Switching a carboy....screw the bucket!

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ZmannR2

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So my my first batch turned out ok but I hated that my airlock never bubbled. It just seeped out the lit cuz my ale Paul doesn't seal worth a damn.

I'm thinking this method:

Cooled wort into a bucket through a mesh strainer to get the solids out and agitate for oxygen. Then I pitch the yeast, then I pour it through a funnel into a carboy. Lol. I may need someone to hold the funnel. Hopefully wife will.

Questions on the funnel....does anyone see a problem with picking up an automotive funnel and sanitizing it?
 

ruger988

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So my my first batch turned out ok but I hated that my airlock never bubbled. It just seeped out the lit cuz my ale Paul doesn't seal worth a damn.

I'm thinking this method:

Cooled wort into a bucket through a mesh strainer to get the solids out and agitate for oxygen. Then I pitch the yeast, then I pour it through a funnel into a carboy. Lol. I may need someone to hold the funnel. Hopefully wife will.

Questions on the funnel....does anyone see a problem with picking up an automotive funnel and sanitizing it?
Stainless funnels are easy to find.

Another option... cool wort straight into carboy and get and oxygenation set up, "solids" are perfectly fine to push to primary. Would take a few different potential contamination sources out of the loop.
 

KPBrews

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Personally, I'd get food grade plastic else you can't trust it will sanitize well enough.

A good funnel with a strainer insert doesn't cost much from your local brew shop. And frankly, unless you're really slamming the wort into the funnel, I doubt it's all that necessary to hold it, as long as you have a good fit. Mine works great for this (from MoreBeer, although the screen insert came from my LBS).
 

Homercidal

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Food grade funnels are darn cheap. You can get a splash-resistant large funnel for about $10.

FWIW the bubbling airlock isn't indicative of a quality brew or not. I wouldn't stress about finding a funnel and using a carboy before your next brew. I used buckets most of the time and they rarely bubble. The beer is generally coming out of the bucket soon after fermentation is done anyway.

I'm starting to think about a SS bucket, though. Easy cleaning of SS and wide-open mouth of a bucket, and way cheaper than a conical.
 
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ZmannR2

ZmannR2

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I just would really like to know more than just hoping its fermenting away. And I hate opening that lid to check
 

KPBrews

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Food grade funnels are darn cheap. You can get a splash-resistant large funnel for about $10.

FWIW the bubbling airlock isn't indicative of a quality brew or not. I wouldn't stress about finding a funnel and using a carboy before your next brew. I used buckets most of the time and they rarely bubble. The beer is generally coming out of the bucket soon after fermentation is done anyway.

I'm starting to think about a SS bucket, though. Easy cleaning of SS and wide-open mouth of a bucket, and way cheaper than a conical.
I've used glass carboys to date, but after dropping 6 gals of English Brown wort 6" in the parking lot when my hand slipped after a group brew, and then wearing the wort home (after spending 45 minutes picking up broken glass and counting myself lucky I wasn't hurt), I bought a bucket. The Brewcraft 8 Gallon Fermenter seals tightly. The first batch I brewed in it this past weekend was bubbling normally by the next morning, same as it would in a carboy. I still prefer carboys, but there's no denying the convenience and simplicity of a bucket for many tasks.

If I ever upgrade, I'm seriously torn between the FastFerment plastic conical, and the Chapman 7 gal SteelTank stainless bucket, since both are $100...
 
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seabrew8

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Get a brewers funnel it has grooves on the "tail" end to release pressure so you don't have to lift up the funnel when you fill it up.

In the meantime did you try using a hammer to give a few light smacks on the lid?

Carboys are a pain in the ass IMO.
 
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I just would really like to know more than just hoping its fermenting away. And I hate opening that lid to check
I'm with you. I like seeing the beer fermenting. I've been making beer for 10 years. I don't look at my fermentors every day, but I do like to look in there to see if things are progressing well. I use 6.5g plastic carboys (Big Mouth Bubbler), which I think are ideal.

It's a bad idea to keep opening your fermentor. Best way is to pitch your yeast and leave it closed until it's bottling/kegging time, then check the gravity and transfer.
 

pshankstar

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I've used glass carboys to date, but after dropping 6 gals of English Brown wort 6" in the parking lot when my hand slipped after a group brew, and then wearing the wort home (after spending 45 minutes picking up broken glass and counting myself lucky I wasn't hurt), I bought a bucket. The Brewcraft 8 Gallon Fermenter seals tightly. The first batch I brewed in it this past weekend was bubbling normally by the next morning, same as it would in a carboy. I still prefer carboys, but there's no denying the convenience and simplicity of a bucket for many tasks.

If I ever upgrade, I'm seriously torn between the FastFerment plastic conical, and the Chapman 7 gal SteelTank stainless bucket, since both are $100...
Wow, you are lucky you didn't get hurt! I can't imagine how upset I would be after all that hard work making the wort and then its gone. :(

I purchased the FastFerment conical and I can say I have been nothing but happy with it! Since then I rarely use my bucket. Although I did when I made a strawberry blonde ale that I wanted to sit on 8 pounds of strawberries for two weeks. So I racked the wort over to the bucket with the strawberries from the FastFerment. So easy!!! Then I siphoned it to the keg once it was done.

Now I did just pick up a 3 gallon PET carboy to try my hand at hard cider. I have been up in the air if I should use my bucket or FastFerment for hard cider too. The more I read it seems like it's ok to ferment both in the same equipment. But now I have smaller fermenter for experiments (plus an old Mr. Beer fermenter).

Any how, look into the FastFerment as another option. I think you might prefer that over a carboy...
 
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KPBrews

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Wow, you are lucky you didn't get hurt! I can't imagine how upset I would be after all that hard work making the wort and then its gone. :(
Yeah, that really sucked. I'm always really careful, but this time, after carrying a VERY full carboy a considerable distance to my car in the parking lot, I went to set it down next to my car and, 6" away from the asphalt, my supporting hand slipped. It was quite the explosion when it hit!

Took a LOT of home brew to console myself when I got home. ;) At least the group brew was extremely economical (aside from the loss of the carboy itself). *sigh* The next day I brewed a new batch of Stout at home into a bucket, LOL, so at least I didn't end the weekend empty-handed.

Those FastFermenters seem slick. I don't have a place to wall mount them, though, and it really annoys me that they charge so much for a floor stand. (and I don't feel like DIYing something that should be included, IMO) A lot of the Amazon reviews refer to needing to clean up the threaded mould lines with sandpaper to get a good seal, did you have to?

Still a tough call between that and the simpler Stainless bucket, which seems pretty idiot-proof. I definitely still miss seeing the wort churn through the carboy as the yeast work their magic, though...
 

pshankstar

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I think there were a few spots on the threads on top for the lid I touched up, but nothing major. Maybe more OCD for me.

Yes I agree the stand is over priced and I feel it is too close to the floor to make it practical to use in my opinion. My father in-law is very good at wood working and he will probably build a custom stand for both of our FastFermenters with castors so we can wheel it around if needed.
 

Sailingeric

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I have the Brewcraft 8 gal bucket as well, never got a bubble but it is translucent enough I can see the krausen ring, that is all that is important for me to see. Have not had a fail beer yet. :mug:
 
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I'm not a bucket fan. My idiosynchratic nature more than anything scientific. I use 6 G Better Bottles ( plastic see thru carboy). Open ferm chamber, check temp and kreusen, add an ice block, and close the door. My beers tend to be happy and prosperous. I go straight from kettle to better bottle.
 

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Looks like i have a brewcraft bucket has well. :) Good bucket and you can see through it enough to see foam - almost forgot you can make bigger batchs too! I have 2 carboys has well but i won't be buying anymore. Its nice to see the activity but you get over it.

Hopefully when the seal gets bad a replacement lid or seal will do the trick!
 

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Here is my take on it after a year. That FastFerment sure is cool. Building a fermentation chamber around it isn't really feasible. OUT.

Glass. OUT. I like my limbs.

Plastic PET Carboy.. bought one. Used it once.. worked great. A pain in the rear to drain from and clean. Wouldn't buy it again but will continue using.

Buckets. Pretty convenient, but they do leak, O2 is more of a potential problem, but good enough for most. Some brews are nice to be able to watch and you can't do that.

Big mouths. Now that someone other that NB/Midwest is coming out with them they might be a compromise.

Spiedels. Probably one of the better solutions. Pretty expensive for what they are.

SS conicals.. now if money were no object this is the solution.

Two 5 gallon corney kegs with CO2 purge... hmm.. I think I'm trying this on the next brew. If it works I'm buying two more and dedicating them to the service.

Really if I had my way I'd be fermenting in stainless.. and like I said.. I might start looking for really cheap trashy corneys....

They have the bucket/spiedel/SS conical problem of being opaque too but if I really had to pull the lid I could purge it easily too...

Fred
 

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I don't feel the need to peek at my brew during the ferment. Usually. If I do, I prefer to have an airlock with a drilled stopper, rather than a tiny black grommet. With the drilled stopper I can easily pull the airlock out and peek in through the bung hole. The grommet style always seizes up and is a PITA to remove, and then you have a tiny hole to look in through.

I'm still leaning towards the SS bucket idea. The Fast Ferment was attractive for a while, but it doesn't really fit well in a chest freezer ferm chamber. Plus, it's SS, so I can sterilize it in the oven, which they don't recommend for the fast ferment. If I collected yeast often, then a conical would be more attractive, but I rarely do that nowadays. And if I wanted, I could still do it from the SS bucket, it's not not quite as convenient.

Hell, several recent batches were fermented right in a SS kettle! I just used my 8 gallon pot ans stretched plastic wrap across the top for a primary! Worked great!
 

Zekk

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My friend used a trash can with a trash bag over the top. Beer came out fine, granted couldn't watch fermentation. I use a bucket with a blow off tube. I can hear it going and have no real desire to watch or look at it. Here's a pic of the trash can fermentor.

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Dirt_McGirt

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Questions on the funnel....does anyone see a problem with picking up an automotive funnel and sanitizing it?
I tried this recently. DON'T DO IT!! They're usually too small, and the bottom opening is especially too small for a large amount of liquid. It'll take you forever, and you'll probably make a mess, like I did.
 

Dirt_McGirt

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My friend used a trash can with a trash bag over the top. Beer came out fine, granted couldn't watch fermentation. I use a bucket with a blow off tube. I can hear it going and have no real desire to watch or look at it. Here's a pic of the trash can fermentor.
Every bottle of that beer needs to come with a disclaimer on it as to how it was made.
 

TimH

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I just would really like to know more than just hoping its fermenting away. And I hate opening that lid to check
I use a bucket and the same thing happens with the lid but an easy way to check if fermentation is happening is to put a flashlight on top of the lid and turn the lights off and you can see krausen. Works well and a whole lot easier to clean.
 

BobOki

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Yeah, don't know what a caster is yet (newbie here!) but I would do my homework before I purchased anything. The SS Brew one seems to be the cheapest featured one I can find thus far and it sounds really cool, being able to dump my hot wort directly into that and using the cooler (you buy extra, of course) to cool it down to pitching temp and then pitch directly and go... sounds like lots less opportunities for contamination and all.
 

Homercidal

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Yeah, don't know what a caster is yet (newbie here!) but I would do my homework before I purchased anything. The SS Brew one seems to be the cheapest featured one I can find thus far and it sounds really cool, being able to dump my hot wort directly into that and using the cooler (you buy extra, of course) to cool it down to pitching temp and then pitch directly and go... sounds like lots less opportunities for contamination and all.
A caster is a wheel that things roll on. Office chairs have casters. My brew stand has casters so I can roll it around.

The $99 deal is a caster system you can put the SS fermentor on so you can move it easily.
 
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A caster is a wheel that things roll on. Office chairs have casters. My brew stand has casters so I can roll it around.

The $99 deal is a caster system you can put the SS fermentor on so you can move it easily.
A caster. On casters. Sorry, just felt being a smartasss for a minute there. I'm good now. Cheers don't ban me! :mug:

 

ThomasPaine

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He already has a carboy. Just put your wort in there solids and all. Solids in the primary are fine. No need to strain
 

MVKTR2

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Heretic!!!! I loves muh bukets!

Seriously I've been brewing for 8+ years and have never seen my beer fermenting. In those 8 years I've also never had a problem knowing when my beer is fermenting and have removed the lid prior to thinking fermentation was complete less than 5 times on the better part of 100 batches. If its a problem for the OP/others, sorry, just not an issue here. Good luck.
 

UndeadFred

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I finally bought a carboy. Plastic because that much glass scares the bejeezus out of me. Hate it. I think I am going to go to four or eight gallon batches and start using corneys. Much prefer the buckets but I would like less O2 exposure. I will use the carboy for the one wine a year I do....
 

seabrew8

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I don't know how long the lid will last but this is my 2nd brew now with my new brewcraft bucket and it snaps on really well and the airlock works fine.

And personally for average ale beers i never go over 2 weeks in the bucket - i believe its the law of dimishing gains if you leave it for any longer in most cases.

My recent irish ale reached FG in 4 days, its painful to wait to bottle it. :D I will probably bottle on day 7 frankly.
 
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ZmannR2

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definitely buying this!!! It's a little over $200 but it's on my wishlist.....it will still fit in fermenting fridge too
 

BobOki

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Yeah man, after looking at the SS Brewing stuff, I think I will probably get the middle grade stand up model with the temperature pack. Should run me about $600-700 but I will only have to buy it once it looks like and i can go straight from the boil to the fermentor and let the temp control cool it to 70f for pitching directly in the fermenter. Sounds awesome!
 
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