Ale Pail Problems

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Re: Gamma Seals

Postby ColoradoBrewer » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:23 am

Legman wrote:I was just browsing the internet and ran across this.
http://www.gammaplastics.com/new/GSL.html
Looks interesting. I wonder how well that would work for leaky bucket fermenters. Just drill a hole for an airlock and it's done.

Anyone ever seen or used it before???

I use both glass carboys and plastic buckets, which ever is available. The plastic buckets have Gamma Seal lids on them. They work well. The only downside is a minor one. The part that snaps on the bucket creates a gap between itself and the side of the bucket making nearly impossible to pour all of the liquid from the bucket. About a tablespoon is left. This only a problem when cleaning the bucket. Like I said, a minor problem/annoyance. YMMV.
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Re: Gamma Seals

Postby billvelek » Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:53 am

ColoradoBrewer wrote:snip ... The part that snaps on the bucket creates a gap between itself and the side of the bucket making nearly impossible to pour all of the liquid from the bucket. About a tablespoon is left. This only a problem when cleaning the bucket. Like I said, a minor problem/annoyance. YMMV.
So, are you leaving a tablespoon of sanitizer in your bucket when you add your wort and yeast? If so, some options to safely rinse in order to dilute and reduce the chemicals that remain would be to add some bottled water (if you're SURE it has been pasteurized, and I assume that 'distilled' water would be sterile), or add some boiling water like I do, since it won't hurt the white plastic buckets. Warning -- clear plastic, such as those 5-gallon plastic carboys from bottled water at the supermarket WILL shrivel if you put boiling water in there for any length of time.

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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:09 pm

Yes, Bill, there is a small amount of sanitizer (Iodophor) left in the bucket. But it has never had an adverse affect on my fermentations, or caused any off flavors in the finished beer. I attribute this to the fact that one tablespoon, or less, of sanitizer in 5
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Gamma Seal

Postby Legman » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:26 pm

I'll have to try one of those gamma seals. Seems like that may be a good idea for a good sealing bucket. The bucket I have now leaks bad enough that I have to wrap plastic wrap around it to complete the seal. Not a huge deal, but it's just a pain having to do that everytime.
And I agree with you about the small amount of sanitizer left in the bucket. I use one-step sanitizer and I've had a little bit left in the fermeter when I poured my wort into it. I've had to adverse effects on fermentation from that yet. I even use it in my airlock and from time to time it drips back into the bucket when I pull the lid off. Not a big deal.
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Why worry about the seal on a bucket fermenter?

Postby billvelek » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:58 pm

I'm not knocking or criticizing anyone's opinion or methods, but unless one is planning to keep the beer sitting in the bucket beyond active fermentation, I'm curious why anyone would worry about the seal on a bucket fermenter? Regarding infiltration of oxygen, you're already starting out with some oxygen in your bucket in the empty head-space to begin with, and with the positive pressure on the inside of the bucket caused by fermentation, I can't imagine much more is going to get inside. Even after fermentation has finished and there is no longer positive pressure, with an extremely small "leak", I still can't imagine that very much oxygen will infiltrate within just a day or two before you get around to racking into secondary. As for critters, little gnats and fruit flies are the only things that we really need to worry about because spores and microbes are not trying to infiltrate our fermenters; they just happen to be in the air and therefore can only get sucked inside the bucket with rises in barometric pressure. But in comparison to the amount of unsanitized air that was originally in the head space as well as the amount that most homebrewers try to deliberately shake into their wort to "aerate" it before fermentation, it is probably miniscule -- and happens at a time when there is little food left to eat plus an alcohol content to contend with. Couple that with the fact that many places use open-air fermentation -- even for beers besides sour lambics -- and a seal that isn't air-tight just doesn't give me much of a reason to worry. In the past, I have just "set" the lid on top of the bucket -- allowing the weight of the lid to seal it enough to keep insects out -- and I haven't had any problems; one advantage is that I don't need to worry about an airlock getting clogged and creating a mess on the ceiling. I am planning to return to the use of buckets for primary, after weighing the pros and cons of using glass, but I won't be messing around trying to get a tight seal. We all do what works for us.

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Postby Legman » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:30 pm

No, your right about that during active fermentation. It's not that critical to have a complete seal. But I don't rack my beers. I leave them in the primary for 2 -3 weeks, then bottle. That's why I'm concerned about having a good seal. I could just rack after a week, but I've also read alot of other post about racking off the trub to soon and what possible effects that has.......that and I'm lazy! Hahaha.
But like you said, "We all do what works for us."
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Racking to secondary

Postby billvelek » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:11 pm

Are white food-grade plastic buckets (don't remember what sort of plastic they actually are) impermeable to oxygen; some plastics will allow a certain amount of oxygen to pass right through the plastic itself. I'm asking this in regard to leaving beer inside a bucket for several weeks.

My thoughts are now running along this line: rack to secondary after high krauesen but before all fermentation has completed and the yeast has flocculated; the bucket will make cleaning the worst mess -- the dried krauesen -- easiest, and racking will eliminate all trub so that when the yeast does finally settle, I will have a pretty clean yeast cake for reuse, and I won't need to worry about oxidation in my glass carboy.

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Re: Racking to secondary

Postby Legman » Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:14 pm

[quote="billvelek"]Are white food-grade plastic buckets (don't remember what sort of plastic they actually are) impermeable to oxygen; some plastics will allow a certain amount of oxygen to pass right through the plastic itself. I'm asking this in regard to leaving beer inside a bucket for several weeks.

Ya know I'm not really sure. I wouldn't think after just a few weeks O2 would get in a whole lot. I mean, after all, these types of plastic buckets are used for long term food storage. If that were the case, then the food would surely suffer after a few weeks as well.
But I could be completely off base. I'm sure at some point there may be some effects of O2. But I think that's over an extended period of time.
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Postby akueck » Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:01 am

I've heard that a month in plastic is ok as far as O2 goes. Past that, think about glass or steel. Most normal gravity ales will be fine in the bucket.
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Postby Legman » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:20 pm

For now, I'm going with the bucket. I'll change to a glass carboy if I start to see any ill effects. But for now, I'm kinda partial to my plastic bucket.

I was doing some other research on this and I came across another beer forum discussing this issue. It turned into a pretty heated argument. It was the folks that prefer glass carboys vs. plastic buckets. Everyone was very opinionated and they all seemed to get real upset over others speculations of what works and what doesn't. These people were very passionate about which they were using. It was actually kinda ridiculous. I was thinking to myself, just use what you like and what works for you. No need to argue about it. There's always more than one way to skin a cat!

SO, I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU GUYS SAY. I LIKE MY !@#$ PLASTIC BUCKET!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Gamma Seals

Postby Legman » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:07 pm

ColoradoBrewer wrote:
Legman wrote:I was just browsing the internet and ran across this.
http://www.gammaplastics.com/new/GSL.html
Looks interesting. I wonder how well that would work for leaky bucket fermenters. Just drill a hole for an airlock and it's done.

Anyone ever seen or used it before???

I use both glass carboys and plastic buckets, which ever is available. The plastic buckets have Gamma Seal lids on them. They work well. The only downside is a minor one. The part that snaps on the bucket creates a gap between itself and the side of the bucket making nearly impossible to pour all of the liquid from the bucket. About a tablespoon is left. This only a problem when cleaning the bucket. Like I said, a minor problem/annoyance. YMMV.


ColoradoBrewer, I just recently bought a gamma seal lid and tried it out. Now my fermenter is less sealed up than it was before!!! I might as well just have a piece of foil laying on top of it. But, I think it's just my bucket. Something must be warped or something. I did put it in the dishwasher a couple of times. I wonder if that's what did it? But in saying all that, I do like the gamma seal lid. Pretty cool. I'll have to get a new bucket and try it out on there.
Oh well. Back to the saran wrap for now.

:lol:
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:31 pm

Sorry to hear you're having problems, Legman. Are you sure the part that attaches to the bucket is fully seated? When I put mine on I gave it a few sharp blows with a rubber mallet. If it still won't seat I suppose it's possible there's something going with your bucket. Hope you get it figured out.
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plastic wrap

Postby yaturaz » Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:58 am

If you are going to be using saran wrap, I would try the "press'n seal "kind from GLAD. That stuff is amazing and I would think it would make a good seal for your fermenter. Have a good one:)
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gamma seal

Postby Legman » Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:22 am

[quote="ColoradoBrewer"]Are you sure the part that attaches to the bucket is fully seated? When I put mine on I gave it a few sharp blows with a rubber mallet.quote]

Maybe I need to try smacking it with a mallet. Once it's fully seated, how hard should it be to pull that peice off the bucket? Right now I can pull it off pretty easily, but I pushed down on it as hard as I can.
I'm getting obsesed over this whole thing. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr :shock:

I need a homebrew. !@#$!!!! It's only 5:30 AM :x
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:13 am

ve never actually removed mine, but after reading your post I gave it a try. It's on there pretty snug and wouldn't budge using just my hands. So I'm guessing it needs to be pried of with some sort of tool.
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