Carboys or Buckets?

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NikolausXX

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My best friend and I just brewed our first beer in the kit he got for chiristmas. He got the whole setup, with 2 buckets, airlock, syphon, bottler, bottle capper, brushes, etc. His parents even bought him a pale ale ingrediant kit. Even though we prefer porters, stouts, and double bocks.
So I guess the point is, he has most of the stuff that isnt too expensive, I figured for 100 bucks I could buy some Carboys and stuff, and get something going on at my house too. He is my next door neigbor, so travel time for supplies is pretty small.
I was just wondering with my hundred bucks or so, should I buy carboys or buckets and more ingrediants or kits?
 
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NikolausXX

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As an update, the things im tossing on the 2 are ease of use, and quality of beer. How much of a pain in the ass is it to move a carboy. Im sure there are tricks, but it has to weigh a crapload, and if it broke, that would be horrible.
 

GloHoppa

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IMHO I got a great kit to start with from Midwest brewing. It is their starter kit with 2 buckets and a carboy. I got this one since I figured it would be a way to do some secondary fermenting as well as having the option to move all better bottle/carboy. Since i had to ship to MA it cost 20 bucks shipping, so it was exactly 100 dollars for the kit. It has everything you need to brew other than the recipe ingredients themselves
 

Nurmey

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NikolausXX said:
As an update, the things im tossing on the 2 are ease of use, and quality of beer. How much of a pain in the ass is it to move a carboy. Im sure there are tricks, but it has to weigh a crapload, and if it broke, that would be horrible.
Get a carboy hauler for carrying your carboys. It makes easy for one or two to safely carry your carboys.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=6028
 

FlyGuy

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If you intend to transport your fermenters around, I highly recommend getting the plastic Better Bottle carboys. They have most of the advantages of a bucket and a glass carboy, with few of the disadvantages. The biggest considerations would be that they won't leak like buckets tend to do, and they can't shatter and slice you up like glass will do (it is too easy to slip while moving one of those).

Having said this, I don't own a single better bottle (I use two buckets and seven carboys). But if I were in your situation, I wouldn't even think twice about it.

Also, FWIW, if you want to save some money on fermenters, don't bother with a secondary unless you are going to make a fruit beer or condition in the fermenter for longer than a month. They are highly over-rated for most beers, and often you are better off NOT using one.
 

TheH2

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I would recommend making more beer first and watch Craigslist for cheaper carboys. Your brew will improve much more by experience than by having a carboy versus a bucket. Just my point of view.

I've only been brewing for a year and only had one problem (the o-ring broke in two) on last Sunday. I used teflon tape which kept a good seal until I could get by my lhbs (no luck at Home Depot). I now have a backup o-ring. Still brewing with the original bucket with no infections.
 

grasshopper1917

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Personally when I started I started out with one plastic primary bucket and a glass carboy. I also got with the kit some tubing, a bottling wand, big plastic spoon, some sanitizer and a coopers beer kit. It cost me 70$ at my local brew store. Extras I purchased were a table top capper which i think was either 25$ or 30$ and eventually an auto siphon which was maybe 12 bux if i recall.

Glass carboys are heavy as far as I lift mine is from the floor onto my brewing table when it is full. So if you plan on lugging it around the neighborhood or something you better hit the gym and lift some weights you gong to need the strength :p
 

Joker

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What are you brewing in? Full or partial boils? I don't see a pot or burner listed and if you are doing full boils I recommend a wort chiller as well.
 

CBBaron

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I prefer buckets for the ease of use, cost and safety. If you use glass carboys get a milk crate or Brewhauler to help you carry it and to protect it some. Better bottles are also a good option and I prefer them to glass.
I would not buy too many fermenters at this time but instead spend the money on ingredients. You can't drink carboys, and you need something to fill them with. :) As you start finding you want to brew more than you have room for then add some fermenters. I currently use 2 buckets and a carboy. I also have a 3rd bucket and a 6gal BB that is used for wine and mead.
Craig
 

Olive Drab

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Milk crate is good for moving around if you dont want to buy the carboy strap kit
 
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NikolausXX

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We have a wallmart 5 gallon stainless pot, and a turky fryer, and our first beer was extract with grains. We did about 3 gallons in the Pot, then cooled the wort, and added about 2/12 when it was done to bring it a hair over 5gal, in a bucket. We were thinking we would we would boil it up, then bring over to my house, about 50 feet away, then transfer wart, and any needed water to the carboy. But we are just starting out. Worse come to worse, bring the turkey fryer and pot over to my house, but he has better water setup than my house for filling and stuff.
We made the beer last week, my friend told me it is done fermenting, we are planning on the 1-2-3 method, we might cheat the 3 and start drinking some of it after 2. We are just going to put it in his other bucket for the secondary, and then bottle it after another 2 weeks.
One more questin, do you bottle out of the carboy, or transfer to bottling bucket?
 
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NikolausXX

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Another update, wont be transfering fermenters. Worst case, we would make the wort as his house and transfer the 2-3 gallons of wort, to my house, then fill the fermenter. Best case, I get some things in order around here, and brew it here too. Just for right now we got less than 200 bucks in our setup, and are looking to spend more money mainly on a couple of carboys and some ingrediant kits.
 

mrkristofo

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I've picked up my carboys for free. Check the University...they should have some 7.5gal Nitric acid carboys they need to get rid of. Don't worry, hazardous waste protocols ensure that they wash them at least 5 times before they can be picked up for disposal.

But if I were to pay for some, those better bottles seem pretty sweet.
 

brewawan

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FlyGuy said:
The biggest considerations would be that they won't leak like buckets tend to do, and they can't shatter and slice you up like glass will do (it is too easy to slip while moving one of those).

Also, FWIW, if you want to save some money on fermenters, don't bother with a secondary unless you are going to make a fruit beer or condition in the fermenter for longer than a month. They are highly over-rated for most beers, and often you are better off NOT using one.
Don't make the same mistake that I made a month ago. I tried to clean my 6.5 gal glass carboy in my bathtub and it slipped out of my hands. It shattered and left me with a pretty difficult clean-up process. At least I was uninjured.

As for the secondary, I am too beginning the process of phasing out my secondary. After long discussions at the LHBS, I've moved on to help me eliminate more clean-up time and more of a chance to shatter another glass carboy. Cheers!!!:tank:
 

extexan

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I have 2 5 gal carboys, 2 6 1/2 gal carboys, and a 6 1/2 gal bucket for fruit beers. The variety helps in having several fermenting at the same time.
 
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NikolausXX

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Well just ordered from midwest, a 6.5 gal and a 5 gal carboy, and a 6.5 gallon bucket with spickot on it, with lid, and 3 airlocks. Ordered handles and stoppers for carboys, and a carboy brush, and hydrometer flask. And an oatmeal stout extract/grain kit with good yeast.
 

mrkristofo

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NikolausXX said:
Well just ordered from midwest, a 6.5 gal and a 5 gal carboy, and a 6.5 gallon bucket with spickot on it, with lid, and 3 airlocks. Ordered handles and stoppers for carboys, and a carboy brush, and hydrometer flask. And an oatmeal stout extract/grain kit with good yeast.
Oh yeah, hook line and sinker. You're stoked.
 
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NikolausXX

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Im pumped. I really wonder what this is all going to look like when fed ex brings it. Time to start collecting more bottles, I got a little time yet. I got about 30 sam adams bottles, so looks like I got to buy some more 6-12 packs.
 
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NikolausXX

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All the stuff came today. I couldnt be more pleased, looks like oatmeal stout getting started this weekend!
 

RangerG

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I mostly have glass carboys and one better bottle. I like the better bottle cause it's easy to use, but I wonder about cleaning after a while? It's been used five times and is already showing a lot of scratches. Mine also has a valve so although I gotta clean it real good. I don't like using the better bottle for long-term stuff cause of that - a little contamination has a longer time to try to reak havoc.

I figure if it's a long-term fermentation then I want glass (real easy to clean - very smooth), but I like the ease of the better bottle for singel or primary fermentations because it's so easy to use.
 
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NikolausXX

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Well after a few weeks, I couldnt be happier with the carboys. Much easier than bucket in my mind, but im rather large guy and can manhandle the large sob's.
 
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