General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

Plastic bucket vs water jug

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I've looked up fermenters, and most are pretty expensive.  I see that most people use food grade plastic buckets.  Just out of curiosity, is there a reason these are better than something like this?

I have no idea, so that's why I'm asking.  I'm sure there's a reason for the way things are done.  I know the price of that particular jug above is much more expensive than a bucket, but is that the only factor?

I also know that it likely won't have as good of a seal than a plastic bucket, but I'm sure a rubber seal could easily be fabricated to seal the lid to the bottle.  If you can put a hole for an airlock in the plastic bucket, to release gasses, seems like you could with this too.

I think you've answered your own questions!  It's more expensive and doesn't work as well, unless you spend more money and time to modify it.  I can't really see any advantage to using it.

Most fermenters are cylindrical and/or cylindroconical in geometry. The one that you've posted has an obstruction (handle) which will be present some resistance to the natural circulation of the yeast during fermentation (not that it will make bad beer) by which they rise up to the top of the fermenter. I recommend using a bucket or carboy to allow the yeasy to freely rise/fall during high krausen and flocculation.

I agree with Ron and Denny but will also point out that the handle will make cleaning and sanitizing more difficult.


Joe Sr.:
The 3-gallon better bottles used to have a handle like that.  I just looked them up on-line to confirm my memory.  Apparently, they've changed the design to eliminate the handle and I would guess it's due to being difficult to clean.

As far a sealing them, carboy caps typically fit on the plastic water bottles.  I don't know about the one you're showing though.


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