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Author Topic: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy  (Read 5304 times)

Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2020, 06:01:16 am »
...  Now I use glass exclusively.
...just be really careful with that glass. I’ve seen too many photos of severe injury as a result of a broken carboy. I suggest a stainless FV. The only drawback with a stainless FV is you can’t see the magic. 


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That’s great advise, thank you.  I have also seen pictures and read stories about brewers who have used those carboy “carrying handles” (for lack of a better name) and the neck of the carboy breaks off and total catastrophe follows.

Actually, at 62 years old, I'm still able to lug my 6 gallon glass carboy filled with 5 gallons of beer from my brewery to my fermentation chamber and back again for bottling.  It’s freek’n heavy, but I manage....at least for now.  ;)

Regarding stainless, I have shied away from stainless because I like to see what’s happening inside.  Maybe it’s my OC, but does anyone else enjoy viewing the fermentation process?  That’s the magic unfolding, IMHO.
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Online denny

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2020, 08:24:07 am »
...  Now I use glass exclusively.
...just be really careful with that glass. I’ve seen too many photos of severe injury as a result of a broken carboy. I suggest a stainless FV. The only drawback with a stainless FV is you can’t see the magic. 


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

That’s great advise, thank you.  I have also seen pictures and read stories about brewers who have used those carboy “carrying handles” (for lack of a better name) and the neck of the carboy breaks off and total catastrophe follows.

Actually, at 62 years old, I'm still able to lug my 6 gallon glass carboy filled with 5 gallons of beer from my brewery to my fermentation chamber and back again for bottling.  It’s freek’n heavy, but I manage....at least for now.  ;)

Regarding stainless, I have shied away from stainless because I like to see what’s happening inside.  Maybe it’s my OC, but does anyone else enjoy viewing the fermentation process?  That’s the magic unfolding, IMHO.

I thought it was cool to watch fermentation for maybe the first 50 batches or so.  For the last 20 years I haven't worried about it.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline goose

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2020, 08:37:32 am »
...  Now I use glass exclusively.
...just be really careful with that glass. I’ve seen too many photos of severe injury as a result of a broken carboy. I suggest a stainless FV. The only drawback with a stainless FV is you can’t see the magic. 


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

That’s great advise, thank you.  I have also seen pictures and read stories about brewers who have used those carboy “carrying handles” (for lack of a better name) and the neck of the carboy breaks off and total catastrophe follows.

Actually, at 62 years old, I'm still able to lug my 6 gallon glass carboy filled with 5 gallons of beer from my brewery to my fermentation chamber and back again for bottling.  It’s freek’n heavy, but I manage....at least for now.  ;)

Regarding stainless, I have shied away from stainless because I like to see what’s happening inside.  Maybe it’s my OC, but does anyone else enjoy viewing the fermentation process?  That’s the magic unfolding, IMHO.

NEVER pick up a glass carboy by the a neck handle.  You are lifting about 45 lbs (beer plus glass) when they are full and the carboy neck is not designed to support that much weight.  Pick it up by supporting the bottom with one hand and the neck with the other and lift carefully.

Also (and I have said this before on this forum) if you are doing a transfer by pushing the beer from the carboy to the keg using CO2, please be very careful not to over pressurize the carboy.  This is extremely dangerous.  If you are using CO2, no more than 2.5 PSI on the carboy, it will take you a little longer, but it is way safer.  Glass carboys are not pressure vessels. I had a friend in a local brew club that was rushed to the hospital to get his back stitched up after a carboy exploded while he was transferring a beer and the shrapnel from the explosion nailed him.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2020, 08:59:34 am »
...  Now I use glass exclusively.
...just be really careful with that glass. I’ve seen too many photos of severe injury as a result of a broken carboy. I suggest a stainless FV. The only drawback with a stainless FV is you can’t see the magic. 


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

That’s great advise, thank you.  I have also seen pictures and read stories about brewers who have used those carboy “carrying handles” (for lack of a better name) and the neck of the carboy breaks off and total catastrophe follows.

Actually, at 62 years old, I'm still able to lug my 6 gallon glass carboy filled with 5 gallons of beer from my brewery to my fermentation chamber and back again for bottling.  It’s freek’n heavy, but I manage....at least for now.  ;)

Regarding stainless, I have shied away from stainless because I like to see what’s happening inside.  Maybe it’s my OC, but does anyone else enjoy viewing the fermentation process?  That’s the magic unfolding, IMHO.

I thought it was cool to watch fermentation for maybe the first 50 batches or so.  For the last 20 years I haven't worried about it.

I generally do the primary in glass.  I tend to use it as a cheat to know when fermentation is likely done.  A quick look at the carboy and I can see what's still moving in the bottle.  If anything is in motion it isn't done.  When I start to see the clearing begin I know fermentation is finished and I can start planning to keg it (usually that's still 4-5 days before I actually get it kegged).  I never lift a carboy by the neck.  Two hands on the bottom of the bottle or it doesn't get moved.

I also use buckets when I've got 3 or more in the pipeline at once since I've only got 2 6.5 gallon glass carboys.

Paul
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2020, 09:41:47 am »
Gave up long ago in watching fermentation in clear vessels - I covered them to avoid sunlight anyway.  Now I use stainless whenever possible, with some limited use, long term, “no move” aging in glass (stored at the height from which racking can happen.  I watch my Tilt, but even that is rarely more than once daily.  My beers finish soon enough and I schedule my beers so that I have a couple beers going at a time - this Virus lock down is slowly backing things up though, so I may selectively cull some of those beers that were slow movers before this shelter in place directive started. I might as well be ready with easy drinker styles when the gatherings happen again on the other side of this tragedy.
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Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2020, 06:43:47 am »
NEVER pick up a glass carboy by the a neck handle.  You are lifting about 45 lbs (beer plus glass) when they are full and the carboy neck is not designed to support that much weight.  Pick it up by supporting the bottom with one hand and the neck with the other and lift carefully.

Also (and I have said this before on this forum) if you are doing a transfer by pushing the beer from the carboy to the keg using CO2, please be very careful not to over pressurize the carboy.  This is extremely dangerous.  If you are using CO2, no more than 2.5 PSI on the carboy, it will take you a little longer, but it is way safer.  Glass carboys are not pressure vessels. I had a friend in a local brew club that was rushed to the hospital to get his back stitched up after a carboy exploded while he was transferring a beer and the shrapnel from the explosion nailed him.

That’s great advise, goose, thank you!  I do carry the majority of the weight by the bottom; I hold the next as a measure of balance.

I use gravity to siphon the beer from the glass carboy, sitting on a tall counter, to the Big Mouth Bubbler sitting in a sink, which is about 2’ lower.  It works well, but it’s slow.  I have considered using CO2 to speed the process.  However, if I do venture into this idea, I’ll build in some sort of “relief” valve into the plan.  Thanks again for the advise!
Joliet, IL

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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2020, 07:51:35 am »
I find it interesting that I’ve seen certain other liquid based hobbies use vacuum to move liquid from vessel to vessel.

For example, to move from one vessel to the next, a cap with a vacuum cleaner attached pulls the liquid vs pushing it with CO2. 

Of course, in those hobbies CO2 tanks aren’t normally sitting there waiting to be used.


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Offline goose

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2020, 08:27:53 am »
NEVER pick up a glass carboy by the a neck handle.  You are lifting about 45 lbs (beer plus glass) when they are full and the carboy neck is not designed to support that much weight.  Pick it up by supporting the bottom with one hand and the neck with the other and lift carefully.

Also (and I have said this before on this forum) if you are doing a transfer by pushing the beer from the carboy to the keg using CO2, please be very careful not to over pressurize the carboy.  This is extremely dangerous.  If you are using CO2, no more than 2.5 PSI on the carboy, it will take you a little longer, but it is way safer.  Glass carboys are not pressure vessels. I had a friend in a local brew club that was rushed to the hospital to get his back stitched up after a carboy exploded while he was transferring a beer and the shrapnel from the explosion nailed him.



That’s great advise, goose, thank you!  I do carry the majority of the weight by the bottom; I hold the next as a measure of balance.

I use gravity to siphon the beer from the glass carboy, sitting on a tall counter, to the Big Mouth Bubbler sitting in a sink, which is about 2’ lower.  It works well, but it’s slow.  I have considered using CO2 to speed the process.  However, if I do venture into this idea, I’ll build in some sort of “relief” valve into the plan.  Thanks again for the advise!

I forgot to mention this in my OP. I purchased a low pressure gauge from Grainger (0-15 PSI) and use it when I transfer from a glass carboy (I think you can also get them fro SS Brewtech).  Do not trust the gauges that come with the regulator (0-60 PSI) since they can not really be accurately set at low pressures and you can find yourself dangerously over-pressurizing the carboy.  Safety first is wise here!
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Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2020, 05:05:36 pm »

I retire them if they get too banged up on the inside (too many scratches). It’s a judgment call, but they aren’t terribly expensive.

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I agree with jverduin - the microscopic surface scratches inside of a bucket will become a breeding ground for all the bad stuff we want to avoid in our beer.  Good sound sanitation measures are a must.  I used a bucket for a couple years and while I never had any sealing issues, I did have a pellicle issue in three batches.  Now I use glass exclusively.

Yet I've used plastic for nearly 20 years and haven't had that happen.  Just another data point.

I'm with Denny here.  I'm still using one of the original 5 gallon buckets I got in my first homebrew kit a little over 10 years ago.  It has some light scratching on the inside surface from stirring things.  I just make sure to wash it out well and sanitize.  I haven't had any issues.  That said, if I did have an infected batch in a bucket, I would most definitely replace it.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2020, 08:11:22 pm »
I have one bucket in my fermenter arsenal - for a Flanders Red...just the right amount of O2 ingress for long term storage.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2020, 06:04:44 am »
I actually don’t think scratches from metal spoons are an issue as they are sort of clean and regular. I would be more concerned with hundreds of micro abrasions from a sponge with an abrasive side or abrasive cleaners. I use a metal paddle but only clean with cloths.
As far as safely carrying carboys, which I have to do up and down stairs with mead all the time, my number one rule is to always make sure my hands and the carboy are 100% dry. Rule number two is always look at the stairs for objects first.
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Online denny

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2020, 08:02:57 am »
I actually don’t think scratches from metal spoons are an issue as they are sort of clean and regular. I would be more concerned with hundreds of micro abrasions from a sponge with an abrasive side or abrasive cleaners. I use a metal paddle but only clean with cloths.
As far as safely carrying carboys, which I have to do up and down stairs with mead all the time, my number one rule is to always make sure my hands and the carboy are 100% dry. Rule number two is always look at the stairs for objects first.

There really isn't any need to clean buckets witu abrasives since they're so accessible.  I soaki them for a while then wipe them down with a soft cloth or sponge.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2020, 09:07:26 am »
I actually don’t think scratches from metal spoons are an issue as they are sort of clean and regular. I would be more concerned with hundreds of micro abrasions from a sponge with an abrasive side or abrasive cleaners. I use a metal paddle but only clean with cloths.
As far as safely carrying carboys, which I have to do up and down stairs with mead all the time, my number one rule is to always make sure my hands and the carboy are 100% dry. Rule number two is always look at the stairs for objects first.

There really isn't any need to clean buckets witu abrasives since they're so accessible.  I soaki them for a while then wipe them down with a soft cloth or sponge.
Me too. The only trouble I ever have is when I make elderberry mead which leaves an incredibly sticky substance that requires rubbing alcohol and a plastic scraper.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2020, 07:35:15 pm »
I have an 11 year old bucket that was my first FV that I still use. I have had no more or less infection issues than I have with my one gallon glass FVs.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Switching to bucket fermentation from carboy
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2020, 08:00:38 pm »
I still have old buckets from the beginning days of brewing...but I don’t use them for fermenting anything except an occasional sour beer.  They are very useful still - as vessels for collecting water, running off wort, and holding grain.  All good things and good re-purposing is always welcomed.
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