Size of Primary Fermentation Bucket - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Size of Primary Fermentation Bucket

Thread Tools
Old 05-10-2011, 12:17 PM   #1
Dec 2010
Concord, MA
Posts: 641
Liked 25 Times on 22 Posts

I just bought a "kit" that my LHBS puts together. It will make 5 gallons of a Guinness clone.

I own clean, food-grade buckets with lids:
  • Three (3) 5-gallon buckets
  • Two (2) 4.5-gallon buckets

I believe that I need something larger than 5 gallons, though, to allow for the foaming that will take place. My problem is that I don't know if this is a one-time thing for me, so I am reluctant to buy a larger bucket.

Would any of these work?
  • Use a 5-gallon bucket and let the foam/kreusen overflow
  • Mix it in a 5-gallon bucket, but then pour half of it off into a second bucket (4.5- or 5-gallon) and ferment as two batches
  • Only add enough water for 4 gallons, ferment in a 5-gallon bucket, then add the extra gallon of water to the bottling bucket

I plan on letting it ferment for 3 weeks in the bucket, then bottling (i.e., no time in a secondary fermenter). For using a bucket as a primary, should I drill a hole and insert a fermentation lock, or can I just lay the cover on the bucket and not snap it down tight? (With the second option, I'm figuring that the CO2 layer would build up and cover the wort, but the loose lid would keep bugs and dirt out. If I do need to use the fermentation lock, should I snap the lid down or just place it on top?)


Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 12:22 PM   #2
jd3's Avatar
Apr 2011
, The Back of the Bus
Posts: 441
Liked 9 Times on 8 Posts

A 6.5 gallon bucket at lid is like 12 bucks? You need an airlock, and if you used a premaid bucket it would have a hole and gasket.

The loose lid will allow wild yeast in. You want a solid seal and an airlock or blowoff tube.

Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 12:35 PM   #3
malweth's Avatar
Nov 2010
Wakefield, RI
Posts: 461
Liked 24 Times on 22 Posts

There should be no problem splitting the beer (after pitching) into two buckets. Just be sure the rest of your process is OK.

I've done it with wine when I had a similar problem for my first batch... though there are some differences, I can't see a problem with splitting wort.
[Carboy #1] "Oud Renard Rood" Flanders Red
[Carboy #2] Whitewood 12 Abt
[Carboy #3] Opus Mosaic Brown

[On Tap (Keg)]
(L) Shut De Do (Belgian Golden Strong / Tripel)
(on deck) Pineapple Wine
(on deck) Russian Imperial Stout (1 year aged)

Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 12:41 PM   #4
lschiavo's Avatar
Sep 2009
Upper Peninsula of..., Michigan
Posts: 4,910
Liked 1140 Times on 773 Posts

I think you would be fine splitting between two buckets. A lid set loosely on top should work as well...I had a bucket that the lid would not seal and the airlock never bubbled...not much different I guess.

Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 12:42 PM   #5
May 2011
Hesperia, MI
Posts: 253
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Restaurants, on a regular basis (sometimes daily), get more food grade plastic buckets for which they have a use. Many of these buckets are 6.5 gallon. If your concern is cost, try stopping in to a local joint and asking the manager if he could help a guy out. Good luck.

Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 02:33 PM   #6
I love making Beer
Nurmey's Avatar
Jul 2007
Omaha, NE
Posts: 3,983
Liked 31 Times on 27 Posts

I agree with Ischiavo, split between two bucket for best results. Also, loose lid is fine and will not allow anything bad to get in. Primaries do not have to be air tight for good beer.
Batch 1 Brewing
The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
primary fermentation in bottling bucket dirtvet Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 02-25-2014 04:02 PM
Opening the bucket during primary fermentation? thisgoestoeleven Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 16 01-05-2012 10:31 PM
Primary Bucket - Ok for extended primary fermentation? GonzoIllini Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 13 10-26-2011 02:08 AM
primary fermentation bucket or carboy wyclef Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 02-16-2011 06:40 PM
Primary Fermentation in Bottling Bucket rjester Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 01-07-2007 10:33 PM

Forum Jump