What do you ferment in?
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931
    What kind of equipment do you use for a fermenter?

    Plastic Bucket?
    Glass Carboy?
    Keg?
    Conical? Plastic / Stainless?

    I have used the first three, pretty much stick to sanke based fermenters these days. But i still have a few carboys kickin' around for smaller batches.

    What say you?
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    I used to be a glass carboy guy, but I sold them off and picked up a small army of PET carboys, great price, tough to break, and easy to clean.

    I might step up to sanke based, but they are too tall for my current fermentation fridge
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828
    I use plastic for beer..... still have one left from the '80s that I still use....
    carboys for cider and mead, went to a PET one a couple years ago.
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    yeah, i pretty much do the same thing as ceannt, except once the plastic becomes discolored, it becomes a garage bucket and i get a new one for beer. i think i have 11 glass carboys and 6 buckets to cover all the wine and beer.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 49,686
    mostly buckets, but some 1 gallon glass jugs for small experimental stuff. i also have a 3 gal better bottle and a 3 gallon pet/pete? bottle for cider/wine/whatevers.

    I'd love to have a keg fermenter, but it's hard to find em out here. first one is going to become a keggle, though.
    The pinnacle of lame and awesome in one singular moment. -Lake
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828

    yeah, i pretty much do the same thing as ceannt, except once the plastic becomes discolored, it becomes a garage bucket and i get a new one for beer. i think i have 11 glass carboys and 6 buckets to cover all the wine and beer.



    hah! my old one is stained from many batches with lots of roasted malts.... have a new one that I haven't even used yet...
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828
    I would like a keg fermenter also.... but I can't get my hands on one for a keggle... so it may be a while...
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,596
    Plastic Ale Pails for beer. I have 6 or 8 glass carboys for the longer aging stuff and mead I haven't done yet.
    I do have a complete sanke I might like to turn into a DJ style fermemter. But that's a little down the road.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • JayrizzleJayrizzle
    Posts: 90,262
    I mostly use glass, but have a few plastic vessels in rotation. Food grade, but not made for brewing.
    "I don't have TP, but I do have ammo."
    -Some guy in Ohio
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931

    I mostly use glass, but have a few plastic vessels in rotation. Food grade, but not made for brewing.



    water jugs?
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    I primarily brew in 3 gal batches as that is what my current equipment allows.
    Now that Christmas has passed I have acquired new fermentation capacity.

    I now have two 3 gal glass carboys (Thing 1 and Thing 2), and one 5 gal glass carboy, which I will use to step up recipes that I enjoy enough to make some more of!
    I also have one 3gal PET carboy, but it has been scratched to no end on the inside, so I am saving it to become my primary sour fermenter when I start doing sours.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,454
    I have four 7 gallon plastic buckets that I use for primary fermentation. I also dry hop in these because it's much easier to remove the hop bag. I also have four 5 gallon glass carboy's that get used for long secondaries.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931
    jlw said:

    I have four 7 gallon plastic buckets that I use for primary fermentation. I also dry hop in these because it's much easier to remove the hop bag. I also have four 5 gallon glass carboy's that get used for long secondaries.



    that makes sense. I've got a couple 5gal glass carboys i keep around, in case i want to shove some stuff in a carboy and forget about it for a long time.

    @evan_b i've never seen anyone with 3 gal carboys, how much can you actually primary in one of those like 2gal?
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    I am usually able to squeeze 2.5 gal in each, but just need to be sure to always have a blow-off tube. I like the smaller batches at this point. It is way cheap to brew a batch, and I can literally throw something together in just a few hours, which makes it easier to brew more often. It just works for what equipment I have.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    Evan_B said:

    I am usually able to squeeze 2.5 gal in each, but just need to be sure to always have a blow-off tube. I like the smaller batches at this point. It is way cheap to brew a batch, and I can literally throw something together in just a few hours, which makes it easier to brew more often. It just works for what equipment I have.


    @Evan_B

    If you wouldn't mind, how about putting up a thread detailing your process and equipment.

    I'm always impressed with brewers and the innovative approaches to brewing.
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    azscoob said:

    Evan_B said:

    I am usually able to squeeze 2.5 gal in each, but just need to be sure to always have a blow-off tube. I like the smaller batches at this point. It is way cheap to brew a batch, and I can literally throw something together in just a few hours, which makes it easier to brew more often. It just works for what equipment I have.


    @Evan_B

    If you wouldn't mind, how about putting up a thread detailing your process and equipment.

    I'm always impressed with brewers and the innovative approaches to brewing.


    I'd be happy to. It may take me a day or two to get a write up going, but once I do I will be sure to post it! Happy to share any experience I can.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    Evan_B said:

    azscoob said:

    Evan_B said:

    I am usually able to squeeze 2.5 gal in each, but just need to be sure to always have a blow-off tube. I like the smaller batches at this point. It is way cheap to brew a batch, and I can literally throw something together in just a few hours, which makes it easier to brew more often. It just works for what equipment I have.


    @Evan_B

    If you wouldn't mind, how about putting up a thread detailing your process and equipment.

    I'm always impressed with brewers and the innovative approaches to brewing.


    I'd be happy to. It may take me a day or two to get a write up going, but once I do I will be sure to post it! Happy to share any experience I can.


    Beer porn!
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    azscoob said:

    Evan_B said:

    azscoob said:

    Evan_B said:

    I am usually able to squeeze 2.5 gal in each, but just need to be sure to always have a blow-off tube. I like the smaller batches at this point. It is way cheap to brew a batch, and I can literally throw something together in just a few hours, which makes it easier to brew more often. It just works for what equipment I have.


    @Evan_B

    If you wouldn't mind, how about putting up a thread detailing your process and equipment.

    I'm always impressed with brewers and the innovative approaches to brewing.


    I'd be happy to. It may take me a day or two to get a write up going, but once I do I will be sure to post it! Happy to share any experience I can.


    Beer porn!


    Actually, I'll just brew tomorrow (I have an empty carboy afterall), and snap some photos to go along with it.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,454
    Evan_B said:

    azscoob said:

    Evan_B said:

    azscoob said:

    Evan_B said:

    I am usually able to squeeze 2.5 gal in each, but just need to be sure to always have a blow-off tube. I like the smaller batches at this point. It is way cheap to brew a batch, and I can literally throw something together in just a few hours, which makes it easier to brew more often. It just works for what equipment I have.


    @Evan_B

    If you wouldn't mind, how about putting up a thread detailing your process and equipment.

    I'm always impressed with brewers and the innovative approaches to brewing.


    I'd be happy to. It may take me a day or two to get a write up going, but once I do I will be sure to post it! Happy to share any experience I can.


    Beer porn!


    Actually, I'll just brew tomorrow (I have an empty carboy afterall), and snap some photos to go along with it.


    Now that's the spirit.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,596
    Evan_B said:

    azscoob said:

    Evan_B said:

    azscoob said:

    Evan_B said:

    I am usually able to squeeze 2.5 gal in each, but just need to be sure to always have a blow-off tube. I like the smaller batches at this point. It is way cheap to brew a batch, and I can literally throw something together in just a few hours, which makes it easier to brew more often. It just works for what equipment I have.


    @Evan_B

    If you wouldn't mind, how about putting up a thread detailing your process and equipment.

    I'm always impressed with brewers and the innovative approaches to brewing.


    I'd be happy to. It may take me a day or two to get a write up going, but once I do I will be sure to post it! Happy to share any experience I can.


    Beer porn!


    Actually, I'll just brew tomorrow (I have an empty carboy afterall), and snap some photos to go along with it.

    There you go.

    You can also start putting a thread together and Save a Draft instead of posting it immediately. That's a nice way of working on a something like that.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    So I finished up my batch of smoked porter about 20 minutes ago. As I finished cleaning up I realized that I forgot to take the frickin' photos! I might be able to do a batch in a few weeks, and WILL remind my self to photograph the event.
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931
    Evan_B said:

    So I finished up my batch of smoked porter about 20 minutes ago. As I finished cleaning up I realized that I forgot to take the frickin' photos! I might be able to do a batch in a few weeks, and WILL remind my self to photograph the event.



    Ahhhhh!!!!
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931
    you should tattoo PHOTO on your knuckles so you remember.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • Evan_BEvan_B
    Posts: 312
    Lakewood said:

    you should tattoo PHOTO on your knuckles so you remember.



    Despite many warnings as a child I still have a bad habit of writing reminders on my hands and arms.... why stop now?
    Amigo, lay them raises down.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931
    Evan_B said:

    Lakewood said:

    you should tattoo PHOTO on your knuckles so you remember.



    Despite many warnings as a child I still have a bad habit of writing reminders on my hands and arms.... why stop now?


    HA!
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • N_ClarkN_Clark
    Posts: 1,251
    I use plastic fermenters a I got sick of cleaning glass carboys and lugging them around. I only clean them with wet paper towels though so they don't scratch and give bacteria a place to hide. So yesterday I kegged my brown ale though and it left discoloration. I usually use bleach to clean but I'm going yo try a beer line cleaner soak this weekend as I've been impressed with what that removes from inside kegs. I'll try to remember to take a before and after pic.
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 18,099
    Mostly better bottles but I have some buckets for overflow if I need them.
    Sign here______________________________
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828
    N_Clark said:

    I use plastic fermenters a I got sick of cleaning glass carboys and lugging them around. I only clean them with wet paper towels though so they don't scratch and give bacteria a place to hide. So yesterday I kegged my brown ale though and it left discoloration. I usually use bleach to clean but I'm going yo try a beer line cleaner soak this weekend as I've been impressed with what that removes from inside kegs. I'll try to remember to take a before and after pic.



    My 20 year old plus bucket fermenter is permanently stained from many many batches with lots of roasted malts ... don't bother me a bit :)
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 18,099
    An extension of the OP. What readily available, affordable options exist for fermenting 10+ gallons? Shut up @lakewood, I know you use sankes.
    Sign here______________________________
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931

    An extension of the OP. What readily available, affordable options exist for fermenting 10+ gallons? Shut up @lakewood, I know you use sankes.



    ha!

    besides sankes...

    there are plastic tanks called "inductor" tanks which have a 60deg conical bottom. they are a medium density polyethylene so they are fine for a primary ferment and come in a variety of sizes, but take a little handywork to turn into a fermenter (just like a sanke : hahaha)

    there are also glass carboy's up to twenty gallons, but they cost a few bucks and go boom if you drop them.

    those are the two most economical options i'm aware of. if you have a tig welder and a bunch of stainless laying around you could make your own conical, but that's a fair amount of work and buying the cone still costs quite a bit.

    of course there are less modern vessels which could be used if you don't mind a little "old-world charm" basically any tub (think rubermaid storage bin) could be used. though i've never attempted that.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,596
    I've seen the poly tanks. Those seem like a pretty cool deal. And not a terrible price tag either.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931
    C_dubbs said:

    I've seen the poly tanks. Those seem like a pretty cool deal. And not a terrible price tag either.



    Not a bad price at all really. I almost picked up two 30gal inductor tanks for next to nothing, but really didn't have anywhere to store them.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I've seen the plastic conicals used in beer. They put casters on them to roll around and a banjo ball valve on the bottom. They are around $150-$175 if I recall. You can also buy trash can type buckets that are food grade, typically used in wine. Our LHBS has them, cheap in comparison to the conical options. Difficult part is building a super sturdy shelf somewhere they can ferment, I don't see you moving them around full.
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 18,099
    Anybody used commercial food storage buckets? I haven't been in my local Chefsmart lately. I can't remember the largest size they had.
    Sign here______________________________
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931
    Benvarine said:

    I've seen the plastic conicals used in beer. They put casters on them to roll around and a banjo ball valve on the bottom. They are around $150-$175 if I recall. You can also buy trash can type buckets that are food grade, typically used in wine. Our LHBS has them, cheap in comparison to the conical options. Difficult part is building a super sturdy shelf somewhere they can ferment, I don't see you moving them around full.



    The ball valve adds significantly to the cost, but yes they are very economical. The only drawback is the lack of a positive seal on the cap.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931

    Anybody used commercial food storage buckets? I haven't been in my local Chefsmart lately. I can't remember the largest size they had.



    Not I, but there's your "old-world charm" option.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • BenSBenS
    Posts: 6,248

    Anybody used commercial food storage buckets? I haven't been in my local Chefsmart lately. I can't remember the largest size they had.



    I used one once. I did a steam beer in it and put plastic wrap bungied around the top so I could watch fermentation. Pretty cool. Then I started using it as a grain bin. Otherwise I use sankes or carboys (glass and BB)
    There's no starting point. It's just a massive sea of shit to wade through until you find the occasional corn kernel. -DrCurly
  • BenSBenS
    Posts: 6,248
    It was 15 gal btw. 11 gal batch
    There's no starting point. It's just a massive sea of shit to wade through until you find the occasional corn kernel. -DrCurly
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 18,099
    Remember what that guy cost?
    Sign here______________________________
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    http://www.ntotank.com/15gafudrcobo.html

    This is what I was talking about. You can screw on a ball valve to dump the whole thing and also install your own valve above that to drain without the trub. A nano brewery I visited used one like this.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931
    Benvarine said:

    http://www.ntotank.com/15gafudrcobo.html

    This is what I was talking about. You can screw on a ball valve to dump the whole thing and also install your own valve above that to drain without the trub. A nano brewery I visited used one like this.



    oh, that's a great one. HDPE instead of the MDPE ones i had been running into.

    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jeepinjeepinjeepinjeepin
    Posts: 18,099
    That's not a bad price. It's a pretty dang good one when you realize it includes the stand.
    Sign here______________________________
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931

    That's not a bad price. It's a pretty dang good one when you realize it includes the stand.



    it gets a little worse when you factor in the cost of the valves and fittings...
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    They aren't that bad, a valve may run $20
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931
    Benvarine said:

    They aren't that bad, a valve may run $20



    Its not too bad, but most people install a 2" ball valve on the bottom for a dump valve, then install a thru-hull raking cane and 3/4" ball valve for transfer. No matter what way you go with it, they are a very economical choice. Definitely the route I plan to go if I end up doing a pilot brewery.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 53,828
    yeah... a 2" ball valve is a bit pricey...
    Never attribute to malice, that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,931
    ceannt said:

    yeah... a 2" ball valve is a bit pricey...



    The pair of fermenters I was looking at had 2" stainless steel ball valves. They were worth more than the vessels.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,454
    I saw a friend of mine on facebook just bought a plastic conical fermentor.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 49,686
    jlw said:

    I saw a friend of mine on facebook just bought a plastic conical fermentor.



    we'll be needing a review after he uses it for a while.
    The pinnacle of lame and awesome in one singular moment. -Lake
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,454

    jlw said:

    I saw a friend of mine on facebook just bought a plastic conical fermentor.



    we'll be needing a review after he uses it for a while.

    i'll try to get him to come here and do a review.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,596

    jlw said:

    I saw a friend of mine on facebook just bought a plastic conical fermentor.



    we'll be needing a review after he uses it for a while.


    Yes.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants