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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Using a 5 or 10 Gal. Beverage Cooler as Fermenter
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:59 PM   #1
Dr1nkBeer
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Default Using a 5 or 10 Gal. Beverage Cooler as Fermenter

Has anyone ever tried using a screw on lid beverage cooler with a ball valve as a fermenting vessel?.. it came to me as I was looking at my bucket bubble away next to my mash tun..

thinking its. Food Grade.. sealed and has little affect on abient temperature changes... good no?

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Old 07-13-2012, 07:04 PM   #2
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Could be done, sure. Same "scaries" exist with plastic buckets in terms of scratches as hotbeds for bacteria, and perhaps the cooler walls are not quite as scratch-resistant as a bucket?? I dont' know on that one. Starsan is pretty damn good for that type of stuff, though.

The key is if it's *mostly* airtight. Others, chime-in.

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Old 07-13-2012, 07:16 PM   #3
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The ones i have seal so well i need to unscrew teh lid to allow the flow to continue through the spigot... definately air tight...

I'm thinking i'm onto something.. i can get 5 gal. coolers for 20 bucks... with screw on lids... not to mention that if you need add some additional yeast during your fermetation.. you can just unscrew carefully.. and add... And you know what else.. i've alway worried about the metal hanger type handle busting off the bucket while transporting to the fermentation spot... the coolers have rigid and stronger handles.

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Old 07-13-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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Sure you could...

but it seems an awful expense when compared to a bucket.

I mean new those things are two or three times more expensive and if you use your Mash Tun for fermenting you will have to wait untill it is done before you do your next batch...

and the seal... as far as I know I have never heard of someone getting their beer infected because it did not seal tight.

The out pressure and the layer of CO2 keep the beasties out,,, I mean we usually put our beer in a place where the wind is not "rushing" around.

I have really only heard of beer getting infected because of damaged equpment that harbors "beasties" or improper sanitation....

Think about it... no one knew a lot about bacteria 200 years ago and they have been brewing good beer a lot longer than that.

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Old 07-13-2012, 07:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPBISME View Post
Sure you could...

but it seems an awful expense when compared to a bucket.

I mean new those things are two or three times more expensive and if you use your Mash Tun for fermenting you will have to wait untill it is done before you do your next batch....
He said he can get 5g. coolers for 20 bucks, meaning they wouldn't be his mash-tun. Of course that's slightly more expensive than a bucket and lid (not by too much) and the headspace isn't nearly as much.

For small batches I use Menards/Home Depot buckets. Never had one issue.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:46 PM   #6
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exactly.. right.. these would be additional coolers. I was thinking about using 10 gal coolers for my 5-7 gal. batches...

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Old 07-13-2012, 07:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPBISME View Post
Think about it... no one knew a lot about bacteria 200 years ago and they have been brewing good beer a lot longer than that.
Yeah.. and some of them still use those same strains of yeast... YIKES!.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:03 PM   #8
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The only thing I'd be concerned about is internal heat generated by the yeast. Assuming you pitch at or below your fermentation temperature, since yeast are exothermic, how are you going to keep the heat from getting out of control? Granted, you're not going to create fusion worthy heat, but I bet it gets too hot in there with no way to cool it down since they're insulated.

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Old 07-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #9
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The only thing I'd be concerned about is internal heat generated by the yeast. Assuming you pitch at or below your fermentation temperature, since yeast are exothermic, how are you going to keep the heat from getting out of control? Granted, you're not going to create fusion worthy heat, but I bet it gets too hot in there with no way to cool it down since they're insulated.
Good point. A caveat to the insulating power of a cooler is that it doesn't let heat OUT as easily, either.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:31 PM   #10
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Thats interesting... so thats where your abient temps (my basement is usually perfect for fermenting) and the bucket with thin walls makes more sense. Same goes for glass carboys...

so basically yeast "sweat" and produce heat. Never thought about that...

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