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For a primary fermenter .... is a plastic bucket with lid better than a Better Bottle or a glass carboy? Is there a reason?
The extract kit I have says to start preboil with 3 gals water then add 2.5 at end of boil. If I have a large enough pot, can I do the whole 5.5 gal boil. Any advantages either way?

Thank you DWH
 

bracconiere

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wel glass carboy are dangerous, and have hurt people...yes you can use a plastic bucket...

and if you start with a more concentrated solution, might make avoiding stratification easier to get a OG reading? not sure? if you have a big enough pot i'd probably boil the whole thing? just plan for boil off....
 
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The extract kit I have says to start preboil with 3 gals water then add 2.5 at end of boil. If I have a large enough pot, can I do the whole 5.5 gal boil. Any advantages either way?
  • with a 3 gal boil, it's faster to heat/cool 3 gal water (vs 5.5 gal water).
  • with a 3 gal boil, assuming the kit adds 1/2 the extract at the start of the boil and 1/2 at the end, this is a reasonable way to make many styles of beer. Very high IBU styles probably can not be made this way.
  • with a 3 gal boil, brewers often chill the 'top-off' water to help with the wort cooling process.
If you have big enough kettle to do a full volume boil and your heat source (stove?) can boil that much wort, a full volume boil can be a good choice for high IBU styles. Be aware that it will take longer to cool 5 gal of wort (than to cool 3 gal wort).

Depending on the specific kit, there may be other insights that can be offered. Can you post a link to the kit recipe?
 

CascadesBrewer

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For a primary fermenter .... is a plastic bucket with lid better than a Better Bottle or a glass carboy? Is there a reason?

I have not used plastic buckets for years. They are good starter fermenters and some people use them for decades. I moved to glass because it was easier to clean and sanitize (maybe not "easier", but plastic buckets get harder to fully sanitize with use). A few years ago I moved from glass over to PET based Fermonster fermenters. They are nice fermenters I like that I can get my arm down in there for cleaning...vs the narrow opening on the Better Bottle.
 

Bobby_M

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I'm a fan of hybrid fermenters like the Fermonster. They have a larger opening for cleaning than a carboy (of any material) but you also retain the more positive seal and ability to watch fermentation happen. The cost is on par with the Better Bottle style P.E.T carboys and about half the price of a new glass carboy. Don't underestimate the benefit of seeing what's going on. New brewers are an understandably curious bunch that tend to open bucket lids often to see what's going on (not good).

The main detractor of HDPE buckets is that eventually the lid leaks a bit and you never really have any warning until the airlock isn't bubbling and you think the yeast is dead. HDPE is also a very soft plastic so deep scratches will form if you're not careful.

Full boils are almost always better, but at the expense of long cool downs afterwards. I would hold off on that until you get a wort chiller. If you like hop-forward beers, I'd do that sooner than later because post boil dilution also affects hop concentrations.
 

kartracer2

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My self I would stay with the smaller boil. Ease of cooling is one thing but also another reason that may be more important.
Hop utilization changes with wort density. If the recipe calls for a partial boil it takes that into consideration. A more dense wort = less hop utilization.
As an example I picked a basic ale recipe, only changing boil vol. (using BeerSmith2)
3 gal boil = 34.5 IBU's
5.5 gal boil = 47.3 IBU's.
It will change the beer, maybe for the better, maybe for the worse. Recipe's are designed to achieve a desired flavor. Changing any one thing affects the end product. Once you get to a point you know (or at least can make an educated guess) what each change can/will do, follow the recipe.
+1 on the Fermonster, I would also go with the spigot models.
Just my $0.02.
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 

bobeer

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I've used glass and plastic carboys and I currently use buckets. Glass is awesome but they can be dangerous and since I have little kids, and I do brew around them, so buckets are the way to go for me. As long as you have a good seal they work fine. Getting the lids off can be difficult. The carboys can be a pain to clean amd carry when theyre full so I don't miss that. You do have to be careful when cleaning the buckets so they don't scratch. They can scratch very easily when you're trying to get old yeast off the high krausen mark.

As far as the brew question goes you can do a full volume boil but there are reasons why a partial boil can better with extract batches. Also it can be easier to cool the wort down from boiling if you add water after the boil. If you're shooting for 5.5 gallons of finished wort then you'll probably need a 6.6+ gallon pot. You can always add water back if you over-shoot the target og.

Here's a good read from a while back. Not that it makes much difference but interesting nonetheless. There's lot of ways to brew so just find a method that works for you and enjoy.
 

bracconiere

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As long as you have a good seal they work fine. Getting the lids off can be difficult.


ever consider these?


(i believe they fit 7 gallon buckets too?)
 

bobeer

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ever consider these?


(i believe they fit 7 gallon buckets too?)
Hmmm.. nooooo... never seen these things before. Maybe I'll give one a go. Thanks!
 
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