View Full Version : Fermenter with Spigot

01-16-2012, 02:15 PM
Is a fermenting bucket with a spigot a good idea? It looks very convienient, but from what I understand, after primary fermentation, you don't want to get a lot of air into the must, and it seems to me that if I use a wine bucket with a spigot, a lot of air will get into the must as it falls from the primary fermenter into the secondary carboy.

Is a racking cane a better (though more time consuming/messy) option? I'm trying to decide what sort of bucket I should buy for my 5 gallon primary.

Chevette Girl
01-16-2012, 02:49 PM
They're pretty handy for primary as long as they don't leak AND the spigot's placed high enough that it doesn't touch the floor. I had banana wine all over my floor the first time I used mine, turns out you REALLY have to tighten it. And even more since the hole in the bucket's so low that the tip of the spigot hits the floor if I don't twist it up out of the way. But keeping the spigot from leaking AND keeping it away from the floor was too much trouble for me so the bucket the spigot fits on is now one of my fruit collecting buckets, there's a hole for the assorted spiders and bugs that inevitably come along for the ride to escape through, and also some air circulation if I don't get to it right away, decreases likeliness of mold.

It's great for floaty fruit, like racking a JAO before the oranges have sunk...

01-16-2012, 03:20 PM
I have a bucket that holds, I guess, 7 gallons. I have had no issue with the spigot. You can fit a piece of tubing to the spigot to reduce splashing.

01-16-2012, 05:21 PM
It's a matter of personal preference, I'd say, but my preference is to use a solid wall bucket and a racking cane. I am an almost anal clean freak, and all the little nooks and crannies in those spigot assemblies seem to shout out, "You can hide safely here," to spoilage bacteria, no matter how thoroughly I clean and sanitize them. That and the fact that I've never had a bucket with a spigot placed at just the right height to allow me to draw off my mead without either sucking a significant bit of lees along with, or leaving too much clear mead behind, so I haven't been satisfied with them. That said, I know many folks who have no issues with them at all.

01-25-2012, 12:26 AM
I don't like the spigot buckets for anything more time-intensive than bottling. Even a slow leak will make a big mess, and yes those turn-barrel contraptions are hard to sanitize. I know folks who use them exclusively though, so for some people it must work. Fill it with water before you add anything important and check for leaks though. And I store mine with the spigot removed, both to avoid banging and so that they completely dry out (less chance of hiding some nasties).

01-25-2012, 07:55 AM
And I store mine with the spigot removed, both to avoid banging and so that they completely dry out (less chance of hiding some nasties).

Good idea. I will start doing this nyself.

Thanks for the tip.

01-26-2012, 12:29 AM
I used a racking cane for many batches of beer - a bit of a hassle to sanitize and use but works fine. I've recently moved to a bucket with a quality spigot and it is easier when either racking or bottling.

But --- you have to spend some extra time up front in both cleaning and sanitizing it (Star-San) prior to use. One issue with mead could be getting some of the lees in the spigot it you are stirring the must during fermentation.