HDPE vesseles for fermentation are alright in my book.

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Lil guy, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. Lil guy

    Lil guy Member

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    #1 Lil guy, Apr 24, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
    I began brewing a few weeks back and took the long path of reading and watching a bunch of informative brewing pages and videos. I watched specifically at first for equipment. I knew there was a vast market of consumables and tools required to get drunk on my own supply, so I thought how better to form a valid opinion other than to learn what I could from everyone else looking to catch a craft beer buzz. I am still going large scale on a later date, but in the mean time I can work through some experience building practices by getting some small batches under my belt while tie-ing one on. I have pretty crappy water in my town so I am not going to bother getting analytical on the supply of water to suds. I'll wait until the water system is installed and then work on it from there. No need analyzing that which doesn't deserve to be drank let alone analyzed. We buy our water even for coffee when it comes to consumed water, so when I went to get water for brewing I came across the 2.5 gallon suitcase style water jug. While looking at my 8 gallon fermenter bucket, I thought hell that seems like too much to waste should my first offerings to the group be less than drinkable, which in turn would be the same as going to the bathroom and flushing my ingredients down the commode. The 2.5 gallon suitcase jug was going to get a new life as a fermentation vessel post delivery to my kettle. Welp, it worked great. Each time I get a new one to brew, it gets sanitized and used as a fermenter. My brother in law asked the question, "Does it contain anything that would hurt the sacred brew?" Truth is I don't really THINK so. It appears that we can buy online HDPE fermenters. I would have to think that a sanitized vessel of the same composition would have no effective difference. Cheers. IMAG0295.jpg
     
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  2. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    #2 HighVoltageMan!, Apr 24, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
    Sometimes it best to take a look at what works for you. Those will work just fine, especially if you "turn and burn", in other words turn a beer from kettle to bottle/keg in 10-14 days and they are a handy size and shape too. Since it is plastic, it can develop a infection or bacteria embedded in the plastic over time. To prevent this, I would occasionally rinse it out with a 50/50 mix of household bleach and white vinegar. The vinegar lowers the pH of the chlorine solution and makes the chlorine more effective, kind of like a swimming pool where the pH needs to be @ 7.0 to kill microbes. Makes sure all the bleach is removed before you use it again.

    If your going to lager or store the beer for long periods of time, then you will need to get the beer out of the HDPE and into glass, PET or stainless to avoid oxygen ingress.

    Good idea. Brew on!

    Edit: The 50/50/mix of bleach and vinegar needs to be added to water separately . A general disinfectant solution would be 1/4 cup of bleach and 1/4 cup of vinegar in a gallon of very warm water. Never blend bleach and vinegar directly without diluting first with water.
     
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  3. Lil guy

    Lil guy Member

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    No worries brother. I use them to ferment, then pitch them in the trash. This will last a while until I get something stainless. I just thought hey, why throw it away when the water I am brewing with came in it. After grain absorption and boil off, there is plenty of head space. As far as time in ferment...I am only brewing ales at this point.
     
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  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd keep using them: There's no real advantage to stainless over new, unscratched plastic. The tiny amount of oxygen the HDPE would leak will never make a difference at our scale.
     
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  5. Lil guy

    Lil guy Member

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    I use them, but then dispose of them to keep from having a trash collection around the house. I have 3 daughters and there is enough crap around here to step over.
     
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  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    We have a daughter and two grandchildren living with us. I share your pain. At least reusing them as fermentors gets some use out of them before the trip to the recycling depot.
     
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  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    they should be sterile or sanitized from get go id recon. im fermenting this current batch of pilsner in a HDPE cube with just screw lid and so far according to grav samples shes on the money;). great thing is just tighten the lid once done - cold crash reduces extra pressure hopefully less O2 absorbtion transfer then enjoy.
    20180425_161327.jpg
     
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