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Old 12-28-2010, 04:19 PM   #1
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Default HDPE Fermenter

Been trying to find a low cost secondary for dry hopping and adding fruit, and found these 9 gallon buckets on ebay. I figure it's a great way to do my 5 gallon batches without a blowoff tube (after I make a hole and add a gasket for the airlock).

Has anyone had experience with these before? I did a search here for HDPE and saw something about HDPE cracking?

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Old 12-28-2010, 04:28 PM   #2
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HDPE is High Density Poly Etheline. It is food grade and used for many things. It is a higher density the PET plastic which is more flexible and used for things like water bottles. It is safe to ferment in.

In fact I use a Gamma Vittles food vault to ferment my lagers. I have this hump on the side of my freezer that leaves me about 14" from the top to put something. A 1" cube comes to just over 7 gallons meaning I can put a 5 gallon batch in it (really more like 5.5 gallons as I count for transfer waste). I have been using it for quite some time.

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Old 12-28-2010, 09:03 PM   #3
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I have two of those exact containers. I was in the process of moving it back to my garage when I read your post. I drilled holes in the lids for ferm locks and then added drum spigots (covered in foil) to the bottoms. I am fermenting a batch of EdWort's Haus Ale in one right now. You can even see my temp is right on 68F. I'll be kegging it on Saturday...if nothing else comes up.


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Originally Posted by Chipper View Post
Been trying to find a low cost secondary for dry hopping and adding fruit, and found these 9 gallon buckets on ebay. I figure it's a great way to do my 5 gallon batches without a blowoff tube (after I make a hole and add a gasket for the airlock).

Has anyone had experience with these before? I did a search here for HDPE and saw something about HDPE cracking?
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limulus View Post
I have two of those exact containers. I was in the process of moving it back to my garage when I read your post. I drilled holes in the lids for ferm locks and then added drum spigots (covered in foil) to the bottoms. I am fermenting a batch of EdWort's Haus Ale in one right now. You can even see my temp is right on 68F. I'll be kegging it on Saturday...if nothing else comes up.
That's fantastic, thanks. Do you happen to know the part numbers / size for the grommet and spigots?

*edit* never mind I see they can be found everywhere. Thanks again, and I hope your brew turns out great.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:34 PM   #5
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I bought some grommets from BMW, but had trouble fitting them. So, I took the grommets out of my old 6gal plastic bucket fermenters. I only use those buckets for bottling now. You are correct about the spigots, they can be purchased anywhere. I did opt for the larger drum spigots.

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Old 12-29-2010, 04:46 PM   #6
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With no handles, how much of a pain are they to move when full?

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Old 12-29-2010, 06:42 PM   #7
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With no handles, how much of a pain are they to move when full?
I have been lifting mine by the bottom edge of the lid. The top of the container angles in and it leaves a nice gap as seen in the photo below. Also, the bottom of the lid has a lip on it that makes it easier to grab. The whole thing weighs maybe 45lbs...definitely lighter and safer to carry than a carboy. I'm going to build a fermentation chamber in my garage and something with wheels for spring/summer.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:00 PM   #8
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Just thought I'd give an update.

I've used these a few times now. The first batch was with some fruit, and now I always smell the fruit regardless of how well I have cleaned it. It hasn't impacted any of the beer though.

One of these has an air leak, so I assume it's around the lid. I never see any action in the airlock when I use that fermenter, but the beer still tastes great. The other one is air tight. I guess it really doesn't matter, but I personally like to see the airlock go since there is no other way to watch it ferment. I find myself peeking at times just to make sure the yeast is staying busy.

The grommets for the airlocks keep splitting when I shove in an airlock, so I need to buy more and make the holes slightly larger. I know the air leak isn't around that, however, since I can still get air lock action.

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Old 06-27-2011, 01:06 PM   #9
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Another option are "vittle vaults" from any pet store. Many lhbs's sell VVs with grommet holes and spigots already attacthed to them.

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