Fermentor Material

So, extremely stupid question from a new guy: Does the material of the fermentor make any difference to the taste of the brew and is one type of material more desirable than others? I know that with plastic you have to be careful not to put scratches in the surface to avoid contaminates getting into the scratches but beyond that does it matter? I am thinking about switching to plastic because I am thinking about getting a brew jacket but I am also looking at stainless steel as well. Any and all advice welcome. Thanks all!

Not a whit. You’ve got the right idea, to avoid scratches on plastic. Theoretically, if you get into sour beers, etc, those might stick in plastic and be hard to kill. Otherwise, pick what material works for you.

Plastic works great for fermenting. And the “scratches are dangerous” mantra is mostly an urban myth. Bacteria can hide in and avoid being killed by sanitizer if they are protected in buildups of “gunk”, and it can be harder to clean out “gunk” from deep scratches, but as long as you do get the surfaces clean, scratches aren’t going to hide infection microbes.

Also, plastic doesn’t cost several hundred dollars (SS) or cause trips to the emergency room if you drop it (glass). Lots of reasons to like it.

I use plastic big mouth bubblers works just fine, easy to clean with a wash rag used only for my brewing equipment. Have had no problems with taste or infections. Happy brewing.

My first year brewing, we kept the fermenters in the corner of whatever room happened to be closest to the appropriate temp.

I’m not sure how much light actually makes it through a bucket, but for glass/plastic make sure you keep the fermenter in a closet, or wrapped in a towel or something to keep the beer in the dark. I used the boxes the carboys shipped in, and cut circlular hole in the lid, just enough for the stopper/airlock to poke through.

After a year we got a 7.1cuft freezer and temp controller. No worries about light, and proper temp control made a HUGE positive impact on my beer quality.

Big jump from plastic to SS, but If you are seriously thinking of going with a SS conical do so. Best of all worlds… Won’t scratch, won’t shatter, indefinitely reusable. They do cost but it takes me exactly 2 seconds to perform a “secondary” with my conicals.

The ONLY downfall… If your a voyeur you can’t watch the magic happen. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like

Thanks all for the advise!

I like the magic! :grinning:

As a retired Corrections Officer, I can tell you I’ve seen some pretty decent ‘spud’ brewed in plastic garbage bags. I never wanted to taste the stuff, but it smelled pretty darn good at times.