Author Topic: fermentation: carboy or bucket?  (Read 1258 times)

Offline zman51

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fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« on: June 16, 2017, 11:05:01 PM »
Going to do my third brew tomorrow. Up to now I have been transferring wort to plastic bucket with lid and airlock and then doing secondary to glass carboy. I was wondering if there was any reason I cant just do carboys for all fermentation?

thx

Offline pete b

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 11:38:43 PM »
I actually prefer the bucket for fermentation and don't do a secondary transfer unless I am adding fruit and don't always do it for that. Buckets generally have more headroom so there is no need for a blow off tube. Buckets are also lighter to carry and easier to clean. They are safer to work with also.
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Offline oginme

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2017, 12:02:14 AM »
I use carboys for fermentation, and there is no reason not to.  You can easily see what is going on inside.  Like pete b, I don't transfer to secondary unless there is a good reason to do so (such as adding fruit or long term [greater than 3 weeks] fermentation).

Offline a10t2

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2017, 12:11:00 AM »
Buckets 'cause I'm cheap and clumsy, and I don't think I've ever done a "secondary". By the time I got into the hobby in ~2002, most of the veteran brewers were recommending against it.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2017, 06:04:43 PM »
Carboys work great until you break one. I've used the carboy that came with my original kit a grand total of three times until I made the move to plastic buckets. Better Bottles also work well.

A few years back I switched to fermenting in kegs, and I'll never go back. It's worth every penny of the investment, and then some.
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Offline flars

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2017, 06:10:31 PM »
I like glass carboys.  You can see what is going on and an unforeseen extended primary doesn't result in much risk of oxidation. 

I still use my original carboy from 1987 for big beers with very active yeast.  It is a big carboy.

Offline brewsumore

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2017, 08:39:21 PM »
I use buckets.  I gave up on those lids that have a rubber grommet - a true PITA to clean.  Just solid lids for me.  And I found that the replacement lids from Morebeer (no hole - I drill the hole) come on and off quite easily, and still seal well enough, although they are a bit pliable.

Offline jeffy

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2017, 11:50:45 PM »
If you are doing your primary fermentations in carboys, you have to allow more head space - sometimes it will make a mess with five gallons of fermenting beer in a 6-gallon carboy.  I couldn't imagine doing a primary in a 5-gallon one.
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Offline ethinson

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2017, 11:52:08 AM »
I've done both and really haven't noticed a difference.  I usually ferment in a bucket, but I only have one, so on the rare times I have a second batch going at the same time I primary in a carboy.  A 3 gallon batch in a 5 gallon carboy is plenty of headspace for blowoff.  I have a 3 gallon carboy I use for secondary. 

I have both plastic and glass, but I only use the glass if every other vessel is full.  It's heavy, it's hard to clean, and I know one of these days I'm gonna break it.  The plastic ones also have a wider mouth (#7 cork) vs the glass one (#3 cork) so easier for siphoning.  The glass ones mouth is just barely big enough for my auto siphon.  (The glass one was given to me free, I bought the plastic ones)

In my opinion you can do either/or.
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Offline zman51

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2017, 01:02:53 PM »
thanks all.

I did a brew Sat and flipped coin :).. This time it went into a 6.5 carboy. Next brew next weekend I will do the bucket and decide in the end. I must say it is neat to sneak a peak and see whats happening but that probably just be the newness phase I am at.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 03:05:05 PM by zman51 »

Offline denny

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2017, 02:50:31 PM »
Used carboys for the first 3-4 years, buckets for the last 15. 
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Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2017, 03:07:58 PM »
Only ever used buckets, carboys look too much hassle (difficult to clean, can't fit a tap, have to siphon).
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2017, 08:17:18 PM »
Big Mouth Bubbler carboys fitted with a valve and dip tube.
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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2017, 02:23:24 PM »
Big Mouth Bubbler carboys fitted with a valve and dip tube.

Have you had any issues with the lid on these? Seems like everywhere I look, there is someone saying the lid sucks, and someone saying they don't know what the other person is talking about... thinking about getting one and using the glass carboy I have for meads.

Offline Kochhandwerk

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Re: fermentation: carboy or bucket?
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2017, 03:38:43 PM »
Big Mouth Bubbler carboys fitted with a valve and dip tube.

Have you had any issues with the lid on these? Seems like everywhere I look, there is someone saying the lid sucks, and someone saying they don't know what the other person is talking about... thinking about getting one and using the glass carboy I have for meads.

I have used a 6.5 gallon plastic Big Mouth Bubbler for 15 batches and have not had issues with any issues with the lid.  I use a blowoff tube now and occasionally it doesn't seal quite enough around the bung to bubble, so it's not 100% airtight, but it's not the fault of the lid.  Plenty of homebrewers use plastic buckets with no problems and those in most cases don't seal 100%.