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Old 08-01-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
Peruvian802
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Default Fermenting small batch in Mason jars

I had a gallon extra wort from an IPA that I tossed some Simcoe and Nottingham I had laying around in and dropped it all in two 1/2 gallon Mason jars. I put the tops on loosely and it looked like a light krauzen built up, but I never could tell if it was actively fermenting (no bubbles in an airlock). I wasn't very critical of this brew so I didn't take an OG. After a week I transferred it into a demijohn and any fermentation is very slow (airlock not bubbling much or at all). It smells just fine with no band aid, sour, etc. scent.

Has anyone ever used Mason/Ball jars to ferment? Should I just let it ride or make sure to take a gravity reading at this point? Let me know your thoughts.

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Old 08-01-2013, 06:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Peruvian802 View Post
I had a gallon extra wort from an IPA that I tossed some Simcoe and Nottingham I had laying around in and dropped it all in two 1/2 gallon Mason jars. I put the tops on loosely and it looked like a light krauzen built up, but I never could tell if it was actively fermenting (no bubbles in an airlock). I wasn't very critical of this brew so I didn't take an OG. After a week I transferred it into a demijohn and any fermentation is very slow (airlock not bubbling much or at all). It smells just fine with no band aid, sour, etc. scent.

Has anyone ever used Mason/Ball jars to ferment? Should I just let it ride or make sure to take a gravity reading at this point? Let me know your thoughts.
This is my main method for brewing "test batches" of weird beers. If I'm feeling especially motivated, I'll make a test batch in a growler or gallon jug. My only concern would be your approach to an airlock or lack thereof. Maybe drill a few lids with a hole sized for a small stopper and stick a cheapo triple bubble or s-curve airlock in there rather than putting the lid back on loosely. Let us know your results.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:42 PM   #3
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This did ferment down to 1.010 when I transferred it to a demijohn. It's now in bottles and seems just fine.

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Old 08-24-2013, 12:32 PM   #4
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I cracked a bottle of this last night. Apparently during active fermentation a Mason/Ball jar works just fine as a small fermenter.

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Old 08-29-2013, 06:59 AM   #5
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I have made a few small batch fermenters, One of the main was out of 2 liter soda bottles. I am going to purchase and modify some of the 1/2 gallon mason jars for brewing test batches of mead. I will share the plan with you all, I drill the tops to the diameter of large fish tank air lines for the bubblers. From there you use a hot glue gun to seal the outside and when it is time to brew you can close the lid tightly and put the other end of the hose in a 12 to 16 oz water bottle filled half way. This will create an airlock and allow you to watch the bubbles. Also if our must (wert for beer brewers) reaches your airlock it will just spit into the water bottle and not blow the top off of your vestal. Give it a whirl if you have an odd vestal that does not lend it's self to a s curve airlock or triple. Thanks!

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Old 08-29-2013, 07:49 AM   #6
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I swear by old carlo rossi jugs. Fits a 6.5 bung and you can ferment however much quantity you want. I've done plenty of half-gallon or gallon of somewhere in-between without problems since the fermentation safely blankets the goods for a while, not for long-term aging, but for test batches that'll only see 2-3 weeks in the vessel it's the way to go.

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Old 08-29-2013, 12:20 PM   #7
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Glad to hear that it worked! I've never thought of using mason jars, but I'm going to try it next time in screwing around with small batch recipes.

I too swear by carlo rossi jugs, they're perfect for all kinds of brewing applications.

Cheers!

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Old 08-31-2013, 05:29 PM   #8
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like if you wanna make a gallon-sized starter

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