Cheap Fermenting vessels?

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DJBod129

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SO I was browsing my local Target today (to replace the microwave that took a crap on me yesterday), and I saw that they sold these LINK - Click me!. They were empty, and had a price tag of $13.99. Not to sound too cheap (which I really am, what do I care?), but that's $10 less than a 5 gallon better bottle from my LHBS

Do you think these would work as a decent fermenter? Maybe a dedicated Apfelwein fermenter or an extra secondary? Would you worry about a plastic flavor in whatever was made in it (i guess that would be there on a better bottle too?)?

I was just curious, since they also had a 3 gallon that might be good for me to try my first mead in (for $10, IIRC) :rockin:
 
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McKBrew

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Depends on the type of plastic. Also if you are doing 5G batches, a 5G fermenter is going to be a bit tight. Expect blow-off.
 

Duckfoot

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I am gonna say no...

I saw the same ones and you need to read the little recycling code on the bottom of the bottle...

According to all the threads I have read up on here (and there are A LOT), the only 'acceptable' recycling codes are 1's and I believe some #2's (maybe a #3 also? Someone will correct me if I am wrong).... The Primo's are #7...

Granted, you will find people on both sides of the argument, so just do a search on 'water bottles' and I am sure you will find plenty of info...

If you wanna go big-boy style, check out these:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f85/my-25-15-gallon-fermenter-70873/

I got two for around $40...

Good luck :mug:
 

mynamestanner

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Check out Lowes. They got 3 gallon and 5 gallon jugs. The 5 gallon jugs are no 7, so no good, but the 3 gallons were no 1. I got a couple i use for medium batches of beer or cider. Not sure about long term storage, but worked good for primary fermenting.
 

WBC

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Any fermenter must be a container that can be sanitized and is food grade. It must be designed in a way that you can clean it properly because if any bacteria get started it will ruin the brew. I would try to find a 6.5 gallon container so you can make 5 gallons of beer at one brewing session. You need air space above the beer for the krausen (foam) that rises during the fermentation and to attach a blowoff hose. Keep in mind that if you go smaller the recipes would have to be scaled so the brew would fit.
 

MattMann

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You know I have been using the exact same primo bottles in the amazon ad, for a long time now, and have not noticed any off flavors, nor had I experienced any problems. Not that I am saying this is the proper thing to use, just that I have not had any problems with them. That is only my opinion.
 

jpgilman

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SO I was browsing my local Target today (to replace the microwave that took a crap on me yesterday), and I saw that they sold these LINK - Click me!. They were empty, and had a price tag of $13.99. Not to sound too cheap (which I really am, what do I care?), but that's $10 less than a 5 gallon better bottle from my LHBS

Do you think these would work as a decent fermenter? Maybe a dedicated Apfelwein fermenter or an extra secondary? Would you worry about a plastic flavor in whatever was made in it (i guess that would be there on a better bottle too?)?

I was just curious, since they also had a 3 gallon that might be good for me to try my first mead in (for $10, IIRC) :rockin:
I for one am not 100 percent convinced this is such a bad idea. The conventional wisdom is that #2 - #7's are bad, but this may be a mostly untested hypothesis. (Note, I'm setting aside the BPA issue for this discussion). Take a look at this thread. I think the theories about plastic bottles are probably sound re: oxygen permeability, flavor scalping, etc on paper, but it might be that in actual practice these don't cause major problems.

That said a 6 gallon or 6.5 gallon container would be nicer. I personally use a 6 gallon better bottle and really love it. The investment is well worth it.

Finally IMHO, the two problems that are most likely to cause beginner brewers real noticeable problems are 1) infection and 2) high fermentation temperatures.

John
 
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MattMann

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Oh and don't get me wrong, I still use 6.5 gallon ale pails for my primaries, use the water bottles just for secondary aging.
 

Duckfoot

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"Better-Bottle® fermentation carboys are: 1) Tough and essentially unbreakable, 2) Pure: Taste- and odor-free, BPA-free, DEHP-free, plasticizer-free, 3) Virtually impermeable to oxygen, 4) Clear and colorless, 5) Incredibly light weight, and 6) Easy to wash.".....
 

mkquinn

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I've used plastic 5 gallon water bottles for beer, works fine. I usually brew 3.5 - 4 gallons at a time anyway, so no need for blow-off here.

I think the concern about what gets leeched into your beer is overblown IMHO. I think you would die of alcohol poisoning before you would consume enough BPA to be a concern.
 

Pez

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They gotta be PET ( a 1 in the triangle on the bottom ) if i'm not mistaken
 

BarleyWater

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I think the concern about what gets leeched into your beer is overblown IMHO. I think you would die of alcohol poisoning before you would consume enough BPA to be a concern.
It's actually impossible to get alcohol poisoning from most regular strength beers, you will get water intoxication first. Alcohol intoxication cases may have involved beer, but that most certainly isn't the only thing, it requires alcohol in a higher concentration to not get processed to quickly. And to drink beer fast enough to get alcohol poisoning, you would puke or pass out from drinking so much H2O first.

As for the whole BPA thing, beer is acidic, which likely leeches faster than water, and water is what makes the news. So whatever it may do, it likely won't be noticeable until several years down the road when you are paying the price medically. It may not do anything, but is it worth $10 to figure out? So liver problems aside, actually no, you would probably die of BPA before you died form beer related alcohol poisoning.
 

BarleyWater

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They gotta be PET ( a 1 in the triangle on the bottom ) if i'm not mistaken
Or #2 HDPE, Ale Pails are #2. Only difference is the HD, high density, that's why you can't see through #2.
 

Kilgore_Trout

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As for the whole BPA thing, beer is acidic, which likely leeches faster than water, and water is what makes the news. So whatever it may do, it likely won't be noticeable until several years down the road when you are paying the price medically. It may not do anything, but is it worth $10 to figure out? So liver problems aside, actually no, you would probably die of BPA before you died form beer related alcohol poisoning.
BPA leeches out of most plastics at a totally negligible rate normally, the problem is that heat accelerates the leeching 55x. So pouring warm/hot wort into them would be a huge no-no.

The danger with BPA isn't immediate death, it's that it messes with your hormones. Even in low doses it can gradually mess with your hormone levels, causing all kinds of weird problems (often related to "reproduction" *nudge*). At really high concentrations it can increase your risk for cancer, but that's not really what's causing an uproar.

My point is that BPA is dangerous, and that you really won't know that it's effecting you until it's wayyyy too late. It's not toxic enough to cause any immediately noticeable symptoms... so you could go years thinking you're fine and end up with a host of hormone issues. Just shell out the $30 for a BPA-free fermenter!
 
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