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Old 03-31-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
BobbyRob
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Default Lowes Buckets

So yesterday I went to lowes after my brew shop and I have a question.

The 6.5 gallon beer bucket at the brew shop was around $12
Lowes had a food grade no bpa 5 gallon bucket for $3.

They were both #2 plastic. Besides a slightly smaller batch is there any reason not to save some cash? Does anyone use this bucket


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Old 03-31-2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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If it's food grade, sure why not? Does it have a hole in the lid for a bung/airlock?


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Old 03-31-2013, 12:48 PM   #3
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I have several of them, but I don't use them for brewing. For milling grain into, storing the chiller in, etc.

You can fit 5 gallons of beer plus headspace in a 6.5 gallon brewing bucket.

You can fit 3.5 gallons of beer plus headspace in a 5 gallon brewing bucket.

That's really the major difference. Remember that for a 10-gallon batch now you're looking at 3 buckets, so you'll need the extra airlock, grommet, etc. too.

Also, you'd have to port your own for bottling, but that's easy enough.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaylord View Post
If it's food grade, sure why not? Does it have a hole in the lid for a bung/airlock?
Not drilled.

Drill a 5/8" hole in the lid, preferably with a Forstner bit if you have one (or Spade bit if you need to buy one) and insert a #2 drilled stopper.

Like this one:

http://www.shopbrewmeister.com/index.php/stopper-2.html

The same procedure works on the lids of apple juice bottles, so you can make Apfelwein in the bottle it came in using this method.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:51 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone sounds like something ill pick up on my next trip. Drilling it sounds easy enough.

Is the only reason you don't brew with it because of the size of the batches?
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:36 PM   #6
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I also have a white Lowes bucket by Encore plastics. It's a good bottling bucket but too small to ferment 5 gallon batches in.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thadius856 View Post
I have several of them, but I don't use them for brewing. For milling grain into, storing the chiller in, etc.

You can fit 5 gallons of beer plus headspace in a 6.5 gallon brewing bucket.

You can fit 3.5 gallons of beer plus headspace in a 5 gallon brewing bucket.

That's really the major difference. Remember that for a 10-gallon batch now you're looking at 3 buckets, so you'll need the extra airlock, grommet, etc. too.

Also, you'd have to port your own for bottling, but that's easy enough.
I can usually get 4 gallons of medium-gravity beer in a 5 gallon Lowe's bucket with no problems.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:10 PM   #8
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Right. Because of size.

I keep predicting 80% efficiencies and getting 85-90%, so I usually dilute and end up with 10.5-11 gal. Both buckets have the same footprint, and my fermentation chamber only fits two buckets, so....
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:22 PM   #9
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The beer bucket sold at your LHBS is a specialty item sold by a small shop, the Lowes buckets are sold by the zillions and priced accordingly...they both will serve the intended purpose given their size.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:22 PM   #10
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I would think the Lowe's or HD seal on the lid would not be air tight enough to ferment beer in. Saving money is a good thing but, once you realize brewing beer is a hobby you want to stick with, buying the best equipment you can afford at the time is the best way to save money. It will last longer and you may not have to up-grade as soon. A Lowe's bucket for $5 or a brewing bucket for $12, get the brewing bucket.

Like most home brewers I started out making beer from a kit in a 20 qt pot, moved to partial mash and full batch boil in an 8 gal pot and then bought a 10 gal pot to do AG brewing with 20 to 25 pounds of grain. Even then friends told me I should have got a 15 gal pot. I have only been brewing 2 years and am on my third pot. Just got a carboy to ferment a Barleywine in for 3 months. Generally speaking you can spend as little or as much as you want with this hobby but in general it is not a cheap hobby.

My point is to look at the equipment you need and can afford, then look at the next step up. If it's not going to break the bank, go for it. If you plan to stay with this hobby you will save money in the long run. I'll bet most people here who have been brewing awhile can tell you a similar story of the equipment they started with and what they wish they had bought in the beginning, and may offer you similar advice.


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