Cheap Fermenter for 10-11 Gallon Batches?

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thadius856

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I do 10-11 gallon batches. Right now, batches are split into two 6.5 gallon fermenters and placed in the bottom of my fermentation chamber. If I do a second batch, I just stack a second row of buckets on top to fit a total of ~20 gallons. It's a precarious situation, and kind of a pain to be honest, though cheap and functional.

Looking for some bigger fermenters so I don't have to split the batches. Will be cold crashing and siphoning out with a cask widge, so it can be flat-bottomed.

My floor of my fermentation chamber is 15D x 24W x 37H. If I build a platform and use the hump, I have an area of 15D x 31-1/2W x 27-3/4H.

I'm thinking maybe a 15-gallon closed head barrel?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001MSKUR2/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

Are there better options?
 
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thadius856

thadius856

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Thought of that, but Sanke's are 16-1/8" in diameter and I only have 15" to work with.

I believe it also rules the Speidel fermenters out for me (15-3/4") unless that measurement includes the handles. Can't seem to find solid confirmation on that though.
 

tally350z

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I used one of those water storage drums before. But I got mine from a homebrewstore and it originally came with extract in it. They had a few so I bought them for $20 each. Might be able to find one locally to you if possible.
 
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thadius856

thadius856

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I used one of those water storage drums before. But I got mine from a homebrewstore and it originally came with extract in it. They had a few so I bought them for $20 each. Might be able to find one locally to you if possible.
Emailed my LHBS. We'll see what they say.

New ferm chamber and Spiedel?
$200+ ferm chamber kinda defeats the purpose of going cheap, doesn't it?

Those only hold 8 and 11 gallons, respectively. 4 wojldnt seem to fit in the space I have.

I have a couple of theses and do 11.5 gallon batches in them

they work well for me in a chest freezer

all the best

S_M

PS the lid has a gasket and I just love the handles


http://www.ebay.com/itm/200849025434?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
Will look into. Thanks!

I've been looking at these myself. The auction listing below is for 1 barrel just so you can see the dimensions. This guy sells them in a very reasonably priced three pack pictured below. Look at his other items to find the three pack.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PLASTIC-BAR...760?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35ce79f8e8

Was trying to avois the clamp ring, thought the price makes it hard to ignore them.
 

bsperr

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This 13 gallon vittles vault is a popular option for 10 gallon batches. It's currently $37.49 on Amazon with free shipping. You could fit one in your chamber as is or hold two if you built a platform for the hump and extended the height of the chest freezer with a collar.
 
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thadius856

thadius856

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This 13 gallon vittles vault is a popular option for 10 gallon batches. It's currently $37.49 on Amazon with free shipping. You could fit one in your chamber as is or hold two if you built a platform for the hump and extended the height of the chest freezer with a collar.
Can certainly fit two of the 50 pounders. Collar is already in place in the measurements.

Can maybe fit two 80 pounders, which I'd prefer in case I ever move up to a 15 gallon system (and only a couple bucks more). Plus, would have tons more room for dry hopping with whole hops and headspace.

The 50 pounder would be pretty useful for secondary/aging. Easier than two corny kegs? Dunno, but I already have two dozen corny kegs and a keg washer.

Will have to check with a tape measure. Will be close. Certainly in blowoff territory. Not at all ashamed to say I may re-build the collar to fit the 80 pounders. :ban:
 
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thadius856

thadius856

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I have a couple of theses and do 11.5 gallon batches in them

they work well for me in a chest freezer

all the best

S_M

PS the lid has a gasket and I just love the handles


http://www.ebay.com/itm/200849025434?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649
Looked at these some more.

Unfortunately, they're listed as "50 inch girth" in the listing, which is 50/3.14=15.9" diameter. Not going to fit in my chamber. :\

HomeBrewFinds has some other sources for them, but the measurements appear to be pretty close to the same on those sites also.

A "Some day" wish: fermentation chamber with a base of at least 16x32, not counting the hump.
 
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thadius856

thadius856

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Here's the response from my LHBS:

Hey ******,

I used to get extract in these. I don't any longer, however. And even when I did, it was virtually impossible to get the fruity smell out of them, we tried pbw, bleach and soaking for days and did not work. We tried using as a fermenter, but the beers all took on the smell. I guess if you could find new ones they might work. Try granger.

What about plastic conicals from mini brew?

Or I have heard of folks using the vittle vaults (the containers I use for my specialty malts. They can be found on petco.com

Hope this helps,

Erik
A big thanks to Erik from The Brewmeister in Roseville/Folsom for the timely reply. This, right hurr, is why I don't even bother visiting the other LHBS's in town.
 
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thadius856

thadius856

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Ordered an 80# Vittles Vault II (13.x gallon) for $52 + tax from Amazon. Free 2-day shipping with Prime, of course. At 14x14x28, it'll fit my chamber like a glove. Will probably have to re-build my collar to fit a second one, but will cross that bridge when I get there.

13.x gallon will leave plenty of headspace for krausen. I've been very happy with my six 40# units for grain storage -- super durable and high quality. Never thought of fermenting in them until now.

Gotta figure out how to fit this thing with a thermowell and bulkhead, but that's a topic for a new thread.
 
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thadius856

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Unless the specified dimensions are wrong, the 80lb Vittles Vault holds almost 24 U.S. gallons.

14 x 14 x 28 = 5,488 cubic inches

There are 231 cubic inches in a U.S. gallon.

5,488 / 231 = 23.8 gallons

The 50lb Vittles Vault holds 14 x 14 x 20 / 231 ~= 17 U.S. gallons.

The 30lb Vittles Vault holds 14 x 14 x 13 / 231 ~= 11 U.S. gallons.

One inch of height in a 14 x 14 container = 0.85 U.S. gallons

The 15-pound container holds 6.1 gallons.
Huh. You're right. Well, close anyway.

http://www.gamma2.net/vittles-vault-50.htm
http://www.gamma2.net/vittles-vault-80.htm

The 50# is 13.x gal. The 80# is 20.x gal. Must have gotten them mixed up at some point or another.

Yay for extra extra headspace :ban: I secondary, dryhop and/or age in corny kegs anyway, so this doesn't affect my decision.

Edit: Dang, 20 gallon fermenter for $52 shipped. Still trippin' on that fact.
 
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