Treat to myself - Stainless fermenter, but...

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by James_sweden, Mar 17, 2021.

  1. James_sweden

    James_sweden Active Member

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    My plastic fermenters work and were cheap, but they are getting a bit scratched and I am starting to feel abrasions when I clean them. The last batch I did in one had me worried when I saw mould in the end, but it turned out ok (thankfully).

    So, because it is nearly year end and the toy budget has not been fully spent yet, I was thinking about going up to stainless. The problem I have is that the SS Brewtech buckets are in either 26l or 13l sizes and I only really make 10/11l batches.

    Does anyone use the smaller fermenter and, if so, what is your normal batch size? Would 10l be pushing things?

    I could maybe find space for the bigger version, but I'd be less than half filling it.
     
  2. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know, half filling is fine ;)
    But maybe there is another brand stainless in your price range?
    I'm sure more people will pipe in soon
     
  3. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    I have the 3.5 gallon SS Brewtech brew bucket and I think it’s been a fantastic investment. I have brewed close to 100 batches the last four years.

    So here’s how I use it. I start my boil with about 3.25 gallons of liquid. I only boil for about 30 minutes and lose about 0.25 gallons to evaporation. So 3.0 gallons goes into the fermenter, trub and all. After two weeks of fermentation, I transfer to my 2.6 gallon kegs. There is almost always about 0.5 gallons of trub, yeast, etc. left in the bottom of the fermenter. So all of the beer fits pretty much perfectly in the small keg.

    So based on my 100 batches of experience, get the 13 liter size for 10 liter batches.

    And here’s another great thing you can do with stainless. I transfer the boiling wort to the fermenter and cool the wort in the fermenter using the FST kit. I clean and sanitize my fermenter well, but this is pretty much guaranteed to kill off any microbes that were missed.
     
  4. James_sweden

    James_sweden Active Member

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    Bubba, that is really good info, thank you!

    The main thing for me is space. I don't have a specialist brewing space (yet) so I need to be clever about how I store things. The 13l looks about the right size and your feedback suggests that it should work. It also means I can maybe start doing more with souring and Brett.
     
  5. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I have the bigger brew buckets and I just put blow off tubes on mine. One of these, https://www.ssbrewtech.com/products/blow-off-barb-for-ftss-lids then I don't worry if it foams to much.

    I have noticed when I put FermCap in my brews the Krausen seems to stay a lot smaller so that is something to consider too.
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    If you're not using a immersed chiller coil and coolant to control temperature, the liquid level in the fermenter won't matter much. for their Unitanks, there's a definite minimum batch size. With the Brewbuckets batch size shouldn't matter at all.
     
  7. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    If your brewing small batches, 11-13 liters, why not a corny keg? Fermenting in keg has many advantages, not least of all, price. I ferment in Sanke kegs, (29 liter) and it works really well. Corny kegs are 19 liter and can be pressurized allowing you to carbonate right in the keg. I would rather ferment in a corny keg over a sanke keg because corny kegs are easier to clean, but I brew 22-25 liter batches so a corny is a little too small for me. I use a floating pickup, so I can ferment and serve in one keg.

    It's another option to consider.
     
  8. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Really good call HVM!
    So versatile!
    Stainless:D
    Inexpensive:D
    Pressure ferment:D
    Easy to clean:D
    Easy to use a floating dip tube for leaving behind trub and hop debris behind:D
    You can bottle from them as well (I do):D

    Here is what I bought to use as a floating dip tube. The tubing was kind of stiff, so I bought some 6mm x 8mm silicone tube from Scamazon.

    upload_2021-3-17_14-41-20.png
    upload_2021-3-17_14-41-35.png
     
  9. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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  10. FrostyBeach

    FrostyBeach Well-Known Member

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    And they are on sale, 15% off, until Midnight (assume PDST) tonight.
     
  11. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    13 liters for a 10 liter batch is correct. I make 20 liter batches in my 26 liter fermenter.
     
  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    The corny idea is very valid. I forgot about it until they mentioned it.
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I run both three and five gallon batches out of my Brewtech. It's the 7-gallon model (26 liters).
     
  14. James_sweden

    James_sweden Active Member

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    Well, I found my credit card late last night and went for the 13L SS Brewtech. My batches are no large and I think the smallness of the package will help a lot in making this an acceptable fermenting solution in the house! It's also going to be able to fit in the fridge I have my eye on...

    The corny keg idea is a good one though, I did not even consider that. Good call!
     
  15. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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    I'm also interested in the corny keg option!
    Sounds like avreal good option
     
    Sunfire96 likes this.
  16. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    It's a great option for people brewing 16-17 liters or less. You can still pick them up fairly cheap used and even a new AEB (made in Italy) 5 gallon corny is @ $125 dollars US. Other versions are even less (not as good of quality IMHO).

    They're tall and skinny so they fit in a keezer, all stainless, have handles on top, can take 125psi (8.6 bar). You can ferment, condition, carb and serve in the same vessel. Plus parts for them are available almost everywhere. If I ever decide to brew smaller batches, I'll use the corny's I have rather than downsize my fermenters. When I brew high gravity beer, I keep the batches to 4 gallons or less and I ferment them in a 5 gallon keg, it works great. It's best to have a CO2 tank and regulator so you can set and test the lid seal prior to fermentation.

    The bad thing about corny's are they are not very sexy like a shiny all stainless fermenter. It's like owning an old pick up truck. It always starts and never leaves you stranded, but nobody is really impressed by them.
     
  17. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    You certainly could polish one up!
    The black rubber bits are rather unsightly though;)
     

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