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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Using 5.5 gal SS pressure cooker for fermentation vessel?
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:30 PM   #1
wantonsoup
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Default Using 5.5 gal SS pressure cooker for fermentation vessel?

I wish I could find a reasonably priced 6+ gallon stainless pressure cooker, but I can't. The 22qt (5.5 gal) Mirro one is everywhere and not too expensive.

Is it lunacy to use such a small vessel? Or would it be fine with a blow off tube? The other alternative would be a good SS stockpot with a good clampable lid but I'm not seeing a good option at a good price right now.

Thanks!

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Old 10-19-2012, 06:45 PM   #2
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I'm not sure why you wouldn't get a bucket for fermenting? It's cheap.
The pressure cooker should work fine if you pull the pressure valve off the top and use an airlock in there, plus keep the batch size down to probably 4 gallons.

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Old 10-19-2012, 06:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45_70sharps View Post
pull the pressure valve off the top and use an airlock in there
Yeah, that's exactly what I thought I'd do if I got that pressure cooker.

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plus keep the batch size down to probably 4 gallons
I'm guessing that'll be an inevitability of this vessel - I don't love the idea of having to down-convert every recipe as my local supply shop sells nice pre-measured recipe kits, but I guess we're talking about a minute of work to get it right for my volume.

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I'm not sure why you wouldn't get a bucket for fermenting? It's cheap.
We're cooky about using plastic for foods and drinks. Feel free to judge, I know we're nuts
I have contemplated a glass carboy as some people have done but feel the stainless setup would be super easy to clean compared.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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I would use the carboy if you don't want to use plastic.
The plastic is safe and fine, but I understand where you are coming from. I know others that aren't crazy about plastics and won't own any coated pans.

I think in the long run you will be happier with using standard equipment like a carboy. Just get a funnel to pour the wort into it. You aren't going to find a non plastic auto siphon or hose, but at least the carboy and funnel could be non plastic.

Your brew shop probably has Beersmith on their computer. If you call ahead they can re size the batch, go from grain to extract or do other mod's with the software for you.

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Old 10-19-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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Well it turns out although I was searching for SS the one I found is aluminum, so it looks like I'll go with glass for my fermenting vessel. Thanks for the information and advice.

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Old 01-03-2013, 04:02 PM   #6
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I was thinking the same thing..

Why couldnt a 22 qt pressure cooker server double duty?

22 Qt last I checked was 5.5 gal only have to brew 2.5

I was thinking then you could tap the bottom and put a spout and thermometer on it like a brew keg.

Make the mash in it (And thus sanitized due to boiling)

Drain from spigot

Cool Wort

Fill and get OG

Seal the pressure lid (Which has a built in vent for steam and on this model adjustable down to 5 PSI)

Sanitary, sealed from the light, all in one No mess and no fuss..

At less than $90 why not..? Beer is stored in Aluminum cans, so I can't see it imparting a metal flavor to the beer anymore than beer cans do.. or am I wrong and thats why its not done..

If Aluminium is an issue.. then why not take something like an 8 gallon SS brew pot. Only thing needed would be a vent. As I think the weight of the lid would hold it down well, if not you could put a seal on it easy enough.

It would eliminate possible contamination going into the fermenter and as mentioned before, due to the boiling of the container it would definitely be sterile.

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Old 01-03-2013, 04:21 PM   #7
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My pressure cooker is an old hand me down and a definitely not 5.5 gallons and it weighs a ton. Glass carboys are already hard enough to move and I'd have to imagine a 5.5 or 6 gallon SS pressure cooker with five gallons of beer in it would be pretty heavy. Just my thoughts.

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Old 01-03-2013, 04:38 PM   #8
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That's the beauty of it.. If you use a propane burner.. no moving necessary

That said, moving my 5 gallons around in a plastic tub with no handles isn't much of a joy.

With the kettle and/or the pressure cooker you would have nice handles to make it easier to move to storage. Also with a locked down lid.. no mess.

To me it just seems like a real easy way to do it and not worry about a second stage of sanitation, and the boiling of the wort would sanitize the pot and top.

Is there any reason to NOT do it..?

I have to get a bigger pot anyway.. and might try it. I'm thinking of going the 8 gal kettle route drilling a hole with a rubber ring in the top big enough for the vent to fit tight , and find something to make a gasket from to gasket the top. Also may come up with a simple clamping system for the top.

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Old 01-03-2013, 11:54 PM   #9
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Are you going to do closed vessel pressure fermentation? If so, use a blowoff for the first 3 days or so then clamp it down with a spunding valve to control fermentation pressure. You could also use a corny keg the same way.

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Old 01-04-2013, 12:46 AM   #10
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I guess the more I thought about it the more it just makes sense..

The ONLY question I have left, is if I use a pressure cooker instead of modifying a brew kettle.

Is Aluminum an issue with fermentation?

That's an issue as pressure cookers only come in 22 QT in Aluminum (at least as far as I can tell)

That said, looking at a brew kettle.. it will be wickedly simple to get a solid seal on the lid. Use split tubing around the edge and a dab of silicone at the gap. AS for the top hold it down with a few c clamps and drill a hole in the top for the vent.

The split seal can be put on after boiling and you have cooled the pot.

Then for extra protection use some electrical tape around the gap

Done and done.. you simply should not be able to sanitize any better than a pot that has been under fire and a wort that has been to the boiling point.

Then with the spigot on the thing, you can drain it into a secondary carboy directly with little exposure to air..

It seems so simple, I have to wonder why no one has done it before. Usually in cases like this there HAS to be a reason. That or no others have done it but havent mentioned it.

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