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Old 11-25-2011, 03:13 AM   #1
thx997303
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Default Possible fermenter?

I noticed this on Midwest homebrew supplies under plastic fermenters.

5 Gallon Plastic Hedpack with cap

I have a few of these, and they aren't damaged in anyway.

I do understand that it would need to be kept to about 4 gallon batches or so because of headspace, but does anybody think these could make a usable fermenter?


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Old 11-25-2011, 03:16 AM   #2
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sure - as long as it is a food grade plastic which i think it is - that would work fine. Just make sure to get it REALLY clean like inside the handle.


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Old 11-25-2011, 03:24 AM   #3
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The handle is definitely a concern.

My thought was to run a brush through the handle area with some good cleanser, then allow the interior to soak in a cleaning solution, hopefully upside down so the handle can soak. Then of course a good sanitize with starsan.

These containers are made for storing drinking water and the like, so I would assume food grade lol.

I was also thinking I could likely rig a stopper and airlock to the cap, does this sound like a workable idea?

If so, as soon as I make it to my LHBS, I'm starting some apfelwein!
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:47 PM   #4
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I use similar containers, they're made out of HDPE so pretty much the same as a pail ale.

They're hard to clean though. I usually put a gallon of oxyclean-water in there and shake the hell out of it for 5 to 7 minutes, rinse & repeat and finish with some starstan whilst they're not being used

edit:
So far no infections but i'm only 4 batches in. Mine seem to have a bit of headspace after the 5g mark so I've had no issue getting 20L in with no blow-offs

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Old 11-25-2011, 10:00 PM   #5
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Keep it filled with a mild bleach solution when not in use. It will kill anything, and also clean it. You can lay it on its side to soak the handle area. Rinse with a little very hot water prior to use to get the bleach out (cold water will not remove the bleach film which will form on the surface).

If you can drill a 0.5 inch diameter hole in the cap, you can insert a grommet that will hold and seal an airlock. The same grommets that are used in fermenting buckets. You can get them from your LHBS (about $0.35), or at hardware stores. I have bought a couple at Lowes; surprisingly, they were more expensive at Lowes (2 for $1), they were in the specialty fastener area.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cval View Post
I use similar containers, they're made out of HDPE so pretty much the same as a pail ale.

They're hard to clean though. I usually put a gallon of oxyclean-water in there and shake the hell out of it for 5 to 7 minutes, rinse & repeat and finish with some starstan whilst they're not being used

edit:
So far no infections but i'm only 4 batches in. Mine seem to have a bit of headspace after the 5g mark so I've had no issue getting 20L in with no blow-offs
I was worried about headspace with a 5 gallon batch of brew.

Of course, I'll probably be making some apfelwein in this, so headspace shouldn't be as much of a concern.

I have two of these sitting around, so i figure a good cleaning and a few parts and I'll be in business.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:42 AM   #7
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I picked up a couple of this type container at a local restaurant.. free. They had Canola Oil in them.. Might take some work to clean the oil from them.. but, should be great.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:51 AM   #8
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I deal with these on an almost daily basis at work (filled with canola oil also). I should grab one and see if I can clean it out enough to ferment in.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:10 AM   #9
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I work in the restaurant business and use these oil jugs for most of the ciders and meads I have done. Things I don't have to worry about head space as much. I have a couple in the basement bulk aging now.
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thx997303 View Post
I noticed this on Midwest homebrew supplies under plastic fermenters.

5 Gallon Plastic Hedpack with cap

I have a few of these, and they aren't damaged in anyway.

I do understand that it would need to be kept to about 4 gallon batches or so because of headspace, but does anybody think these could make a usable fermenter?
My question is why would you want to use something that has nooks and crannies to clean when you can pick up a large opening bucket as cheap as chips?
I could see more use for them as a wort storage container (cube) than a fermenter.

Regarding suggestions you leave it filled with bleach when not in use that may help. I only use plastic fermenters and have done for 30+years and just clean them gently after use with sodium percarbonate solution (Napisan or similar), air dry them and then put lid on and store. Give them the Starsan treatment when ready to use again.


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