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Old 11-05-2012, 11:19 PM   #1
brant740
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Default 5 gal Water bottle as conical fermenter

Hello,

Has anyone converted a 5 gallon water bottle to a conical fermenter? I like the idea of removing yeast through the bottom of the fermenter and I can get the bottles for free.

I was thinking about using pvc glue to add a fitting at the opening and then adding a small bulkhead on the bottom for a blow off tube. Water bottle would then be put on a stand upside down in a water bath.

Does this make sense? Is there anything I should watch out for?



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Old 11-05-2012, 11:23 PM   #2
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What kind of water bottle? Many are not safe for fermentation purposes.



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Old 11-05-2012, 11:54 PM   #3
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They are the transparent blue 5 gallon water cooler bottles that you can find in just about every office.

What would make a plastic jug unsafe for fermentation? Is there a plastic additive that I need to watch out for?

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:18 AM   #4
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What they are made of and what additives can leech into the beer. Almost all of those are technically unsuitable for fermentation. The beer (pH) can react with the plastic. There are many threads on here about them. There's a possibility they are toxic and/or cancerous. Personally I used one twice, read about them and abandoned it. Now I only store brewing water in them.

Better bottles are the opposite and have the quality you are looking for. Personally I wouldn't take the risk. While one or two batches won't be harmful, the verdicts out on using them continuously. They are pretty much use at your own risk. There a wiki page about the plastics (mostly bottles) that have a recycling number at the bottom. Just about all do. Certain numbers are worse than others. PVC is the worst I believe.

IMO I wouldn't risk my health over 30$

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Old 11-06-2012, 03:21 AM   #5
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I searched the forum and while I only read 3-4 threads it sounds like plastic is ok as long as it is BPA-free, food grade and sanitized.

The bottles I have are BPA free so I think I will give it a try.

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:47 PM   #6
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Goodluck. Just don't use for a secondary, they do let in o2.

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Old 11-06-2012, 12:51 PM   #7
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You can't use these as conical fermentors by turning them upside down and installing a valve in the neck. The slope of the "shoulders" of the carboys is way too low for this. This is reportedly why the Fermentap was discontinued - it just wasn't very good for dumping the yeast.

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Old 11-06-2012, 07:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brant740 View Post
I searched the forum and while I only read 3-4 threads it sounds like plastic is ok as long as it is BPA-free, food grade and sanitized.

The bottles I have are BPA free so I think I will give it a try.
keep in mind that a "food grade" rating for a water is not the same as "food grade" for holding a non-pH neutral liquid like beer. especially in the presence of solvents like alcohol.

you can do what you want with your own body, but personally i wont be using any old material i find in the basement or dumpster to hold my food (or beer).
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:36 AM   #9
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It is interesting how divided people are on using these. After researching it a little more I found a lot of people who love to use them and chemists that say they are safe. I also ran into an equal (but more passionate) number who would never use them and feel use of them could be adding more carcinogens into the mix.

I ended up using these for primary, but will probably switch to buckets for the secondary. If I dont post back with results you can assume the bottle got me

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Old 11-20-2012, 11:26 PM   #10
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First taste out of the Water bottle fermenters tasted great. There were no off flavors or plastic taste. I will be moving to larger batches soon so I probably wont use them again for awhile but would not feel bad about using them again.

Another plus of the water bottles from Culligan were that the lids have a hole in the top that 1/2" (maybe 5/8") vinyl tubing fits in perfectly to make a blow off tube.



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