SS Fermentor Choices

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Head First, May 4, 2019.

  1. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Have been getting tired of replacing plastics and not wanting to go glass but have a hard time as a do it yourselfer buying a $300 conical or even a $120 portless SS fermenter when I can get a couple of SS base brew kettles @ $60each and fashioning a seal for them. Anybody tried this? All thoughts and ideas OR actual sealed SS fermentors cheaper than $120 welcome. Looking for 28 to 32 qt. My thought is surgical tubing stuck to the lid should seal it with just a little added weight.
     
  2. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    You could just wrap the lid of a kettle with cling wrap. Drill a hole in the lid for a blow off tube in case you get an over active ferment.
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Chapman Brew pot.
     
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  4. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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  5. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Other than glass carboys, I’ve only had one other fermenter and that is my SS Brewbucket. I’ve not tried any of the others so I can’t comment on them. But I can say that this Brewbucket is easy so much better than the glass carboy, that I’d buy another if I expand my brewing needs. I researched and looked at all the models and settled on the Brewbucket and it has lived up to what I expected.
     
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  6. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I love the speidels
     
  7. Texas Ale Works

    Texas Ale Works Active Member

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    I love my SS Brew Bucket....
     
  8. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    In all my searching the 7gal Univessels are the best bang for the buck in SS in this size. But still could buy 6 $20 buckets with lids for same price. Step into 14gal for only $9 more (I do brew mostly 10gal batches but not wanting to be lifting 100# vessel in not so distant future so would need to rig pump or co2 pressure transfer to kegs as my ferment chamber is floor level.
    Very nice units but more spendy(yes I know you get what you pay for) and still no do it yourself portion of the upgrade. I am discovering that the cheaper brew kettles I was considering converting to sealed vessels appear to have mostly poor fitting lids that would be tough to build a seal.
    Thanks for input all!
    Not sure what I will do yet.
     
  9. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes you just got to get a YDI instead of a DIY!
     
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  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I have the 14 and have fitted it with triclover fitting adapter and closed fermentation/pressure transfer fittings. Also just installed a lid-mounted glycol chiller coil. I use a thermowell in the blow-off tee fitting until I need to transfer and then change that out for a racking cane.
    I was able to start with it for cheap and even with the gradual additions over a couple of years, I'm still into it for less than half of any temp-controlled conical on the market.
     
  11. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    The 14 is where I am leaning @J A just not up on shuffling weight around. No intention of glycol chiller but see where this pot would be versitle enough for upgrades in the future. And future upgrades is what homebrewing is all about. Have seen many people say I got this cause I will never go bigger and 2 months later... Wishing they bought better. Just food for thought, would it be feasible to use a 2 hole stopper and fit with a gas line and racking cane. With proper pressure, just enough to move the beer, could rack from floor level into kegs already placed in keezer. Would vessel handle this ok?
     
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  12. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    The way I use this now is sitting on a furniture dolly so it can be wheeled from the brew-pot after filling to the area of the garage where I have my chiller set up. Before that I'd fill it directly from the boil pot (after chilling) with it sitting in the chest freezer near my brewhouse set up. Once it's up in the freezer, it's high enough for siphon transfer for the first 5 gallons or so and then it's light enough to lift it higher to finish up. The pressure transfer definitely works best but even that benefits from a gravity assist. There's a lot of headspace to pressure up when it gets toward the bottom of the pot and if you're lifting the liquid, the pressure differential between source and destination vessels start to work against you. You need to add some healthy spring clamps between the existing lit clamps so hold pressure better. There's no reason that the 2-hole stopper won't work, but you'll need to keep pressure on it to keep it from blowing out.
    I put together a full stainless tri-clamp/pass-through tee pressure transfer system for around $75 and I've never regretted it.
    The disadvantage of the univessel is the flat bottom isn't as efficient for yeast harvesting. The advantage is that the flat bottom allows for it to be set directly on a burner for boil-steam sanitizing.
     
  13. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Moving it from spot to spot is no problem, I made a cart that fits in under counter ferm area so gravity from BK to Fermentor, roll into chamber, when finished will roll over next to keezer for transfer to kegs. That's where the DIY part will come in and will exbeeriment with pressure or maybe rig a winch up for gravity fill.
    My brew partner had a coffee maker order started and asked if i wanted to add the fermentor to the order(twist my arm) so... on down the rabbit hole we decend;).
    Thanks for the tips:).
     
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  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Life in plastic, it's fantastic.... Keep plastic clean and never use abrasives, even brushes, on it and it performs just fine.
     
  15. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    That's the spirit!! :D
     
  16. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Did you just quote the barbie girl song? That's gotta be a first for a homebrew forum
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Barbie Girl.
     
  18. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    So are you saying Barbie uses plastic buckets? I wonder if her buckets stain over time also from darker beers?
     
  19. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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  20. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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