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Imperial Stout Fermenting in Basic Starter Kit Bucket

Ok so I’m fairly new to home brewing and I’m planning on making my second batch in the coming weeks. I did a pumpkin ale for my first round this fall and it turned out pretty nice (made with real pumpkin too).

Anyways, I want to do a big Imperial Stout but I have some reservations about using the basic 5gal bucket that comes in the kit that my fiance bought for me last year. (It’s just the basic kit from NB)

I have a 5 gallon better bottle for a secondary fermentation vessel but from what I’ve read maybe I’m going to need a 6 gal. b.b. for the primary as well and allow blow off every once in a while? Or will my big bucket with the airlock suffice?

Thanks everyone-


You will want to put a blow off tube on your primary vessel. There is a pretty funny video going around of a Brewer that fermented a Russian imperial stout in a bucket using only an airlock. What a mess.

With a blow off tube, you’ll be much safer and less stressed.

What are your concerns with using the plastic pail for a fermenter? It’s just like any other beer. You can easily leave it in the pail for 2-3 weeks. Then transfer to a BB if you like to age it longer before going to bottles/kegs.

Yeah I’m worried about the pressure buildup and worrying that a bucket with an airlock won’t be sufficient to prevent the pressure buildup. Like colombo117 noted, I don’t want to cause a big mess with this guy.

So if I use a blow off tube, should I just leave it on permanetly during the first full fermentation?

Thanks for all the help everyone-

More headspace, keep it at the lower end of the yeast’s temperature range, and buy some Fermcap-S, too.

Ferment in the bucket… should be 6.5gallon and not 5 if you got it in a NB kit. The 6.5gallon bucket should be big enough, but use a blowoff anyway for such a big beer, just in case. Get a 3 piece airlock if you don’t have one. They’re cheap… like $2-$3. ... rlock.html

Stick the main part of the airlock through the rubber grommet in the bucket lid. DON’T use the other 2 parts of the airlock. Just take your blowoff tube and insert it over smaller inside spout on the airlock. Then run the other end of the tub into a smaller vessel with some water/starsan solution in it. I use a 1 gallon jug. Works great! Just be sure to keep an eye on your jug so if you do get a lot of blowoff that it doesn’t overflow.

You can either leave the blowoff tube in there for the entire fermentation or when active fermentation is done (3-6days?) you can remove the blowoff tube, pour a little water/starsan solution in the airlock and insert the other 2 pieces.

+1 to the temps. I’ve noticed since I’ve been able to control ferm temps with a minifridge, if I ferment in the lower end of the yeasts temp range, I rarely get blowoffs.

Awesome! Thanks for all the help everyone. I knew I’d get an answer to my questions here.

Thanks again for the help. I’m looking forward to brewing a batch in a couple of weeks here.

NB starter kits come with 6.5 gallon buckets. If you have a 5 gallon bucket it is from somewhere else. A 6.5 gallon bucket should work just fine, but you’ll want to have a blowoff just in case.

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