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Question about equipment and primary/secondary fermentation

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BarefootFriar

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Good evening.

I'm getting ready to buy the equipment I need to get started. I've been reading this forum extensively, along with anything else I can find on the subject. I'm inclined to not rack into a secondary, but leave well enough alone. If that is the case, do I really need a carboy, or can I get by with just a bucket?

Do I need to come up with a second bucket to use for bottling?

Would I be better off buying an equipment kit online somewhere, or just getting my equipment piecemeal from the LHBS or online?

Thanks for your help!
 

bobot

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A second bucket drilled for a spigot makes bottling much easier. You can add your boiled/cooled sugar water mixture to that bucket, rack your beer onto the sugar which helps mix it well. The spigot and a bottling wand are used to fill the bottles.
Good Luck!
:mug:
 

matt-tastic

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you can choose a bottling bucket, or use a carboy as your primary, and use the bucket as a bottling bucket. I find it easiest with 2 vessels to use, but both can be buckets for the sake of ease and price.

Kits are often easy and will save money over piecemeal, but I also like to support my local HBS. If they have a kit that fits your price and needs, then i'd go for it local. I also like instant gratification :)
 

MicheleE63

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I bought a kit to start - they make starting up pretty easy. But don't worry - you'll be buying everything in sight before long, once the addiction sets in........ Good luck and welcome!
 
OP
BarefootFriar

BarefootFriar

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Thanks for the replies. I'll go see what the store has and their prices. Since I already know roughly what it would be online with shipping, I can tell if it's worth it or not. I'm slightly concerned that it will be too high in store. But shipping is going to be so high that may be the difference.
 

duboman

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If you choose to use a carboy in lieu of a bucket to primary then be sure it is a 6 or 6.5 gallon as the 5 gallons are too small for primary. If you plan on using a secondary vessel for those bigger beers or to do oak or fruit then be sure it is a 5 gallon to reduce head space.

Also note that most kits do not come with a sanitizer so be sure to get iodophor or Star San for sanitizing and you will need a kettle as well, go bigger than you need, it will pay off as you move forward and don't forget to look at chillers as well or consider making one yourself.
 
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BarefootFriar

BarefootFriar

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I've got a kettle that I can use to begin with. It was free, so I didn't complain too much over the size. I haven't measured yet, but I think it's 5 gallons. Anyway, that will give me a chance to save up for a really nice one a bit later on.
 

WileECoyote

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I would take a look at this, this is a great deal and they will let you custom change any part of your order, nice people too.

This kit will cost you a lot less than getting one piece at a time, it includes a ingredient kit too, your 5 gal pot will work just fine with this kit too.

http://www.windriverbrew.com/apprentice.html

Cheers :mug:
 

unionrdr

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I was just going to say that midwest has a nice basic starter kit for $65. It has options that can be added on too.
 
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BarefootFriar

BarefootFriar

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New, but related, question: Must I buy a bucket sold as a fermenting bucket (which is $25 at the store nearby), or can I just go to Home Depot and get a normal 5 or 6 gallon bucket, clean it really well and santize it, and then use that? It's about a $15 difference. I can drill a hole in the lid and put a little rubber grommet thingie in it for next to nothing.
 

unionrdr

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A 5 gallon bucket isn't big enough,& it needs to be food grade with a "2" in a triangle on it somewhere. $25 for a fermenter bucket? My lhbs sold me a 7.9G bucket with grommeted lid & a spigot for about $13. Should'nt cost 25 bucks for an ale pail. So you need a bucket that's 6.5 gallons for a five gallon batch to have the right amount of head space.
 
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BarefootFriar

BarefootFriar

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Okay, thanks. I'll keep looking around.

In other news, I measured my kettle. 8 gallons. Looks like misunderestimated it a bit. ;)

All I have to do now is figure out my bottles and buy a propane tank. I have a friend who works for a restaurant, so I'm going to see if he'll collect me some bottles. That and my fermenter and I'll be in business.

Thanks for all the help. You guys are great!
 

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