Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Any hardware used for mashing, fermenting or aging.

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ddizzle22
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Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by ddizzle22 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:36 pm

Are these the brute trashcans everyone is using. I want to make sure before purchase. I also will be dumping boil water into for the ferment. Sounds like maybe use the 32g one and then set in the 55g with water around and aquarium heater. [/img][img]

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by ravi » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:41 pm

hello,

I think these are not reusable plastic grade. grade 5 and above is reusable plastic in my knowledge. long way back read somewhere just double check.

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Expat » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:43 pm

Yeah those the normal Brutes, they work well as a fermenter. Food grade plastic.

Edit: I regularly dump boiling water in for my corn mash, no issues. Just make sure the brute is where you want it, moving 50g of grain and water is nearly impossible if it's not on wheels.
Last edited by Expat on Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by jonnys_spirit » Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:53 pm

Yep I've used those. I'd get the dolly too and a lid so it's easy to move around. You don't really need to put it into a larger can/warm water bath.

Cheers!
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Expat » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:00 pm

To Jonny's point, wrap the brute in insulation and it'll stay hot for days. It's a huge thermal mass.
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Chauncey » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:02 pm

I use the grey ones
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by ddizzle22 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:07 pm

jonnys_spirit wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:53 pm
Yep I've used those. I'd get the dolly too and a lid so it's easy to move around. You don't really need to put it into a larger can/warm water bath.

Cheers!
-jonny
Ok wasn't sure if that was common practice from reading or not. The only thing I saw you said to be careful of is mixing with the paint stirring on drill and nicking the wall. Not looking to clean up 30 gallons of mash.

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Hambone » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:01 pm

jonnys_spirit wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:53 pm
Yep I've used those. I'd get the dolly too and a lid so it's easy to move around. You don't really need to put it into a larger can/warm water bath.

Cheers!
-jonny
The dolly caused me problems when mashing in. The hot water softened the barrel enough that it started to list sideways. Wasn't enough to spill, but could if using small headspace.
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by jonnys_spirit » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:14 pm

Yes. Please be careful with the paint stirrer drill gun. I dump about 15-16 gallons boiling water in because that’s my boiler capacity and mash the batch with that then top up with 8 gallons or so once it’s all converted and somewhat cooled so i’m not filling it with boiling water. Just about 1/2 way but I do let it all sit for maybe 24h insulated and it keeps the temp well. It does really work well but I’ll upgrade to a 50gal blue HDPE barrel someday just for more mash and ferment capacity.

Cheers!
-jonny
————
i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
————

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Expat » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:02 pm

Hambone wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:01 pm
jonnys_spirit wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:53 pm
Yep I've used those. I'd get the dolly too and a lid so it's easy to move around. You don't really need to put it into a larger can/warm water bath.

Cheers!
-jonny
The dolly caused me problems when mashing in. The hot water softened the barrel enough that it started to list sideways. Wasn't enough to spill, but could if using small headspace.
In my experience the list was related to the casters tilting, they're just not rated to weight of that much water weight. I swapped mine out for a custom platform with enough capacity.

55g blue barrel would be better though.
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Hambone » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:07 pm

Expat wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:02 pm
Hambone wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:01 pm
jonnys_spirit wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:53 pm
Yep I've used those. I'd get the dolly too and a lid so it's easy to move around. You don't really need to put it into a larger can/warm water bath.

Cheers!
-jonny
The dolly caused me problems when mashing in. The hot water softened the barrel enough that it started to list sideways. Wasn't enough to spill, but could if using small headspace.
In my experience the list was related to the casters tilting, they're just not rated to weight of that much water weight. I swapped mine out for a custom platform with enough capacity.

55g blue barrel would be better though.
I've got two 55g olive barrels which are definitely more sturdy. But I do like the Brute for mashes that I need to strain, because the wide opening makes it easier to scoop up the grain in paint strainers to squeeze.
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Expat » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:16 pm

Hambone wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:07 pm
Expat wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:02 pm
Hambone wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:01 pm
jonnys_spirit wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:53 pm
Yep I've used those. I'd get the dolly too and a lid so it's easy to move around. You don't really need to put it into a larger can/warm water bath.

Cheers!
-jonny
The dolly caused me problems when mashing in. The hot water softened the barrel enough that it started to list sideways. Wasn't enough to spill, but could if using small headspace.
In my experience the list was related to the casters tilting, they're just not rated to weight of that much water weight. I swapped mine out for a custom platform with enough capacity.

55g blue barrel would be better though.
I've got two 55g olive barrels which are definitely more sturdy. But I do like the Brute for mashes that I need to strain, because the wide opening makes it easier to scoop up the grain in paint strainers to squeeze.
I hear ya, my blue barrels have a ring clamp lid so it's easy to access everything.
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by HomerD » Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:21 pm

I put 3/4” plywood squares under my Brute can. I have them on furniture dollies from Harbor Freight.

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Hambone » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:45 am

HomerD wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:21 pm
I put 3/4” plywood squares under my Brute can. I have them on furniture dollies from Harbor Freight.

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Tummydoc » Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:57 am

Yup, harbor freight dollies for 8 bucks

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by ddizzle22 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:02 pm

jonnys_spirit wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:14 pm
Yes. Please be careful with the paint stirrer drill gun. I dump about 15-16 gallons boiling water in because that’s my boiler capacity and mash the batch with that then top up with 8 gallons or so once it’s all converted and somewhat cooled so i’m not filling it with boiling water. Just about 1/2 way but I do let it all sit for maybe 24h insulated and it keeps the temp well. It does really work well but I’ll upgrade to a 50gal blue HDPE barrel someday just for more mash and ferment capacity.

Cheers!
-jonny
Are you able to get 2 still charges to fit in the 32g brute? I will be doing similar and filling boiler then draining boiling water into the brute over the cracked corn. That's why worried about the boiling water.

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Expat » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:06 pm

ddizzle22 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:02 pm
jonnys_spirit wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:14 pm
Yes. Please be careful with the paint stirrer drill gun. I dump about 15-16 gallons boiling water in because that’s my boiler capacity and mash the batch with that then top up with 8 gallons or so once it’s all converted and somewhat cooled so i’m not filling it with boiling water. Just about 1/2 way but I do let it all sit for maybe 24h insulated and it keeps the temp well. It does really work well but I’ll upgrade to a 50gal blue HDPE barrel someday just for more mash and ferment capacity.

Cheers!
-jonny
Are you able to get 2 still charges to fit in the 32g brute? I will be doing similar and filling boiler then draining boiling water into the brute over the cracked corn. That's why worried about the boiling water.
Sugar/molasses, yes, grain, no.
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by jonnys_spirit » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:18 pm

ddizzle22 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:02 pm
jonnys_spirit wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:14 pm
Yes. Please be careful with the paint stirrer drill gun. I dump about 15-16 gallons boiling water in because that’s my boiler capacity and mash the batch with that then top up with 8 gallons or so once it’s all converted and somewhat cooled so i’m not filling it with boiling water. Just about 1/2 way but I do let it all sit for maybe 24h insulated and it keeps the temp well. It does really work well but I’ll upgrade to a 50gal blue HDPE barrel someday just for more mash and ferment capacity.

Cheers!
-jonny
Are you able to get 2 still charges to fit in the 32g brute? I will be doing similar and filling boiler then draining boiling water into the brute over the cracked corn. That's why worried about the boiling water.
Hi ddizzle22,

I just use one still charge of boiling water to mash in the 32g with the full grain bill then top up next day to about 2/3 - 3/4 full and/or SG of 1060 to 1070. When I squeeze after ferment I might be able to get about 18 gallons or three carboys full... I leave good headspace in the fermenter so the cap doesn't overflow... So estimating something like 2'ish -to- 2.5'ish # grain/gallon or so to get to 1060-1070 range... I'll look in my notebook tonight to see what I've done in the 32 gallon brute for total grains and mash/top-up water. 2.5 starts to get a little thick to mash easily at least with corn...

It's sort of an estimate because over the course of a batch it could be a small handful or so of mash/ferment/strips to collect all the low wines for a spirit run or two. I buy all the grain for that batch then eyeball it for each mash and it all gets stripped and blended and spirit run then fractioned and blended/cut back together so being too exact on each mash/ferment isn't too important by the time you're done with the batch...

Corn flour will give better conversion than cracked. Squeezing isn't really that bad if you roll up your sleeves and don't mind getting a little mucky.

Cheers!
-jonny
————
i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
————

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by ddizzle22 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:29 pm

jonnys_spirit wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:18 pm
ddizzle22 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:02 pm
jonnys_spirit wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:14 pm
Yes. Please be careful with the paint stirrer drill gun. I dump about 15-16 gallons boiling water in because that’s my boiler capacity and mash the batch with that then top up with 8 gallons or so once it’s all converted and somewhat cooled so i’m not filling it with boiling water. Just about 1/2 way but I do let it all sit for maybe 24h insulated and it keeps the temp well. It does really work well but I’ll upgrade to a 50gal blue HDPE barrel someday just for more mash and ferment capacity.

Cheers!
-jonny
Are you able to get 2 still charges to fit in the 32g brute? I will be doing similar and filling boiler then draining boiling water into the brute over the cracked corn. That's why worried about the boiling water.
Hi ddizzle22,

I just use one still charge of boiling water to mash in the 32g with the full grain bill then top up next day to about 2/3 - 3/4 full and/or SG of 1060 to 1070. When I squeeze after ferment I might be able to get about 18 gallons or three carboys full... I leave good headspace in the fermenter so the cap doesn't overflow... So estimating something like 2'ish -to- 2.5'ish # grain/gallon or so to get to 1060-1070 range... I'll look in my notebook tonight to see what I've done in the 32 gallon brute for total grains and mash/top-up water. 2.5 starts to get a little thick to mash easily at least with corn...

It's sort of an estimate because over the course of a batch it could be a small handful or so of mash/ferment/strips to collect all the low wines for a spirit run or two. I buy all the grain for that batch then eyeball it for each mash and it all gets stripped and blended and spirit run then fractioned and blended/cut back together so being too exact on each mash/ferment isn't too important by the time you're done with the batch...

Corn flour will give better conversion than cracked. Squeezing isn't really that bad if you roll up your sleeves and don't mind getting a little mucky.

Cheers!
-jonny
Yeah I need to look into corn flour just afraid would be a hassle trying to strain. Im new to AG and looking at the bourbon recipes in the tried and true. Easiest option seems draining the boiling water over the corn for conversion. My boiler is a keg so looking for a way to mash in a container big enough. If could get 2 still charges that would be a plus.

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Hambone » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:03 pm

ddizzle22 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:29 pm


Are you able to get 2 still charges to fit in the 32g brute? I will be doing similar and filling boiler then draining boiling water into the brute over the cracked corn. That's why worried about the boiling water.

Yeah I need to look into corn flour just afraid would be a hassle trying to strain. Im new to AG and looking at the bourbon recipes in the tried and true. Easiest option seems draining the boiling water over the corn for conversion. My boiler is a keg so looking for a way to mash in a container big enough. If could get 2 still charges that would be a plus.
[/quote]

I use the 44 gallon and after squeezing grain get over 20 gal. Grind between coarse meal and cracked, closer to meal.
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by jonnys_spirit » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:49 pm

In the 32 gallon brute I can fit between 47 and 55# of grain total and about 24-25 or so gallons of water total without it being too full. I’ll siphon off after AF into four six gallon carboys (not full) and let it sit for a week then rack off the sediment to net about 18 or 20 gallons or so and degass with a vacuum pump. Whatever doesn’t fit into that strip run is added to the next and so on till there’s enough for a spirit run. I have 20 gallon brutes too that I use and enough carboys to hold almost 80 gallons of the fermented wort and low wines so it’s multiple iterations until done.

Welcome to the rabbit hole!

Cheers,
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i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
————

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:53 pm

I can do either 3 or 4 strippings to get a full spirit run.

Here's a good schedule.

Get (2) 55 gallon blue barrels, and (2) 32 gallon brut cans. In the summer, make your grain recipes in the blue barrels. You'll be able to get three charges from each barrel. The weather's good, so no need for insulation. Then in the winter, fill the blue barrels half way with water, and put an aquarium heater and a small pond pump in there. Put the Brut cans inside the blue barrels - they fit perfect. This will keep your ferment perfectly warm through the winter. Make your sugar washes and rum in the bruts in the winter. Each Brut will give you 2 charges.

This allows for a full spirit run from the strippings of 1 blue barrel in the summer, and both Bruts in the winter. The loss of capacity in the winter is offset by the lack of need for grain room with sugar washes. Plus you can ferment rums in the 90s in the dead of winter.

All about the long term planning :thumbup:
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by ddizzle22 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:58 pm

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:53 pm
I can do either 3 or 4 strippings to get a full spirit run.

Here's a good schedule.

Get (2) 55 gallon blue barrels, and (2) 32 gallon brut cans. In the summer, make your grain recipes in the blue barrels. You'll be able to get three charges from each barrel. The weather's good, so no need for insulation. Then in the winter, fill the blue barrels half way with water, and put an aquarium heater and a small pond pump in there. Put the Brut cans inside the blue barrels - they fit perfect. This will keep your ferment perfectly warm through the winter. Make your sugar washes and rum in the bruts in the winter. Each Brut will give you 2 charges.

This allows for a full spirit run from the strippings of 1 blue barrel in the summer, and both Bruts in the winter. The loss of capacity in the winter is offset by the lack of need for grain room with sugar washes. Plus you can ferment rums in the 90s in the dead of winter.

All about the long term planning :thumbup:
I really like your thinking. I will look into the 55g blue containers i see popping up from time to time. Most of my time is spent indoors however so that might not be a bad idea if you said the 32g brute fits inside with half water.

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:00 pm

Here's the process with pictures.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=65703&start=150#p7546910
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Hambone » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:05 pm

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:53 pm
Then in the winter, fill the blue barrels half way with water, and put an aquarium heater and a small pond pump in there. Put the Brut cans inside the blue barrels - they fit perfect.
Is anybody just putting an aquarium heater directly in the mash/ wash?
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:06 pm

Hambone wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:05 pm
ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:53 pm
Then in the winter, fill the blue barrels half way with water, and put an aquarium heater and a small pond pump in there. Put the Brut cans inside the blue barrels - they fit perfect.
Is anybody just putting an aquarium heater directly in the mash/ wash?
I used to. Burns the grains around it, and doesn't heat evenly. Warm in the bottom middle, cold everywhere else. Plus, if you break it in the mash...
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You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Hambone » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:10 pm

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:06 pm
Hambone wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:05 pm
ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:53 pm
Then in the winter, fill the blue barrels half way with water, and put an aquarium heater and a small pond pump in there. Put the Brut cans inside the blue barrels - they fit perfect.
Is anybody just putting an aquarium heater directly in the mash/ wash?
I used to. Burns the grains around it, and doesn't heat evenly. Warm in the bottom middle, cold everywhere else. Plus, if you break it in the mash...
Wow, didn't realize they got that hot. Looking to expand to year round this winter. Thanks for the tip!
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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by jonnys_spirit » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:20 pm

I use lager yeast in the colder months which prefers a lower temp and takes a little longer and really enjoy the variety between seasons.

Cheers!
-jonny
————
i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
————

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by HomerD » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:23 pm

I use these heaters in mine during the winter. I also wrap it in reflective insulation. I also use it in a water bath to heat smaller barrels.

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Re: Brute Trash Can Fermenter

Post by Expat » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:30 pm

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:06 pm
Hambone wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:05 pm
ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:53 pm
Then in the winter, fill the blue barrels half way with water, and put an aquarium heater and a small pond pump in there. Put the Brut cans inside the blue barrels - they fit perfect.
Is anybody just putting an aquarium heater directly in the mash/ wash?
I used to. Burns the grains around it, and doesn't heat evenly. Warm in the bottom middle, cold everywhere else. Plus, if you break it in the mash...
Really?? I've never had an issue in mine. I'm using two in parallel perhaps that makes a difference.
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