of Home Brewing. He also provides beginner instructions, with all the science and advance brewing techniques to learn as you develop your skills.

Good luck, and happy brewin' !

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Old 02-10-2010, 03:33 AM   #6
Aug 2009
North Georgia
Posts: 430
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Yea.......I would pass on the pickle buckets. Anything that had vinegar in it would not be the best choice. Bakeries have cake icing buckets that work well. Look at the bottom of potential buckets. Make sure it has a 1,2 or 3 recycling symbol. Many of the older plastic water bottles are number 7 which is not the best choice either.

I just bought another brewing bucket with a gasketed lid and grommeted hole for the airlock for about $13 at my LHBS.

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