Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Any hardware used in the mashing /fermenting or aging of product

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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby Jimbo » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:08 am

johnodon wrote: I really want to ferment in my garage and the ambient temp can drop as low as 45F out there. I'm afarid that the temp in one of those type fermenters would drop too low. Is this not a legit concern?

John


45 degrees could wreak havoc on your fermentation, thats a lot colder than most yeast can work in, unless you wanna try fermenting your mash with a lager yeast ;-) :lol:
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby johnodon » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:35 am

jimdo64 wrote:
johnodon wrote: I really want to ferment in my garage and the ambient temp can drop as low as 45F out there. I'm afarid that the temp in one of those type fermenters would drop too low. Is this not a legit concern?

John


45 degrees could wreak havoc on your fermentation, thats a lot colder than most yeast can work in, unless you wanna try fermenting your mash with a lager yeast ;-) :lol:


Well, the temp outisde of the fermenter could be ~45F. If I start the mash out at ~85F and the yeast are active right away, do you think they would hold a high enough temp throughout the ferment in a regular thin-walled HDPE barrel?

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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby Jimbo » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:57 am

Its hard to say, if the mass is large and its only 45 for a few hours during the night, it could hold up some temp higher. But in general the yeast is gonna get really sluggish below say 68, then wake back up at higher temp. It will defintely extend you ferment time way out, and increase risk of a stuck ferment. On the plus side, low slow ferment creates a cleaner ferment with less esters and other byproducts.
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby ThrownOlive » Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:57 pm

Maybe put fermenters in a water bath with a small aquarium hater in the bath? I've been using a large Rubbermaid tub with two 6gal buckets. Water goes up about 4" away from the top of buckets and this has been the most reliably stable I have kept my fermenter temp in a drafty garage. I cut out a bit of a foam camping pad to set on top as a ld, mostly just keeps my dog from drinking the water bath :crazy: :twisted: A young lab pup + fermenting buckets is more an exercise in wrangling microorganism than microorganisms
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby midnightmaraude » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:00 pm

I like the ones from milehidistillery . They are 8.5 have molded handles and a spout
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby NineInchNails » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:01 am

johnodon wrote:
Prairiepiss wrote:A cooler will also hold heat in. So if the yeast make to much heat. It could run the temps up to high and kill them off. Just something to think about.

I would get a 15 gal fermenter. I would let it clear for two days. Not run it as soon as its done. I would rack it off into a 5 gallon bucket in the basement and carry that up the stairs. If you were to try to carry a 15 gal fermenter. It would take two people. I can't hardly pick mine up. And the sloshing would disturb the yeast cake. And mix it all up again. Not real sure you want that in your boiler.


My only issue with getting a regular HDPE barrel/drum fermenter is how thin the walls are. I really want to ferment in my garage and the ambient temp can drop as low as 45F out there. I'm afarid that the temp in one of those type fermenters would drop too low. Is this not a legit concern?

John


Wall thickness of the drum shouldn't make much if any difference. It's the temp that is important not the wall thickness of the fermenters.

A lot of people construct a heated/insulated box to put their fermenters in. This is ideal for areas where the temps are too low. All it would require is a small space heater and a thermostat to maintain temp automatically & reliably.

Here's a few thermostats that would work fine. The Ranco controllers are amazing thermostats.
Hydrofarm Digital Thermostat
Zilla Temperature Controller
Ranco ETC-111000
Last edited by NineInchNails on Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby Jimbo » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:03 am

Big box to cover and a lightbulb hanging inside?
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby TOAD » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:54 pm

I ferment in my brew pot (keg with top cut out) lay clean shirt on top then "dress" another shirt on the keg (15.5 kegs wear a medium) this IMO is good enough to keep nasties out (even for wine and beer) I brew outside, so, to keep out the wildlife and rain, an upside down snow saucer with a weighted bucket caps the keg. When the temp fluctuates alot the whole mess goes in a water filled rubbermade pale from walmart with fishtank heaters and water circulaters, scored from yard sales. Dont forget to insulate the sides of the pale, huge differance. The whole mess is on the back porch so siphoning into 3 carboys is a sench. Yea looks a little ... white trash , but its the ultimate in hidden in plain sight with other junk layed up against it. Looks like a keg from last weeks party in a bucket of melted ice with crap on top
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby Jimbo » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:35 pm

TOAD wrote:I ferment in my brew pot (keg with top cut out) lay clean shirt on top then "dress" another shirt on the keg (15.5 kegs wear a medium) this IMO is good enough to keep nasties out (even for wine and beer) I brew outside, so, to keep out the wildlife and rain, an upside down snow saucer with a weighted bucket caps the keg. When the temp fluctuates alot the whole mess goes in a water filled rubbermade pale from walmart with fishtank heaters and water circulaters, scored from yard sales. Dont forget to insulate the sides of the pale, huge differance. The whole mess is on the back porch so siphoning into 3 carboys is a sench. Yea looks a little ... white trash , but its the ultimate in hidden in plain sight with other junk layed up against it. Looks like a keg from last weeks party in a bucket of melted ice with crap on top


haha. Perfect! :thumbup:
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby Pamulli » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:18 am

I also ferment in my basement where the ambient temp can get way too cold and I made a heating system out of a product called flex watt heat tape that is used for pet cages. http://www.bigappleherp.com/Flex-Watt-Heat-Tape You buy it by the foot and I just wrap it around my fermenter and I use a controller for a heat matt to control the temp. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000NZZG3S/ref=pe_175190_21431760_cs_sce_dp_1 I also wrap mine in bubble insulation to make it more efficient, but I have to be careful because in full fermentation it will actually get too hot with the insulation.
The one downside to the controller I use is that it doesn't go below 68F and some Belgium yeasts may want to ferment a little cooler. You can also buy an STC-1000 digital heat controller http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-STC-1000-All-Purpose-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat-Aquarium-w-Sensor-/140756919030?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20c5c422f6 but the wiring is a bit more complicated so if you go that route make sure you look in some of the brew forums for the right way to wire it. It isn't plug and play like the heat mat controller.
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby ThrownOlive » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:01 am

Wow. Thanks for posting those links Pamulli! I bought a "fermwrap" from my HBS for $45, which is just the 11" heat tape you posted and in the link, it's $4.25/ft. Good news? My lab puppy recently decided chewing the fermwrap was a good plan, so I'm in the market for a new fermenter heater!
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby Pamulli » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:17 am

ThrownOlive wrote:Wow. Thanks for posting those links Pamulli! I bought a "fermwrap" from my HBS for $45, which is just the 11" heat tape you posted and in the link, it's $4.25/ft. Good news? My lab puppy recently decided chewing the fermwrap was a good plan, so I'm in the market for a new fermenter heater!

Yea some of the HBS's sell heating products that appear to be the same flex watt heat tape. I looked at those before I found a mention of the DIY version in a brew forum somewhere.
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby midcarolina » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:51 pm

You can go as low tech or hi tech as you wish............. If you want to ferment in your garage but you have a concern of keeping it hidden just pick up a used non working chest freezer..... use the freezer as your insulated box, add a light bulb and a cheap line voltage heating thermostat and your in business........ and no one is the wiser, just looks like a freezer in the garage............
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby Clearwater » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:39 pm

Thanks, John! Think I'll buy 2.One for recirculating water and another to ferment :D
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Re: Good choice for fermentation barrels?

Postby Clearwater » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:49 pm

Though, in looking in the measurements for the 13 gallon, I see:

20" tall x 50" Gird x

7 ponds

What the hell is "Gird"? Could he mean 50 square inches and be saying "Grid"?
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