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Bottles or Pressure barrel

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carling05

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hi i was just wondering i have done a couple of lager home brews and i have used bottles both times but i always waste about a quarter that is left in the bottom either because it has gone cloudy or the taste goes bad . is it better to use a pressure barrel or stick with bottles. the reason i use bottles is cos u can put em in fridge to cool em off before you drink them. thanks
 

Janx

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Well, unless you can put your barrel in the fridge, it won't be cold. Also, unless you can add CO2 to it, the beer will go flat as you pour it...kind of like cask conditioned beer, and not the normal way of serving lagers.

Personally, I'd stick with bottles or go to kegs. You should be able to bottle darn near every drop of beer if you transfer to a secondary and leave it there for a few weeks and then transfer to a bottling bucket before bottling. Cheers! :D
 
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carling05

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not sure what u mean, transfer to a secondary and leave it there for a few weeks and then transfer to a bottling bucket before bottling, ive only done it a couple of times , i have a fermenting bin with a tap at bottom , transfered my lager to bottles left for a couple of weeks then drunk it.
 

damntheman

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carling05 said:
not sure what u mean, transfer to a secondary and leave it there for a few weeks and then transfer to a bottling bucket before bottling, ive only done it a couple of times , i have a fermenting bin with a tap at bottom , transfered my lager to bottles left for a couple of weeks then drunk it.
He's talking about transfering your wort from your primary fermenter to a glass secondary fermenter. This helps to get rid of some of the turb at the bottom and produce a much cleaner beer. After the wort has been in the secondary fermenter for about a week, you can transfer it to a bottling bucket which has a tap at the bottom.

--DamnTheMan
 

Janx

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Right...so what I'm suggesting is you would ferment in that bucket for a week or so. Then you'd transfer to a glass carboy to get the beer off of the trub and yeast at the bottom of the fermenter. It would sit there for a couple weeks and the flavor will improve immensely because it is no longer in contact with the trub.

Then you would rack back over to the bottling bucket, add priming sugar, and again leave behind all the yeast and trub. Your beer will be a lot brighter and have a lot less crap in it, so you can bottle all of it. What you're doing is bottling straight from the primary. At the very least, transfer to a different bucket to bottle so that you leave all the trub and yeast out of the bottles. A secondary made of glass really is a worth step to take, though. I think you'll like the results.

Cheers! :D
 
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carling05

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sorry to be a pain but could i use the same bucket i used to ferment the beer as a bottling bucket, and once you transfer the beer from the glass carboy to the bottling bucket do u transfer it straight to bottles?
 

bikebryan

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carling05 said:
sorry to be a pain but could i use the same bucket i used to ferment the beer as a bottling bucket, and once you transfer the beer from the glass carboy to the bottling bucket do u transfer it straight to bottles?
Ideally you should use a three vessel system:

1. Primary fermenter. Can be plastic or glass (I use a plastic bucket).
2. Secondary fermenter. Most folks recommend glass for this.
3. Bottling bucket. Used solely for bottling.

Using this system, you place the wort into the primary fermenter, seal it, put in the airlock and then wait. Usually, the wort sits and ferments in there for around 7 days, give or take. While fermenting, all the suspended hops and some of the yeast drop to the bottom of the vessel. This stuff is referred to as trub, and can affect the flavor of the beer if you leave it in contact with the trub for too long.

Once the primary ferment is done (a week, give or take, depending on what you are brewing), you rack the beer from the plastic bucket into your secondary vessel. Most home brewers recommend a glass carboy. Be careful to leave the trub at the bottom of the primary fermenter. How long it sits in this vessel is up to you. I usually have it in secondary for one or two weeks. While it's in there, more suspended solids can drop out, and more dead/inactive yeast will also fall out.

When you are ready to bottle, you rack the beer out of the carboy and into your bottling bucket, making sure you leave the trub in the carboy behind. Mix in your bottling sugar in the bottling bucket, and bottle away.

Basically, the only thing you should be using your bottling bucket for is bottling.
 

Dude

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kenmc said:
Any particular reason why glass is the preferred option?
Usually the purpose of a second fermentation is to "age" the beer as well, so with extended periods in a plastic bucket, the beer can tend to pick up off-flavors from the plastic. Plastic is also more oxygen permeable than glass.
Any extended aging or lagering should be done in glass to avoid exposure to oxygen.
 

mrkeeg

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Ideally you should use a three vessel system:

1. Primary fermenter. Can be plastic or glass (I use a plastic bucket).
2. Secondary fermenter. Most folks recommend glass for this.
3. Bottling bucket. Used solely for bottling.
I'm curious about the bottling bucket - what characteristics make a bottling bucket different from a plastic primary fermenter, and thus why do you want them seperate?

Thanks,
Keegan
 

bikebryan

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orrelse said:
Usually the purpose of a second fermentation is to "age" the beer as well, so with extended periods in a plastic bucket, the beer can tend to pick up off-flavors from the plastic. Plastic is also more oxygen permeable than glass.
Any extended aging or lagering should be done in glass to avoid exposure to oxygen.
Not too mention there is much less exposed surface area within a carboy for possible exposure to oxygen.
 

Dude

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mrkeeg said:
I'm curious about the bottling bucket - what characteristics make a bottling bucket different from a plastic primary fermenter, and thus why do you want them seperate?

Thanks,
Keegan

There is no problem with fermenting either primary or secondary in your bottling bucket. I think what bikebryan is tryng to get across is that if you should rack over your beer to a separate bottling bucket so you don't stir up any of the sediment.
In other words, you can use either plastic bucket to ferment, just make sure when you are bottling that you don't have the sediment from fermentation in that same bucket. Way too much dead yeast and crap in there. :eek:
 

bikebryan

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mrkeeg said:
I'm curious about the bottling bucket - what characteristics make a bottling bucket different from a plastic primary fermenter, and thus why do you want them seperate?

Thanks,
Keegan
My experience is that there is too strong a possibility that the bottling bucket may leak where the spigot is screwed in. It is also a spot where oxidation can easily occur as the gasket is not airtight.
 
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