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What are your thoughts on replacing fermentation buckets?

I’ve read that some people advocate replacing fermentation buckets every 10-15 batches, and others use theirs for much longer assuming they’re not scratched. I’ve used mine for 3 years now without replacing them; probably 15-20 batches in each one.

So, how many of you actually replace them often? If so, why?

I’m thinking of investing in some 6.5 gallon better bottles if I’m convinced that replacing the buckets is necessary. I’ve got a 5 gallon BB, but it’s not big enough. I’ve also used glass carboys before, but I don’t like the weight and the threat of breakage.

Any advice on this topic is appreciated.

Personally I have no plans of replacing any buckets or better bottles until I have a problem. I don’t like to create a problem where there is none.

Also, I do like being able to see into a better bottle, but buckets really are better. Better bottles have the same problems as buckets (scratch easy, etc) plus a few more. They are tough to carry. You can’t lift one with a full airlock in it. The reverse pressure sucks the liquid from the airlock into your wort/beer. Buckets have handles and are just easier to carry. Buckets have more head room. I’ve never had blowoff with a 6.5gal bucket, but have had blow off many times using better bottles. Not a big problem, but less to worry about and mess around with when using buckets. Buckets stack better or should I say, buckets stack! Better bottles don’t. Buckets are WAY easier to clean, rack into and out of, dry hop in… they’re just all around easier.

If you take care of your buckets, clean them only with a soft cloth and do an occasional warm PBW or Oxiclean soak, they should last a really long time.

+1 to that! I use PBW or Oxyclean with a paper towel after each use. And always sanitize with starsan. Keep em clean and relatively scratch free and you should be good.

The nicest part about buckets is that they are really easy to move around…plus they have a huge headspace for oxygenation during the beginning of fermentation! If you ever begin to question whether or not they are harboring nastys, just replace them - they are cheap! I thought the largest better bottle was a 6 gallon. Please repost if you have found 6.5 gallon versions.

No reason to replace a bucket if it is not causing problems.
And if you have an older bucket (with the support ribs on the bottom piece) take good care of it! Seems like the newer ones lack this seemingly insignificant feature…and people are reporting the bottoms physically falling out of these newer buckets when full with beer and lifted.

+2
I take care of mine and only use PBW and a soft sponge on them. They have lasted me a long time. Same thing goes for my Curtec drums, they have served me well for many batches.

+1 to that! I use PBW or Oxyclean with a paper towel after each use. And always sanitize with starsan. Keep em clean and relatively scratch free and you should be good.[/quote]

This is what I do. After fermentation I soak overnight with Oxyclean Free. Clean with a wash rag.

It’s good to hear that most keep buckets for a long time. I just a heard a podcast recently that suggested replacing them often and was curious to hear what others do. Thanks for the input.

And to the other poster: I was mistaken, 6 gallon Better Bottles are the largest.

I’ve got one I’ve been using since 1978. Finally just got tired of looking at it. All stained with iodophor and all but never had a problem with it. :cheers:

+1 to that! I use PBW or Oxyclean with a paper towel after each use. And always sanitize with starsan. Keep em clean and relatively scratch free and you should be good.[/quote]

And, never stack buckets!!!

I own TWO 7.8 gallon buckets and TWO 6-gallon better bottles. Most of the time, I use the Better Bottles for lagering purposes. I also have a 6.5 gallon plastic conical. That’s sweet for open fermentation. I’ve been brewing just over 4 years, and I have made 45 batches as of Saturday. Buckets are still good. See above posts for how to clean them.

I’m a stacker, and PROUD of it! No worries!
:cheers:

+1 to that! I use PBW or Oxyclean with a paper towel after each use. And always sanitize with starsan. Keep em clean and relatively scratch free and you should be good.[/quote]

I do exactly the same thing. I’ve had the same 3 buckets for 4 years now, ~20 batches per year, and am not planning on replacing them (yet). I’ve broken two glass car boys. Just my 2 cents.

[quote=“Chester3”]I’m a stacker, and PROUD of it! No worries!
:cheers: [/quote]

+1! I live in a condo with very little storage and now have a 7 week old who’s stuff is taking up even more space. So, buckets for grain, fermentation, storage, etc… I stack all the time. Have yet to have a problem. If/when I do, I’ll buy a new bucket.

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