Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Plastic vs SS

I am new to brewing but I do know that I would like to make 15 gallon batches. I would like to get all SS uquipment but right now the conical bottom fermenters are out of reach$$. I am wondering whether to get plastic ferment tank or wait for SS. My concerns with plastic are sanitizing and flavor carry over from batch to batch
Thanks in advance

I have used plastic buckets, not fermenters, for many years. I have no problem with either sanitation or flavor/aroma carryover.

Unless you have money to burn, plastic makes much more sense for smaller batch sizes, and by my definition anything under a barrel is definitely small.

My experience is the same as Denny’s. You won’t get carry over or have sanitation problems if you don’t abuse the equipment.

Be super careful not to scratch your plastic at all. That’s all I’ll say. :wink:

+1 to Denny’s statement.

Just use a soft sponge for cleaning, and proper sanitation, and plastic will last as long as you need it.
I’ve not experienced any carry-over of flavor, aroma, or color. Been using a plastic pail for two years pretty well continuously.

Namaste

Nice! And I agree. :lol:

I would say plastic and also what Dave said (do not scratch it or you run the risk of contamination).

You can get a Speidel Plastic Fermenter - 120L (31.7 gal) for about $150 dollars and that should more than cover a 15 gallon batch.

They make them smaller too. They have a 60L (16 gal) one for about $90 dollars.

I have used everything and anything to ferment in and the Speidel Plastic Fermenter is by far the one I am most pleased with.

I’ve got 2 - 7.9 gallon ones since I brew 10 gallon batches but often will split them to different yeasts, dry hops, etc. I’ve tried glass, plastic and buckets and the Spiedel is my favorite. Super easy to transfer, easy to clean and lots of head room when even when fermenting 5.5-6 gallons.

Down with plastic! It’s a waste, and half of the crap can’t be “safely” recycled anyway. Ugh.

I ferment in kegs, but I don’t brew 15 gallon batches either. Perhaps you could get a couple sankes and ferment in those.

why is it a waste?

Plastic just sucks, all around. Like I said, much of it can’t be safely recycled.

Plastic just sucks, all around. Like I said, much of it can’t be safely recycled.[/quote]

Your opinion is noted, but it’s an opinion, not a fact. Plastic doesn’t suck all around. And the plastic fermenters I use can be recycled like much other plastic.

The longer I’ve brewed, the more I’ve come to appreciate plastic buckets for fermenters. There is just no other option for homebrew batch sizes that offers the advantages of good performance, easy maintenance, easy storage, safety and affordability.

And don’t worry so much about scratches. Maybe if you gouge it that might cause issues, but not the little lines you get from using a scrubby pad.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]The longer I’ve brewed, the more I’ve come to appreciate plastic buckets for fermenters. There is just no other option for homebrew batch sizes that offers the advantages of good performance, easy maintenance, easy storage, safety and affordability.

And don’t worry so much about scratches. Maybe if you gouge it that might cause issues, but not the little lines you get from using a scrubby pad.[/quote]

Agreed on all counts. I’ve been using the same buckets going on 10 years now and I have yet to have a contaminated batch.

[quote=“Denny”][quote=“rebuiltcellars”]The longer I’ve brewed, the more I’ve come to appreciate plastic buckets for fermenters. There is just no other option for homebrew batch sizes that offers the advantages of good performance, easy maintenance, easy storage, safety and affordability.

And don’t worry so much about scratches. Maybe if you gouge it that might cause issues, but not the little lines you get from using a scrubby pad.[/quote]

Agreed on all counts. I’ve been using the same buckets going on 10 years now and I have yet to have a contaminated batch.[/quote]
The way I heard it, is that plastic buckets actually “go bad” when left empty. So if you leave the bucket sitting empty for 2-3 months between batches, that’s when bad stuff gets in the scratches and takes up residence. But even if you were to brillo-pad the hell out it, keeping active beer in it will prevent non-yeast infections.

Seems plausible to me. Thoughts?

[quote=“JMcK”]The way I heard it, is that plastic buckets actually “go bad” when left empty. So if you leave the bucket sitting empty for 2-3 months between batches, that’s when bad stuff gets in the scratches and takes up residence. But even if you were to brillo-pad the hell out it, keeping active beer in it will prevent non-yeast infections.

Seems plausible to me. Thoughts?[/quote]

That doesn’t make much sense to me. If the buckets are essentially sealed, like mine are when I stack them into each other, how would that happen? Why would active beer prevent infection?

[quote=“Denny”]
That doesn’t make much sense to me. If the buckets are essentially sealed, like mine are when I stack them into each other, how would that happen? Why would active beer prevent infection?[/quote]
I wasn’t 100% convinced either. But for that top-most bucket; maybe someone less careful than you leaves it open in a musty basement; maybe a bit damp from cleaning. I can see something nasty getting in there. I usually place the lid but don’t actually seal my empty bucket, and I only have one, so no nesting.

And a working bucket is definitely going to be sealed, most likely under positive pressure; which helps keep the nasties out.

I’ve been using the same two buckets for most batches going on six years now, and have also never gotten an infection. That time includes a 3-5 month hiatus from brewing each summer, when the buckets are stored nested, with a cover loosely covering the top one in an outside shed. Do nasties get in during that time? Maybe, but it doesn’t matter. I simply rely upon a good cleaning after use, then a quick rinse followed by sanitizing just before the next use. Any nasties that might have gotten in are killed by the sanitizer.

That’s exactly the same procedure I use, too.

Just get stainless already and you don’t have to worry about this… geez… :wink:

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com