I am looking to up grade some of my brewing equipment. I currently use a 1 gallon small batch setup and I want to upgrade to a 5 gallon extract/partial mash setup. I currently have a brewpot big enough to hold the water that I would need, a propane burner and all the racking and bottling equipment. What I don’t have is a 5 gallon fermenting bucket. My question is this…What do you guys recommend as a fermenting container? The basic fermenting bucket, glass/plastic carboys, or the Big Mouth Bubbler? What’s your opinion
Fermenter selection is really just a preference. My opinions:
- Bucket. if if you just want to get the job done and don’t care about flair. Cheap and effective.
- Plastic carboy/BMB. If you like/need to watch. Tougher to clean than a bucket though.
- Glass carboy/BMB. If you want extended aging. (many months.) Also if you like to watch, they can take a scrubbing better than buckets or plastic bottles, but google for the multiple horror stories about smashed glass. Not just ruined floors but bodily harm from glass shards too. They get freaking heavy when full.
The BMB’s try to give the best of both worlds between buckets and carboys. The big mouth lets you get your arm in to wipe down the insides. They just didn’t get the seals right though. I have a few with the original screw-on lid, and still I put plastic wrap over the top first, then screw on the lid, then jab a knife through the airlock hole. The new “universal” lids just pop themselves off; I’ve never gotten one to work. I’ve heard people use bricks or free weights to hold them down. They’re an awesome idea, but poorly executed IMO.
For 5-gallon batches, my go-to is the bucket for primary, I have some 5-gallon BMBs and Better bottles for those increasingly rare times I do secondary.
For 3-gallon batches, the 5-gallon BMBs are my primary, and I have some 3-gallon better bottles for secondary.
I have a 6.5 gallon glass BMB that I just never use. Too damn heavy. Plus I’m mostly into 3-gallon batches now.
Take a look at speidel fermentors. I use the big mouth and speidel. Fermentors. But love my 6.5 glass carboy as well
My glass carboy is out in the garage with my other non-used brewing equipment. I will use plastic, and secondary in the keg… I’m waiting for, one said wife, to cool down before I let her know how well a conical fermenter would work!!! Sneezles61