Author Topic: Fermenter Recommendations  (Read 4143 times)

Offline lazydog79

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Fermenter Recommendations
« on: August 24, 2016, 08:04:39 PM »
I discovered the other night that my veteran BetterBottle 6 gallon primary fermenter has developed some sort of stress crack/dimple on the inside. Don't know how that happened but doesn't really matter - it's done.

So, I am in the market for a new fermenter.  While I liked the BetterBottle, I think I want to go back to a more durable material.  Actually thought about going old school with a 6.5 gallon glass carboy.  I would love to get a stainless steel conical, but my dogs blatantly refuse to crap gold nuggets to fund my brewery upgrades  ;D

Does anyone have any experience with these? NB has a promo on them through today. I like the idea of going back to glass but with a wide opening. What does the group think of them?
http://www.northernbrewer.com/big-mouth-bubbler-evo-2-6-5-gallon

Offline denny

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2016, 08:08:44 PM »
IMO, for small scale fermentation, buckets win.  Unless you want to go for a conical, I find them a far better solution than carboys.  Not only do I hate glass, but I find the carboy form factor impractical.  Buckets are easier to clean and take up less room to store.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2016, 08:15:14 PM »
Buckets ... take up less room to store.

Denny, I assume that you nest your buckets for storage.  Do you do anything to prevent a nested bucket from scratching the interior of the other bucket  I try to avoid nesting to avoid scratches which give a place for bacteria to hide.

Offline denny

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2016, 08:18:45 PM »
Buckets ... take up less room to store.

Denny, I assume that you nest your buckets for storage.  Do you do anything to prevent a nested bucket from scratching the interior of the other bucket  I try to avoid nesting to avoid scratches which give a place for bacteria to hide.

Nope, I do nothing and it's not a problem.  I don't think the idea of scratches harboring bacteria that can ruin your beer has ever been tested.  I've certainly never found it to be a problem.  I have buckets that have been in use for a couple hundred batches and have minor scratches...no problem.
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Offline Bob357

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2016, 08:51:35 PM »
I use the Fermonster 7 gallon and 6 1/2 gallon Bigmouth Bubblers. I like the large openings in both when it comes time to clean or remove hop bags. 

The Bigmouth Bubbler has some dimpled areas which make it a little harder to clean, but a microfiber cloth helps. It also has a 2 piece lid, which some have problems with.

I like the fact that the Fermonster is much smoother and has a single piece closure. Personally, I prefer both to BetterBottles, if for nothing else the larger capacity. I find no need to use a blowoff on the Fermonster and seldom on the Bigmouth Bubblers. I ferment 5.5 gallons.

I'm with Denny on  minor scratches in plastic fermenters. Good cleaning and sanitizing practices all but assure no problems.

I used glass until hearing some horror stories about injuries. I also am getting to an age where every pound counts when lifting.

Hope this helps,

Bob
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2016, 09:18:26 PM »
I've used the 6.5 gal. plastic Bigmouth Bubblers for two years now and 30 batches.  I'd buy again but they look like they will last a good deal longer.  They have improved the lid design.  Get the valve option.
I know that lots of folks like buckets but I enjoy seeing the beer churning away while the little yeast beasties make alcohol and bubbles.  It's part of the fun of home brewing.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2016, 09:46:25 PM »
Another vote for buckets. I have tons of these 7.9 gallon wine fermenter buckets. Plenty of headspace for 5.5 gallon batches. I rarely if ever need to use a blowoff hose using these.

http://shop.greatfermentations.com/product/7-9-gallon-fermenting-bucket/plastic-fermenters
Jon H.

Offline denny

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2016, 09:48:21 PM »
I guess I'm missing out on the fun...I don't have the time or inclination to watch fermentation!
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2016, 09:53:52 PM »
I guess I'm missing out on the fun...I don't have the time or inclination to watch fermentation!


I loved it when I started! But that was a lot of batches in the rearview. I couldn't care less now.
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Offline denny

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2016, 10:17:46 PM »
I guess I'm missing out on the fun...I don't have the time or inclination to watch fermentation!


I loved it when I started! But that was a lot of batches in the rearview. I couldn't care less now.

Exactly.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Philbrew

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2016, 10:46:20 PM »
I guess I'm missing out on the fun...I don't have the time or inclination to watch fermentation!


I loved it when I started! But that was a lot of batches in the rearview. I couldn't care less now.

Exactly.
Well, it's not like I sit and look at it all day like I was a stoner staring at a Lava Lamp.  ;D   It's more like checking your tropical fish twice a day.  Maybe someday I'll be tired of it, but not yet.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2016, 10:50:56 PM »
I guess I'm missing out on the fun...I don't have the time or inclination to watch fermentation!


I loved it when I started! But that was a lot of batches in the rearview. I couldn't care less now.

Exactly.

I find it nice to see how well the beer is clearing.  I don't check much and keep my BBs covered while they're fermenting.

If I buy any new ones I'd consider the Big Mouth or buckets.  No glass in this house thanks.

Stainless conical sounds nice, or one of those stainless bucket deals, but I really don't need that.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2016, 10:54:40 PM »
  No glass in this house thanks.


Yep, been there, suffered the consequences. Over the broken glass.
Jon H.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2016, 11:26:34 PM »
I'm going with fermonsters soon. I would opt for the plastic BMB, but they are too tall for my ferm freezer when an airlock is added.

Offline Visor

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Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2016, 12:06:54 AM »
  I used buckets 30 some years ago when I first got into this addiction, when I got back into it this spring I upgraded most of my equipment and that included switching to plastic conicals. At this point you couldn't force me to go back to buckets. I would prefer to have stainless conicals but like you I haven't found any gold turds in my yard lately, and haven't yet seen any significant downside to plastic ones, except that the 1st one does have sealing problems. I think a new gasket will cure that, and even at it's worst it seals many times better than my best bucket ever did.
   Stevie's point is very valid if you need to fit your fermenter into a fridge, the Fast Ferment conicals are 32 1/2" high from the base of the stand to the top of the lid, not including ferm loc or blowoff tube. I had to put a 90 degree barbed close nipple in the loc-hole to get it to just barely squeeze into my keg old fridge.
   One of the many advantages to using conicals is the elimination of racking from your fermenter, simply dump your trub ball when primary fermentation is done [or whenever you get around to it] and then bottle or keg right from the fermenter. I still bottle and it is a cake walk from a conical compared to goofing around with siphoning from a carboy or a bucket.
   These other guys all have much more experience and knowledge than me, but you might at least give a thought to conicals.
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