Fish tank fermenter?

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BlaneyBrewer

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Has anyone ever tryed this? Or heard of someone doing it? I recently had the idea thinking since some carboys are made of glass, why not use something like a 20 gallon aquarium tank (brand new of course lol) and x4 the batch ingredients from a 5 gallon recipe.
I'm figuring theres no scratches in the glass for bacteria to grow and infect the beer, a tight enough rigged seal for the top with possibly one airlock on each side and one in the middle, and then some type of light unporous material that can drape over the sides to keep light out of the brew but not heat up the liquid more than about room tempature...

If anyone has any thoughts, or experience with this any insight or info would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

dzlater

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It would be a bitch to move around when full.
Lots of joints , and seams might be hard to clean and sanitize.
 

fineexampl

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i'm going to say...no. too much work just to brew large batches. you'd only need one airlock though. as far as bacteria growth, those silicone seals in the corners are wonderous places for bacteria growth. i see algae growing in the seals of my aquarium all the time. You could probably just use a 10gal water cooler to better effect, or several fermenting buckets.
 

slowjeep

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Just remember, some fish have higher alcohol tolerances than others. Angelfish and guppies do fine with light ales and lagers. But if you plan on doing IPAs or barleywines in that tank you might have to get your fish imported from Ireland.
 

Brewdouche-RuBrew

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Yes its been thought of.
No its not a good Idea to many places for bacteria growth.
Yes it would be neat though.

And you may put turdz in your pants when you see this
20 Gallon fermenror for $8 I put weather seal around the top and cover it with plexiglass.
Totally freakin awesome.
& no you dont move it. I fill it with 5 gallon buckets.

P.S.
MY NEW 2 BOY POT
 

JuanMoore

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If you're looking for a cheap large fermenter I'd look for HDPE barrels, like the ones LME comes in. They come in sizes ranging from 5-60 gallons, and can easily be found for very little money, sometimes even free. I got a couple 15 gallon ones for $10 each that I use to store water in. They have carrying handles, and two 2" screw cap bungs. To use as a fermenter all you'd need to do is drill a hole in one of the caps and stick an airlock or blow-off hose in.

 
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BlaneyBrewer

BlaneyBrewer

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Thanks for the insight on that. I hadn't thought about the silicone seals as a spot for growth but makes sense.
And the HDPE barrels do sound like an easier/cheaper to modify project.
Just looking to up my output of finished product. My household goes through alot of beer lol
 

merddyn2002

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I use ozarka bottles as secondarys and have for years. They work great, especially the new ones with the handles.
 

JJL

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$40+shipping vs $10 from lowes.

I love Midwest & all but I think I'd buy $20 worth of grain & give $10 to the mission, and still have a 20g fermentor.
I know. It always amazes me the prices of some of the stuff from homebrew shops. Even for stuff as simple as siphon tubing.
 

malkore

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isnt a 20 gal fish tank like 80-90$
Nope, often they are on sale at PetCo for like $18-20. A complete setup will run you more but a tank with no lid is cheap.

But yeah, its not airtight, and you've got crevices around the soft silicone seams that'll just hoard nests of unwanted bacteria.

I'd spend the extra few dollars for a real carboy.

Or, a food grade plastic trash can. Lots of guys use those big 20 gallon ones for wine (new of course)
 

Brewdouche-RuBrew

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I have sadly met people who make wine in those big black plastic trash cans. I tried explaining to them what gets LOST in black recycled plastic...................

Now I'm sure I like beer folks better.

I dont drink thier wine.
 

deathtractor

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Hey fellas...don't overlook 15.5 gallon ss kegs as an option...they work great for me...and i buy them off my buddy for what he has into the deposit...usually $30 !!!
 

malkore

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Hey fellas...don't overlook 15.5 gallon ss kegs as an option...they work great for me...and i buy them off my buddy for what he has into the deposit...usually $30 !!!
which is illegal, because the brewery owns the keg...
 

BootsyFlanootsy

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I'm going to bump this old thread up as this topic has been on my mind a lot as of late.

The appeal of the fishtank to me isn't that it is in some a cheap alternative to other vessels, it's that they are rectangular and would lend themselves well to being used as open fermenters. Obviously there are caveats and obstacles, but I think when all is considered and accounted for, they just might be an interesting experiment.


Consider the yorkshire squares, or the fact that DuPont ferments in square fermenters...


The only issue I can see being problematic is sanitizing.
 

Erroneous

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As an open fermenter I'd say give it a shot. Maybe not a 15g shot. The silicone on the edges would scare me the most, but if you were careful about it then I don't see much more room for harm any more than being an open fermenter. If it were me I'd soak it in bleach for a couple hours then give it a good rinse. That said I would never ever move it with any amount of liquid. Also never dump it by tilting it. I'd also never try to seal it up and put an airlock on it since the slight psi would probably break it.
 
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