8 gallon fermentor - too much head space for 5 gallons?

I just bought and received two of these barrels that I planned to use for fermenting 5-7 gallon batches

http://www.ebay.com/itm/200720513890?ss ... 1558.l2649

I also got 4 of the bigger 13 gallon ones with the screw on lids for fermenting 10 gallon batches and for grain storage.

So I brewed a 5+ gallon batch of Santa’s Helper on Saturday and am using the 8 gallon unit. I installed a permanent blow off set up in the lid as I used this with great success for my buckets

[attachment=0]Blow off-r.jpg[/attachment]

Anyway, I have great fermentation going, but absolutely no C02 coming through the blow off tubes. Now the lid does not screw on, it just sort of snaps, but it has a gasket and appears to fit tightly.

So the question is, is a 8 gallon fermenting vessel too big to brew a 5 gallon batch. Does a batch not produce enough to fill that 3 +/- gallon head space? Or am I just not getting enough of a seal?

You’re fine with 5 gallons in an 8 gallon fermenter. As long as you have fermentation going there is co2 on the beer. The lid is prolly leaking. That’s not an issue! Cheers!!!

All those bubbles in the bucket and you have not CO2 coming through the blow off tube?

Yea, it is weird, good krausen for 3 days and not a bubble through the tubes, yet same set up with buckets mostly worked well, as per the photo. With the gasket in the lid, I expected a seal. This is a new problem to solve!

How did the bubble get in the blowoff bucket? :wink:

That is an old photo I posted to show how I set up my blow off tube “system”. I have those type tubes on two buckets for my primary during the first week or 10 days, then when I take them out of the temp controlled environment and allow them to go to room temps, I put a standard lid and air lock on.

So I added a similar blow off set up to the 8 gallon vessels, but still no bubbles. I still am really surprised because there is a nice gasket in the lid and it appears to seat firmly

Guaranteed that there is a leak - fermentation produces way more than three gallons of CO2 and the fermenter cannot be pressurized unless the blow-off is totally closed and the lid has a solid seal (and then the lid will bow up and blow off at some point), so the CO2 has to be coming out somewhere.

Yea, I know. I was just really hoping these would work as fermenters. Clearly they will, but I would prefer a closed system. I may play around with how to get the lid tighter by pulling or weighting it down.

I’ve just purchased this same container and I’m fermenting as i type. i bought it to get rid of my blowoff and use the thermowell. i used a hole saw for doors to create an opening in the lid. The thermowell reaches to within 2 inches of the bottom. As carefull as i could cut it there’s still leaks, my bubbler is not going at all. I’ve got good krausen so i’m not concerned.

I am gonna figure it out. Really like the size of the container. Need it to seal for peace of mind long term.

This is going to be your white whale :lol:

No, the huge white 13 gallon fermenters are my white whales :mrgreen: