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Old 05-19-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
mezak1gd
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Default cheap fermenter options

1st post.

I currently just have 1 ale pail as I'm a college student on a budget. I have a couple of bigger all grain beers coming up and don't feel like waiting forever for the fermenter to open up, so I need a new one. I want ideas for the best, cheapest option.

Should I try to grab a few 5 gallon buckets from a restaurant and put a blow off tube on them, or would I be better off with a 5 gallon plastic water bottle and blowoff. Can I even fit a whole batch in a 5 gallon bucket? Or splurge and pick up a new ale pail with lid for like $15. Or could I just use my bottling bucket like a secondary for a week or two and just bottle from there? Thanks.

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Old 05-19-2009, 08:59 PM   #2
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There are several choices here.

The cheapest route for you might be a food grade trash can (if you can find a smaller one) The rubbermaid brute comes in an 8G size.

Also look for some food grade plastic bags (turkey bags) as another option. You could line any sort of bucket/trash can with these. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/bucket-liners-95580/

I'd stay away from the 5G pails. Not enough headspace and even with a blow-off you are going to lose a ton.

Check your homebrew supplier or online for an alternative to the ale pale. Not sure what your budget is, but I've seen 7G buckets at my homebrew supplier for under $20.

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Old 05-19-2009, 09:07 PM   #3
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Yah I mean I can spend 15-20 but if I could do it cheaper it would be nice. Thanks for the tips can you get a tight fitting lid on that trash can? Also the LHBS is a decent drive away.

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Old 05-19-2009, 09:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mezak1gd View Post
Thanks for the tips can you get a tight fitting lid on that trash can? .
The lids actually don't fit too tightly, but that's OK. It's similar to quite a few other fermenter designs and the loose lid serves the same purpose as an airlock.

One of the back issues of BYO magazine has a write up on them.

Basically to hold the lid and create a semi-seal you use some food grade lubricant and a few small clamps.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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I started with free icing buckets from the grocery store bakery. They have nice tight fitting lids with gaskets. I think mine are 3.5-4 gallon sized so I have to split my batch into two of them, but that's no real problem and they're easier to move around that way with my bad back. Free fermenter for the price of an airlock and stopper. I use a 1 1/4 hole saw in the lid and a #7 stopper.

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Old 05-19-2009, 10:23 PM   #6
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Thanks I was wondering about splitting it into two buckets. I'm gonna have to try and track some down then. Has anyone ever just racked into the bottling bucket, left it there for a week and then bottled from there?

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Old 05-20-2009, 12:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
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. Has anyone ever just racked into the bottling bucket, left it there for a week and then bottled from there?
Sure you can do that if you desire, you will either have to individually prime each bottle, or carefully, and i said carefully add the priming solution w/out disturbing the yeast/trub. Note: you are starting to stray off the tested and proven path.

Lots of things can be done, but the ice may get thin and get you..hah. Your gonna get me in trouble around here approving shortcuts, kid. hah
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