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Type of Bucket, Type of Beer?

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ChefJoeR

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Does anyone know if there is a correlation to the size of the fermenting bucket and the style of beer? It's just a thought that I had as I finished putting my oatmeal porter in the fermenter. I have a coopers fermenting bucket and a true brew fermenting bucket. I have just by habit done all my fermenting in the coopers bucket. My thoughts are surface area on the top. Of course I could totally wrong and way off on thinking that, but hey, it's a thought. I don't have the space to do two identical brews at the same time (make a 10 gallon batch and spit evenly between the two buckets). Any thoughts? Thanks.
 

Skyforger

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Do the buckets have different proportions? That could make a difference. The amount of contact the beer has with the yeast cake changes how it ferments a bit. But you could get the same effect by filling any given bucket more or less.

At Rochefort, they actually only fill their conicals halfway in order to create a relatively larger yeast surface area. They started doing this when they first switched over to conicals, and found that if they filled them all the way the flavors changed a bit.

I'm not sure that any sort of ratio is preferable for one beer and not another. What works best for one beer probably works best for all. That said, stronger beers tend to be more difficult to deal with, and so having the 'ideal' ratio may be more important.
 
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I'm going to guess, could be wrong, that the difference they noticed wasn't surface to yeast contact. Yeast is actively suspended during fermentation. Something that does change with the level and could be noticed in switching to the conical is the pressure during fermentation. This is something we just can't replicate in homebrewing at our scale.
 

Skyforger

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Do you mean the gas pressure in the chamber or the pressure from the weight of the beer? I suppose either are possibilities, though. You could be right. And yeah, we can't really replicate that sort of difference at homebrew scales. But I remember how some BMC uses beech chips in their fermenters to increase contact between the beer and the yeast; suppose that could just help with attenuation, though.
 

foltster

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I'm going to guess, could be wrong, that the difference they noticed wasn't surface to yeast contact. Yeast is actively suspended during fermentation. Something that does change with the level and could be noticed in switching to the conical is the pressure during fermentation. This is something we just can't replicate in homebrewing at our scale.
Think of it like this.

When you fill a fermenter less than full you get proportionately more yeast cake (bottom) contact because you are making less beer but having the same amount of surface area on the bottom contacting yeast on the top contact Air or CO2 depending on the stage of fermentation.
 

SKMO

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Does anyone know if there is a correlation to the size of the fermenting bucket and the style of beer? It's just a thought that I had as I finished putting my oatmeal porter in the fermenter. I have a coopers fermenting bucket and a true brew fermenting bucket.
Honestly, I think you are trying to "overthink" the process. It's pretty much about basic sanitation when you are dealing with your fermenters.
 

Skyforger

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Sure, all this is mostly academic. At least for homebrewers.
 

MVKTR2

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2 buckets with similar proportions filled to 5.5 gallons = no difference to the homebrewer.

2 buckets with similar proportions filled differently, one at 2.5 gallons and the other at 5.5 gallons = a slight difference in beer flavor between the 2 batches.

Brew Like a Monk and several sources suggest experimenting with this approach, particularly as it applies to Belgians (an estery highly flavorful yeast). Also se SN's Bigfoot, and a hand full of breweries throughout the world.

Schlante,
Phillip
 
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ChefJoeR

ChefJoeR

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Do the buckets have different proportions? That could make a difference. The amount of contact the beer has with the yeast cake changes how it ferments a bit. But you could get the same effect by filling any given bucket more or less.QUOTE]

The coopers bucket is a large wide container that is about 18-20" in diameter and has the capacity for about 7-8 gallons.

http://www.kwaree.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/coopers-3.jpg

The true brew buckets are your standard homebrew buckets.
 

Skyforger

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Yeah, I wouldn't expect any discernible difference between the two. Not more than most homebrewers would get from other random factors between batches, at least. It might be a good idea to use the larger one if you're expecting a large kraeusen.
 
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