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Stoneware Jug as Fermenter?

So, I have what I believe is called a stoneware jug, although I think of it as a moonshine or jug band jug, and I was thinking it might make a good fermentation vessel for small batches. Anyone know whether or not I could use PBW and/or starsan to clean such a thing? Do any other red flags go up for anyone? Here’s a pic of the kind of jug I’m talking about:

Any idea if it’s glazed on the inside?
If not wouldn’t be the ceramic absorb some liquid?

I’m not sure…will have to try to find out…

if not glazed, it might be prone to growing cooties…like a scratched up plastic fermentor.


Seems like it will be hard to tell if it is clean on the inside. If the glaze is cracked or crazed then you might be in for a surprise when you brew with it. Those types of jugs are fairly old and seem to show up more for decoration than anything.

That said, my grandfather used to make wine in the big round stoneware vats (open on top), so the stoneware by itself shouldn’t automatically be a problem, it would be the other factors that would rule it out.

Cleaning that jug would be a beast. I’d never be able to pour wort into that thing with much confidence! I have a couple stoneware bail-top bottles that I enjoy using, but I always feel a bit sketchy about it. At least with a bail top, you can vent pressure if needed.

I wonder if you can buy them new? If so, it’d be essentially an opaque carboy, which might be nice. OTOH, the benefit of using a carboy is that you can see what’s happening inside. Even for a bulk aged strong beer, I would use a keg and avoid the hassle and chance of breakage. A keg is great because there’s no airlock to fill, no chance of getting light-struck, a much smaller footprint, and no chance of getting shattered and losing your precious brew.

You could clean the jug up really well and then make it a vinegar jug or something. :cheers:

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