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Old 03-16-2007, 01:11 PM   #1
Organic Mechanics
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Default WalMart Fermenters

Anyone here used those 5 gal plastic water bottles found at walmart as primary's? I knew them as Alhambra Bottles back in the day.
Like 6 dollars a pop at walmart.
I have done about 6 batches so far in them,
I also have 3 @ 1/2 bbl kegs as fermenters
I see no appreciable difference in taste using the plastic as long as you soak them for a few days first?
They are easier to clean seeing you can see when they are clean .

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Old 03-16-2007, 01:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Organic Mechanics
Anyone here used those 5 gal plastic water bottles found at walmart as primary's? I knew them as Alhambra Bottles back in the day.
Like 6 dollars a pop at walmart.
I have done about 6 batches so far in them,
I also have 3 @ 1/2 bbl kegs as fermenters
I see no appreciable difference in taste using the plastic as long as you soak them for a few days first?
They are easier to clean seeing you can see when they are clean .
I've used them as a secondary and had questionable results. I'm doing a test now where I have most of my blueberry mead in glass and some in plastic. I'll report on the results.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:17 PM   #3
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From what I have read those water bottles are no good because they are oxygen permiable. Glass carboys or Better Bottles are preferable.

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Old 03-16-2007, 01:23 PM   #4
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You'll be limited to about 4.5 gallons when most of us like to end up with 5.25 gallons in primary with enough headspace for krausen. If the number on the bottom is anything except #1, I'd skip it.

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Old 03-16-2007, 03:51 PM   #5
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It's been discussed here before. Nobody had any negative experiences, only myths.

In theory, the wrong plastic allows oxygen in. But in practise, a couple weeks in a fermenter causes no grief. Verses several months bottled in the wrong plastic, nobody seems to know from actual, scientific experience.

Kind of like the myth that in the cheapest kits, cane sugar adds "cider flavor". Cane sugar is a poly-saccaride of the same simple sugars as are fermented all the time, but cheap kits use other cheap ingredients too, as well as short cuts in procedure. More study needed with this myth too...

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Old 03-16-2007, 08:45 PM   #6
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I have used the blue 5 gallon water cooler bottles before with no problems.
I use the 3 gallons alot if I am going to make a test batch.

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Old 03-16-2007, 11:14 PM   #7
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I'd be fine with using oxygen-permeable plastic as a primary because any oxygen that gets in will either be used by the yeast (less likely) or (more likely) it'll be pushed out of solution by CO2 produced by the yeast. If the fermentation is not active, however, I would not consider using oxygen-permeable plastic because the oxygen will remain in solution and alter tasty beer compounds; your beer will taste like cardboard.

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