I received the Siphonless Big Mouth Bubbler (SBMB) as a birthday gift. I’ve used brew buckets and glass carboys for all past brews. Brew buckets are easy to use and clean, but require a siphon to rack your beer to secondary or keg, and carboys are great for conditioning beers but also require you to rack and are more difficult to clean. All brewers know that anywhere you can save time in the brew day, especially as part of the clean up process, is well received!
I have used the SBMB several times now, and plan to order several more. I first used it to ferment my Light American Lager – which I easily racked to a glass carboy to lager after primary fermentation (photo to the right). There was no sterilizing of a separate auto-siphon, or need to tip a fermenting vessel while balancing the
auto-siphon to rack the last of the beer from the fermenter. If you look at the trub level here, you’ll see it rests below the valve used to move the beer, meaning you are easily able to rack clear beer without disturbing the yeast cake (especially clear if you cold crash prior to racking – although not necessary).
The large opening on top allows you to check the temperature of the beer as it is transferred from your brew kettle to you fermenter (which I do now that I use a counterflow chiller – allowing me to adjust cool water flow if the temperature is to hot/cold for pitching). The large opening also lets me get into the vessel to clean it easily after fermentation.
This is a cheap alternative to brew buckets, and something I will likely buy several more of. I purchased the 6.5 gallon version from Northern Brewer, and they also offer a 5 gallon version for smaller batches or for use as secondary/aging vessels.