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Using Willow 'jerrys' As Fermenters

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Wimmig

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I currently have a better bottle as my only fermenter. Simply, it's not keeping up. Kegs are getting torn apart and i'm having backlog. This must be stopped, more beer must be served. I'm also short on space. Very short. Any additions would need to take up only slightly more room than the BB.

I am thinking, after reading other users doing the same, of using 20L willow cans as fermenters. I currently use one for my blow-off water. It's one of the blue ones, i got it from kmart and was thinking of getting some more. How do other users find them? Problems, better ideas? They seem to be easy to move around and are built solid. I read plenty of people having trouble with cheap white bunnings ones etc failing.

I guess the idea would be to have 2 going, side on side (only slightly more room than 1 BB) using the included reduction(?) pouring attatchment with an o ring on the inside and some large OD tubing for blowoff. Does this sound viable?
 

tiprya

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I use them as fermenters, two, side-by-side in my wine fridge.

I usually brew ~13L, but I have thought I can scale up, by using a blow-off tube.

Never had one fail, I use the white 'BMW' ones from Bunnings.
 

probablynathan

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I have the blue Willow cubes and one of the cheap Bunnings cubes, both do the job but I prefer the Willow one as the thread for the tap holds better. I just use glad wrap over the opening as other on the forum have suggested and find that it works well.
 

manticle

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I love them. Main fermentation vessel for me.
 

homebrewkid

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i agree with the glad wrap system and a rubber band to hold it on

i wouldnt bother with a blowoff tube but ive never used one either and dont plan on using one in the future

just change the gladwrap if it builds up too much crap

the fermenter will only be open for a few seconds be careful and nothing will get in

cheers: HBK
 

Wimmig

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So just to clarify, are more people using the cubes of the jerrys? Could you post a link to which one your using? I'm going to go pick up 2 when i've got a good idea what i'm after.

Cheers,
 

Wimmig

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Thanks all. I will pick up 2 of these for future batches. I'm going with a blowoff tube, it's all i've known. I'll measure the ID of the jerry with some calipers when i get them, and order a set of bungs and some tube.

Cheers,
 

tiprya

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I use these from Bunnings: http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/online-st...166#Description

I like the white plastic, because it is easier to see the beer inside. The opening isn't as big as the Willow ones, so something to consider for dry hopping. There are openings on both sides, so I can have my glad wrap over the opening above the tap and easily gaze at my beer and sing it love songs while it ferments.
 

Wolfy

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I've been using plastic jerrys for some time now, they fit in the fridge much easier.

Only problems I can think of is that they might not have as much head-space, so a blow-off-tube or something similar is probably a good idea.
I just drilled a hole in the plastic cap of the jerry and then forced the plastic tube through it no need to buy a bung, see below:


If you no-chill you could always ferment directly in the cube, they also fit fairly well in the fridge.
 

black_labb

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does anyone have a suitable technique for top cropping out of a cube? I'm thinking about ways to condense my brewing space (to make room for more brewing gear...) and I can keep 2 of these in my little fermenting drink fridge as opposed to 1 traditional fermenter. Might try manticles in cube fermenting, though using 1469 or other top croppers may not be ideal.
 

Wolfy

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does anyone have a suitable technique for top cropping out of a cube?
If you balance the amount of head space, use a blow-off tube and container (as shown above in the 2nd picture) you essentially have automatic top cropping.

The glass-bottle was 1/2 full of cooled boiled water, but after a day or two active ferment the yeast and some wort (that's why it looks brown) get pushed out the blow-off tube and collect in the glass-bottle.
Once allowed to settle, you have nice fresh healthy yeast to reuse:

Same bottle as in the photo in the post above.

It's essentially a cheap-ass home-version of the Burton Union system. :)
 

manticle

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does anyone have a suitable technique for top cropping out of a cube? I'm thinking about ways to condense my brewing space (to make room for more brewing gear...) and I can keep 2 of these in my little fermenting drink fridge as opposed to 1 traditional fermenter. Might try manticles in cube fermenting, though using 1469 or other top croppers may not be ideal.
I've got a 1469 bitter in a jerry at the moment. Very small amount of krausen leakage at high krausen (cube pretty full), easy to clean.

I top cropped with it into a stout that seemed to have stalled - just need a small enough spoon (well sanitised) and to get at it when the krausen is high.
 

milob40

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using round fv's i can fit 2 in the fridge but using rectangular jerries i can fit 6 although i would never admit or try using that many :D , only prob i have is dry hopping so i just make hop tea to solve this
 

Nick JD

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using round fv's i can fit 2 in the fridge but using rectangular jerries i can fit 6 although i would never admit or try using that many :D , only prob i have is dry hopping so i just make hop tea to solve this
I dry hop in 20L Jerries (in a swiss voile swag) ... what problem do you have there?
 

Wimmig

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I've been using plastic jerrys for some time now, they fit in the fridge much easier.

Only problems I can think of is that they might not have as much head-space, so a blow-off-tube or something similar is probably a good idea.
I just drilled a hole in the plastic cap of the jerry and then forced the plastic tube through it no need to buy a bung, see below:


If you no-chill you could always ferment directly in the cube, they also fit fairly well in the fridge.
That blue one is what i am thinking of, 2 of them would be perfect. Is it a willow or something else? Should i head to kmart, bunnings?
 

pk.sax

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damn this thread!

I decided to trial it out, but since original cube had fukall space in it, I tranferred to a willow jerry (no, not the same as wolfy's)

It's filled to the brim and although I've setup a blow off on it, I'm expecting trouble.
 

manticle

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You'll be surprised at how untroublesome it is. Might leak a touch if it's super full but compared to a normal drum fermenter, I seem to have less crazy krausen trying to break free.

@wimmig - I get mine from Kmart.
 

black_labb

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If you balance the amount of head space, use a blow-off tube and container (as shown above in the 2nd picture) you essentially have automatic top cropping.

The glass-bottle was 1/2 full of cooled boiled water, but after a day or two active ferment the yeast and some wort (that's why it looks brown) get pushed out the blow-off tube and collect in the glass-bottle.
Once allowed to settle, you have nice fresh healthy yeast to reuse:

Same bottle as in the photo in the post above.

It's essentially a cheap-ass home-version of the Burton Union system. :)
Now that sounds like a good way to go about things, just means a bit more sanitation but not having to open the fermenting vessel is a big plus.


I've got a 1469 bitter in a jerry at the moment. Very small amount of krausen leakage at high krausen (cube pretty full), easy to clean.

I top cropped with it into a stout that seemed to have stalled - just need a small enough spoon (well sanitised) and to get at it when the krausen is high.

Sounds workable enough, I guess the cube could be squeezed to get more access to healthy yeast.
 

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