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Brewing bottle vs Brewing bucket

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sjors86

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I currently have an issue with to few (empty) bottles and some wines which have to be made.
I do have two 20L buckets, but i have always thought buckets were less good, as there is more space for air/oxygen, which is bad for the wine.

Will it greatly affect the wine (negatively) or can I use the buckets just as good?

I have a red wine, elderflower cider and beer on the planning, all 3 will be 20L.
I have two 10L glass bottles and two 20L buckets, so which should I make in the bottle and which in the bucket?
 

pgentile

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First, it's going to be a problem doing 20l of beer in a 20l bucket. It will overflow without enough headroom. The best thing to do would be to get a bucket 25l + for the beer. Also you need one more 20l glass vessel if you are starting the wines and cider at the same time. The buckets for the wine are tight for primary fermentation, but for secondary and aging they are less than ideal. Beyond primary fermentation the buckets will have too much surface area for wine long term. Beer I have kept in buckets locked down with lid and airlock for up to 21 days before bottling.

But if you can't get a bucket and/or carboy one way to approach would be:

Make your beer, put half in each bucket to ferment. After 7-10 days or desired SG transfer to the glass containers.

I have no knowledge of cider, but start your cider split between the buckets.

After 10-14 days, depending on SG of cider, bottle your beer and transfer the cider to the glass.

Start your wine split in the buckets.

After your SG on the wine gets to where you want, either bottle your cider and transfer wine to glass or get another glass vessel for the wine. If you want your cider and wine to clear and age they will need some time.

Good luck
 

BernardSmith

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I agree with pgentile. You really need significant headroom during primary fermentation to allow for froth and foam (and any fruit), so in principle, buckets make great primary fermenters but as the active fermentation begins to stop then you want to rack from large buckets into vessels with very little to no headroom which is then when wine makers use carboys with narrow necks sealed with bungs and airlocks. A 20 L bucket may be good for fermenting 15 L but you want more headroom if you are going to be fermenting 20 L.
 

sjors86

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Thank I will get some 23L buckets and some extra bottles, thanks for your help!
 

Arne

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If you ever do a ferment without much headroom, make sure you put the fermenter in another container like a tote to catch the overflow. A large plastic garbage bag will work as well, just pull it up a bit around the sides. Must say I learned this the hard way. Arne.
 

Redbird1

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There is also the risk of the airlock getting clogged with krausen and overpressurizing the bucket, which could result in the lid being forcibly removed. I came very close to that situation when I added maple syrup to an actively fermenting beer. Removing the airlock sent beer flying every direction, including on to the ceiling!
 

Arne

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There is also the risk of the airlock getting clogged with krausen and overpressurizing the bucket, which could result in the lid being forcibly removed. I came very close to that situation when I added maple syrup to an actively fermenting beer. Removing the airlock sent beer flying every direction, including on to the ceiling!
Nice post. Hopefully will save someone some grief. When these kind of things happen they happen in a hurry and really hard to stop them. Arne.
 

Redbird1

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Nice post. Hopefully will save someone some grief. When these kind of things happen they happen in a hurry and really hard to stop them. Arne.
Indeed. Fermentation had slowed considerably and there was the standard amount of krausen, so I thought I was safe to add the syrup. Within a couple hours, the "S" style airlock had krausen all the way out the top and the lid was bulged noticeably upwards. I think if I had checked much later the whole lid would have come off.
 
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