Author Topic: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary  (Read 2174 times)

Offline davidgzach

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1498
    • View Profile
Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« on: April 17, 2012, 01:56:13 PM »
So, I bought an upright freezer on Craigslist for $100 and now have access to our chest freezer as my lager fermentation vessel.  Yes, it's lager brewing season as I can fit 4 carboys at once!

I have two lagers in there now in carboys, and want to make a third this weekend, but only have plastic buckets left for primary.  I know plastic was previously frowned upon for lagers.  But today, with pitching big starters and racking to keg for lagering after 3 weeks, do I really need to worry or should I just brew away and RDWHAHB?

Dave
Dave Zach

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1668
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2012, 02:11:59 PM »
i use plastic buckets with no problem.  i have (though i don't any more) even kept a beer in there at lager temps for 3 months prior to bottling.
Don AHA member

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1004
  • Da mihi sis cerevisiam.
    • View Profile
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 05:32:16 PM »
No problems with a month in the bucket. I do that all the time.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8678
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 05:55:16 PM »
I prefer glass carboys for my lagers but I've used buckets with great success as well.  I say go for it!  :)
Ron Price

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3163
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 05:58:21 PM »
If I don't have a keg free I'll even lager in a bucket. Keep that glass out of my brewhouse. ;D
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/

Offline davidgzach

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1498
    • View Profile
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2012, 05:22:47 AM »
Thanks all.  RDWHAHB and the plastic primary it is for my Munich Helles this weekend.

I plan to buy another Better Bottle or two soon, but need to space out my equipment purchases since my wife was kind enough to let me add another appliance to our garage.  I now have the chest freezer for my lager fermentation vessel, the upright freezer for storing food and an extra fridge where I store my lagers on the bottom and about 8# of leaf hops in the top freezer...... ;D

Brew on!

Dave
Dave Zach

Offline erockrph

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2415
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • Critical Tastings
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2012, 07:26:55 AM »
I plan to buy another Better Bottle or two soon

Do Better Bottles let O2 in the way plastic buckets do? I know they say they don't, but I've been hesitant to pull the trigger on getting one for a secondary because I'm not sure I buy into that. Anyone have any experience with long-term aging in a Better Bottle?
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1668
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2012, 07:40:31 AM »
I plan to buy another Better Bottle or two soon

Do Better Bottles let O2 in the way plastic buckets do? I know they say they don't, but I've been hesitant to pull the trigger on getting one for a secondary because I'm not sure I buy into that. Anyone have any experience with long-term aging in a Better Bottle?

in general i think that the pet (better bottles) do not allow as much in as the hdpe (buckets) but the diffusion is also a function of thickness and in either case i don't think it is as much a problem as people think.  large headspace, knocking off the bung etc are probably bigger concerns than the diffusion.  there are now kegs made out of hdpe and i believe that as long as the beer is consumed within several months there should be little problem
Don AHA member

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3163
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2012, 07:47:38 AM »
Do Better Bottles let O2 in the way plastic buckets do?

I'd imagine there's less O2 penetration in the Better Bottles, but it probably has more to do with the lack of a lid seal than the material.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/

Offline davidgzach

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1498
    • View Profile
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2012, 08:26:19 AM »
I've had very good success with mine.  I'd buy another over glass.  From their website:

Don't think of BetterBottle carboys as plastic – think of them as better than glass, because they are made from a special, scientifically tested, polyethylene terephthalate copolymer (PET), which does not have the disadvantages of other plastics.

BetterBottle® fermentation carboys are: are: 1) Designed to be strong, scuff resistant, easy to handle, and essentially unbreakable, 2) Pure – Taste- and odor-free, BPA-free, DEHP-free, and plasticizer-free, 3) Virtually impermeable to oxygen, 4) Clear and colorless, 5) Incredibly light weight, and 6) Extraordinarily easy to wash and sanitize (no brushes necessary). BetterBottle carboys are not at all like other plastic carboys. The special PET, used to make BetterBottle carboys, is non-absorbing, non-porous, and non-wetting (hydrophobic), so it will not carry over flavors from one batch of wine or beer to the next and it is easier to clean and sanitize than glass or other plastics.
Dave Zach

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3163
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2012, 09:11:58 AM »
That's the marketing anyway. Without details on the composition of the plastic, or controlled testing, who knows?
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2325
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2012, 09:51:45 AM »
I use them all the time.  Love 'em.

I had my old ale in them for two or three months prior to kegging with no issues (that I'm aware of).

If I was going to age long term in a carboy, though, I'd transfer to one of the too many 5 gallon glass ones I have.  Both to free up a 6.5 gallon carboy and because I can and then I have no worries about oxygen permeability (although of course the transfer adds it's own risk of oxygenation).
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline richardt

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1227
    • View Profile
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2012, 09:59:35 AM »
Not to be snarky, but since old ales are allowed to have oxidative notes (in both aroma and flavor), it doesn't necessarily attest to the appropriateness of Better Bottles for extended aging.

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2325
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2012, 10:12:29 AM »
Right you are.

However I use them for all my ales, and with three kids and limited time they typically sit for at least a month.

I have not used them intentionally for long term aging, though.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline thirsty

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 244
  • Brewster, NY
    • View Profile
Re: Plastic Bucket for Lager Primary
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2012, 11:14:49 AM »


RDWHAHB