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Old 10-16-2012, 03:10 AM   #1
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Default stainless steel bucket fermentor

I really like using buckets for primary fermentors, but scratching can give them a short life as a fermentor. Has anyone seen a 6-7 gallon stainless steel bucket with a lid that could be used as a fermentor? Besides durability, I'd like to have a strong lid. I plan on adding a stainless steel coil for cooling into the lid, so I 'd like something more sturdy than plastic. The best things I have seen are old milk buckets, but they have an odd shape and some of them are quite expensive. The other option I was considering was using a stainless steel kettle. The only problem with this is getting a lid that will seal very well. Any ideas on how I could modify a kettle to have a lid that seals very well with a permanent device for sealing, i.e. not some hand clamps or aluminum foil, etc. A screw on lid or lid with a seal on the rim and permanently attached latches would be great. I just can't find anything like I'm describing. I'd probably pay $50-75 for something like this if I could find it.

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Old 10-16-2012, 03:20 AM   #2
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55 gallon SS drums are actually available in sizes other than 55 gallons... they just don't call them "55 gallon drums". LOL

I never thought about it personally, but that might be worth looking into. I'd check out mcmaster carr first, then maybe a few other SS barrel suppliers.

Good luck. Let me know if you find anything interesting!

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Old 10-16-2012, 06:51 AM   #3
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I've seriously thought about it for wine as the primary just needs a loose lid at most.

I've more than thought about a SS bottling bucket, have the 30 quart pot and it seems that a bottling wand valve fits on 3/8" SS tubing, drilling and diptube design is in progress. the plastic is slowly going away.

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Old 10-16-2012, 07:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amandabab View Post
I've seriously thought about it for wine as the primary just needs a loose lid at most.

I've more than thought about a SS bottling bucket, have the 30 quart pot and it seems that a bottling wand valve fits on 3/8" SS tubing, drilling and diptube design is in progress. the plastic is slowly going away.
Now that makes a TON of sense! We all have brew kettles already. Why mess with a bottling bucket?

It might even have a lid that can be used to minimize the risk of anything falling in during transfer.

Actually, all you would need for this is a ball valve on your kettle (which most already have), plus a 90-degree barb fitting. You could rotate the 90-degree barb to be nearly straight down against the kettle, minimizing losses. In the event that your ball valve is too low to spin on the 90-degree barb fitting, you could cut the fitting down. Just boil in the microwave for two or three minutes to eliminate the risk of infection/contamination.
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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Check out dairy equipment/supply stores or web sites for all kinds of stainless vessels. Try searching ebay using milk can or milk pail.

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Old 10-20-2012, 04:40 PM   #6
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I use 6 gallon bayou classic pots for fermenting and wouldnt go any other way. I find they are the perfect size. I expanded the small hole in the top for a stopper. If i want to seal the pot, I use large o-rings and clamp the orings down with binder clamps.

Some of the benefits are:
-If you extend a minifridge using a 2x2, u can fit two 6 gal fermenters in one fridge.
-All of the trub that rises in krausen sticks to the roof of the pot. When you remove the lid, you have access to the yeast and can easily top crop it without having to skim the the trub and wait for a second krausen.
-The bung hole acts as a port hole, I can check gravity from there, dump yeast in or syphon without having to remove all the clamps to open the vessel if its sealed.
-For gravity checks, I just santize then toss my gauge right into the pot and measure the gravity. No sample taking required.
-6 gallon pots fit easily into kitchen sinks for cleaning.
-6 gallon pots are much safer than glass to carry due to handles and light WAY lighter.
-Much easier to clean...

Some of the cons are:
-Fermenting in a 6 gal pot is tight sometimes, especially if you dont strain your trub. Also if you ferment without temp control it could potentially make a mess.
-SS isnt cheap, I bought my 4, 6 gal bayou classic pots on ebay. Althought I did end up with a bunch of free SS stainer baskets.
-Sealing the pot is a bit tricky, I forget where i bought 15 inch orings but they ended up only being like 2 bux each. I was planning on modifying some barrel lid o-clamps to clamp my pots down and replace the binder clamps, but truthfully, I dont even bother sealing the pots anymore when I ferment. I just put the lid on and put them in the mini fridge.

Many people ferment using corny kegs. they are 5.25 gal

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Old 10-20-2012, 07:26 PM   #7
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why not use a sanke keg w/ cut top. for primary, you really dont need a tight seal, so i just use a simple pot lid..

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Old 10-21-2012, 11:28 PM   #8
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http://morewinemaking.com/view_produ...nk_-_14_Gallon
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slarkin712 View Post
I really like using buckets for primary fermentors, but scratching can give them a short life as a fermentor.
this is simply not true, often repeated but not shown to be true. i would love to have stainless steel fermentors but not because i have scratches in my buckets.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipper1953 View Post
Check out dairy equipment/supply stores or web sites for all kinds of stainless vessels. Try searching ebay using milk can or milk pail.
Aha! This could work:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stainless-St...item1c2c47eebf

I guess I could do even bigger batches with this container. A little more than I wanted to spend, so maybe I'll just keep looking for a better deal. Anyone ever use one of these?
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