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Old 12-27-2011, 03:25 AM   #1
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Default 100 year old fermentaion chamber

So I am a new cider maker, and do not ferment beer at all. I have been exploring cheap fermentation chambers to expand my product to the 20 gallon per batch step. I have looked at plastic conical inductor tanks and it made me remember, I have a tank similar in shape and near the size I am looking for. the big difference between my tank and the conical inductors is mine is copper.

So the ultimate question, can I use copper as a fermentation chamber for cider?

Here are some pictures of the tank I am thinking of using. the total volume of the the tank is 27 gallons. It needs some serious cleaning but is structurally sound. The original use for the tank was a hot water heater, circa 1900s.

So I am open to thoughts. Anyone?

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Old 12-27-2011, 03:44 AM   #2
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The viability of a copper fermenter probably hinges on the pH of fermenting cider.

For beer, it'd probably not be a good idea, as the pH is low enough that the copper will corrode, certainly to the detriment of the yeast, but possibly to the detriment of the beer drinker as well. And if the brewing water has sulfates, some very bad things could result...


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Old 12-27-2011, 08:03 AM   #3
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Copper is usually not recommended for fermenting because of the reasons listed above. Seems to me you could sell that as an antique, scrap metal, or to an enterprising distiller for a hefty sum and buy several food grade plastic tanks with the profits
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:07 PM   #4
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You'll find that your tank is actually tin lined... I had one like that I considered using for a BK, but in the end removing the tin lining was too much effort, so I sold it for scrap (got a couple hundred out of it FYI).


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