5 gallon bucket fermenter??

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TryMe
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5 gallon bucket fermenter??

Post by TryMe » Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:46 pm

Would there be any issues to using brand new 5 gallon buckets as fermenting containers? I have seen new buckets a lowes with lids for $5..If these arent a good choice maybe I will just track down some large culligan water jugs.

Dnderhead
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Post by Dnderhead » Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:49 pm

i thank that is what most use, just wash out good

As-Ol-Joe
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Post by As-Ol-Joe » Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:27 pm

The same bucket at walmart is cheaper, look in the paint aisle.

Lowe's bucket $4.99, lid $1.99
Walmart bucket $4.39, lid $1.39
air lock $1.59
Finished product, priceless

Either way, they do a fine job for a 4 gallon wash
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TryMe
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Post by TryMe » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:29 pm

I bought a couple brand new buckets and lids but the lids seem to be allowing a leak....They snap on tight but after 2 days of UJSM I see no bubbles coming from the airlock..I smell alcohol around the lid and the mash is bubbling...Any suggestions on getting a good seal around the lid?

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Post by Old_Blue » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:42 pm

Is the airlock bubbling the first two days? If so I don't think it would come unsealed :?:
Any suggestions on getting a good seal around the lid?


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Husker
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Post by Husker » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:44 pm

some people use plastic wrap and no lid. Just poke a couple holes in the plastic wrap.

It does not "bubble", but you can see what it happening in the wash, and pretty much tell when it is done working.

H.

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Post by Old Goat » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:47 pm

Air, like water is going escape through the way of least resistance. What kind of air-lock do you have and what is the ambient temp? What kind of yeast? Have you checked your Specific Gravity? I doubt that your mash stopped bubbling because of a leaky bucket top, they are generally tight. Just my opinion.

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Post by new_moonshiner » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:48 pm

I like the idea of seeing the wash with out opening the lids and introducing air back into the fermenter .Like huskier said you can pretty much tell when its over ..

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Post by dixiedrifter » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:55 pm

I tell ya, once you get to doing very much distilling, specially if you have a keg still your gonna want a larger fermenter.

There is a company called Gamma2 that makes a food grade HDPE airtight storage container called a Vittles Vault. The largest size holds approx 20 gallons which is darned near perfect for doing a triple turbo batch.

http://www.gammaplastics.com/new/vittles_vault.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

http://www.petco.com/Shop/SearchResults ... &Ntt=vault" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

http://www.petco.com/product/14938/Gamm ... ainer.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

The only downside is that they are pretty expensive, but, they are available locally without having to pay for shipping so that definately helps. As an added plus, they are square in shape so if one wanted to a bulkhead fitting could be installed for easy draining and cleaning.

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Post by rad14701 » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:03 pm

I have seen buckets that either had bad seals or no seals that required either duct tape or electrical tape to seal them... My uncle used to use quite a hodge podge of fermenter vessels which required various means of sealing... Never fermented without an airlock of some kind, however... Back thirty-some years ago he even used trash bags in trash cans with one end of the hose tied into the top of the bag and the other in a bucket of water...

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Post by new_moonshiner » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:03 pm

nice find dixiedrifter

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Post by TryMe » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:05 pm

Airlock never bubbled once from day one.
Checked after 2 days to see why it wasnt bubbling via the air lock..
Smell fumes strong around where the lid should seal.
The air lock is a 10" piece of rubber tube siliconed into a hole in the lid I drilled and run into a 20 oz coke bottle full of water..There are zero bubbles coming through the air lock.If I push on the bucket lid it will bubble through the air lock...And no the mash itself isnt bubbling per say but you can watch the grain float up and resettle ect. I just ran some plastic wrap around the lid and duct taped it..Maybe that will solve the issue of vapours leaking around the lid.

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Post by HookLine » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:19 pm

Husker wrote:some people use plastic wrap and no lid. Just poke a couple holes in the plastic wrap.

It does not "bubble", but you can see what it happening in the wash, and pretty much tell when it is done working.

H.
I can vouch for that method.

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Post by TryMe » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:21 pm

HookLine wrote:
Husker wrote:some people use plastic wrap and no lid. Just poke a couple holes in the plastic wrap.

It does not "bubble", but you can see what it happening in the wash, and pretty much tell when it is done working.

H.
I can vouch for that method.

Image
IF you just use plastic wrap and poke a couple small holes in it what keeps it from becoming contaminated? I thought contamintation was the main reason for airlocks??

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Post by nutmg1 » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:21 pm

What's the thinking behind air locking a ferment anyway? I've made lots of wine following directions in books and have never seen as air lock attached until the wine reaches about 4%. Then you put it in a carboy and let it age.

Since were just running this stuff through a still as soon as it ferments out why the air lock?

Birdwatcher's sugar was thread/recepie touches on this but there was no discusion.

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Post by Old Goat » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:22 pm

I use 5 gal white food grade plastic buckets and have had no problems. Also there are 6.5 gal buckets available which are nicer as you can put 5 gal of mash in without puking into the air-lock. I use the little plastic air lock I get at the brew store for 80 cents, and a rubber grommet, drill a hole, and you are off and going. If you are not that budget conscience (or poor) the 6.5 gal fermenters are only around $12 at the brew shop.

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Post by Dnderhead » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:46 am

You don't have to use air lock but it is good idea other "bugs" can get
in there and you mite end up with vinegar or ?

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Post by TryMe » Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:26 am

What should UJSM taste like when it's done fermenting? What are the odds of something killing my yeast if I use the method of just plastic wrapping the top and poking holes in it like suggested by others on here? Thx again.

punkin
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Post by punkin » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:41 am

If you wanna know whether it's your drum leaking or the ferment has problems, just squeeze the sides or top of the drum a bit.
Bubbles should be forced through the airlock, when you release it, the bubles should flow back into the brew side and if it's a good seal it will maintain a pressure differential when the brew is new.
Hold a difference for a long time (20 secs or more) it's a perfect seal, hold a difference for a short time (slowly dropping back to neutral) it's good enough seal to register as bloops once the brew gets going.

Get into the habit of checking after you've pitched the yeast and you screw the lid on, you'll always know.

An airlock gives you a lot more accurate info than just a visual of the brew. Whether you need that info or not is up to you.

Obviously this doesn't work on a glass or stainless fermenter. :roll:

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Post by TryMe » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:31 am

The ferment is working just fine..It is definately the drum leaking around the lid..I started another batch lastnight in another 5 gallon bucket and used the plastic wrap method but did not poke holes in it..This morning the plastic wrap is swelled tight and you can hear the mash fermenting quite well...I think I am going to open the one with the leaky lid to see whats going on with the mash and if needed use the same plastic wrap method to reseal it.

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