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Fermenter question

Hey folks, quick question. I’m looking to start making larger batches of beer (from 5 gals to 15) and need a bigger fermenter. Was wondering if anyone has ever used one of these as a fermenter, and what might be any drawbacks to using one. Thanks.

Only thing. Are they food grade. So no off flav from the plastic

Yes, they’re 15 gallon food grade plastic barrels.

Should be fine than. Only you got to gizmo. The fit for a airlock. Or blow over hose.

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I wouldn’t use it as a secondary fermentor as plastic tends to allow oxygen to diffuse through the plastic, but primary should be fine. Have you considered how you’re going to clean this barrel after a fermentation? It’ll difficult to see if you’ve removed all of the krauzen ring. Also, don’t scrub it too aggressively as plastic is easy to scratch, and once you have scratches, it’s almost impossible to sanitize due to bacteria getting into and hiding in the scratches.

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You won’t be able to do a 15 gallon primary in a 15 gallon container of course but if it’s food safe it might be a good fermenter. It looks like there is a handle on top. That will be good since that amount of liquid will be heavy.

I have to agree with @brewdvm Cleaning might be a challenge since it will be hard to see what’s left inside.

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I’m jumping on the “tough to clean bandwagon” as well. Other than that it looks like a good vessel.

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My LHBS has those and sells them for like $!5 I think… Many brewers around the area use them for fermenters. I’ve considered it with only two concerns. !. Cleaning but that can be figured out. 2. temp control. Once I get a fermentation room built with cooling I may give them a shot.

One guy told me he built a stand for it and puts it on it’s side. Almost perfect to rack from the hole and leave yeast behind he says.

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I’m going on the tough to clean bandwagon as well. For 5 gallons, you are going to find it hard to beat buckets for cost and ease.

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Squeegeethree, I’m moving up to doing 15 gallon batches so 5 gallons buckets won’t work.

I’m glad you folks pointed out the cleaning thing. Had not considered that. Guess it’s time to get back online to find something a little more conducive to cleaning and sanitizing.

Thanks for your responses everyone. Really digging the site so far. Nice to be able to pick others brains.

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A 15 gallon demijohn is the next best cheapest thing but at 15 gallons I would just go straight to stainless steel. Cleaning stainless is so easy and with that much surface area it would pay for itself with time savings.

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I honestly split my batches into 3 buckets. I’m sure this is arcane and weird, but the price and ease are hard to beat and worst case scenario is that I may need to combine after all fermentation is complete. Not pretty but it works

If it works, that’s all that matters. Might just bite the bullet and get stainless. Trying to justify it to my pocketbook.

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At 15 gallons don’t expect to be picking it up and putting it on the counter if that is part of your process. You’ll want it to be on wheels/legs.

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Anybody have a line on a good, inexpensive stainless fermenter in the 15 gallon range??? I’m awaiting your answers. You folks are a wealth of knowledge, thanks.

I think the cheapest way to do this is to weld some lid clamps on a large brew pot like this…

Then drill a port for a bubbler and pressurized transfer.
Then just put the whole thing on a dolly to roll around.

You just have to monitor that by the time you reinvent the wheel you haven’t spent more time/money than just buying this

Not arcane or weird. I brew 20 gallons and split it up 10 in a SS 12 gallon conical and 10 into two buckets or glass carboys. From the chiller the wort goes into a bucket then I dump that into the conical twice. After the conical is full I just fill the buckets. I have been kind of ignoring the glass carboys since lugging them around now seems more dangerous and heavier than plastic.

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Squeegeethree, that’s one of the fermenters I was looking at. Not sure where I would put it.

hd4mark, do you then have to buy 4 vials of yeast, 1 for each fermentation vessel???

No I just make a huge starter and split it up. I did about a 1/2 gallon starter for the last batch. A little shy but I also run an aquarium pump to aerate the wort and it usually works out fine.

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Has anybody ever seen, heard of or used one of these fermenters.

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