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Old 11-18-2012, 06:56 PM   #1
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Default 15 gallon fermenter ideas?

I currently brew 10 gallon all grain batches and ferment in two ale pales. I'd love to figure out a cheap way of fermenting the entire batch in one vessel. My initial thought was to take a sanke keg and remove the hardware, then just use a rubber cork and airlock. The challenge would be that I wouldn't be able to see what I'm doing when racking AND it would be hard to add anything to the beer once in the fermenter. Has anyone out there explored this? What ideas can you share? It doesn't have to be a sanke keg either.

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Old 11-18-2012, 07:00 PM   #2
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do a search for plastic conicles

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Old 11-18-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
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This is exactly what I do. I use on orange carboy cap. It works well. Just make sure you have the same sitting on some cinder blocks. When you empty the sanke the flow needs to be down hill. The are hard to move full. I ferment about 12 falling in one.

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Old 11-18-2012, 07:02 PM   #4
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I use tall 1/4 barrel kegs to ferment my beers. I also have a 50L sanke keg that I modified with a 4" TC ferrule and cap to ferment in. Even the 1/4 barrel kegs are super easy to use. Adding things is no different than doing it in carboys. I also use a modified TC cap to transfer via a CO2 push (no lifting needed). IME, you don't need to really see inside the vessel when siphoning out. It's pretty easy to know when you've gone too far (sent the tube in too deep) and can simply back out a bit (same as if you're racking a dark brew from the bucket).

If you're interested, I could make up a 4" TC cap for you to use for the fermenter. You'll need to get the ferrule installed, and have a CO2 source (simple paintball gun or even a pocket charger and gas QD would do). PM me if you're interested.

I'll get a picture of the keg and fitting and post it up later.

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Old 11-18-2012, 07:17 PM   #5
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Plastic mart has 15 gallon conical a for a fair price. They are hard food grade plastic. They are also easy to crop yeast and modify with additional ports.

I've hear of some people adding a small window on the lid so you can see the beer.

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Old 11-18-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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Just use a 1/2 bbl sanke and pull the spear for the cheapest way. If you want to be a little sophisticated you can add a 4" TC ferrule and modify an end cap as Golddiggie did.

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Old 11-18-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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IMO/IME, the need to see what's going on inside the fermenting vessel is for noobs... The sooner you get over it, the sooner you can concentrate on what's really important... Getting great beer on a regular basis.

Also, nothing beats stainless for fermenting. Plastic is ok for a while, but eventually you WILL have to replace it. I'd rather have a vessel that will never need replacing. IF there's an infection, it's a major effort to get it out of plastic. It's super easy in sanke fermenters (simply boil some water in it).

BTW, I can see nothing but problems being caused by installing a 'window' in a fermenting vessel.

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Old 11-18-2012, 07:39 PM   #8
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Some great ideas. I think I'll try using a keg for starters. I'm not familiar with what a 4" TC ferrule is, but I am curious as to what it is, how you use it, and the benefits of having one.

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Old 11-18-2012, 07:43 PM   #9
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http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zRuc3oI2qh...ct-pr766-2.jpg

The top of this keg is a TC fitting. The ferrule is the weld on portion that everything attaches with a clamp. Obviously that picture shows a sanke valve welded into the TC end cap.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinghole View Post
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zRuc3oI2qh...ct-pr766-2.jpg

The top of this keg is a TC fitting. The ferrule is the weld on portion that everything attaches with a clamp. Obviously that picture shows a sanke valve welded into the TC end cap.
Wow! That is slick. I can see the advantages to having something like that.
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