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How many fermentors do you use?

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Cloud Surfer

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I’m curious how many fermentors everyone uses. Is there a minimum, optimum, maximum number? Guessing it depends on how much you brew. I’m gearing up, and thinking of buying a couple more specifically for secondary/conditioning of some high ABV brews, which will help me free up my Primary fermentors.
 

ozdevil

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i like having odd numbers, it means i have a fermenter free for something

i like having odd kegs it means i have 1 vacant to do other things

its personel choice really to how much you want to brew
 

Luxo_Aussie

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I have two on the go; one for primary & one for secondary + bottling bucket.
I'm happy with capacity to produce two batches (40-50L) a month but often wish I had a third fermenter for a bit more flexibility with stronger brews.
 
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I’m curious how many fermentors everyone uses. Is there a minimum, optimum, maximum number? Guessing it depends on how much you brew. I’m gearing up, and thinking of buying a couple more specifically for secondary/conditioning of some high ABV brews, which will help me free up my Primary fermentors.
I have 6, doubt I will use them all at the same time, most I have had on the go is 5. I use two for most ferments, add dry hops to secondary run fermentation vented gas through the secondary to purge before transfer. The primary therefore is only in use for 3 days, 4 tops.
 

S.E

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thinking of buying a couple more specifically for secondary/conditioning of some high ABV brews
If this is your only reason you would be better off using cubes or Jerry cans like these. Less head space is better for secondary and they tend to seal better, also easier to store or take up less space in a fridge. They usually hold more than the stated capacity so a 20L cube will actually hold about 22L-22.5L
 

akx

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If this is your only reason you would be better off using cubes or Jerry cans like these. Less head space is better for secondary and they tend to seal better, also easier to store or take up less space in a fridge. They usually hold more than the stated capacity so a 20L cube will actually hold about 22L-22.5L
How does that work for long term conditioning, say 3+ months? I've always assumed glass or a corny key are best at limiting oxygen ingress.
 

Cloud Surfer

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If this is your only reason you would be better off using cubes or Jerry cans like these. Less head space is better for secondary and they tend to seal better, also easier to store or take up less space in a fridge. They usually hold more than the stated capacity so a 20L cube will actually hold about 22L-22.5L
I was trying to find something at 20L to reduce the head space. I actually have a couple of those laying around but hadn’t thought of using them.

I could drill a hole in the lid and fit an airlock. Any issues you’ve heard of concerning these particular containers putting a plastic taint into the brew?
 

Cloud Surfer

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I just checked my jerry can and it doesn’t have a recycling code on it, and it has a bit of a tainted smell coming from it. I’ll look around for something with a number 2 recycling code which will be unlikely to affect the brew.
 

S.E

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How does that work for long term conditioning, say 3+ months? I've always assumed glass or a corny key are best at limiting oxygen ingress.
You assumed correctly but OP was planning on using fermenters for secondary. I was pointing out that cubes with less headspace would be a better option. Though not as good as glass or stainless steel they are still pretty good.
 

S.E

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Any issues you’ve heard of concerning these particular containers putting a plastic taint into the brew?
They have been used by many home brewers for many years for fermenting, racking and serving from with no problems. They are food grade HDPE same as fermenters. Here is an old thread where they were used for racking and serving Carbing/Conditioning in a Cube before keg

The practice was pretty common at the time but it was also common at that time for trolling and nonsense in any threads not just KK and KL threads as is popular these days, so just skip over the daft bits.
 

S.E

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I could drill a hole in the lid and fit an airlock.
Forgot to say. You could but you shouldn’t need an air lock. You can either release the pressure if any after a couple days or just tighten the lid enough that it just seals but leaks as a bit of pressure builds up.
 

Chris Gregory

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I have 3 fer mentors. The main reason is so I can ferment Ales and Lagers at the same time (I have two freezers with inkbirds to control the fermentation temp). The reason I need to make Ales and lagers at the same time is my wife now refuses to drink anything but my Maerzen!
 

Cloud Surfer

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Forgot to say. You could but you shouldn’t need an air lock. You can either release the pressure if any after a couple days or just tighten the lid enough that it just seals but leaks as a bit of pressure builds up.
I found a thread where guys were squeezing the sides of the jerry can together to eliminate all the head space. So I’ll hold off fitting an air lock so I can try the squeeze technique myself.
 

djebel

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These days I mainly use 2 or 3 of them but I've got about 10. I think my record was 8 separate batches brewing at once.
 

Cloud Surfer

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These days I mainly use 2 or 3 of them but I've got about 10. I think my record was 8 separate batches brewing at once.
8 batches. That’s cool.

I plan on mainly doing different Belgium’s and Imperial Stouts. Between primary and secondary/conditioning I’m figuring they are going to be in containers for 5 or 6 weeks or more before bottling. So I need more than the 2 fermentors I have, to speed things up. If I get 2 secondary/conditioning jerry cans and a dedicated bottling bucket, I figure I can have 4 brews moving through the system at a time.

So to answer my own question, I think a 5 container setup will work for me.
 

djebel

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8 batches. That’s cool.

I plan on mainly doing different Belgium’s and Imperial Stouts. Between primary and secondary/conditioning I’m figuring they are going to be in containers for 5 or 6 weeks or more before bottling. So I need more than the 2 fermentors I have, to speed things up. If I get 2 secondary/conditioning jerry cans and a dedicated bottling bucket, I figure I can have 4 brews moving through the system at a time.

So to answer my own question, I think a 5 container setup will work for me.
Back in the uni days, and there was four of us brewing together. So we were getting through a fair quantity of beer! 70-100 litres per week from memory, which included ginger beers, spirit washes, and 50 litre batches for parties.

The 8 batches would have included an imperial of some description, a wash, possibly a mead, ginger beers, a party brew, as well as some "normal" beer for us to bottle and drink (only the party brews were kegged back then).
 

darrenhayes

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I have at last count 11 on the go, 1 stainless for brewing beer and 10 plastic ones for growing potatoes.
 

Sidney Harbour-Bridge

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I have 7 fermenters, a 60 L for double batches, 3 30 L ones for regular batches plus use for bulk priming when bottling, a 23L glass demijon for long term secondary, such as Belgians, a fermentaurous which I got to experiment at pressure fermenting and don't use any more and a snub nose which I use for lagers as I can filter while transferring under pressure, more about filtering than oxygen exposure.

I think that's it.
 

Cloud Surfer

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Back in the uni days, and there was four of us brewing together. So we were getting through a fair quantity of beer! 70-100 litres per week from memory, which included ginger beers, spirit washes, and 50 litre batches for parties.

The 8 batches would have included an imperial of some description, a wash, possibly a mead, ginger beers, a party brew, as well as some "normal" beer for us to bottle and drink (only the party brews were kegged back then).
Home brewing in a share house. It can’t get better than that.
 

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