What Fermenters Do You Use

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What Fermenters Do You Use

Postby daryl » Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:57 pm

Many homebrewers will use plastic, food grade buckets or carboys as their fermentation vessels.

But I know some of you have changed over to plastic conicals, stainless steel buckets, and many other brands, shapes, and sizes.

So, I am curious, when you decided to move on from buckets and carboys (and aside from volume)....what fermenter did you select and why? And based upon your experience, would you select it again...or select something different? If different, what would you buy?
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Re: What Fermenters Do You Use

Postby bf514921 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:11 pm

I switched from the glass carbon to the brew bucket for th slightly different size and being made of stainless. I recently just bought an SSbrewtech conical fermenter and have my first brew in it. Both had the draw of stainless, no fear of breaking glass. The brew bucket is a really nice step up from the glass carboy

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Re: What Fermenters Do You Use

Postby carrisr » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:18 pm

I've used better bottles in the past. Kind of a pain to clean, but I was able to fit two at a time (3 gallon size) in my fermentation fridge a a time. I was brewing like crazy and had 4 going at a time.

I've used corny kegs, but found them also a pain to clean. Now I use a Brew Bucket Mini. It works well for my application and cleaning is quick and easy. Plus it will last forever.

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Re: What Fermenters Do You Use

Postby wyzzyrdd » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:26 pm

I have used the following as primary fermenters over the years: 2 1/2 gallon plastic buckets; 6 1/2 gallon plastic buckets; 7.9 gallon plastic buckets (wine pails); 10 gallon rubbermaid brute "trash cans"; 20 gallon brutes; 32 gallon brutes; and 44 gallon brutes.

I have used the following as secondaries: 1 gallon jugs; 3 gallon carboys; 5 gallon carboys; 6 gallon carboys; 6 1/2 gallon carboys; 9+ gallon demijons; and 14+ gallon demijons.

I still have and still use all of these things (except the 44 gallon brutes -- I haven't made that big a batch of wine in several years).

I understand the allure of using stainless steel. However, I tend to age stuff for months or years at a time. Stainless isn't a viable alternative for me.
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Re: What Fermenters Do You Use

Postby Josh_Jensen » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:29 pm

I'm all glass 6.5 gallon carboys, except for my fast ferment plastic conical. I'd love to go SS, but that's down the road. Carboys aren't too hard to clean, I just soak them in warm water and PBW. I'm just very very careful when handling. Brew Haulers help a lot.


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Re: What Fermenters Do You Use

Postby Matt F » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:25 am

I was a big fan of glass and still am for my secondaries. After breaking my second 6.5 gallon carboy earlier this year I bought two of the 7 gallon Fermonsters. They are plastic carboys with a wide mouth opening and smooth sides. I have better bottles that I used for a while too. The not smooth part of the plastic wall was always a pain to get clean. The smooth sides in my Fermonsters don't hold any crap and let everything fall to the bottom for a nice clean siphon. Super easy to clean since I can get my entire arm in their. I like clear walls so I can see my fermentations too. I really like them and price not bad either. I got mine from BIY.

I am currently on the fence to get one of the about to be released new Spike Brewing Conicals. They check all the boxes I want in a stainless conical for a reasonable price. I also like the new Catalyst fermenters. Love the idea of having yeast dump directly in to a mason jar. Remove, add a lid and throw in the fridge for the next beer. I also like splitting my ten gallon batches to play with different variables like dry hopping and yeast strains.

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Re: What Fermenters Do You Use

Postby wyzzyrdd » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:03 am

Like every beginning brewer, I obsessed about getting good air-tight fermenters for brewing in. When I learned how to make red wine, my views changed completely. Needing to open the primary three times a day for two weeks to punch down the cap makes it clear that an air-tight container for primary fermentation is not only unnecessary, it becomes really annoying fast. I have since visited wineries and seen fermentation bins covered with blue plastic tarps they just pull back to mash the cap.

So I now seek two kinds of fermentation vessels. Primary fermentation is best done large containers that provide ample head space and have large openings to facilitate cleaning out the muck from whole fruit, hops, or whatever bulky stuff you are using for flavoring. Smooth surfaces are essential to getting the primary clean and sanitary. Clear is nice, but white also makes it easy to see if the primary is clean or not. Secondary fermentation is best done in air-tight containers that allow you to minimize the top surface area and head space. Plastic doesn't cut it. All plastics are gas-permeable to some extent or other. Glass is acceptable. Stainless is awesome.
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Re: What Fermenters Do You Use

Postby Matt F » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:08 pm

And for hoppy beers like I make, O2 is the enemy. You want to prevent oxygen at all points once the beer has fermented. Pressurized transfers with CO2 from a conical would be very nice.
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Re: What Fermenters Do You Use

Postby whitedj » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:11 pm

I have a fast ferment plastic conical. It's okay, but I would not buy another. It's a pain to clean as items don't easily come apart and I'm worried about stripping threads.

I still perfer buckets, and age in kegs.

If id get a conical i would consider triclover or similar fittings just for ease of cleaning.
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Re: What Fermenters Do You Use

Postby wyzzyrdd » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:44 pm

Matt F wrote:And for hoppy beers like I make, . . . .


I wasn't aware that you made hoppy beers . . . . ;-)
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Re: What Fermenters Do You Use

Postby Matt F » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:08 pm

whitedj wrote:If id get a conical i would consider triclover or similar fittings just for ease of cleaning.


Without a doubt. All triclover. Have them on my stout brewing kettle and love it. That is why I like this one. Don't drop a butterfly valve on your bare foot though. That s@#t hurts!
http://spikebrewing.com/collections/fer ... -fermenter
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