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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: wyobrew on January 20, 2013, 11:28:09 AM

Title: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: wyobrew on January 20, 2013, 11:28:09 AM
I'm stepping up to 10 gal batches. I currently have several carboys of various sizes that I ferment in. Splitting the batch into two fermenters is an option and I'll do that on occasion for dry hop, yeast experiments etc.  I'd like to be able to ferment all 10 gal in one vessel. What do you use for 10 gal batches?
Kris
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: firedog23 on January 20, 2013, 12:42:15 PM
I am in the same dilemma and want to step up and buy a 14 gallon conical but not ready to spend the money. For now, I like the idea of split batches so that I can use two different yeasts or tinker with one of the batches (dry hop, secondary experiments). With the carboys, I am able to practice better temperature control (water bath) as I do not have a dedicated space or capability to control the temp in a conical just yet.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: dnicholson on January 20, 2013, 01:13:37 PM
If you are not hung up on fermenting in plastic, I had purchased a 15 gal conical tank for about $70 at a farm supply store (try TSC) - think they called it an ejector tank or something like that - had to install a bulkhead 1/3 way up on tank to load kegs from and save the yeast. Had to build a stand (on wheels) -  total cost was under $100 - works great
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: dnicholson on January 20, 2013, 01:23:45 PM
As an afterthought - homebrewing on a budget -  it takes a little work but for the sparge water and lauter tun, I went to a local plumbing shop and the gave me a 40 gal electric hot water tank and cut both the tank and insulated shell in half, used the top of the tank for lauter and the bottom for the sparge water (left the element in the bottom half) with the shell and insulation reinstalled. Just make sure the glass lining is intact inside the tank. I comfortably make 16 gal batches - for smaller batches, simply use a 20 gal heater instead.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: dnicholson on January 20, 2013, 02:02:50 PM
Try this http://www.tank-depot.com/product.aspx?id=854 and look for "inductor" tanks - listed at $74.99 for 15 gal (mine is 15 gal but actually holds 16 gals easily)
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: tom on January 20, 2013, 02:55:01 PM
Or a 15 gallon Sanke keg.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: lornemagill on January 20, 2013, 03:43:42 PM
i have 3 options, splitting into 5 gal buckets, sanke and brew cube.  brew cube is my fave, i drilled it for a spigot.  i bought it from my lhbss and have seen them at the container store.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: phunhog on January 21, 2013, 04:04:23 AM
IMO...a Sanke keg is the solution. I have two and I just treat them like giant carboys. A drilled #10 stopper fits perfectly. 
Pros-
- Stainless
-Cheap (Find them on Craigslist for 50 bucks)
- Unbreakable/Indestrucible
- Easy to Clean (just build a ghetto keg washer with a bucket and a fountain pump)
- Easy to sanitize ( Boil a few gallons of water in it for 10 minutes)
- Can transfer using CO2
Cons
- Heavy when full ( I put mine on wheeled tray)

Other than the ability to drop out trub/harvest yeast I don't see the advantage of a conical for a homebrewer. Especially when you factor in the price!!
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: Pinski on January 21, 2013, 04:44:39 AM
They're a little harder to find, but you can also get your hands on 10 and 15 gallon corny kegs and you can get by without any welding. 
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: narvin on January 21, 2013, 06:29:58 AM
For my Belgian beers, I use the 13 gallon "Vittles Vault" (I think it's marketed as a 55 pound container).  I honestly think 2 carboys/better bottles are easier in general.  Unless you can fill it in place or wheel it to your fermentation chamber, carrying 10 gallons is very difficult.  I love the wide container for Belgian brews, though, but I add the second 5 gallons once it's in place.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: tschmidlin on January 21, 2013, 07:15:58 AM
IMO...a Sanke keg is the solution. I have two and I just treat them like giant carboys. A drilled #10 stopper fits perfectly. 
Pros-
- Stainless
-Cheap (Find them on Craigslist for 50 bucks)
- Unbreakable/Indestrucible
- Easy to Clean (just build a ghetto keg washer with a bucket and a fountain pump)
- Easy to sanitize ( Boil a few gallons of water in it for 10 minutes)
- Can transfer using CO2
Cons
- Heavy when full ( I put mine on wheeled tray)
Cons
- Stolen
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: phunhog on January 21, 2013, 05:01:34 PM
True.....important to get them from legitimate sources.

Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: AmandaK on January 21, 2013, 05:24:18 PM
For my Belgian beers, I use the 13 gallon "Vittles Vault" (I think it's marketed as a 55 pound container).  I honestly think 2 carboys/better bottles are easier in general.  Unless you can fill it in place or wheel it to your fermentation chamber, carrying 10 gallons is very difficult.  I love the wide container for Belgian brews, though, but I add the second 5 gallons once it's in place.

I use one of those for my lambics/other sours. It's true, moving 10 gallons at one time is quite hard. When I do step up to 10 gallon batches, I'll still just use 6 gallon carboys.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: dcbc on January 21, 2013, 08:15:54 PM
I use a 15 gallon corny.  Cut the dip tube off an inch and it works great.  I have the chest freezer with a 12" collar on wheels to move it to the brew stand.  There would be no lifting that corny full over the side of the chest freezer.  Transfer out to a pair of kegs with a Y-jumper line and CO2.  Easy as can be.  To clean, fill with hot PBW.  Benefit over a Sanke, I can see in to make sure I have it clean (requires a little brushing some times).

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ljMIU057Bf8/UP2hzemP0sI/AAAAAAAAF0w/PAiRccfdrTI/s640/BS2.0.jpg)

They are about $250.  So not cheap.  But cheaper than a conical.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: Jimmy K on January 22, 2013, 02:30:01 AM
I've been thinking lately that one of these would make a great fermenter for large batches. You could probably modify the lid to take an airlock and seal better, though you probably don't really need to make it seal better. Positive pressure will keep out oxygen during fermentation.
http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-4060-60-Quart-Aluminum/dp/B0000BXHL4/ref=sr_1_2_m?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1358821584&sr=1-2&keywords=bayou+classic+kettle+50 (http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-4060-60-Quart-Aluminum/dp/B0000BXHL4/ref=sr_1_2_m?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1358821584&sr=1-2&keywords=bayou+classic+kettle+50)
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: anje on January 22, 2013, 06:21:32 PM
I imagine they'd be difficult to handle, but what about demijohns? I see them in up to about a 15 gallon size.

15 Gal from Midwest (http://www.midwestsupplies.com/15-gallon-glass-demi-john.html)
14 gal, currently out of stock (http://store.homebrewheaven.com/54l-1425-gallon-demi-john-glass-carboy-p90.aspx)
Overkill, 20 gal foodgrade plastic bucket (http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/20-gallon-fermenting-bucket-and-lid.html)
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: Jimmy K on January 22, 2013, 10:02:29 PM
By the way - any thoughts how you'll handle such a large fermenter?  10 gallons of liquid will weight ~80 lbs plus the container. That is significantly harder or impossible to carry, lift for racking, etc.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: Pinski on January 22, 2013, 10:49:26 PM
By the way - any thoughts how you'll handle such a large fermenter?  10 gallons of liquid will weight ~80 lbs plus the container. That is significantly harder or impossible to carry, lift for racking, etc.
Fill it where you want to ferment it and get a 5 lb CO2 tank, and some transfer hose with QDs to rack for service.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: dean_palmer on January 24, 2013, 04:21:32 PM
I have used the 15 gallon cornies for about 8 years now. They are already plumbed and require NO modification. Just pop a hose on a gas disconnect and you have a blowoff tube. I have been praising these as a perfect solution for years now, and have only now just bought a conical for 15g batch sizes.

(http://thebeerjournals.com/fermenters_blowoff.jpg)
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: Pinski on January 24, 2013, 04:34:30 PM
I have used the 15 gallon cornies for about 8 years now. They are already plumbed and require NO modification. Just pop a hose on a gas disconnect and you have a blowoff tube. I have been praising these as a perfect solution for years now, and have only now just bought a conical for 15g batch sizes.

(http://thebeerjournals.com/fermenters_blowoff.jpg)

Have you ever experienced any clogging using the gas disconnects? 
Title: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: majorvices on January 24, 2013, 05:51:58 PM
Unless you have your brewery close to your conical fermentor, I recommend 5 gallon buckets for 10 gallon batches. I ferment in chest freezers in my basement and brew on my back porch. Carrying buckets down the stair is way easier than carrying carboys and I can't imagine how I would have plumbed a line to a 14 gallon carboy let alone carry it.
Title: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: majorvices on January 24, 2013, 05:52:55 PM
I have used the 15 gallon cornies for about 8 years now. They are already plumbed and require NO modification. Just pop a hose on a gas disconnect and you have a blowoff tube. I have been praising these as a perfect solution for years now, and have only now just bought a conical for 15g batch sizes.

(http://thebeerjournals.com/fermenters_blowoff.jpg)

Wow! Those are awesome!
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: thetooth on January 24, 2013, 06:26:13 PM
I have used the 15 gallon cornies for about 8 years now. They are already plumbed and require NO modification. Just pop a hose on a gas disconnect and you have a blowoff tube. I have been praising these as a perfect solution for years now, and have only now just bought a conical for 15g batch sizes.

(http://thebeerjournals.com/fermenters_blowoff.jpg)

I'd love to have a couple of those, but the cost of them now would be crazy if you can find them at all.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: snowtiger87 on January 24, 2013, 09:35:35 PM
I have found that the plastic malt extract barrels (14 gallon) that homebrew shops get from Briess make great fermentors on a budget. They must be cleaned with chemicals (PBW seems to work fine) since the openings are too small to reach in to the bottom. Just make sure they save bit screw in lids so you can seal it up again. I put a stooper and airlock in the small opening for fermentation.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 24, 2013, 09:44:40 PM
I'd love to have a couple of those, but the cost of them now would be crazy if you can find them at all.

$300 on eBay.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: Jimmy K on January 24, 2013, 10:14:38 PM
By the way - any thoughts how you'll handle such a large fermenter?  10 gallons of liquid will weight ~80 lbs plus the container. That is significantly harder or impossible to carry, lift for racking, etc.
Fill it where you want to ferment it and get a 5 lb CO2 tank, and some transfer hose with QDs to rack for service.
Oh I know how I'd handle it. I have a 60 gallon fermenter that I use occasionally. I just wondered if the OP had considered that.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: narcout on January 25, 2013, 02:19:19 AM
I'd love to have a couple of those, but the cost of them now would be crazy if you can find them at all.

You can get new ones for $380 or refurbished ones for $265 from CHI.

I bought a refurbished 10 gallon corny keg from them for $175 a few year ago and love it.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: dean_palmer on January 28, 2013, 04:15:12 PM

(http://thebeerjournals.com/fermenters_blowoff.jpg)

Have you ever experienced any clogging using the gas disconnects?
[/quote]

No, not even the most crazy blowoff has caused the gas connects to clog and I have found the blowoff bucket full of solids after some larger batches with reduced headroom. It simply pumps out whatever happens. Originally I took out the spring and plunger inside the connectors and the poppet in the posts, but after years of doing that I simply stopped as it proved to be a waste of time. I'm sure someone will have had something different, but I've been doing this for a long time now with no issues. I don't change anything in the keg or with the connects. Most batches are 10.5-11 gallons when they hit the fermenters, so that's a lot of headroom to compensate for krausen.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: Jimmy K on January 28, 2013, 05:29:05 PM
The kegs are rated to 125 psi and I imagine the disconnects can take similar pressures (I know they handle 40psi during fast force carbonating). Hop particles and trub are probably no match for those pressures. If it did clog, the pressure would just build until it blew through.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: Pinski on January 28, 2013, 05:37:16 PM

(http://thebeerjournals.com/fermenters_blowoff.jpg)

Have you ever experienced any clogging using the gas disconnects?

No, not even the most crazy blowoff has caused the gas connects to clog and I have found the blowoff bucket full of solids after some larger batches with reduced headroom. It simply pumps out whatever happens. Originally I took out the spring and plunger inside the connectors and the poppet in the posts, but after years of doing that I simply stopped as it proved to be a waste of time. I'm sure someone will have had something different, but I've been doing this for a long time now with no issues. I don't change anything in the keg or with the connects. Most batches are 10.5-11 gallons when they hit the fermenters, so that's a lot of headroom to compensate for krausen.
[/quote]

Good to know, thanks.  Sooo, you don't shorter the out tube either?
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: dean_palmer on January 28, 2013, 08:28:44 PM
I bend the diptube up and away from the bottom center and that seems to work well. You can cut them too, but I have never wanted to do that, not that I see myself using them for serving in the future :-)

Sometimes you may get debris and yeast at the start but it has never really been an issue considering how well they work otherwise. I usually rack to a conditioning/bright tank before then going to a final serving keg, so the last debris settles out there anyway. If you don't plan on moving your serving vessels you don't even need to worry about the middle step as it is preference.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: thetooth on January 29, 2013, 08:18:47 PM
I'd love to have a couple of those, but the cost of them now would be crazy if you can find them at all.

$300 on eBay.

That just seems like a lot.  For that much money, I'd rather get one of these:  https://www.kegs.com/products/select-sankey-keg
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: thetooth on January 29, 2013, 08:21:27 PM
I'd love to have a couple of those, but the cost of them now would be crazy if you can find them at all.

You can get new ones for $380 or refurbished ones for $265 from CHI.

I bought a refurbished 10 gallon corny keg from them for $175 a few year ago and love it.

I bought one of the 10's from them a while back as well and it works nicely.  I just wish the 15's were in that price range.  With the cost of stainless these days, I know that's wishful thinking. 
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: dcbc on January 29, 2013, 09:55:19 PM
I use a jumper with a T off of my 15 gal. corny to fill two 5 gallon kegs at once.  Works extremely well.  Looking at Dean's setup, I am wishing my chest freezer could hold two of them.
Title: Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 29, 2013, 11:04:31 PM
I'd love to have a couple of those, but the cost of them now would be crazy if you can find them at all.

$300 on eBay.

That just seems like a lot.  For that much money, I'd rather get one of these:  https://www.kegs.com/products/select-sankey-keg

I agree it seems like a lot.  I wasn't suggesting it's a bargain, just that they are available.

For my money, I'll ferment 10 gallons in two 6.5 gallon Better Bottles.