Plastic 19l Spring Water Carboys

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Copper kettles don't kill people....
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Hi All

With the recent talk about Glass carboys, has anyone tried the 19L spring water bottles for fermentation and lagering?

I happen to have a couple spare ones lying around at home and can get two in my fridge instead of 1 30L plastic fermenter, are they any good?

Cheers :chug:
Haven't tried them but, they should be fine. As long as you can find a bung for the wide opening in the top to take the airlock.

Cleaning would be a bugger though and of course no tap!

I use 20 litre plastic cubes for conditioning, and find them great. I use a standard carboy for fermenting, but drilling a hole, and adding a grommet and airlock wouldnt be a big hassle.

The only downside is the small lid really does restrict the cleaning you can do. I recommend invest in a nice strong cleaner, and leave it in there for a while, then rinse well.
I never have had to use even a cloth on my fermenter
I throw some napisan in fill to top, leave onight and rinse.
I have once needed to repeat this the following night.
I try to avoid touching my plastic with anything other than soft cloth.
Here's an extract from an article by Jim Liddil (He's an expert on lambic beers) regarding the use of polycarbonate for long term fermentation. This would be similar to lagering in them...
Brings us back to the age old question.... Gas permeability may be of some advantage in the long term aging of lambic-style beers but how detremental is it when lagering.....?

The full article can be found at A Liddil lambic lesson

Happy reading
Asher for now

Let's start with the standard food grade high density polyethylene (HDPE) container. HDPE is somewhat permeable to oxygen and other gases. This will provide for a slow and continuous gas exchange during the lengthy fermentation and may aid in the growth of the Brettanomyces and subsequent flavor development and maturation. This is purely speculation based on the fact that wood is also gas permeable and is the traditional material used for lambic fermentation.

Another type of plastic container commonly used by homebrewers is the 5 gallon water bottle made of polycarbonate (PC) plastic. PC is harder and more rigid than HDPE and has about twice the gas permeability for both oxygen and carbon dioxide(17). As mentioned for HDPE this gas permeability may be of some advantage in the long term aging of lambic-style beers. PC being a plastic has the same perceived disadvantage as HDPE in that it can be scratched and thus harbor bacteria and wild yeast. PC has the advantage of being able to withstand boiling water without melting unlike HDPE. This allows one to thoroughly sanitize such a container since the whole vessel can be heated to a temperature that will kill all bacteria and yeast. This can be done using boiling water or an autoclave. Remember, be very careful when pouring boiling water into a container to avoid personal injury. PC is a clear plastic that allows observation of the fermentation process over time. This quality seems to be important for those first time lambic- style ale brewers who worry whether or not their beer is developing a pellicle or ropiness.

Ref 17. Nalgene Labware Catalog 1995, Nalge Company Rochester NY.
Thanks Asher

I guess on that basis Polycarbonate would be worse for lagering than HDPE. Its for the oktoberfest you tasted the other night so i will bottle it on the weekend.

I do have 5L demijohn so I will stick some in glass for longer and see if there is any difference

Cheers ausdb

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