Author Topic: Speidel Fermenter vs PET Carboy  (Read 656 times)

Offline bobo1898

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Speidel Fermenter vs PET Carboy
« on: January 14, 2020, 08:40:10 AM »
Getting rid of glass fermenters. As much as I have loved using glass carboys over the last ten years, I think it's time to move on. My first thought was stainless steel but they seem to be a bit out of my budget for this wonderful hobby. Unless you have an inexpensive stainless steel fermenter solution, I may be switching to something in between. Think I may want to switch towards something that's easier to manage.

I've been looking over Speidel fermenters and PET carboys--specifically Fermonsters. I thought that I'd throw it to the people and ask what they recommend?

I do make sours, on occasion, but won't be for a while. Last one held two fermenters for a year and a half. I'm aware that if I'm making the switch to either of these fermenters, I'd need a dedicated one. This wouldn't affect my choice. Primarily, I'm making non-sour beers for a while.
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   BA Sour Kolsch w/ Cherries
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Offline Oginme

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Re: Speidel Fermenter vs PET Carboy
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 10:34:53 AM »
I have three glass fermenters that I have not used in almost two years.  I now have a mix of Better Bottles, Speidel fermenters, and PET carboys which I cycle. 

I really like the Speidel fermenters due to the wider opening and spigot which allows for easier transfer to keg or bottling bucket.  What I dislike about them is the difficulty I have in unscrewing the top (many threads) to dry hop and the diameter which does not allow me to fit more than one per shelf in my fermentation fridge.  Still I do use them for IPAs more often than not because I can hook up an air line from my keg and gravity feed the beer into the keg allowing the CO2 from the keg to flow back into the fermenter.  That, I guess, overcomes the work of having to unscrew the cap to dry hop.

My PET better bottles and other clear carboys are really nice as well, though they are getting a little beaten up at this point.  I like the fact that I can see the fermentation and trub levels much easier than with the Speidels.  The small bung opening is not conducive to vigorous cleaning, but I have seldom had to tackle any dried on krausen which did not come off with a PBW soak and a soft cloth.  I have not tried the Fermonsters (yet). 

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Offline bobo1898

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Re: Speidel Fermenter vs PET Carboy
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 03:06:23 PM »
Thanks for the quick response!

What size Speidel are you using? I'm looking at the 8 gallon ones and it reads as a 13.5 inch diameter. I think the 6 gallon glass carboys are an inch or two smaller.

If I may, I'd also follow that up with what type of fridge do you use for fermentation?

I take it while they're under pressure, removing the top is fairly difficult, but I love that it makes it easy to attach CO2 for transfer. I think that's a huge sell.
PRIMARY
   Patersbier
SECONDARY
ON DECK
   Wild Ale on Blackberries w/ Champagne yeast
   BA Sour Kolsch w/ Cherries
SERVED/STILL ENJOYING
   Dbl Choc Imperial Stout
   Wild Ale with Champagne yeast
   BA Espresso Milk Stout
   BA RIS
   BA RIS w/ bannanas, cinammon, almonds
   BA Golden Strong Ale

Offline BOB357

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Re: Speidel Fermenter vs PET Carboy
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 04:21:13 PM »
I've got 2 ported Fermonsters and a Speidel 30L fermenter. I do like the Fermonsters. They're a big improvement over plastic Big Mouth Bubblers and Better Bottles, but have their faults. The spigot attaches just like the ones used on buckets, so will leak if the nut isn't tightened just right. The lids don't seal well, they are sometimes almost impossible to get off, even with the spanner and the opening is just a bit small for the size of my arm. The plastc they're made of is very soft and doesn't resist scuffing and scratching very well.

Using the Speidel for the first time right now. I like that it can be completely sealed with the included cap that fits either the opening for the spigot or the airlock and be shaken for either sanitizing or aerating without losing a drop. It is also capable of holding a reasonable amount of pressure and can be used for closed transfers. If I position it just right in my fermentation fridge, a 7 gallon Fermonster will fit along side it. The threaded flanges for both the top opening and the opening for the spigot are integral parts of the fermenter and the sealing rings are a nice soft material that seals well with very little pressure.The finish is smoothe inside and has no nooks or crannies,which makes cleaning a breeze. The only down side I've found is that it's quite opaque. While you can definitely see the wort/beer level without a problem as well as a decent shadow of the Krausen, you really can't tell whether the beer has dropped clear after fermentation. The lid comes off much more easily than the Fermonster, so it's a snap to remove it to take a peek. My first Fermonster lasted about 2 years with heavy use. I expect the Speidel will last four or more times that long. Even with the Speidel being twice the price, I'll buy another one when the time comes to replace one of my Fermonsters.

Bob

Offline Oginme

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Re: Speidel Fermenter vs PET Carboy
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 05:18:30 PM »
I have the small 12 liter sized Speidels.  It is not that the tops are hard to get off, it just seems like I am unscrewing them forever.


I am using an old side-by-side for my fermentation chamber.  I can fit six carboys in and control each side semi-independently. 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 05:20:17 PM by Oginme »
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Offline bobo1898

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Re: Speidel Fermenter vs PET Carboy
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 08:34:51 PM »
This is all very helpful. Thanks for the responses, Brewmasters!
PRIMARY
   Patersbier
SECONDARY
ON DECK
   Wild Ale on Blackberries w/ Champagne yeast
   BA Sour Kolsch w/ Cherries
SERVED/STILL ENJOYING
   Dbl Choc Imperial Stout
   Wild Ale with Champagne yeast
   BA Espresso Milk Stout
   BA RIS
   BA RIS w/ bannanas, cinammon, almonds
   BA Golden Strong Ale

Offline Pirate Point Brewer

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Re: Speidel Fermenter vs PET Carboy
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 04:17:46 AM »
For what it is worth, we went completely Spieldel two years ago based on our experience with the first 60L we bought 4 years ago.

 Being "Thrifty" (cheap), we have built and been using a home made all electric 2 vessel brewing system for the last 6 years. Initially it was a 5 gallon system and our Glass 6.5's primaries and 6.0 glass secondaries  were fine, old and well used but fine. We setup and brew in the kitchen using the range hood to control the steam and easy access to to the water filter system, sinks and drain. We ferment in a back bed room which is our "Beer Room" with shelves etc for equipment and supplies and a home made 8 keg 2 tap keezer. Ok, Ok,  The Princess also stores all of the inside holiday decorations and has a pantry shelf for packaged goods overflow..... Happy Wife.... Happy Life ;D. We Cold Crash our secondaries in the garage for at least 2 weeks before kegging.  We have 24 kegs so the full and carbonated kegs are also stored in the garage. We do this because we only brew in the winter, and now that i finally retired, we live on the boat all summer and try to brew enough to last almost all summer!!

The point is that  we have to carry the glass 6.5 to the back room from the kitchen, then move to the the shelf across the tub (we live by the lake ... no basement) to rack into secondaries and then cary the secondaries to the garage. When we keg, we carry the secondaries from the garage to the the tub to rack to the kegs.  A lot of carrying  VERY Heavy glass carboys full of beer through the carpeted house!!!! Things really picked up when we upgraded the brew system to 10 gallons, and stared brewing 2 days a week!!! ???  We had to split the batch into 5 gallons to use the glass!  A lot of work. A lot of Risk, and VERY Awkward to handle.  We certainly weren't going to stainless. Most plastic were conicals and carrying an 80+ pound conical didn't seem like a good idea. So the best option was to take a chance on the 60L Speidel. It worked great!  It was the round style, huge lid for easy cleaning!!!  We bought the small plastic dolly from Harbor Freight and just pull it around. We did have to use the pump to transfer into the secondaries.  Wonderful!! 8)   Bit we still had to carry the glass secondaries to the garage and back.  :-[

So we went all in on Speidel.... We bought four 30L that we use and secondaries and added a rectangular 60L primary and another dolly!!  8)  We couldn't be happier!! All are very rugged and adaptable as you have read in other posts.  The secondaries are very easy to carry securely back and fourth to the garage etc!!  Our only wish is that the rectangular 60L had been available as our first purchase!  Much easier to handle and clean. The big lid on the round 60L can sometimes be a pain to handle and seal!!

We plan to continue brewing 10 gallon batches two days a week every winter adding maybe 4 more kegs.  I even toy with the idea of replacing the round 60L with a rectangular and sell the round one!   This was a bit long for a post. Sorry,  if you are interested in more details of our brewing system etc.  Let me know by email and we can share pictures and offer any explanations requested!!

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In Fall and Winter, we burn wood in the fireplace and brew beer.
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Offline merfizle

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Re: Speidel Fermenter vs PET Carboy
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 04:42:11 AM »
I use Speidel exclusively, never an issue except for replacing a spigot gasket or two! I have the 30L and 60L. Easy to clean, many types of accessories are available. I have a keg gas post up top for closed kegging/transfers and also a long thermowell for temperature control.

Mark
Primary: Lambic base for solera barrel
Kegged: Bavarian Weissbier, N. English brown, Roggenbier