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Old 08-02-2006, 01:05 AM   #1
dblee50
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Default Drilling Plastic Fermenters

I've been using glass for a while and am looking into lighter fermenters. I can find 7. something gallon fermentors but then don't have holes for a drain/transfer valve. Can I drill out plastic (carefully with a step type bit) and minimize risk of contamination? What's the difference between me doing it carefully and a supply provided 6.5 gallon fermentor with a hole? Any thoughts appreciated.

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Old 08-02-2006, 01:37 AM   #2
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The only risk of contamination is if you drill it when its full. :-)
I made one with a adjustable type bit...when the outside diameter could be move via a screw type mechanism and the centre was the fixed bit....its quite easy if your drill can go very slow....On slow speed, score it..and then gently increase speed whislst applying gentle presure.
The only pitfalls I see is if you use a hole cutting bit and / or you try going too fast
on a extremly curved part of the fermenter.
You may also try screwing in a piece of wood on the inside of the fermenter, inside the diameter to provide a bit more stability....ie) cut away the hole that contains the screw holes with the fastened wood.

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Old 08-02-2006, 01:44 AM   #3
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I bought an 7.75 gallon plastic primary at Austin Home Brew last week and they drilled a hole in it at no charge and put in a valve. They used a simple hole saw bit from Lowes. It worked great.

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Old 08-02-2006, 03:37 AM   #4
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Are there some fitting you can use when you don't have access to the inside of the fermentor? I have some 13 gallon fermentors that look like getting my arm in might not be possible. Since they are both full at the moment I can't really tell yet.
I'm guessing kind of bushing with a barbed end that pops through the hole then when you screw on the nut it tightens against the inside of the carboy. Make sense?

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Old 08-02-2006, 04:18 AM   #5
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drilling a hole in a plastic bucket should be a no brainer. Just take it easy to you ends up clean....

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Old 08-02-2006, 10:29 AM   #6
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The next part would be to ask that when using a valve through tht hole in toward the bottom, do you take it apart and clean everytime after fermenting? I have a couple of better beer bottles and don't take them apart, but just wanted to ask. I think puckets for the primary and bbb for secondary, all with spigots, is much easier on my back and less effort and equipment to get to keg.

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Old 08-02-2006, 11:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dblee50
The next part would be to ask that when using a valve through tht hole in toward the bottom, do you take it apart and clean everytime after fermenting?
i know i do 'cause it gets filled with a little trub that might need a little more pressure to wash it out, than just filling the fermenter with water and opening the valve. its only hand-tight, so its no biggy to take on and off.
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:10 PM   #8
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All my fermenters are plastic and I have drilled holes in them all using a hole saw. I've never had a problem with infection.

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