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Old 09-26-2012, 03:14 AM   #1
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Default Plastic fermenting bucket - not fermenting.

Hey all. I've got a nice 6 gallon fermenting bucket that suddenly won't ferment. I've used it 2 times without success this year, but and I've never had any problem with my glass carboys. I use Starsan. I clean after emptying each vessel, no metal. I think I'm pretty good about cleaning/sanitization.

Is there anything I could do to surely get my bucket/lid sanitized?


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Old 09-26-2012, 03:40 AM   #2
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What do you mean the bucket won't ferment? You mean, you aren't getting fermentation in beer in the bucket? How did you figure out there is no fermentation occurring?


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Old 09-26-2012, 03:46 AM   #3
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If anything, an unsanitary bucket would ferment in a bad way. Like above, how are you determining that it isn't fermenting? If you aren't seeing airlock activity, it's likely that the lid isn't sealing and the CO2 from fermentation is escaping unnoticed. If there is really no fermentation happening, then the only thing I can think of is that you are fermenting in a freezer or you forgot to pitch yeast.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:11 AM   #4
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In addition to the above posts, you can soak that lid in a shallow tube of OxiClean to get into all those crevises...those lids are a PITA to clean, easier to just soak.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:21 AM   #5
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Ok, to clarify: The past 2 times I've tried to use this fermenter, no visible fermentation/BEER PRODUCTION has taken place. No bubbles in the airlock, nothing inside the bucket either. NO KRAUSEN. The first time, I let it go for a few weeks, kegged it and it tasted like some kind of crap juice. The 2nd time, I brewed 2 similar batches that day and re-pitched to this fermenter after 48 hours of inactivity. No visible fermentation or rise in temperature observed. After 4 weeks there was a bunch of mold at the top. What is going on inside my fermenter and can it be fixed? It is not my fermentation room, etc. I've got 15 or so brews of varying complexity under my belt. This bucket is the only one I've had problems with. I clean with Oxyclean, scrub with plastic, and sanitize with Oxy clean.

Worth noting: I used a started each time and in each case, this was the second pitch.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pipes4Strength View Post
Ok, to clarify: The past 2 times I've tried to use this fermenter, no visible fermentation/BEER PRODUCTION has taken place. No bubbles in the airlock, nothing inside the bucket either. NO KRAUSEN. The first time, I let it go for a few weeks, kegged it and it tasted like some kind of crap juice. The 2nd time, I brewed 2 similar batches that day and re-pitched to this fermenter after 48 hours of inactivity. No visible fermentation or rise in temperature observed. After 4 weeks there was a bunch of mold at the top. What is going on inside my fermenter and can it be fixed? It is not my fermentation room, etc. I've got 15 or so brews of varying complexity under my belt. This bucket is the only one I've had problems with. I clean with Oxyclean, scrub with plastic, and sanitize with Oxy clean.

Worth noting: I used a started each time and in each case, this was the second pitch.
Oxyclean is not a sanitizer. It is a cleaner. You have a clean bucket, but not sanitized. That means a good chance for infections.

Buy a sanitizer. Iodophor and Star-san and good no-rinse sanitizers.

There is nothing magical about a bucket that means it won't allow fermentation. It will. You've had fermentation. You've just had some infections also, since the bucket/lid were not sanitized.

You may have some small scratches in the bucket that are harboring bacteria, causing infection. Check carefully to see if there are any scratches at all.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pipes4Strength View Post
Hey all. I've got a nice 6 gallon fermenting bucket that suddenly won't ferment. I've used it 2 times without success this year, but and I've never had any problem with my glass carboys.
Did you check the batteries?
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:35 AM   #8
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What sort of gravity readings are you seeing? Is there any drop from the SG?

It is hard to analyze without all the data. I'm guessing you have a yeast problem rather than a bucket problem.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:54 PM   #9
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Sounds like it could be the yeast, or like Yooper said, you could be screwing up the sanitation
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
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Also, you don't mention anywhere that you own a hydrometer or are taking gravity readings. Like everyone else said, the yeast could care less if they are in your bucket or a hole in the ground or the snizz of a unkempt whore......if there are simple sugars, the yeast WILL ferment them.

Your bucket may be producing BAD beer, in which case I agree with everyone else that it's because you aren't sanatizing anything, BUT the only way to know for sure that your worts are fermenting is to take gravity readings, so when you go to your LHBS to pick up some StarSan, go ahead and drop $6-8 for a hydrometer too.

Good lick (<---I mean LUCK....got that snizz fermentation on the brain)!!


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