I was getting tired of having to clean my glass jugs through the narrow mouth with a bottle brush, a lot of work for poor results.
On top of that, I’m more and more happy with plastic buckets for my larger, 5 gallon, batches.
I started looking for smaller food grade plastic buckets I could use as fermenters for my small batches, and my local DIY store had plenty at the paint (and beekeeping) department.
As we need about 20% headspace for the krausen (foam) that forms above the beer during fermentation, I got myself a 1.25Gal bucket for about 5 bucks with a lid (if you brew 5L, get yourself a 8-10L bucket)
- It’s a million times easier to clean than a glass jug
- It won’t break
- It’s easy to fill (no funnel required) and you can splash the wort as much as you want, which is great for oxygenation
- It’s more convenient for dry hopping (= adding hops during fermentation)
- It protects your beer from daylight during fermentation
- You can stack several of them when not in use
It just takes a little DIY for the bubbler.
All you have to do is drill a 12mm hole in the lid and get yourself one of these rubber grommets
Just make sure the bucket is made of food grade plastic (often marked with a fork and knife logo at the bottom) and you are good to go.
Like with any plastic component, use non-scratch scrub pads for cleaning to avoid creating scratches where bacteria can hide.
If you are the kind who uses a screen in your funnel when transferring to the fermenter, just use a strainer bag instead, which will also allow you to switch to small batch BIAB (Brew-in-a-Bag) brewing, which has become my favorite brewing method now.