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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Fermenter use advice needed
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
Piratwolf
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Default Fermenter use advice needed

Have an RIS brewed on 12/28, a BDS brewed on 1/6, both of which I want to age for a long time, and also an IPA brewed 1/14.

I have the following fermenters: 6.5gal glass, 6gal BB, 5 gal glass, and 3gal glass. I also have 2 (soon to be 4) empty corny kegs.

6,5 has an IPA, BB has the BDS, 5gal has the RIS. I need to brew pretty much every weekend this month (mostly 3gal batches) to get my beers prepped for a competition.

Should I...

1. Buy two plastic fermenter buckets so I can keep brewing?
2. Bottle the RIS to free up the 5gal glass fermenter & transfer the BDS to that?
3. Some other combination?

Any suggestions welcome!


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Old 01-18-2012, 01:04 PM   #2
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No you shouldn't buy 2 fermenter buckets and here's why.



Because you will quickly learn that you needed to buy 4.

Don't rush your RIS or your BDS. Your IPA still needs time in the fermenter too.


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Old 01-18-2012, 02:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
No you shouldn't buy 2 fermenter buckets and here's why.

Because you will quickly learn that you needed to buy 4.

Don't rush your RIS or your BDS. Your IPA still needs time in the fermenter too.
+1 Right on the money!

If you're looking at more buckets for 3-gallon batches, standard 5-gallon pails can be found for 1/3 the price of the 6.5-gallon "ale pails". They might be limited to smaller uses for standard 5+ gallon batches, they are perfect for cheap 2-4 gallon fermenters! Just invest in a handful of grommets and extra airlocks....of if your budget is really tight, you can run 3/8"ID blowoff tubes for cheap airlocks...
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for these suggestions! I was thinking that I should buy buckets, but guess I wanted to hear it from others. Plus, you must be somewhat psychic--I was just telling SWMBO I think I'm gonna start doing 2.5-3gal batches b/c I have about six cases bottled already and 15gal fermenting. I don't drink enough to justify adding 5gal at a time, plus smaller batches = more variety for less money. Nice!
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:04 PM   #5
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I only brew 2.75 gallon batches. This gives me a case plus a few. I like to experiment with different beers (build recipies using Beersmith) and 5 gallons is a lot of beer to drink if I don't like it.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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I also brew 3gal batches. I use 3gal Better Bottles. I have six of them. It is pretty easy to scale recipes in Beer Smith. I just can't drink all of 5gal, and I can't afford to just give it all away.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by eanmcnulty View Post
I also brew 3gal batches. I use 3gal Better Bottles. I have six of them. It is pretty easy to scale recipes in Beer Smith. I just can't drink all of 5gal, and I can't afford to just give it all away.
How do you like the 3 gal Better Bottles? Contemplating doing some 2.5 gallon batches. Does the 3 gal BB take the same stopper as the 5/6 gallon sizes?
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:20 PM   #8
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How do you like the 3 gal Better Bottles? Contemplating doing some 2.5 gallon batches. Does the 3 gal BB take the same stopper as the 5/6 gallon sizes?
The 3g Better Bottle takes the same stopper as the larger Better Bottles, but not the same as the glass carboys. Better Bottles has a stopper system to add a blow-off tube and other features, but I don't use them. They look complicated and expensive. I just use a regular stopper. I add a smaller diameter blow-off tube when I need to. I have not figured out a way to use a big-diameter blow-off tube yet, but it hasn't seemed a problem yet.
I set my recipe to brew 3 gallons, but I don't fill the fermenter to the full 3 gallons. With 3 gallon batches the difference in cost is negligible, so why not brew a little extra in case of loss somewhere?
I leave a little room for krausen, but lately it seems I need a blow-off tube whenever I brew. I have made a simple system to make it easy to attach the tubes.
Why I brew 3 gallons: I don't need so many bottles of beer taking up space; bottling 24 bottles is a breeze (sanitize in the dishwasher); and carrying 3 gallons is a lot easier than 5 gallons.
Good luck!


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