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Fermenting Container

I was curious, could you use a 5 gallon water bottle as a fermenter, either primary or secondary. The kind that you would use for a water cooler at work. I have several laying around.

glass or plastic? I got a bunch of glass ‘carboys’ from a guy who was liquidating his dad’s water-delivery company that operated back in the 60’s! They work great as fermenters.

You want to be careful about what sort of plastic you are using. Better Bottles and Ale Pails and the like are HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and are considered ‘food grade’. I am not sure all of the water bottles for water coolers are of that grade.

Bottles which will only contain 5 gallons of liquid by volume won’t be of sufficient size for a 5 gallon brew. Need some extra headspace so yeast and beer will not be lost through a blow off tube. Would be excellent for 3 gallon brews. Brewing 3 gallons would allow the use of an airlock.

Thanks. Another question, could I use a 3 gallon carboy for a 1 gallon grew or is there too much empty space. I have brewed my first batch with a 1 gallon carboy and I had a lot of blow off so I was thinking about getting the 3 gallon carboy for the next batch. Thanks

I am not to sure on 1 gallon in a 3 gallon vessel. Seems like the volume of CO2 would be sufficient unless you needed a long aging time.

I have been getting 2 gallon food grade frosting buckets at a local supermarket for general brew room use. They have secure rubber seals. Would be in ideal fermentor for 1 gallon. Only need to drill a hole for the air lock grommet.

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