FV with a tap or not?

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rickyE93

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Hi Guys,
Just want some of your guys opinions on whether an FV with a tap is better than one without.
I used a standard 25l FV from Wilko without a tap or airlock for my first brew. The brew didn’t go so well after some confusion with the instructions but for my second brew (Festival NZ Pilsner) I want to know if it’s worthwhile buying a new FV with a tap.
My thinking is if it has a tap, I can leave the lid on for the duration of the fermentation and use the tap to take samples to get hydrometer readings. Reducing the chances of ruining the beer by opening the lid.

I was then planning on using my original non-tapped FV for batch priming and bottling instead of putting sugar in individual bottles.

Thanks!
 

Banbeer

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HI @rickyE93, you can buy a little bottler (Google it) and drill a hole in your FV for it and you can bottle from that, no need to buy another FV and you can buy sugar cubes and use one per 500ml bottle. Just a thought. Happy brewing.
 

kelper

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Once you have knocked a tap off or open, you'll understand why I prefer without! I like to use a siphon and tip the FV a little until I see any muck heading towards the siphon when I pull-out quickly. Also, I can put my 25L FV inside a 35L FV to use as a waterbath. With a tap fitted that's not possible. I've never contaminated a brew by using a clean, glass sample jar. And I pour it back after checking the SG.
 

Markk

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I had an FV with a tap and used it with a little bottler at bottling time and to take samples. Always worked ok for me.

However, I always used to draw off some trub into the first and last bottLe and ended up with a good inch of brew in the bottom I couldn’t get at without drawing off more trub. In addition, having to remove the tap and get into every nook and cranny to try to clean it after every brew and taking care to put it all back properly without over or under tightening it so as not to have any leaks was a real pain in the backside.

I now use an FV without a tap and an auto syphon at bottling time and wouldn’t get one with a tap again.
 

Cheshire Cat

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Because I bottle 75% of my beer I ferment in a tapless bucket and then transfer to a 2FV to finish, cold crash and bottle using a wand. I syphon from bucket 1 to 2.
 

rickyE93

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Thanks for the reply guys! Tempted to go with the Cheshire Cat approach and do the initial fermentation in a tapless FV and then move into a secondary FV to prime and bottle
 

Tim Wilkes

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Thanks for the reply guys! Tempted to go with the Cheshire Cat approach and do the initial fermentation in a tapless FV and then move into a secondary FV to prime and bottle
This is my method too. To reduce the prospect of debris going into the secondary, I put the syphon end that goes into the primary inside the leg of an old pair of Mrs W's tights. Works well!
 

AnimatedGIF

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I only have 2 FVs, and put a tap on both because I hated siphoning(because I was rubbish at it). Today, I had to siphon out of necessity (dry hopped, so covered siphon with muslin bag) and actually preferred it - like @kelper said, tip the bucket then whip it out when you see it's done. If in doubt you could always install a tap as nothing would stop you siphoning if you wanted/had to. As already mentioned, if you want to use water baths then maybe don't add the tap. I do like the tap for taking sample, but as with all these things, it's mostly individual preference.
I attach my bottling wand to a tube so I can take the wand to the bottle rather than bottle to wand.
 

cockerhoop

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I have taps in all my fermenters. I can't tell the difference between brews where I have transferred to a second fermenter compared to just leaving it in the original.
My taps are positioned so they are high enough to drain above the tub. I leave my brews for 2 full weeks, sometimes more. I find after this time everything is done and most stuff has settled out.
I guess we all get used to a particular way of doing things and there are no right or wrong. But I find this approach is easy and is less messing around with your beer.
I usually keg, but if you get the tap that you can attach the bottler too they work really well.
 

glove81

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I have taps in all my fermenters. I can't tell the difference between brews where I have transferred to a second fermenter compared to just leaving it in the original.
My taps are positioned so they are high enough to drain above the tub. I leave my brews for 2 full weeks, sometimes more. I find after this time everything is done and most stuff has settled out.
I guess we all get used to a particular way of doing things and there are no right or wrong. But I find this approach is easy and is less messing around with your beer.
I usually keg, but if you get the tap that you can attach the bottler too they work really well.
I was disappointed to get a FV this week with a pre drilled hole. I think the store did it and it is too low in the bucket in my opinion. Also the tap didn't include the sediment restrictor but buyer beware on that. Also surprised that there aren't buckets with a flattened section for adding the tap instead of attaching a square fitting on a curve.

Anyway, my point for the OP would be that if you do want a tapped FV consider just fitting it yourself. Not worth paying the premium for a store done one IMO.
 

cockerhoop

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Most Homebrew stores will drill a hole for free and just charge for the tap. Just tell them how you intend to use it or specify where you want it fitting.
 

Harbey

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I invested in a stainless steel FV and I love it, apart from the tap. I never use it as I much rather syphon to empty it in to my bottling bucket - which does have a tap that I use with a wand to bottle. I find the tap is a weak spot when cleaning and, as has been mentioned, I have occasionally knocked it or left it open whilst filling. Im now about to remove the tap and replace it with a thermowell which is hopefully a better use of the hole in my bucket.
 
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