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How many times can you use a bucket

Is there an official number to how many batches can be done in a bucket for fermentation?

I really don’t think so, but I write “sour” on mine when the discoloration just looks pretty bad, but I know that the discoloration is really just due to darker beers. Call me a scaredy cat!

I’ve been using the same buckets for about 5 years now, which means probably close to 30 batches in each bucket. They are a bit discolored, but no problems with infections or off flavors yet. I suspect that as long as I clean and sanitize properly, they will last indefinitely.

I imagine as long as you only clean it with a sponge and don’t scratch it you can use it for brewing a long time after that you can use it for other things. It seems to me to be the perfect fermenter except maybe stainless steel for the big boys. They are cheap and can be repurposed forever. So if it starts getting ugly buy another.

You can use them until they go sour. Could happen right away, could take many years. It’s happened to me about a dozen different times. Probably because I’m too lazy to bottle right away. If you leave your beer sitting in a bucket for 2 months or more, look out. But for a few weeks, you’re probably okay. I’m chronically lazy so I’ve switched to glass and I don’t think I’ll have any problems anymore.

Plastic would definitely not a good place to age beer. It would be best to transfer to a glass carboy or keg if your going to let it sit for awhile.

I’ve fermented sours in buckets, santized them and used them for many batches of normal beers. A bucket will last as long as you want to take care of it. I get lax and mine sometimes get scratched inside so I tend to retire them to grain buckets or some other use. I generally don’t ferment a lot in buckets and if I do I transfer to a carboy when fermentation goes past its peak.

Been brewing for about nine years now and have yet to replace a bucket. Just sanitize real good and avoid scratching the inside.

that’s what I was hoping to hear. I’ve got 3 buckets and 3 carboys and would like to keep growing, but didn’t want to end up with a bunch of buckets I can only use a couple times then designate them to grains or dog food etc.

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Good answer…

Does anyone know where I can get a short term loan to buy a few new primary buckets?? :wink:

Buckets are great, but as said, if you leave something in there too long it will leach into the plastic…it will also eventually allow oxidation if left too long…I’ve slowly converted to glass carboy primaries…over time I’ve been able to invest in something that is more ‘forgiving’ if my schedule doesn’t allow immediate transfers (family/work obligations prevail)!

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