Show me your Fermenter, what do you like, what don't you like

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Craigerrr, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I have two 30L Speidels, and I like them a lot. Now that I have gone back to 5 gallon batches (from 10), I really only use one at a time.
    Pros
    Safe (not glass)
    Light weight
    Lots of headspace
    Easy to clean
    Nice spigot arrangement
    Great lid system
    Great handles for lifting
    Cons
    Not great for yeast collection
    Not completely clear (not a big deal)
    I don't think that they are suitable for pressure fermenting

    The reason for the thread is that I am thinking about upgrading, but I don't think that there is a reasonably priced unit that can check all of the boxes

    Pressure Ferment
    Yeast Collection (like a dump valve, or collection ball)
    Clear (not critical)
    Lots of headspace

    Looking for a good compromise.
    I have a friend with a 27L Fermzilla, he said while he likes it, he wouldn't recommend it. Leaks, replaced the vessel itself after about 6 months due to some stress cracking around the neck (he got a free replacement, but how long will it last?)
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  2. Bulin's Milker Bucket Brews

    Bulin's Milker Bucket Brews Well-Known Member

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    I just got a 60l after a couple mods...

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  3. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    #3 thunderwagn, Oct 3, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
    Man, I love my fermzilla! I've had it over a year and no leaks, cracks, scratches.
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    I think my next purchase will be there All Rounder just because I don't need the collection chamber all the time.
    Cons: Lid and collection chamber can be a pita to get loose after fermentation. Fairly large footprint/tall.
    Plastic. While I haven't had any, leaks seem to be common. Suggested lifespan for pressure is 2 yrs. Cleaning can suck.
    Pros: Plastic, clear. Pressure capabilities. Large collection chamber and valve. Easy dry hop, Easy yeast collection. Easy pressure transfer. Easily disassembled for cleaning and parts replacement if needed.
     
  4. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I have the 3.5 gallon SS Brewtech brew bucket. Made of 304 stainless steel. Purchased with the FST temperature controller, submersible pump, thermowell, and heat exchanger coil.

    Pros:
    - Stainless steel with silicone gaskets allows transfer of boiling wort and cooling inside the fermenter. If I miss a bit on sanitation, the 5-6 minute exposure to boiling wort kills any remnants.
    - Ability to cool wort in fermenter.
    - Great temperature control. I use the heat exchanger for cooling and a seedling mat placed between the vessel and the neoprene cover for heating.
    - Easy to clean. No scratching of fermenter wall.

    Cons
    - No yeast collection.
    - Can’t see fermentation activity.
     
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  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Dang, I have buckets, a 30-liter Speidel, a Brew Demon and a Big Demon conicals, a stainless steel bucket.... I've used the Big Demon most, at least recently. Before that it was the Speidel. I don't notice any relative advantages or disadvantages of either except as already noted, cleaning the plastic requires more care, some are transparent and some aren't, some leave more beer behind than others. For general ease of use and cleaning, it's hard to beat a plain plastic bucket, no matter how hard I've tried.
     
  6. 56 Firedome

    56 Firedome Active Member

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    I've been using the same Better Bottle 6.5 & 5 gal carboys for almost 20 years. I just brewed my 1st cider in a bucket because I couldn't Degas (stir vigorously) in the carboy. The problem is my Conditioning Chamber was built based on carboy dimensions & the bucket is to wide to fit inside. I'll switch back to carboys & look up a folding stirrer used in wine making.
     
  7. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I have the 7 gallon SS Brewtech Brewbuckets and I like them a lot. Main downsides are as Bubba mentioned you can't see the fermentation, and I'm noticing a build up of beer stone on the stainless that I never had on plastic or glass.
     
  8. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I have had pretty good luck scrubbing the fermenter and heat exchanger with a green Scotchbrite pad.
     
  9. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    They do seem to work pretty good, but I know I'm not getting a full coverage and I get bored and frustrated eventually.
     
  10. AHarper

    AHarper Well-Known Member

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    My Fermentation Fridge is made from a BEKO tall fridge with an Inkbird controller fixed to the outside.
    The heater is a 1ft Tubular heater fitted into the crisper box location on the inner base. The Inbird connects to this heater to bring the internal temperature up and the fridge (set to Max cooling on the original internal control) is plugged into the other socket.
    I replaced the original shelves with strong MDF ones with large holes drilled into them to aid circulation. A further circulation aid is a couple of ex-Laptop cooling fans fixed into one of the door trays. The tray can be positioned in any of the available locations as required and depends on what style of fermenter I'm using. There are two shelves so I could do two brews at the same time - as long as the temperature range suits the yeasts being used.
    The chart on the door lists all the settings for each of the types of yeast I use - so I don't have to search for them indoors.
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  11. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Nice setup, I have a similar fridge with inkbird setup. What I am interested in is your fermenting vessel.
     
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  12. AHarper

    AHarper Well-Known Member

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    Well I have shown them in the fridge. They are just the standard 5 gallon Youngs wine/ beer fermenter witted with a wide screw on cap that allows me to get my arm in to clean it. I have a close fitting cork with a bubble type air lock. I tape the Inkbird thermal probe to midway point of the brew in an attempt to get a near average temperature for the control of the fridge.

    I use a Tilt for the SG and Temperature logging of the brew. Nothing very expensive - I got the fridge for nothing from the local Gumtree site. I also bought out a local home brewer of all his fermenters and buckets so I have quite a few barrels and buckets now - probably too many.

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  13. James_sweden

    James_sweden Active Member

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    No temperature control yet, but my plan is to get myself a small fridge and an inkbird when I get the space next year. For fermenters, I have three 15L plastic buckets that rotate roles between fermenting and bottling duties. For the batch sizes I make (10-11L) they are perfect. Lots of head space, easy to clean, easy to store, easy to lift when full.

    I keep looking at the SS Brewtech small buckets, but they would offer smaller headspace and I have a strong feeling that a big fermentation would lead to a mess, like Wednesday night on an 11.5L batch of NEIPA.
     
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  14. Semper Sitientem

    Semper Sitientem Well-Known Member

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    I’ve used a product called Beer Stone Remover from Five Star. A 10 minute soak at the recommended dilution and the BS melted away.
     
  15. Semper Sitientem

    Semper Sitientem Well-Known Member

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    I have two of their 3.5 gallon buckets and regularly fill them to 3 gallons with no messy fermentation. I do use a 1/2” blow off hose that fits snugly into the hole on the lid until fermentation subsides before switching to a bubbler. I have a feeling if I went directly to a bubbler first there would be an eruption.
     
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  16. James_sweden

    James_sweden Active Member

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    The blow-off tube is something I may need to look into, but the normal 15L buckets have been so reliable for me that it never really crossed my mind this time. Hell, even the kviek stout was fine in one and that was a big ferment. This was, I think, a combination of a high percentage of oats/lots of protein and a really aggressive yeast. That Verdant IPA strain was kicking off before I finished cleaning up the mess I made!
     
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  17. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    #17 HighVoltageMan!, Oct 4, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
    This is my setup. It's a modified 7.75 gallon Sanke keg. I added corny posts in it and I use a Top Draw floating pick up tube. I made 4 so far and I've got enough parts for 1 more.

    Advantages:
    • Tall and skinny, fits in a keezer beautifully.
    • Can be pressurized
    • closed transfers
    • handles on top
    • 7.75 gallons leaves a lot of head space, can do 7 gallon lager batches
    • ferment, spund and serve from the fermenter
    • not too expensive, kind of
    Disadvantages:
    • Not the easiest to build
    • hard to clean the inside after brazing, lots of flux to remove
    • you need a cleaner setup, sump pump in a bucket works
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  18. Dilbert Fizzwinkle

    Dilbert Fizzwinkle Well-Known Member

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    My fermenters will probably not help you in your research, but I really like showing the versatility of my Pico system.
    First up is my Pico C keg/fermenter/dispenser. This is fermenting my Dirty Blonde.

    Pros... I have two of them and they came with my Pico C.
    Cons...Just about every con you can think of!

    Fermentor 2.JPG


    This is the brewing/fermenter/serving keg that came with my Pico Pro.

    Pros... They came with my Pico Pro and I have two of them.
    They can also be used in my Kegerator since they are corneys.

    Cons... See the same stuff about the "C" kegs

    Fermentor 1.JPG

    This is my Fast Ferment three gallon plastic conical.

    Pros... It was a gift and it don't leak!
    Real handy if I want to make a double batch, but that kinda defeats the purpose of "small batch brewing"!

    Cons... Just look at the other two.

    Fermentor 3.JPG

    So there you go. It ain't pretty, but it gets the job done. :rolleyes:
     
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  19. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    I use a small big mouth bubbler for 1.3 gallon batches. I will also use 2 one gallon car boys for 1.5 gallon batches, usually a lager. I put these in a yeti for at least the first week. The carboys (if doing a lager) I fill the cooler with water and use ice bottles. If I have 2 going I will use a large stock pot with ice bottles for the second one. I never have more than 1 lager going at a time.
     
  20. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I've been harvesting yeast from my 30 l Speidel without a problem. After transferring the beer to a keg, I drain off any excess remaining and then swirl up the yeast. I then tilt the fermenter and drain the slurry into a jar using the spigot.
    Don't think I'd try pressure fermenting, but sure it's fine for the low pressure needed for closed transfers.
     

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