DIY Bottling Bucket

There are challenges to be sure, but one of the huge perks of brewing in Korea is the readily available and ridiculously affordable equipment. Damn near every city I've been to has a large fishing and/or kitchen supplies area with all sorts of goodies ready to be converted into pieces of your homebrew laboratory. Even though you technically don't need a bottling bucket to brew, it'll make your life about twenty bagillion times easier and take all of 10 minutes. Here's what you'll need:

35 Liter Fishing Bucket

As mentioned in the Getting Started post, the bucket can be purchased for around ₩8,500 (or less) on the street, or in any kitchen/fishing supply store. Aside from allowing gravity to do most of the bottling work, this also serves as a great sanitary container for equipment and supplies between brew days.

Bottling Spigot

I had a friend send mine, but I've sicne found a local plumbing supply store that has spigots, so these can be purchased locally. Should you find yourself short on friends, these are gloriously cheap online (₩4,000) and can be thrown into a bulk order with a racking cane, bottle capper, or anything else you're having sent to save on shipping costs. 

The other two items not pictured, but most definitely needed are a knife/razor and sandpaper.

Step by Step

1. Outline Trace

Place the spigot roughly 3-5cm from the bottom of the bucket and trace a circle. Using a pen will usually leave enough of a mark to get started. Don't stress about making it perfect, the main thing here is to ensure the hole isn't cut too big.

2. Cut

After the trace is in place use a knife or your handy dandy de-labeling flat razor and cut a rough hole within the trace of the spigot. 
Any jagged edges or oblong shapes will be taken care of in the next step, just have the first cut do the heavy lifting for you.

3. Sanding

Use coarse sandpaper to finalize the hole for the spigot. At first simply smooth the rough edges and see if the spigot fits. If it does, glory be your day, you're done. If not keep making adjustments and focus the sanding in one particular area.

The biggest no-no in this step is over-sanding. Be sure to sand just a little bit and test the spigot. Sanding some, sanding some more, and then doing it again may be annoying, but it's a hell of a lot easier than attempting to add plastic back to a bucket you may accidentally destroy.

4. Add Spigot

Once the sanding's all done and you can easily place and remove the spigot you're just about done. The last thing I did was screw the spigot in place and add enough water to the bucket to ensure the new contraption was truly water tight. After that I let the water drain out through the spigot as another test.

This super simple project will save quite a bit of time and lot of headaches when bottling day rolls around. Again, it's possible to bottle by transferring your beer from the fermenter into the brew pot and using your auto-siphon to bottle... but it's a pain in the ass. The siphon can be inconsistent, move around a ton, and dirty up your brewpot on a day it really doesn't need to be used. With the bottling bucket and spigot in place all you have to do is add some hose and your bottling wand and you're off.


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The Concept

Brew Day is a brewers collective with a different obsession every month. Each month the homebrewers involved will tackle a different style of beer by brewing a batch and getting their malt-stained hands on as many pints of the same style as possible. Each brewer will bring their own warped concept to their batch helping to create as many variations as there are brewers involved.

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