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Old 12-27-2012, 09:47 PM   #1
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Default Stainless Fermenter Advice

I currently use a plastic bucket for fermenting, but I have this idea and wanted your thoughts (I'm hoping this isn't an original idea and several people tell me they do it already successfully). What if I used a SS brew kettle as a fermentation vessel instead of buying a dedicated SS conical fermenter?

I can get a 24 qt SS kettle with lid for about $50 at my local restaurant supply. Then I figured I could install an airlock in the lid and let my wort ferment with just the weight of the lid keeping the vessel sealed (some of you do this with plastic buckets already, right?)

An added benefit would be that I could use this kettle as my HLT also, eliminating some equipment - I would use it for sparge water, and then sterilize it and use it to ferment. What do you think?

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Old 12-28-2012, 01:19 AM   #2
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I know I've seen pictures of people doing this on here. Go for it. It's basically a stainless bucket. You could put some gasket material on the lid for a tighter seal if you wanted. Expansion and contraction may suck in some air, allowing for some increased risk of infection, but small.

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Old 12-28-2012, 02:46 AM   #3
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Go for it. Get a roll of wide kitchen plastic wrap and cover the pot with that. Poke a few tiny holes in it. good to go.

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Old 12-28-2012, 03:00 AM   #4
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a stainless kettle would make a fine fermentor but it's not an alternative to a real conical fermentor. at all. i hear you about cutting down on equipment but i think that in the long run there are no real shortcuts to an efficient brewhouse (maybe that speidel braumeister?) if you are fermenting in your HLT does that mean you won't be brewing until that fermentation is over and the beer packaged?

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Old 12-28-2012, 03:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastoak
a stainless kettle would make a fine fermentor but it's not an alternative to a real conical fermentor. at all. i hear you about cutting down on equipment but i think that in the long run there are no real shortcuts to an efficient brewhouse (maybe that speidel braumeister?) if you are fermenting in your HLT does that mean you won't be brewing until that fermentation is over and the beer packaged?
I hear ya - my BK fermenter isn't going to be comparable to a conical. Re: your last question - yes, i won't be brewing more often than monthly.

Thanks for all the input so far...
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:05 AM   #6
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I have heard of people doing that successfully. I don't think it has any advantages over a cheap, plastic fermentor though. Especially if it ties up a pot that you need for brewing!!

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Old 12-28-2012, 01:46 PM   #7
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For 2 years now I've been fermenting in my kettle with fine success. I finish the boil, chill in the kettle, aerate by stirring when pitching yeast, and cover. Then about 12 hours later I'll aerate again. My lid nests inside the kettle plus a lip on the top edge. It seals quite snugly. Once fermentation is active, I try to keep out of it for a week and not disturb the CO2 blanket which will form. If I want to brew again the following weekend, then I'll rack it to a keg early and let it finish up in there.

My most recent batch is the first time I've sealed the lid with tape, but that was due to ants moving into the room I had it in. Aargh.

I have a conical being made for me. I will use a heat stick to boil directly in the fermenter. I've grown quite fond of the practice.

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Old 12-28-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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This is the kind of confirmation I'm looking for - thanks.

I plan on brewing in my 8g kettle, then transferring (via plate chiller) to a separate 6g kettle to ferment. I'll see if I can get some gasket material to line the edge of the kettle, then run a small bungee strap from one handle to the other to secure the lid down.

The only disadvantage I'm aware of (thanks to eastoak) is not being able to brew more often than every 2-3 weeks while I'm fermenting. And while it's not as good as a SS conical, IMO it's better than my scratched plastic brew pail.

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Old 12-28-2012, 09:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanson95 View Post
This is the kind of confirmation I'm looking for - thanks.

I plan on brewing in my 8g kettle, then transferring (via plate chiller) to a separate 6g kettle to ferment. I'll see if I can get some gasket material to line the edge of the kettle, then run a small bungee strap from one handle to the other to secure the lid down.

The only disadvantage I'm aware of (thanks to eastoak) is not being able to brew more often than every 2-3 weeks while I'm fermenting. And while it's not as good as a SS conical, IMO it's better than my scratched plastic brew pail.
If you really want to ferment in SS you should look into fermenting in old Sanke kegs...a pony keg would be perfect for your brewing. I LOVE fermenting in my Sanke's. Lots of threads about it....
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phunhog

If you really want to ferment in SS you should look into fermenting in old Sanke kegs...a pony keg would be perfect for your brewing. I LOVE fermenting in my Sanke's. Lots of threads about it....
My concern with that is reaching inside to clean. And do they come in 6 g size?
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