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Primary fermentor:carboy vs plastic bucket

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Primary fermentor: Bucket vs Carboy

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patrck17

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This may be a no brainer but I am trying to determine if I should get a 6 gal carboy for my primary fermentor or use a 6.7 gal bucket. I already have the bucket and have no problem not using it, it will be handy as a santization bucket or to rack to before bottling to mix priming sugar. Just lookin for some opinions.

Is one better than the other, or does it not matter? I expect the difference to be mostly in personal preference.

I have read that the bucket does not completely seal, though I doubt this causes problems cause it seems a lot of people still use the buckets.
 
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BTW - I just switched from plastic to 6g carboy with my last batch. Works fine and you get to see it ferment :cool: . I would have done it sooner but was going to wait to get a 6.5 carboy. No need unless you do some huge slurry pitch or are fermenting at higher than optimum temps.
 

Sasquatch

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Doing primary ferment in a bucket w/lid is fine, the idea being that enough CO2 and a yeast pancake are present, protecting the brew. After that pancake dissipates, times to lock the thing away from air, in a carboy. Does it matter which you start in? Nah. As long as your plastic bucket isn't scratched up, harboring critters. And as long as you aren't brewing in a sandstorm. Keep it clean. Half the books recomend a bucket, half recommend a carboy... so it seems like a Chevy/Dodge debate to me...

Patrck has a point though, in that it is really handy to have a few good size buckets around for holding sanitizer etc.
 

Sir Sudster

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Save the buckets..go with a stainless steal conical fermenter.
I'm going to get one as soon as I win the lottery.
 
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patrck17

patrck17

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Sudster said:
Save the buckets..go with a stainless steal conical fermenter.
I'm going to get one as soon as I win the lottery.

Ahh yeah you will have one in no time. How much better are they? Seems like they would be a pain in the ass to clean. I guess it depends on just how much you want to put in (and get out) of the hobby. Maybe oneday when I have a house with a garage or a nice backyard area to set up some all grain equipment then I will get a small one, maybe a 7 gal.

What I would like to have is enough HB on reserve so I have enough for me and my buds to have some brews on the weekends (a few different brews to choose from) while I have lagers fermenting and a few different types of brews conditioning in kegs or bottles. So maybe a conical and a bunch of carboys for me.
 

brewhead

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i use a bucket for the primary and here's why. easier to clean / easier to pour wort into / easier to areate the wort in pre-pitch / for me easier all around
 

andre the giant

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I use glass carboys for everything but bottling. I like being able to see what's going on, I like the ability to sanitize and clean the crud out of it without worrying about scratches, etc. Plus, carboys impress guests a bit more than plastic buckets do. I'm leaving my Irish Red in the secondary until after this weekend's beer party because I know I'll be showing people my setup and talking about the process. It's nice to have a prop around that you can see without removing a lid and contaminating it.

Besides, I like the thrill of moving a carboy, heavy from all the beer in it, knowing that if I let it slip, I will a front row seat for quite a spectacle. ;)
 

vtfan99

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andre the giant said:
...Besides, I like the thrill of moving a carboy, heavy from all the beer in it, knowing that if I let it slip, I will a front row seat for quite a spectacle. ;)
If you consider a trip to the ER a spectacle ;)
 

Porter fan

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brewhead said:
i use a bucket for the primary and here's why. easier to clean / easier to pour wort into / easier to areate the wort in pre-pitch / for me easier all around
Very well said..Don't worry have a homebrew.. ;)
 

SpinDance

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I started by making wine, the first batch just fit in the 5-gallong carboy. It ended up exploding out the bung and airlock, shooting winey stuff about 15 feet in all directions just at bed time. A very interesting v-shaped pattern up the newly painted wall where it was sitting. My very patient husband helped clean up the mess, but suggested quietly that it would be good if it did not happen again. I certainly agreed, and from then on I've used buckets for primary fermentation, racking to the carboy after the initial working.
 
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El Pistolero said:
How do you get the wort well aerated when you're using a carboy?
I just switched to a carboy from a bucket and the way I do it is by taking a pool floating device electric pump (around $10 in the states) and attach my sanitized siphon tube to it. It may be a bit overly aggresive on aeration if there is such a thing. If I used this same setup in a bucket I'd have wort all over me. I've also heard fish aquarium pumps work but I'd think they're pricier and not as violent as my solution. :D

I'll probably stick to glass now but it does make aeration more of a pain unless you do above and to get yeast slurry out if you save it. I don't agree that it's more difficult to clean though. Rinse it out, stick 2oz of bleach to 5g water and let it sit overnight and its spotless in the morning. I never scrub.
 
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patrck17

patrck17

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Why can't you boil your wort, cool it to around 75, funnel it into a glass carboy, shake vigorously, add preboiled water, pitch and live happily ever after? You could even preareate the extra water by shaking it in some container. That seems like it would be sufficient.
 

vtfan99

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patrck17 said:
Why can't you boil your wort, cool it to around 75, funnel it into a glass carboy using a funnel, shake vigorously, add preboiled water, pitch and live happily ever after? You could even preareate the extra water by shaking it in some container. That seems like it would be sufficient.
This is exactly what I do, except I use bottle spring water. The splashing created during the pouring of the wort and the water creates plenty of aeration for me. Once I move to full wort boils aeration may become a problem, although I will still be pouring through a strainer and into a funnel. The fall from the top of the 6.5 gallon carboy should do the trick.
 

bikebryan

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patrck17 said:
Why can't you boil your wort, cool it to around 75, funnel it into a glass carboy, shake vigorously, add preboiled water, pitch and live happily ever after? You could even preareate the extra water by shaking it in some container. That seems like it would be sufficient.
I don't know about you, but the idea of shaking 5 gallons of wort in a nice, heavy glass carboy really doesn't appeal that much to me. It's not like it's lightweight, designed to be easily held, or anything. I also don't relish the idea of what happens when I drop it while shaking it. A full batch of wasted beer, wasted time, a big sticky/nasty mess, and all the broken glass.
 
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bikebryan said:
I don't know about you, but the idea of shaking 5 gallons of wort in a nice, heavy glass carboy really doesn't appeal that much to me. It's not like it's lightweight, designed to be easily held, or anything. I also don't relish the idea of what happens when I drop it while shaking it. A full batch of wasted beer, wasted time, a big sticky/nasty mess, and all the broken glass.
Agreed, thus my use of modern day electric marvels that blow air.
 
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