Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Milk Can (40L, Aluminum made) can it be transformed into a good fermenter?
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:02 PM   #1
allegrini
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Default Milk Can (40L, Aluminum made) can it be transformed into a good fermenter?

Hi there, new to HBT (I debated if I should include this question in the newbies topic or here).

I'm assembling a new kit and I came accross a 40L Milk Transport Can, brand-new made of Aluminium, with an air tight lid, O-ring and clasp lock... Similar to the one on the end of the post.

I started thinking of getting one and converting into a Fermenter.

Here (I'm in Brazil) we do not have easy/affordable access to stainless steel conical fermenters so I'm after alternatives to plastic buckets.

Has anyone seen one of these converted to Fermenters?

My initial idea is:

1) acquire the milk-can
2) drill a whole on top and install an airlock
3) drill a whole on the bottom and install a 1/2" spherical ball-valve and spigot

Voila, I have a new fermenter.

Any ideas/Suggetions/critics/comments etc?

Thanks lads!

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Allegrini




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Old 03-24-2013, 03:26 AM   #2
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As long as it is easilty cleaned / sanitized, it should work.


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Old 03-24-2013, 04:28 AM   #3
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doesnt aluminum go pretty nasty when u leave liquid in it for long periods?
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:33 AM   #4
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I would worry about metal flavor. Thats why soft drinks/beers in aluminum cans have a liner sprayed in them. To keep the leaching of metallic flavors. SS would be fine but aluminum will effect the taste if left in for long term.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:03 AM   #5
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Also beer gets much more acidic during fermentation. It might get to the point where it will eat away at the oxide layer and literally eat the aluminum. Aluminum is only stable to around 4.0ph. Fermentation drops ph to around that. Not a good idea.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:02 AM   #6
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I just can"t imagine an aluminum milk can. Aluminum?
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tektonjp View Post
I just can"t imagine an aluminum milk can. Aluminum?
This is not a storage can, normally used for transportation more than anything...

Once again, I'd prefer a Blichmann Conical Fermentor as an ideal choice, and even price taken out of the equation the problem is that it does not arrive here. It's not feasible to import it.
Just to illustrate how stupid taxation can be, I quoted a SS fermentor from China with all the hoops and loops and the initial USD 800 cost would have another USD 1700 added for Shipping and on top of that Brazil adds a lovely 70% import duty on the cost+shipping raising the purchase to a lovely USD 4250. Now, would you pay that for a 100L fermentor? I wouldn't...

So I'm looking into alternatives to plastic fermenting buckets...

J

Apologies for the rant on taxes....
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabass07 View Post
Also beer gets much more acidic during fermentation. It might get to the point where it will eat away at the oxide layer and literally eat the aluminum. Aluminum is only stable to around 4.0ph. Fermentation drops ph to around that. Not a good idea.
Thanks, that's something to keep an eye on... And a very good reason not to use AL in the fermenting tank. Is there anyway to increase the oxide layer prior to fermenting? Maybe an extra boil or something?

Cheers!

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Old 03-24-2013, 10:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrutalBrew View Post
I would worry about metal flavor. Thats why soft drinks/beers in aluminum cans have a liner sprayed in them. To keep the leaching of metallic flavors. SS would be fine but aluminum will effect the taste if left in for long term.
Brutal, Thanks for the reply! :-) What do you think is "long term"
The initial 10 day for fermenting or up to weeks for conditioning?

I can see the trashing that leaving beer for long periods would cause the the AL and most likely transfer taste to the final product...

Any options you can think of? SS is not unfortunately and glass carboys are too expensive as well... I'm seeing lots of plastic buckets ahead of me in the future ...

Cheers!

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Old 03-24-2013, 11:33 AM   #10
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are you looking for alternatives to plastic buckets because of the plastic? or the size of the buckets?

if plastic isn't the problem, look to see if your LHBS sells liquid extract in these 15 gallon (56 L) containers, they make for awesome fermenters.

bottling spigot fits perfectly on the small opening. add a blowoff tube and you're good to go

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