Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: TXFlyGuy on November 25, 2020, 05:40:41 PM

Title: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on November 25, 2020, 05:40:41 PM
Decades ago I used plastic buckets for making beer. Then switched to all stainless after a few years.

To augment my current brewery capacity, I am considering getting some plastic buckets.

What has your experience been? Can you make the same quality of beer in plastic buckets as you can in stainless steel vessels?
Title: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: BrewBama on November 25, 2020, 05:52:53 PM
I think you can make great beer in plastic buckets. The only thing is making sure the spigots (if equipped) are clean, clean, clean but that can be said of any fermentation vessel.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: denny on November 25, 2020, 06:15:57 PM
I used buckets for years and still find them a great alternative when all my conicals are full.  Even better than buckets are the Genesis fermenters from Brewcraft.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: majorvices on November 25, 2020, 06:24:36 PM
The only real downside of buckets is they are o2 permeable but as long as you don't age in them they are a great, cheap fermenter
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: pete b on November 25, 2020, 06:33:46 PM
I think you can make great beer in plastic buckets. The only thing is making sure the spigots (if equipped) are clean, clean, clean but that can be said of any fermentation vessel.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I agree and would just get ones without spigots.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: majorvices on November 25, 2020, 06:38:53 PM
I think you can make great beer in plastic buckets. The only thing is making sure the spigots (if equipped) are clean, clean, clean but that can be said of any fermentation vessel.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I agree and would just get ones without spigots.

Spigots are easy to clean and cheap to replace and make racking super easy and easier to rack without picking up excessive o2
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: tommymorris on November 25, 2020, 06:40:02 PM
And get one of those tools to help remove the lid. My only beef with buckets is getting the lids off.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TeeDubb on November 25, 2020, 07:55:43 PM
I've had good luck with the Chapman Stainless fermenters.  Not conical, just a stainless bucket with a much better seal, easier lid retention, easier to clean.  Pretty good price point, esp. when occasionally on sale.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: pete b on November 25, 2020, 08:32:57 PM
I think you can make great beer in plastic buckets. The only thing is making sure the spigots (if equipped) are clean, clean, clean but that can be said of any fermentation vessel.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I agree and would just get ones without spigots.

Spigots are easy to clean and cheap to replace and make racking super easy and easier to rack without picking up excessive o2
Fair points. It’s not hard to disassemble, clean, and sanitize a spigot.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: ynotbrusum on November 25, 2020, 08:52:50 PM
I've had good luck with the Chapman Stainless fermenters.  Not conical, just a stainless bucket with a much better seal, easier lid retention, easier to clean.  Pretty good price point, esp. when occasionally on sale.

I have two 15 gallon Chapman SS fermenters.  They work great and have lasted more than a decade.  Easy to clean and you can eliminate beerstone with a dairy acid wash soaking.  The only drawback is they are not pressurizable...but they replaced a broken lid clamp for free when I allowed a bit too much pressure to form in mine!

Cheers!
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on November 25, 2020, 09:08:57 PM
We have 3 Delta Systems Conical SS fermenters (8 gal), and they are great. Also we have 3 Anvil 4 gallon SS fermenters.
Just looking for an inexpensive way to add another way to ferment.
Might go with a nice bucket, and a racking tube.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: denny on November 25, 2020, 09:10:57 PM
We have 3 Delta Systems Conical SS fermenters (8 gal), and they are great. Also we have 3 Anvil 4 gallon SS fermenters.
Just looking for an inexpensive way to add another way to ferment.
Might go with a nice bucket, and a racking tube.

Take a look at this....marked way down and much superior to buckets.....https://www.homebrewing.org/Genesis-65-Gallon-Plastic-Fermenter_p_7662.html
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on November 25, 2020, 10:38:45 PM
We have 3 Delta Systems Conical SS fermenters (8 gal), and they are great. Also we have 3 Anvil 4 gallon SS fermenters.
Just looking for an inexpensive way to add another way to ferment.
Might go with a nice bucket, and a racking tube.

Take a look at this....marked way down and much superior to buckets.....https://www.homebrewing.org/Genesis-65-Gallon-Plastic-Fermenter_p_7662.html

Thanks! Ordered 2!
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: Tfwebster on November 26, 2020, 12:21:55 AM
And get one of those tools to help remove the lid. My only beef with buckets is getting the lids off.

I didn't know this tool existed! I'll be looking asap.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: tommymorris on November 26, 2020, 04:35:02 AM
And get one of those tools to help remove the lid. My only beef with buckets is getting the lids off.

I didn't know this tool existed! I'll be looking asap.
Apparently you need to get one that matches your bucket and lid.

https://www.northernbrewer.com/products/plastic-bucket-opener-wine-bag-decapper

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Linzer-5-Gallon-Plastic-Lid-Opener-5425/203713320
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: pete b on November 26, 2020, 12:57:20 PM
And get one of those tools to help remove the lid. My only beef with buckets is getting the lids off.

I didn't know this tool existed! I'll be looking asap.
Apparently you need to get one that matches your bucket and lid.

https://www.northernbrewer.com/products/plastic-bucket-opener-wine-bag-decapper

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Linzer-5-Gallon-Plastic-Lid-Opener-5425/203713320
I use these all the time. My fermenter tops actually rarely need it but 5 gallon buckets of honey are beastly to remove without it.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: pete b on November 26, 2020, 12:58:21 PM
We have 3 Delta Systems Conical SS fermenters (8 gal), and they are great. Also we have 3 Anvil 4 gallon SS fermenters.
Just looking for an inexpensive way to add another way to ferment.
Might go with a nice bucket, and a racking tube.

Take a look at this....marked way down and much superior to buckets.....https://www.homebrewing.org/Genesis-65-Gallon-Plastic-Fermenter_p_7662.html
These are so cheap I wished I needed them.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: corkybstewart on November 26, 2020, 02:18:06 PM
We have 3 Delta Systems Conical SS fermenters (8 gal), and they are great. Also we have 3 Anvil 4 gallon SS fermenters.
Just looking for an inexpensive way to add another way to ferment.
Might go with a nice bucket, and a racking tube.

Take a look at this....marked way down and much superior to buckets.....https://www.homebrewing.org/Genesis-65-Gallon-Plastic-Fermenter_p_7662.html
That looks excellent-if I was in the market for a new fermenter that would be it.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on November 26, 2020, 03:16:28 PM
We have 3 Delta Systems Conical SS fermenters (8 gal), and they are great. Also we have 3 Anvil 4 gallon SS fermenters.
Just looking for an inexpensive way to add another way to ferment.
Might go with a nice bucket, and a racking tube.

Take a look at this....marked way down and much superior to buckets.....https://www.homebrewing.org/Genesis-65-Gallon-Plastic-Fermenter_p_7662.html
These are so cheap I wished I needed them.

Only $12! You can always use another fermenter!
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: pete b on November 26, 2020, 03:36:16 PM
We have 3 Delta Systems Conical SS fermenters (8 gal), and they are great. Also we have 3 Anvil 4 gallon SS fermenters.
Just looking for an inexpensive way to add another way to ferment.
Might go with a nice bucket, and a racking tube.

Take a look at this....marked way down and much superior to buckets.....https://www.homebrewing.org/Genesis-65-Gallon-Plastic-Fermenter_p_7662.html
These are so cheap I wished I needed them.

Only $12! You can always use another fermenter!
I am trying to get the cellar cleaned out so I can build a proper brewery and have been giving my wife grief about getting new stuff and not getting rid of old so I would be hypocritical to get these because I have plenty fermenters that work perfectly well.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: majorvices on November 26, 2020, 03:48:48 PM
We have 3 Delta Systems Conical SS fermenters (8 gal), and they are great. Also we have 3 Anvil 4 gallon SS fermenters.
Just looking for an inexpensive way to add another way to ferment.
Might go with a nice bucket, and a racking tube.

Take a look at this....marked way down and much superior to buckets.....https://www.homebrewing.org/Genesis-65-Gallon-Plastic-Fermenter_p_7662.html
These are so cheap I wished I needed them.

Me too... and no, I don;t need another fermetner lol
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: denny on November 26, 2020, 03:51:53 PM
We have 3 Delta Systems Conical SS fermenters (8 gal), and they are great. Also we have 3 Anvil 4 gallon SS fermenters.
Just looking for an inexpensive way to add another way to ferment.
Might go with a nice bucket, and a racking tube.

Take a look at this....marked way down and much superior to buckets.....https://www.homebrewing.org/Genesis-65-Gallon-Plastic-Fermenter_p_7662.html

Thanks! Ordered 2!

I've got cider in 2 of mine at the moment.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: jeffy on November 26, 2020, 04:26:02 PM
We have 3 Delta Systems Conical SS fermenters (8 gal), and they are great. Also we have 3 Anvil 4 gallon SS fermenters.
Just looking for an inexpensive way to add another way to ferment.
Might go with a nice bucket, and a racking tube.

Take a look at this....marked way down and much superior to buckets.....https://www.homebrewing.org/Genesis-65-Gallon-Plastic-Fermenter_p_7662.html

Thanks! Ordered 2!

I've got cider in 2 of mine at the moment.
I just ordered two as well.  Shipping was more than the items cost, but still a good deal.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on November 29, 2020, 07:43:47 PM
Mine arrived yesterday! What a bargain!!!
Will put these to work tomorrow, brewing up a Munich Helles.

Might not use the liners, as they look cumbersome.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: denny on November 29, 2020, 08:04:06 PM
Mine arrived yesterday! What a bargain!!!
Will put these to work tomorrow, brewing up a Munich Helles.

Might not use the liners, as they look cumbersome.

Yeah, I forgot to mention that.  The liner makes racking difficult.  If you decide to use them, do not screw them to the lid.  Just put the liner in the fermenter to stabilize it and put the airlock directly on the liner.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on December 31, 2020, 03:09:55 PM
Well...a bit disappointed with the plastic fermenters.

Brewed 20 gallons of Munich Helles a month ago, two 10 gallon batches. Same recipe, same yeast (W-34/70).

10 gallons went into stainless conical ferment vessels, 10 gallons went into these new Genesis plastic containers.

Neither beer has been racked into the keg as of now, but the beer in plastic has a very noticeable off flavor. Can't quite put my finger on it, but it is there and it is not good. In fact, bad enough that this batch might be a candidate for a one-way trip to the toilet.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: BrewBama on December 31, 2020, 03:16:31 PM
Give it a chance to condition and hit the tap before you dump it. It might turn out ok. You might just be tasting plastic bias.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on December 31, 2020, 05:34:28 PM
Give it a chance to condition and hit the tap before you dump it. It might turn out ok. You might just be tasting plastic bias.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I'll give it a chance.
But not only was the taste "off", the aroma was way off also.
A side-by-side taste test was done, stainless v plastic. No, not blind. But it was pretty obvious, and deeply disappointing.
This would qualify as the first bad-tasting beer that we have brewed in decades.

I actually don't have any bias about plastic, and was hyper-thrilled went I bought these.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: denny on December 31, 2020, 06:39:29 PM
Give it a chance to condition and hit the tap before you dump it. It might turn out ok. You might just be tasting plastic bias.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I'll give it a chance.
But not only was the taste "off", the aroma was way off also.
A side-by-side taste test was done, stainless v plastic. No, not blind. But it was pretty obvious, and deeply disappointing.
This would qualify as the first bad-tasting beer that we have brewed in decades.

I actually don't have any bias about plastic, and was hyper-thrilled went I bought these.

OTOH, I've done dozens of batches in them and haven't found that.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on December 31, 2020, 07:09:57 PM
Give it a chance to condition and hit the tap before you dump it. It might turn out ok. You might just be tasting plastic bias.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I'll give it a chance.
But not only was the taste "off", the aroma was way off also.
A side-by-side taste test was done, stainless v plastic. No, not blind. But it was pretty obvious, and deeply disappointing.
This would qualify as the first bad-tasting beer that we have brewed in decades.

I actually don't have any bias about plastic, and was hyper-thrilled went I bought these.

OTOH, I've done dozens of batches in them and haven't found that.

No doubt, as I have brewed in plastic before also.
Odd that two brews, done within a few days of each other, same recipe and same yeast, would have this issue.
The beer does not have an infected, or any type of sulfur aroma, just a strange twang to it. Yes, almost like a plastic taste for lack of better words.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: ynotbrusum on December 31, 2020, 10:20:41 PM
We’re the fermenters cleaned well before use?  Manufacturing can leave residual deposits that can adversely effect the beer - I am sure you know that, so forgive me asking to make sure.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on December 31, 2020, 11:49:12 PM
We’re the fermenters cleaned well before use?  Manufacturing can leave residual deposits that can adversely effect the beer - I am sure you know that, so forgive me asking to make sure.

Yes, cleaned thoroughly with one-step no rinse cleaner, and then rinsed several times.
I’ll give this beer a fair chance. And, I’ll ferment one more brew in these. Just to be fair.
If I still get bad results, they will make nice buckets for my wife. Or my car wash.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on January 02, 2021, 11:36:16 PM
Update:

The sample taken just now has improved dramatically. The strange off flavor and aroma that was present before has now abated.

The wort has dropped clear, and if the refractometer ABV online adjustment calculator is correct, this is sitting at 6.3%.

OG (Brix) = 14.8 / 1.061
FG  (Brix) =  7.6 / 1.013
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: Iliff Ave on January 02, 2021, 11:53:48 PM
Sounds about right. For having decades of experience you have about as much patience as I do. Ha! Great news!
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on January 03, 2021, 12:05:09 AM
Sounds about right. For having decades of experience you have about as much patience as I do. Ha! Great news!

Yes, I am patient most of the time. But occasionally worry and concern sets in. I need to relax, and have another beer. Come to think of it, I will!
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: denny on January 03, 2021, 04:15:03 PM
Sounds about right. For having decades of experience you have about as much patience as I do. Ha! Great news!

Yes, I am patient most of the time. But occasionally worry and concern sets in. I need to relax, and have another beer. Come to think of it, I will!

Always remember...it's only beer
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: athenagroup on January 05, 2021, 08:19:10 PM
I like the SS Brewtech Brew Bucket for five gallon batches.   Works extremely well - easy to clean; easy to draw off test samples, and easy to harvest the yeast when fermentation is complete.

Here is a link... https://www.ssbrewtech.com/pages/brew-bucket 
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on January 05, 2021, 10:41:35 PM
I like the SS Brewtech Brew Bucket for five gallon batches.   Works extremely well - easy to clean; easy to draw off test samples, and easy to harvest the yeast when fermentation is complete.

Here is a link... https://www.ssbrewtech.com/pages/brew-bucket

Yes, I like Delta Brewing Systems for the same reasons.
https://www.deltabrewingsystems.com/collections/bundle/products/the-double-batch

But the Plastic Genesis Fermenter is quite good. Easy to carry, easy to clean. Holds almost 7 gallons.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: allenhuerta on January 21, 2021, 06:51:01 PM
I like the SS Brewtech Brew Bucket for five gallon batches.   Works extremely well - easy to clean; easy to draw off test samples, and easy to harvest the yeast when fermentation is complete.

Here is a link... https://www.ssbrewtech.com/pages/brew-bucket

Yes, I like Delta Brewing Systems for the same reasons.
https://www.deltabrewingsystems.com/collections/bundle/products/the-double-batch

But the Plastic Genesis Fermenter is quite good. Easy to carry, easy to clean. Holds almost 7 gallons.
Thanks for this link! I was thinking about getting the SS Brew Buckets but this has a few features that are extras on the other.. just need to see if I can get 2 to fit in my 7.1 chest freezer..

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: allenhuerta on February 02, 2021, 08:39:29 PM
I picked up the Ferm Tank deal and if I don't care about one being lopsided, I can fit both in my chamber

Clearly I'm not going to do that.. maybe I'll just convince myself glycol is the future with my decaying body.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: Hooper on February 21, 2021, 06:40:17 PM
Bought 2 Genesis fermenters. They came with a bunch of bags. Drilled a hole 2" up for a spigot. Cut the top off one of the bags and put it in the fermenter. Put my arm down inside the bag and shoved some of the bag out the spigot hole. Cut a hole there for the spigot and screwed the spigot in sealing the bag to the inside of the fermenter. It is bubbling away with 6 gals of hoppy pale. I'm hoping to avoid cleaning the inside of the fermenter...at least until I run out of bags.
Title: Re: Plastic Bucket vs. Stainless Conical?
Post by: TXFlyGuy on February 23, 2021, 12:24:00 AM
I'm not using the bags...too much of a pain. But the Genesis product is great! Easy to carry, and they both fit in my freezer. Makes it easy to do two separate 5 gallon batches. Or one big 10 gallon batch.
For $12, with free shipping, it was a steal!