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Old 10-17-2007, 11:55 PM   #1
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Default Can you take a 1 gal plastic jug that the juice comes in to brew quick batches?

I was thinking of experimenting with different fruit additives and yeasts, but didn't want to devote multi-gallon batches to the process. Can I just siphon off a bit of juice, toss in the yeast and throw a baloon over the top and an airlock?

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Old 10-18-2007, 12:05 AM   #2
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im no expert but i was talking to a family friend who does something similar to that with gallon milk jugs of cider. he found a site (which i cant personally remember or find) that makes cheap airlocks that fit gallon milk jugs and aparently that how he started, and still experiments with hard ciders....

so its probably do-able.....

i would have remembered more details but we had the discussion over quite a few belgian tripels!

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Old 10-18-2007, 12:07 AM   #3
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I was more worried about the inegrity or permeability of the plastic, but I will try to look that site up.

Thanks

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Old 10-18-2007, 02:10 AM   #4
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I've never done the plastic jug thing, so I don't know how that would work. But I HAVE (very often) used an empty Carlo Rossi 4L glass jug and bought a #6 bung and an airlock. Works great- that's how I make my famous Welch's grape juice wine. The airlock is $.79, so no way would I go to a balloon system to save a dollar. Even though you're making cheap wine, you're making it to drink. The balloons can pop (even with a pinhole) or allow in oxygen. An airlock is cheap insurance. I also use the large wine bottles (1.75L) with stoppers that fit and airlocks, too. I don't remember what size the bung should be for those bottles, but it's obvious when you're at the LHBS because they are the smallest ones. The #6 ones for the 1 gallon jugs are easy to find.

I've had a few friends collect those jugs, drank one myself, and also got some from the recycling center. Well, ok, I was dumpster diving, but it sounds better to say I acquired them from the recycling center.

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Old 10-18-2007, 02:14 AM   #5
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Off topic, I know.....Yooper, you would be shocked if you knew how much dumpster diving has contributed to my collection of bottles and jugs!

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Old 10-18-2007, 02:45 AM   #6
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My cider came in gallon glass jugs. Gotta love the orchard that sells you the juice and gives you the fermenter for free. Look around, you can probably find a few. I just prefer glass, for oxygen permeability (or lack thereof) and durability.

Mine take no. 7-1/2 (barely) or no. 8 stoppers for what that's worth, but it's fairly easy to eyeball.

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Old 10-18-2007, 03:31 AM   #7
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Plastic gallon jugs make fine primary fermenters for one gallon batches. I've made a half dozen gallons this way already this season and brewed at least fifty gallons this way over the past decade, from many different suppliers. I've never had a problem (knock on wood) with the plastic jugs. As you point out, they are great for experimenting and a lot easier to handle than carboys and kegs

A nice thing about starting fermentation in the plastic jugs is that you dont have to clean the primary fermentation vessel - you just toss it in the recycling bin after you rack it. I would recommend glass for the secondary. I've had acceptable results with using plastic for secondary fermentation, but I usually only let secondary fermentation go for a couple of days when making gallon batches and then bottle or drink it.

All you need is a number six drilled stopper and an airlock. My advice is go ahead and start brewing it in the plastic jug and you'll have another week to decide if you want to rack it to glass for secondary fermentation.

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Old 10-18-2007, 05:23 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the info, I will have to hit the homebrew suppl for more yeast so I might as well pick up some more stoppers and airlocks while I am at it.

I can order 1gal glass bottles online for $3-4 and since I haven't seen any locally I will just do that probably. At least in a few more days after I check a few more sources.

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Old 10-18-2007, 02:34 PM   #9
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Not only have I fermented cider in their original (glass) jugs, I use them for meads and melomels. Had to buy a bunch of airlocks, but they're cheap.

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