Ss Brew Bucket Personal Upgrades and Ideas

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Hoppy_Sanchez

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I’m curious to see what homebrewers have done to upgrade their Brew bucket to give them more flex. I’ve been thinking about adding the dome lid so I have more head space and I dig the 3 inch tri clover lid that can make dry hoping easier. I’ve seen that Ss offers drill bit kits so you can add a 1.5 in TC with various attachments. Also I’d like to do a true closed transfer. I feel like you can flex out your bucket tho is it even worth spending the money on Flexing my Ss bucket when I could just buy a Spike Flex+ and have endless flexibility?

Pls share your personal upgrades with pics and thoughts. I would love to hear what everyone has done or has been dreaming of doing to their brew bucket.
 
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I don't have any pics available to me right now, but I have done some upgrades on my 2 buckets.
I have the domed lid with stainless blow off canes. I installed a ball valve to the blow off so I can seal the fermenter before hooking up a co2 line to it. The beer is never exposed to O2, as I never open the lid.

I have the SSBT Temp control thing too. So I had to side mount my coils when I did the upgrade.

I also have a Spike Conical, which I like way more then the Buckets. Honestly I should have probably sold the buckets and got another Conical, but I decided to try and upgrade them instead.
 
I’m curious to see what homebrewers have done to upgrade their Brew bucket to give them more flex. I’ve been thinking about adding the dome lid so I have more head space and I dig the 3 inch tri clover lid that can make dry hoping easier. I’ve seen that Ss offers drill bit kits so you can add a 1.5 in TC with various attachments. Also I’d like to do a true closed transfer. I feel like you can flex out your bucket tho is it even worth spending the money on Flexing my Ss bucket when I could just buy a Spike Flex+ and have endless flexibility?

Pls share your personal upgrades with pics and thoughts. I would love to hear what everyone has done or has been dreaming of doing to their brew bucket.
The single best upgrade for more flexibility would be to upgrade to a real conical version with a 45 degree slopped bottom and dump valve to allow clean secondary fermentation in the same vessel..
 
I have also played with the idea of an upgrade for my bucket. For me the 'rotating' valve is a weak point. Mine either doesn't rotate well or leaks. I have yet to see an economical yet functional solution for this, and until I do, my upgrade path will be to get a different fermenter. That being said, the brew bucket has allowed me to do closed transfers, and has vastly simplified my fermentation process. It is so much better than the glass carboy i was using.
 
I have also played with the idea of an upgrade for my bucket. For me the 'rotating' valve is a weak point. Mine either doesn't rotate well or leaks. I have yet to see an economical yet functional solution for this, and until I do, my upgrade path will be to get a different fermenter. That being said, the brew bucket has allowed me to do closed transfers, and has vastly simplified my fermentation process. It is so much better than the glass carboy i was using.

I just bought thicker orings and I've not had any issues with leaking or rotating the arm since then.
 
Where did you get thicker o-rings from? I hate that damn rotating racking arm and the cheap ass o-rings.

https://www.theoringstore.com/

The size is listed on SSBrewtech's website - 16mm x 1.8 mm so I bought a selection of sizes a little bigger than that. I also bought a bunch of the little ones which are 8.5mm x 1mm. I bought the same size for those.
 
AS mentioned above, I changed the size of the valve o-rings. I also drilled a hole in the lid for a thermowell and I put different feet on the fermenters. I just checked the feet on Amazon and they don't appear to be available any more.
 
I have also played with the idea of an upgrade for my bucket. For me the 'rotating' valve is a weak point. Mine either doesn't rotate well or leaks. I have yet to see an economical yet functional solution for this, and until I do, my upgrade path will be to get a different fermenter. That being said, the brew bucket has allowed me to do closed transfers, and has vastly simplified my fermentation process. It is so much better than the glass carboy i was using.

Definitely the rotating racking arm is the weak spot. If the lower port were replaced with a TC fitting it would add a boat load of flexibility to the Brew Bucket, but for the 7 gallon version there's not enough space to accommodate one plus all the fittings you'd want to add on. I haven't brewed beer in mine for at least a year (when I bought a Chronical) but I use it almost continuously during 'wine making' season. It certainly is a vast improvement over plastic fermenters and glass carboys. Well worth the $$$.

When I was fermenting beer in it I did buy 2 domed lids, one with a 1.5" TC and one with a 3" TC. The Brew Bucket is only recommended to 2 psi differential but the weak point there seems to be the lid. If you do pressure transfers you'll see the lid flexing quite a bit. With only four spring clip latches, if the lid were to flex too much you'd deform it past the release point of one or more of the latches and the lid would blow. I believe (though no one at SS Brewtech will confirm) that the original spec. for the Brew Bucket was 3~5 psi maximum differential but it was lowered after a few latch failures to 2~2.5 psi recommended maximum. The domed lids will not deform like the flat lids but the four spring release latches are still a weak point. Get the 17mm drill bit and install one of their button PRVs designed to release at around 2.5 psi. I think the Brew Bucket is a great design, but it's not designed to hold any significant pressure over 2.5 psi.

After I got my Chronical the domed lids were interchangeable with the Brew Bucket. The Chronical is also only rated to 2.5 psi differential, but with 6 spring latches and a domed lid it will comfortably withstand the occasional pressure bump when you open the valve on your CO2 bottle for a pressurized transfer. I had to exercise much greater caution when I pressure transferred from the Brew Bucket with a flat lid. BTW, 2 psi is more than enough head pressure to do a transfer. I love the Chronical. I retrofitted it for heating and cooling and as I mentioned, share common parts with the Brew Bucket.

But then I decided that I really wanted to spund in the fermenter rather than transferring to a keg to spund, so I got a Unitank that gives me even more control over pressure and temperature without ever having to do a transfer until I'm ready to package into a keg or bottles. Plus all the TC fittings and parts are completely compatible between the Chronical and Unitank. Do I regret either purchasing the Brew Bucket or the Chronical? Not at all. I still use both of them, even though the Unitank is my "go to" and the Chronical is the spare for beer brewing, and the Brew Bucket is almost entirely used for wine only. They're three different tools with three separate (but overlapping) functions. Wouldn't want to part with any of them.

So to answer your original question, I'd say definitely go with the domed lid (probably the 1.5" TC unless you have a specific need for a 3" TC), don't worry about drilling and retrofitting a TC ferrule for the lid, get the pressure transfer lid kit (1.5" TC fitting with integral 2.5 psi PRV), and find the thicker O rings that @Spartan1979 suggested. You've already started moving in the right direction switching from plastic and glass to stainless steel. Wish I'd started years earlier.

Brooo Brother
 
I came across this thread when Google searching for Brew Bucket Lid Mods. I know the OP hasn't been on in a few months and bit of a resurrected thread, however, if in the future, Brew Bucket owners want to know the answer to the OP's question....well, here are some options.
IMG_5623.jpeg
Parts From Brewhardware.com
Make Weldless Kit 1/4" NPT, For thermowells
Thermowell - TW5-L-1/4-R
Weldless Bulkhead with Ball Lock Gas
2" Butterfly Valve, Lightweight
2" TC Clamps
2" TC EPDM Gaskets
2" TC Blank Caps
2" Hop Bong Dry Hopper Kit

Parts From Amazon
47mm Carbide Tipped Hole Saw (to make hole for TC Bulkhead)
Carbide Step Pit (to make 1/2" hole for thermowell)
2" Weldless TC Bulkhead Compression fitting (BrewHardware was out of stock when I was ordering)

The Hop Bong when attached will not fit in my Ferm Chamber. I remove the dry hopper and place a blank cap above the butterfly valve to fit in my chamber.

I did put the TC in the middle of my lid. To accomplish this, I attached the butterfly valve to my TC Weldless Bulkhead, I then installed the valve/bulkhead onto the lid with no issues. If you try to install the bulkhead first, you won't be able to tighten down the TC Clamp to the valve.

With this set-up, I'm able to...
Harvest fermentation CO2 to purge StarSan Filled Kegs
Deliver 1/2 psi CO2 When Cold Crashing
Dry Hop CO2 purged hops
 
Why not just buy an All Rounder (Kegland) and save time and money ?
I got the SS Brewbuckets as part of a package deal, they weren't what I was looking for. I sold off most of the stuff in that package, kept what I wanted and modified some of it. I've done that several times, as people get out of the HB hobby, upgrade my stuff with other's used equipment. I know it sounds cheap, but I'm a teacher; I need to keep this close to a $0 total outlay because there isn't the capital to spend more.
 
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