Let’s get back to the items in the beginner brewing kit and discuss the fermentation bucket.
The white bucket that’s highlighted with the red rectangle is the fermentation bucket. Once you are done boiling your wort in your brew pot, it gets poured into this bucket for the fermentation process….hence the name.
These buckets are made of food grade plastic, which means it’s plastic that has nothing in it like dyes that are harmful to people. A beginning brewer should keep in mind that if he or she uses the bucket to store things like chemicals or other nasty things that are harmful to people, then the bucket is no longer food grade. So, to be safe, only use your fermentation bucket to ferment beer, and not to mix oil-based paint.
Buckets you get in a kit can hold at least 6 gallons of liquid, so you will have plenty of room to brew a 5 gallon batch of beer.
It comes with a cover that seals tight on top with a hole to insert an airlock (That’s the funny squiggly plastic thing on top of the bucket with the red cap in the picture). The airlock is an important piece of the fermentation bucket, since it allows carbon dioxide to escape but keeps the outside air out.
If you didn’t have an airlock, then you would run the risk of air getting into the fermenting beer through the little hole in the cover…which can bring in wild, weird yeast into the mix and result in off flavors.
If you didn’t have an airlock and the cover didn’t have a hole in it, all the carbon dioxide the yeast produce during fermentation would build up and you would have…yeah…a beer bomb. BOOM!
There are a few different styles of airlocks, which will be discussed in a later post.
There are other types of fermentation vessels, but for the beginner the bucket works just fine.
Here are some other articles for homebrewing beginners: