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cabeasle
02-07-2012, 11:08 AM
I started fermenting a 2 gallon batch of traditional four days ago. Only, this was the first time that I used the fermenting bucket I bought, and after I brewed/mixed everything up, I learned that the lid doesn't fit. It covers the top, but does not seal at all.

I just emptied two gallon jugs, so I can transfer the whole thing to those, but I figured I would ask first. Is it worth bothering? Or should I just let it ferment out in the bucket and hope it stays uncontaminated? I am using KV-1116 which I understand kills most things, and I plan to hit it with campden once it finishes fermenting just to be safe. But should I transfer it early and let it finish it's ferment in the two jugs?

Loadnabox
02-07-2012, 11:35 AM
The majority of people on these forums ferment without a lid at all in primary. Because mead requires such constant supervision (especially melomels) a lid just gets annoying and in the way.

If you have a hardware store nearby, get a paint strainer bag and run it through sanitizer.

If you don't want to do that put a sanitized towel over the top to keep debris from settling into the top of your brew. Be sure the towel doesn't get into the brew either, but if it does, as long as it has been sanitized, it's unlikely it will cause any harm.

akueck
02-08-2012, 02:46 AM
All good advice. I've also tossed a sheet of aluminum foil over the top, that works well to keep out the bugs and dust. Cheesecloth is nice too but often has too wide a mesh.

PitBull
02-08-2012, 09:19 AM
Another option, especially useful for 5 gallon batches or larger, is BRUTE food grade 10-gallon buckets. The lid fits loosely so there is not need for an airlock to vent the bucket. It is infinately easier to remove/replace the lid compared to a primary fermenter with a gasketed lid. The biggest plus is that there is a LOT of freeboard when aerating/mixing the must with a drill mounted stirrer. The chance of an Mead Eruption Accident is greatly reduced.

scottyd74
02-08-2012, 01:04 PM
Hi,

I have been using the style that PittBull decribed for about 9 years now. It was a little while before I believed that it would do the trick and now would not go back. Lots of headspace, easy to remove cover and never an infected batch of beer ( Or Mead;D)

Braxton
02-08-2012, 02:51 PM
My only additional advice would be to not let it linger in the bucket for too long after fermentation is complete. An open or slightly covered fermentation is just fine for now (in fact it may aid in ester production) but if you were to leave it in there for a couple months after fermentation was complete, you might start seeing the effects of oxidation. So, fine for primary fermentation, but you'll want to age in the jugs.

mmclean
02-08-2012, 05:51 PM
Another option, especially useful for 5 gallon batches or larger, is BRUTE food grade 10-gallon buckets. The lid fits loosely so there is not need for an airlock to vent the bucket. It is infinately easier to remove/replace the lid compared to a primary fermenter with a gasketed lid. The biggest plus is that there is a LOT of freeboard when aerating/mixing the must with a drill mounted stirrer. The chance of an Mead Eruption Accident is greatly reduced.

I must respectfully disagree with PitBull on this issue.

I have a 10 gallon Brut. By the time a made the second batch, my cap was pushing up on the cover (I use a cloth). Bigger buckets only leads to bigger batches, split batches, even bigger buckets, general mayhem.

Just keep figgering on biggering and biggering.

Loadnabox
02-09-2012, 11:54 AM
I must respectfully disagree with PitBull on this issue.

I have a 10 gallon Brut. By the time a made the second batch, my cap was pushing up on the cover (I use a cloth). Bigger buckets only leads to bigger batches, split batches, even bigger buckets, general mayhem.

Just keep figgering on biggering and biggering.

Tell me about it, I was doing the math on my plans for my concord pyment

12 pounds per gallon of juice, 68 pounds = a little under 7 gallon of juice

add in water as per the recipe = 14 gallons of diluted juice

Honey to SG 1.135 for finishing at ~1.020 is 4.5 gallons of honey

That's 19.5 gallons of total must. I'm wracking my brain trying to figure out how I'm going to manage all that. It's a LOT! Biggest batch so far and they keep getting bigger!

PitBull
02-09-2012, 03:18 PM
Bigger buckets only leads to bigger batches, split batches, even bigger buckets, general mayhem.

Just keep figgering on biggering and biggering.
Even bigger buckets?

Do you have the 20 gallon version? If you batches get much larger than that... it may well be time for some professional equipment.

mmclean
02-09-2012, 03:45 PM
Even bigger buckets?

Do you have the 20 gallon version? If you batches get much larger than that... it may well be time for some professional equipment.

No, not yet. But my 10 gallon isn't going to hold my next big melomel. I'm going to be doing some split batches with different yeast.

veritas
02-10-2012, 02:03 AM
Another option, especially useful for 5 gallon batches or larger, is BRUTE food grade 10-gallon buckets. The lid fits loosely so there is not need for an airlock to vent the bucket. It is infinately easier to remove/replace the lid compared to a primary fermenter with a gasketed lid. The biggest plus is that there is a LOT of freeboard when aerating/mixing the must with a drill mounted stirrer. The chance of an Mead Eruption Accident is greatly reduced.

+1

These buckets have worked great for me so far!

PitBull
02-10-2012, 12:07 PM
The only problem I can see with the larger 20 gallon BRUTE bucket vs. commercial equipment is the weight of the must. Assuming a 16 gallon batch (~15 gallons after racking losses) with 4 gallons of freeboard for mixing:

16 gallons x 8.34 lbs/gallon (@ S.G.=1 .000) x 1.1 (O.G.) = 146.8 lbs + the weight of the 20 gallon bucket.

That would be extremely hard to move. I'm confident that the 20 gallon bucket could hold that weight without a problem, but I'm not so sure that the handles could endure the container being picked up. Of course if you elevated the bucket before mixing the ingredients, then racking would be no problem. Also a pump transfer to the secondary would also work.

Just food for thought.

mmclean
02-10-2012, 09:46 PM
In the Curt Stock video, he has his up on a bench. I don't think you would want to move 150 lbs of mead anyway.