When it comes to brewing beer, every home brewer worth their salt has some deeply held convictions. All of us home brewers also deeply ency the shiny beautiful stainless steel of out local pro brewers. Tomorrow, two of my sons and I will be headed on a road trip to get some new equipment. The new additions will violate some convictions, and it will not inspire much stainless steel envy, but I am excited about it.
I would love to fill my brewery with the fanciest, shiniest and prettiest stainless fermenters, but that just is not how I'm going to roll at first. (Remember, Chaotic Good, the beer will be excellent but I'm doing it my way damn it!) Tomorrow we are driving about an hour away to pick up two 60 gallon conical fermenters....plastic fermenters. now, plastic has its challenges. If the inside gets scratched then it becomes very hard or impossible to clean and sanitize. It has the possibility of picking up flavor or aroma from beers if not cared for properly, and it does not have the life span of stainless steel. However, it is perfect for my planned humble beginnings.
First among its advantages, it is inexpensive. I can get 10 plastic fermenters for the cost of one stainless jacketed unitank. for someone starting up on a 1.5ish bbl system, keeping costs down initially is key. I have no plans of using plastic fermenters for ever, just for the beginnings.
When I am done with using these as fermenters, they will still make great water storage, yeast propagation, chemical mixing etc. tanks.
But as much as I am excited to add these pieces of equipment to the roster, I am even more excited for the adventure with my boys tomorrow!
I have been brewing for about 10 years. With a background in chemistry, physics and engineering I quickly dove headfirst into the science of making beer. Over the years I have learned to find a happy medium between the art, the science and the joy of brewing. I am still working my day job as a high school science teacher, and will continue to do so until our Chaotic Good Brewing can spread.