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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Polyethylene drums as fermenters?
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Old 06-02-2008, 05:18 PM   #1
p4ck37p1mp
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Default Polyethylene drums as fermenters?

I'm soon to up my batch sizes for my 'house amber' to 20 gallons, I found a kettle but I'm contemplating the fermenter. I can use 4 6.5 gallon carboys or I can get a 30 gallon drum. I know there is some argument over oxidation through plastics but I'm wondering if its actually all that noticeable. I'd love to get a stainless, but that just isn't in the budget right now. The drum has a 3/4" hole for an airlock / blow off hose and I'm figuring I can use a bulkhead for a drain and just build a stand thats higher than my kegs to drain it. Being that I use a bathroom in the basement to ferment in (stays <70 all year for ales) my wife may kill me. I do have a home office that I could do this in with less risk to my health. I know I can fit the carboys in the bathroom and they're individually easy to move around and clean. I'd probably have to use a 5 gallon bucket to fill the drum. Anyone doing / contemplating anything similar?

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Old 06-02-2008, 05:32 PM   #2
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I know that lots of people use plastic as a primary. My personal thought on this is that for the couple of weeks it is going to be in there it will not be a problem. The only thing I would worry about is if the drum held something else in a former life that it would not impact the flavor of my beer. Good luck.

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Old 06-02-2008, 05:33 PM   #3
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I want to say that there was a discussion about this before. I can't find it at the moment, but I will keep searching. I think as long as the drum is PET or HDPE you should be alright, but don't quote me on that. Most new home brewers, myself included, use a plastic 'Ale Pail'.

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Old 06-02-2008, 06:05 PM   #4
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Some local guys have 2bbl system and use PET drums for their fermentation tanks. The also use food grade liners, so cleanup is a breeze. I have never noticed any off flavors from this in their beers.

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