Author Topic: Fermenting Bucket or Carboy?  (Read 509 times)

Offline RC

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Re: Fermenting Bucket or Carboy?
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2021, 06:13:10 pm »
If you ever get into kegging your beer, think about using kegs as fermenters.  Easier to clean than buckets or carboys, last forever, and reasonably inexpensive.

I agree that kegs last forever, but easier to clean than buckets or carboys, and reasonably inexpensive? I'm all ears to those arguments.

Offline denny

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Re: Fermenting Bucket or Carboy?
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2021, 08:35:07 am »
If you ever get into kegging your beer, think about using kegs as fermenters.  Easier to clean than buckets or carboys, last forever, and reasonably inexpensive.
Buckets always get scratched...

Perhaps you are using the wrong kind of sponge? The risk of scratching any kind of plastic fermenter is highly overrated, unless you are using steel wool. Even so, you would have to have a crap-ton of scratches to harbor enough bacteria to ruin a batch.

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Offline narvin

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Re: Fermenting Bucket or Carboy?
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2021, 08:48:42 am »
I never scrub plastic carboys.  Since the hardest part to clean is the part above the liquid where everything sticks, I throw some "PBW" in (a homemade version that's 80% oxyclean free and 20% seventh generation dishwashing powder), fill it  with about a gallon of hot water, and put a carboy cap on and invert it in a cup.  After 20 minutes or so I'll flip it upright and fill it the rest of the way.  Ready for a rinse in an hour or less and perfectly clean.

Offline ttash

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Re: Fermenting Bucket or Carboy?
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2021, 09:24:29 am »
I like buckets much more than carboys. Started with plastic buckets, went to glass carboys and have since returned to buckets, though they are stainless this time around.

Easier to clean, carry when full, store better, and makes top cropping yeast a breeze. Avoid glass at all costs.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Fermenting Bucket or Carboy?
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2021, 11:47:32 am »
Kegs work best for me. They aren't as cheap as a bucket, but they're way cheaper than a conical. I brew 3 gallon batches, so a 5 gallon keg with a floating dip tube is a perfect fermenter for me. They let me pressure ferment, spund, and allow for easy closed transfers to a serving keg with minimal oxygen exposure post-pitching. I don't top-crop, and I don't often repitch yeast - both of these would be more challenging in a keg vs a bucket or a conical.

As far as cleaning goes, a long soak in hot PBW works for me. To be perfectly honest, I'm a pretty lazy brewer. I don't typically break the whole keg down after each use to clean. I just make sure PBW gets run through all the dip tubes once or twice during the soak. I've never had an infection that I know of, but I can see obsessive cleaners (no judgement) having some OCD fits when fermenting in kegs.

Kegs may not be the ideal fermenter for everyone, but they certainly check all the boxes for me.
Eric B.

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Offline chinaski

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Re: Fermenting Bucket or Carboy?
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2021, 02:00:34 pm »
Kegs work best for me. They aren't as cheap as a bucket, but they're way cheaper than a conical. I brew 3 gallon batches, so a 5 gallon keg with a floating dip tube is a perfect fermenter for me. They let me pressure ferment, spund, and allow for easy closed transfers to a serving keg with minimal oxygen exposure post-pitching. I don't top-crop, and I don't often repitch yeast - both of these would be more challenging in a keg vs a bucket or a conical.

As far as cleaning goes, a long soak in hot PBW works for me. To be perfectly honest, I'm a pretty lazy brewer. I don't typically break the whole keg down after each use to clean. I just make sure PBW gets run through all the dip tubes once or twice during the soak. I've never had an infection that I know of, but I can see obsessive cleaners (no judgement) having some OCD fits when fermenting in kegs.


Kegs may not be the ideal fermenter for everyone, but they certainly check all the boxes for me.
I do pretty similar things as far as cleaning goes.  If I need to, I'll reach in with a sponge and loosen up anything that wasn't removed by the hot PBW or oxiclean soak.  Then I run some star san into it and push it through.

I do 5 gallon batches and use a small blow-off tube if I need it.

Offline narcout

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Re: Fermenting Bucket or Carboy?
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2021, 02:09:39 pm »
In my opinion, a 10 gallon corny keg is the perfect homebrew fermentor.
Sometimes you just can't get enough - JAMC

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Fermenting Bucket or Carboy?
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2021, 11:18:11 am »
The Fermzilla All-Rounder is what I use for 5.5 gallon batches and a 14 gallon Kegmenter for 10.5 gallon batches.  I can pressure ferment, spund and do a closed transfer to a keg using a floating dip tube.  Break down is simple enough and cleaning is a breeze (I use a homemade keg cleaner set up after an initial rinse and dump).  The vessels are unbreakable so far, so it looks like I am settled on these and I can get rid of any others or use them for bulk storage....
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Offline MNWayne

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Re: Fermenting Bucket or Carboy?
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2021, 11:41:12 am »
Spike SS conical.  Easy cleaning, hard to scratch, easy temp control, pressure transfer, pressure ferment, spund, dry hop, harvest yeast.  It can do it all.
Far better to dare mighty things....

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Fermenting Bucket or Carboy?
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2021, 12:30:05 pm »
One nice thing about Spike or SS BrewBucket is the trüb cone. Any break or hop material that makes it into the fermenter settles in the cone. Not sure it matters but I like that feature.

Otherwise plastic buckets (Speidel, Big Mouth Bubbler, generic buckets, etc) are perfectly acceptable. I’ve even seen some use plastic storage containers (aka Rubbermaid tub). The flat surface makes it nice for adding a spigot or thermowell.



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Offline erockrph

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Re: Fermenting Bucket or Carboy?
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2021, 12:53:19 pm »
FYI - if you're looking for cheap kegs to ferment in, AiH has used 5 gallon ball locks for $40 and new for $90 as one of their Cyber Monday deals.
Eric B.

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