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Thread: 3 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Silver Spring (right outside of DC)
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    Default 3 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket

    I have a 5 gallon bucket and 5 one gallon jugs. But only have enough honey for 3 gallons. Can I use 3 gallons in the 5 gallon bucket for primary and then rack out to 3 separate 1 gallon jugs when it's done with primary?

    I'd rather not have to do 3 separate batches. Any help is awesome. Thanks.

    ~Boog

  2. #2

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    There should be no problems fermenting a 3 gallon batch in a 5 gallon bucket. The CO2 produced during fermentation will keep the mead from a lot of exposure to the air.

    A lot of people here ferment in larger primaries to prevent MEAs (Mead Eruption Accidents), myself being one of them. My last batch was a 6.5 gallon mel, well 10 gallons with the fruit, and that was fermented in a 20 gallon primary.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I even do 1-gal batches in a 5-gal pail, it's never hurt anything so far! And it's a lot better for aeration too.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  4. Default

    i am curious if the extra head space would cause less CO2 to be absorbed by the mead making it age better as the CO2 wouldnt need to escape, less fizzy when young

  5. #5
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    Apr 2010
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    Ottawa, ON
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    This is purely anecdotal, but when I've run side by side batches, one in a full 6-gal pail and the other in a half-full 3 gal pail, the one in the 3-gal pail usually finishes first. It's got more headspace to take in air (as opposed to CO2) when you open the lid to aerate or degas, so it lets CO2 out more easily and takes in oxygen more easily.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevette Girl View Post
    This is purely anecdotal, but when I've run side by side batches, one in a full 6-gal pail and the other in a half-full 3 gal pail, the one in the 3-gal pail usually finishes first. It's got more headspace to take in air (as opposed to CO2) when you open the lid to aerate or degas, so it lets CO2 out more easily and takes in oxygen more easily.
    New Experiment/challenge for you CG

    Try 5 gallons of mead in a 3 gallon bucket

    ;-)
    #! /bin/ksh
    export PATH
    CLI=`whoami`
    Signature()
    {for i in $CLI^Jdo^Jecho yes $i my .sig inhales^Jdone}

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Silver Spring (right outside of DC)
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    Default

    Thanks for all the replies and I'm glad I can use the bucket for small batches. Too bad I asked this question a day too late. The reason i asked was because I had a MEA on Saturday.

    Thanks again everyone.

    ~boog

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Ottawa, ON
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loadnabox View Post
    New Experiment/challenge for you CG

    Try 5 gallons of mead in a 3 gallon bucket

    ;-)
    Tried that. It was messy, especially after the fruit bag decided to expand with CO2. I spread it out to two buckets instead.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

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