Fermenter advice/recommendation/suggestion

Recently, I got back into brewing after a lengthy relocation process to Tennessee, and I have two 5-gal batches racked to secondaries…everything is seemingly going well…my OG’s were a bit high (need to figure that out) but taste and fermentation were pretty solid.

However, I had two really, skunked-up primary fermenters (6-gal, The Bubbler®) that I put the suggested PBW to clean them. Since, I have no hot water in my brewing space, I filled them up and left the solution in them overnight to break down the crud.

By morning, I came out to see both of them with significant leaks on the bottom where the plastic seam is located. Now, they did not leak prior to cleaning…so, i’m wondering if anyone else has had this issue with leaving the PBW in them too long that it caused a weakness? Or, perhaps, I was just careless and banged them both around a bit too hard.

No matter, I need to replace to 6-gallon fermentors…any recommendations? As i said, I’ve been brewing for 4-5 years and have had these for almost that length of time with no other issues. I’m not necessarily opposed to buying them again…but, if there is something better…i’m all for that as well.

Thanks in advance!

The Better Bottles site has very good info on the Do’s and Don’ts of using plastic fermentors. Two main Don’ts are over concentrated cleaning solutions and rocking the fermentor on the bottom edge to aerate the wort. Both of these items can degrade the plastic or cause stress fractures.

Age could also figure into the problem. I’m still using glass, but glass has the potential for problems also.

Thanks for the response! Yes, i’m familiar with their guidelines and i am usually very careful not to handle them too much, etc…as far as the cleaning solution, i used it per the instructions but i’m thinking maybe the ‘overnight’ thing was not a good idea. Age and the fact that they were transported 800 miles and left in storage (with who knows what kind of handling) could have attributed to it as well.

I do use glass as well…i love that option as it’s easy to clean but i’m getting too old lugging that much weight around.

My set up is pretty good for using glass fermentors. Only pick the fermentor up once from the floor after pouring from the boil kettle. Set it on the workbench then roll the workbench to the fermentation shelf. Lift it eight inches to set it into the tray I use for a swamp cooler.

I’ve been considering a home made lift system to take care of the lift from the floor to workbench. I’m aging also.

1 Like

PBW doesn’t completely dissolve in cold water, so you had a super-concentrated solution at the bottom of the carboy. This, along with the overnight storage, will break down the plastic for sure.

I have glass carboys, a couple of plastic carboys and buckets. I’m definitely moving toward buckets due to ease of handling. Glass carboys are difficult to handle at best. The plastic ones are a bit lighter but really no easier to handle IMO.

Maybe an electric winch from an ATV and a modified engine hoist-sorta thing? Sneezles61

I use buckets for primary fermenters and I have a few plastic Big Mouth Bubblers for the secondary. Plus one lone glass carboy that I try to avoid using because it’s heavy and my hip doesn’t like that.

Geez am I the only one thinking SS?

You’re the only one with excess funds.

1 Like

Ha! Yea…don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon.

I’ve thought about SS. I’ve thought about it a lot. Dreamed of it. But it’s not in the budget right now.

I have a 12 gallon SS conical. Huge, hard to move and too big to get into a fridge or something for temp control. Easy to clean and indestructible though.

Also 5 and 6.5 glass carboys. Not that bad to clean. Won’t scratch and pick up bad stuff. And you can watch the magic. Dangerous to move around and heavy.

Then there are buckets.Easy to clean, just don’t scrub too hard. Stackable and light. Cheap enough if they get worn out. Don’t always seal and you can’t watch whats going on.

So after starting out with with just about all glass, then SS, I would suggest buckets.

I can see a conical in my future, just need to build a place to get set up and be able to wheel in and out of a cold room. Sneezles61

I’ve got a $$$ tree @flars!

1 Like

Great! Think you could send a few leafs my way off it. Or maybe some seeds so I can plant my own? :laughing:

Unfortunately it grows SLOWLY.