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Author Topic: Fermenters (non-glass)  (Read 1763 times)

Offline Andy Farke

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2024, 07:55:09 am »
I have three SS Brewtech fermenters... the classic bucket... chronical... and mini.
I love the mini! It has been a surprisingly satisfying piece of equipment. It's just easy to transport, is the perfect size for experimental (or super high abv) batches, and the size means it's a breeze to clean.
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Offline John M

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2024, 08:12:37 am »
I LOVE my Speidels! They're around $80 for the 30L (7.9 Gal). Very durable, light weight and extremely versatile. They are pressure capable, and lots of accessories available. They also come with the bung and an oversized airlock.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2024, 08:44:19 am »
For 7-8 years now I have been using plastic buckets with a spigot.  In the day it was called a bottling bucket and I have two of them from Williams Brewing.  I know many people dislike plastic and also dislike the idea of a fermenter with a port on it but this has worked beautifully for me and it allows me to ferment (with CO2 from fermentation purging the keg) and then run the beer off into the keg in a closed loop and once that's done I harvest the yeast.  The fermenter is never opened once the yeast is pitched.  I believe Williams still sells these.  They're cheaper than most other options and they're easy to clean.  It has worked so well that I wouldn't do it any other way. 
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Offline goose

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2024, 09:05:29 am »
Although I do not user them a lot because I do not due "secondary fermentations" (A.K.A. brite vessels) very often and have conical fermenters here, I have several Better Bottle Carboys (PET plastic).  You can get them for around $32 or so for a 6 gallon one and around $30 for a five gallon one from More Beer.  They work fine and you can pressurize them a bit for transfers (I don't go over 5# of CO2 for a transfer).  They are much safer than glass and are durable.  Just be careful when cleaning them not to use an abrasive brush which could scratch the plastic.  I use hot water with a dairy cleaner in them and swirl it around to loosen any soil from the fermentation process.  They come clean pretty easily for me.  You might give this a thought.
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Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2024, 09:42:57 am »
I also have been using the same buckets I got from NB when I started this hobby.  They work great and fit in my fermenter fridge.  I have toyed with the idea of fermenting in a corny, and will eventually get to that, but for now those buckets work great. 

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2024, 11:32:46 am »
If I wasn't using 100% glass (still am), I might go back to good old plastic buckets.  Or maybe thick schedule 6- or 8-inch PVC pipes, as high as necessary.

yeah, i also admit i am using 100% glass carboys. i wont buy anymore and intend to phase them out, honestly the added weight of them is half of it.

what do you mean about PVC pipes? as a fermenter?

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2024, 04:29:38 pm »
what do you mean about PVC pipes? as a fermenter?

Yep.  To increase hydrostatic pressure, trying to more closely mimic the pressure experienced by other brewers for small batches.  I typically brew no more than about 2 gallons at a time.  In standard fermenters, that's very shallow and underfilled, tons of air space in a carboy, etc.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2024, 05:30:00 pm »
I ferment my lagers in Cornies. 2 for a 5 gallon batch, 3 for a 10 gallon batch. Then the beer is closed transfered into 1 or 2 kegs. I use a spending  valve set to 1 or 2 PSI during fermentation, or a blow off tube. The kegs have a shortened dip tube to leave trub behind.

For ales I'm using plastic buckets. Been doing open fermentations by having the lid cracked an inch or so on one side for O2 exchange. It's working so far, no problems.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2024, 05:23:23 am »
I have the Fermzilla 7 G -- I think it works like a champ!

https://www.morebeer.com/products/fermzilla-triconical-fermenter-gen-3-27l-71g.html

Offline denny

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2024, 08:44:52 am »
what do you mean about PVC pipes? as a fermenter?

Yep.  To increase hydrostatic pressure, trying to more closely mimic the pressure experienced by other brewers for small batches.  I typically brew no more than about 2 gallons at a time.  In standard fermenters, that's very shallow and underfilled, tons of air space in a carboy, etc.

Why would you want to increase hydrostatic pressure?
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2024, 08:37:15 am »
These days I am using a corny keg as my primary fermentation vessel but I still use my original bucket from time to time. I also have a few better bottles I use for sour beers which are also not terribly expensive.

We love to look down on those buckets but they are serviceable and really not that different from many of the more expensive plastic vessels.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2024, 08:42:15 am »
These days I am using a corny keg as my primary fermentation vessel but I still use my original bucket from time to time. I also have a few better bottles I use for sour beers which are also not terribly expensive.

We love to look down on those buckets but they are serviceable and really not that different from many of the more expensive plastic vessels.
I feel like homebrewers are tinkerers and love, love, love to build things, track things, document things, etc.  I do not brew so I can build an overly-sophisticated system.  I know that some people love that stuff but for me, it's all about the beer and my system reflects that.  Mash in a cooler, ferment in a plastic bucket, etc.  No real toys to speak of except for two Thermopens that I really love.  For those who want a huge room in the basement filled with sparkling stainless steel .. giddy up.  I get it.  Denny once said, "It's about the beer, not the gear" and that has stuck in my head ever since.   
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Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2024, 09:17:58 am »
These days I am using a corny keg as my primary fermentation vessel but I still use my original bucket from time to time. I also have a few better bottles I use for sour beers which are also not terribly expensive.

We love to look down on those buckets but they are serviceable and really not that different from many of the more expensive plastic vessels.
I feel like homebrewers are tinkerers and love, love, love to build things, track things, document things, etc.  I do not brew so I can build an overly-sophisticated system.  I know that some people love that stuff but for me, it's all about the beer and my system reflects that.  Mash in a cooler, ferment in a plastic bucket, etc.  No real toys to speak of except for two Thermopens that I really love.  For those who want a huge room in the basement filled with sparkling stainless steel .. giddy up.  I get it.  Denny once said, "It's about the beer, not the gear" and that has stuck in my head ever since.

100% agree with you.  When I first started I wanted all the cool stuff but realized that the budget just wasn't having it.  Even now I have to fight the urge to get the shiny new stuff.  But, for me, like the DIY part of the process.  DIY bucket and keg washer, Two old dorm fridges for my kegerator and ferm chamber, cooler to add for my sparge water.  But, at the end of the day, if you dig the cool new stuff, I understand completely.  I have a nice routine going and that gives me what I think is good beer.  That's the end game.

Offline denny

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2024, 09:27:30 am »
These days I am using a corny keg as my primary fermentation vessel but I still use my original bucket from time to time. I also have a few better bottles I use for sour beers which are also not terribly expensive.

We love to look down on those buckets but they are serviceable and really not that different from many of the more expensive plastic vessels.
I feel like homebrewers are tinkerers and love, love, love to build things, track things, document things, etc.  I do not brew so I can build an overly-sophisticated system.  I know that some people love that stuff but for me, it's all about the beer and my system reflects that.  Mash in a cooler, ferment in a plastic bucket, etc.  No real toys to speak of except for two Thermopens that I really love.  For those who want a huge room in the basement filled with sparkling stainless steel .. giddy up.  I get it.  Denny once said, "It's about the beer, not the gear" and that has stuck in my head ever since.

Hear! Hear!
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Fermenters (non-glass)
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2024, 10:46:28 am »
So to summarize thus far we have:

Denny - Grainfather - 700 ish bucks - (you can't hide money!!!)

Ynot/major - Kegland - Fermzilla flat - 40 beans, Fermzilla Rounder/Conical - 150 bucks (ouchy on the 150)

Neuse/dmtaylor/redrocker/hopfen/reverse - buckets - seems like a solid primary fermenter. I like the way you think!

erock/china/hopfen/reverse - kegs - solid suggestion, already purged those puppies

Richard - Fermonster - sub 40 bucks - kinda digging it!

Kev/Andy - Anvil buck fermenter - 185 bucks - Denny Jr kinda pricing

Bama/Kevin/Andy - SS Brewbucket - 150 bucks and up - Denny III kinda pricing ;)

fred/goose - PET Carboys - solid suggestion, hoping for a larger opening

Jeffy - Brewcraft - seems like they only make liners now. Can't actually find one for sale

John - Speidels - 80 beans - been eyeballing them

Village - buckets, but Williams - I still have my Williams Buckets - need to inspect, but they might get put back into service.


Keep the suggestions coming. I'm kinda digging bringing out my old buckets for primary, just need to decide what to use for secondary. A keg would work for that if I was serving a batch and only made 5 gallons. If memory serves PET has lower oxygen permeability than HDPE, but most of the time secondary wouldn't last very long. Decisions, decisions!









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