Just bought a starter kit but have a question

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The starter kit I bought at the brewing supply store came with a 10 gallon bucket and a 5 gallon carboy (with airlock). The instructions say to do the primary in the bucket and then rack to the carboy for a secondary. The bucket however is not airtight at all which I thought was critical to fermentation. So I'm going to use the carboy for my primary fermentation.

My question is if I wanted to do a secondary, could I temporarily rack the beer to the bucket and then transfer it back to the carboy after cleaning it out and sanitizing it again? Would this harm the beer at all?
 

wildwest450

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Why do you say the bucket isn't air tight? Also a secondary isn't always necessary, unless you dryhop. I leave 90% of my beers in the primary for 21 days then straight to the keg. It's not a great idea to use the carboy for fermentation, there's not enough room for a 5 gallon batch.
 

Stinkonamonkey

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Is it an ale pale? With a lid? Do you have a link to what you got or perhaps a picture?
 

Tankard

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Does the lid not close completely? How do you know that it isn't air tight?

I wouldn't do primary fermentation in a 5 gallon carboy if I were you. There is simply not enough headspace to handle the krausen layer that will form once fermentation begins. Hell, even a 6.5 gallon carboy isn't enough for some fermentations and sometimes requires a blowoff tube.

Take the bucket back to where you bought it and have them inspect it. If it really isn't air tight, ask them to replace it.

I also agree that secondary isn't always necessary and as a beginner, you want to minimize your chances of making a mistake. Not doing a secondary on your first batch will make the whole process easier and there will be less chance of you accidentally contaminating your beer.
 
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The lid for primary bucket doesn't snap shut. When it's on, I can gently wiggle my finger in between the lid and bucket, so it isn't airtight nor do I think it's made to be that way, because it doesn't have a hole for a stopper and airlock.

I'm thinking I just bought a crappy kit. Should I even bother using this bucket for fermentation or should pick up an airtight one?
 

holjim

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If that is true, yes, you need to upgrade now! Get yourself a cheap Ale Pail and you'll be good to go.

The lid for primary bucket doesn't snap shut. When it's on, I can gently wiggle my finger in between the lid and bucket, so it isn't airtight nor do I think it's made to be that way, because it doesn't have a hole for a stopper and airlock.

I'm thinking I just bought a crappy kit. Should even bother using this bucket for fermentation or should pick up an airtight one?
 

wildwest450

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You can buy a lid with a rubber gasket in it, that will seal good enough for fermentation. You should be able to get one with a hole predrilled for a stopper, if not just buy the stopper and drill the hole yourself. Or just ask the people you got the kit from to give you a lid gasket.
 
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None of the brew supply shops in town had ale pails, or a lid with rubber gasket (Don't ask how, I figured they would), so I did the next best thing and bought a 10 gallon plastic carboy. So that will be my primary fermenter, and I'll just need a decent sized funnel to pour the wort in there,. Any problems with that?
 

AndrwHock

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The only problem I can see is if the plastic itself isn't air tight. Many plastics are made to be porous and therefore will let some air seep through. I don't see it as being a huge problem unless you are nit-picky though. Many might disagree with my opinion. If its one of those better bottle carboy things, you should be good to go without worry.
 

ballbuster

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Have you pushed down on that lid and worked your way all the way around to ensure it is snapped on all the way, May also be the wrong lid for your bucket.
 
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