Fermenting in buckets

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by EvanAltman36, May 28, 2014.

  1. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    So I made the decision to brew 4 batches this weekend, which required the use of some extra vessels. I picked up a couple buckets, due to the lower cost and cleaning ease, but I'm not sure the results are as good as what I get from carboys.

    Of course, I can't see any activity, so that's a drawback from a visual perspective. I checked and re-checked the tightness of the lids and they're sealed on nicely, but I really only had a short period of airlock activity. I know that that's not the only indicator that fermentation is taking place, but neither bucket really had much more than a 24 hour period of heavy activity. Liquid levels in the airlock have basically stabilized too. I wasn't sure if that's an issue with the process, or simply that the logistics of the bucket (more head space, no tapering) cause the perceived lack of activity.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I would think its mainly the head space, have had the same issues, I only use buckets but don't use an airlock I have a blow off tube going into a jug of star sans for the main reason I see every bubble now more so than the airlock, I'm convinced those get clogged sometimes
     
  3. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

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    I gotta say four batches in a weekend is tremendous. My complements sir.
     
  4. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    Thanks, it was ambitious but I think I pulled it off. I did both of the more labor-intensive ones on Saturday, as the DIPA had 10.5oz of hops (granted, some of that is for dry hopping) and the Summer Ale includes citrus fruit action. I actually zested and juiced 3 limes, 3 lemons, and 1 grapefruit, along with adding some lemongrass.

    I'm really pleased with the session IPA though, as I have found myself crouched over the airlock to inhale the amazing smells coming forth from it. Everything going pretty much according to plan at this point, so I should end up with a nice draft selection in a couple more weeks.
     
  5. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

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  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    And I thought two decocted lagers in a weekend was ambitious.... Good work!
     
  7. nflamedrash

    nflamedrash Member

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    Don't worry about the lack of airlock activity in the buckets. I have to use buckets several times each year due to increased brewing volume and I have the same results. My bucket lids have a positive lock when I seat them and the gaskets are in good shape. 2 years ago I had same concern when there was little airlock activity during fermentation. It turns out there is a very slow leak with my buckets around the gasket. When fermentation activity is at its peak I get airlock activity for about 24 hours.

    When I used keg lube/grease on the bucket gaskets the leak stopped and airlock activity lasted 3-4 days. Now if I think about it I use the lube on the gasket prior to fermentation otherwise I just know there will be limited activity. And, I have never had a bad batch with the use of my buckets. My guess is everything will be fine.
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    you can buy silicone at any size, bought some for my lids works fantastic, also instead of rubber stoppers I put a weld-less stainless quick release fitting for transferring into the bucket lid then also doubles as a connection to a blow off tube, loving it
     
  9. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    That's basically exactly what I got; the DIPA went crazy for about a day, used a blowoff tube; then moved to airlock and had a little activity but then nothing. The wheat beer took a while to get started, was active for about 24 hours, then done. But it hit FG and the warm, flat sample, was nice enough.

    That wheat beer is for SWAMBO, who requested a berry wheat like the one they brew at a local place, so I racked onto blackberry blueberry puree.

    All in all, very pleased with the results so far. Of course, I'll be much more pleased when I can drink them.
     

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