How much is a safe maximum to ferment in 5 gal bucket

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snarf7

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Up until now I've been doing small 1 gal batches in carboys with stopper and blow off tube.

I want to make a batch of my IPA to be ready in time for superbowl so I gotta get cracking. All I have on hand is a standard 5 gal Home Depot bucket + lid so I was going to DIY a stopper/blowoff in it and use that.

How much headspace do I need to plan for? Do I target 4.5 gal? 4 to be safe? Yeast will be US-05.

Any tips for the blowoff in such a setup?

thanks guys!
 

jtrux

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I’d guess about 4 gal. I ferment 5 gallon batches in a 6.5 gal carboy so I’d assume 1 gallon head space would be enough. Never looked at Home Depot buckets. Turn the bucket over, look at the plastic code and do a google search to make sure it’s a food grade plastic.
 
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snarf7

snarf7

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I’d guess about 4 gal. I ferment 5 gallon batches in a 6.5 gal carboy so I’d assume 1 gallon head space would be enough. Never looked at Home Depot buckets. Turn the bucket over, look at the plastic code and do a google search to make sure it’s a food grade plastic.
Good call. I checked, its #2 which is HDPE which is food-safe so I'm good on that front.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Good call. I checked, its #2 which is HDPE which is food-safe so I'm good on that front.
The question about if Home Depot buckets are food safe turns up lots of opinions. They are not certified food safe. I would not want to ferment is a bright orange bucket when I know that Home Depot also sells white certified food safe buckets for $1 or $2 more. I would also never ferment in a bucket that was not brand new and dedicated to fermentation due to risks of scratches harboring nasties. (I actually gave up on buckets many years ago after a string of bad batches, but I know others have good luck with buckets.)
 

kh54s10

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A few years ago I read a post that someone contacted Leaktite who make the buckets and was told it is HDPE plastic. And that the plastic itself is food grade. They went further to say that the pigment that makes the buckets orange was not food safe and therefore would not say that the orange buckets are food safe.
 
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snarf7

snarf7

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A few years ago I read a post that someone contacted Leaktite who make the buckets and was told it is HDPE plastic. And that the plastic itself is food grade. They went further to say that the pigment that makes the buckets orange was not food safe and therefore would not say that the orange buckets are food safe.
The bucket I have is white, not orange
 

kh54s10

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The bucket I have is white, not orange
Should be good. I put 5.25 gallons in my Better Bottles that hold almost 6.5 to top of the neck, so I would stay at about 4 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket. And be sure to set up a blow off tub. 50/50 it will blow.
 

balrog

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I've had US-05 take 1/4-1/2 gallon of headspace krausen in 5g batches. But I generally have 1.045--1.055 OG and it might be different for higher gravities. The only yeast so far that's generally ALWAYS higher krausen volumes was WY1007. The least was WY1450, prompting much unnecessary humor about @Denny having a small krausen.
 

kh54s10

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I've had US-05 take 1/4-1/2 gallon of headspace krausen in 5g batches. But I generally have 1.045--1.055 OG and it might be different for higher gravities. The only yeast so far that's generally ALWAYS higher krausen volumes was WY1007. The least was WY1450, prompting much unnecessary humor about @Denny having a small krausen.
With about a gallon of headspace I have had some with US-05 blow off and others only make an inch of krausen. Same with almost any yeast in a different recipe. Even recipes that are pretty close to the same.
 
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snarf7

snarf7

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I wound up just buying a 6.5 gal brew pail from my local store, its just easier since 95% of recipes are for 5 gal
 

Nubiwan

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I asked the same question as I had to fill my pale to bring down wort temps to pitch. I am guessing my offset was my OG was a little less heavy - 1040 - than perhaps hoped. Anyway, my red ale had about 2-3 inches to spare in top of a 5 gallon pale. A blow off tube is the best idea for any primary fermentor IMHO, as you might be constantly cleaning out a small airlock. Blow off can be as simple as a tube from the bung into a pot of water. Lots of pix on here.

My Canadian Red - after a couple of unconditioned bottles tested, was a delicious, if you are wondering.

I might be impartial :) But it was pretty good after my absence of 20 years or so in the sport. Completely palatable. Almost a commercial taste to my home brew, which I found somehow odd.
 
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