So I want to move to stainless steel. Like everyone I would like to have a conical, but unless my hypnotism classes pay off i doubt my girlfriend will go for it.
So I think I will build a half barrel keg fermentor. I was hoping someone could give me better directions because My best seems a bit too bootleg. I guess I am having problems with the lid. Here is my idea explained as simple as I can explain it:
1. Acquire a half barrel keg. If none show up on craigslist I plan to just go down to the local party supply store. Then find someone that is returning a keg for a deposit. I will offer them $2 more than their deposit. (Maybe someone knows of a cheaper way. I think the deposit is $30 or $40 depending on the make of the keg.)
2. I want to be able to reach inside to clean it so I then would chop the top off kind of like I would if I were making a keggle. I want to leave I little more lip than most people leave when cutting out the sanske tap. I will come back to this later.
This is a pic of a normal keggle with a kind of small lip.
3. (I am not sure what material to use on this step.) I want to cut out a circle that will rest on the lip of the newly cut hole. I may use a platic cutting board.
4. Place a bike inner tube (I will have to get the right size) on the lip.
5. Put our plastic (or other material) lid on top of the spare inner tube.
6. Slide a piece of wood in one handle and out the other. This is to hold down the lid.
7. Inflate the inner tube.
8. Drill a hole in the lid, find the right sized stopper to fill that hole, put a fermentation lock in that stopper.
C3. I am not sure what to make the lids from. It should almost never make contact with the beer. I only do 5 gallon batches, and may do a 10 gallon in the future, but I do not think that the beer will foam that high. My best idea right now for this is to cut up a big plastic cutting board. Do they make PET cutting boards?
C4. There has to be a better way to get a better seal on this. A thin bit of rubber will not do the job, but what might? Will rubber let O2 in? Keep in mind that I can always fill the inner tube with CO2.
C6. My metal working skills are very limited. Otherwise I just weld some kind of latch to hold down the lid. I also thought of a ratcheting strap, the kind you might use to hold down cargo in the back of a truck.
In the end I am sure there is a much better way to do this. I am sure there someone that will provide a link. Revvy? BierMuncher?
I am hoping that this post will not devolve into a debate of what fermentor is best. I know everyone has their own point of view.
I should mention that I could always ferment in corny kegs. I have a plan for this as well.