Storing fermented beer in plastic containers

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Jaydee
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Storing fermented beer in plastic containers

Post by Jaydee » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:27 am

Hi,

Just got my hands on some 20 litre plastic food grade screw top containers.

Two questions that someone on this learned forum will be able to answer I’m sure.

Is it safe and feasible to store finished beer in one of these containers away from light? Obviously, there would be no secondary fermentation initialised so just normal expansion and contraction due to ambient temperature. The container would be sanitised and purged with co2.

Does anyone know of a tap that could fit these standard container screw tops? I’m sure I could drill the hole and fit a tap but if they are available ‘off the shelf’ so much the better.

Hope someone can help😊

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Jocky
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Re: Storing fermented beer in plastic containers

Post by Jocky » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:53 am

Not knowing what the container is, or the size of the top it's a bit difficult to say.

Adding a tap to a plastic container is very easy though.
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Kev888
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Re: Storing fermented beer in plastic containers

Post by Kev888 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:07 am

Yes, it depends on the type of plastic and container, as they can differ greatly. But there is no inherent reason why it wouldn't work in the right circumstances, for instance people use polypins, pressure barrels and/or give the beer long stints in secondary fermenters. The lack of pressure makes relatively little difference to shelf life.
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Re: Storing fermented beer in plastic containers

Post by Robwalkeragain » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:38 am

Food grade is usually HDPE so it should be ok but it’s unlikely to be pressure rated so I wouldn’t put much gas on it or risk a beer shower. The beer will likely chug along slowly after you have put it in the vessel so it’s tough to say - it’s why pressure ratings exist.

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Re: Storing fermented beer in plastic containers

Post by aamcle » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:30 pm

Is this beer carbonated? If so there is a problem with pressure build up if not it should work.


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Re: Storing fermented beer in plastic containers

Post by alexlark » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:51 pm

I use plastic jerry cans to do exactly the same thing, not always just when I build up a few brews. Keep an eye on the pressure. I give the jerry can a bit of squeeze to feel how firm it is. If it's quite firm I slacken the cap slightly to release a bit of pressure. When the time comes I transfer the contents to a sankey and force carb.

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Re: Storing fermented beer in plastic containers

Post by aamcle » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:42 am

Possibly the best variation of the is "No Chill" (look it up) I have found it works very well for anything but the most hop forward beers and there are easy ways you can use it for them.


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Kev888
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Re: Storing fermented beer in plastic containers

Post by Kev888 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:40 am

alexlark wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:51 pm
I use plastic jerry cans to do exactly the same thing, not always just when I build up a few brews. Keep an eye on the pressure. I give the jerry can a bit of squeeze to feel how firm it is. If it's quite firm I slacken the cap slightly to release a bit of pressure. When the time comes I transfer the contents to a sankey and force carb.
It is useful to hear that you do this routinely, if it works so well then I might want to move the beer out of the fermenter sooner. What kind of time does the beer stay fresh for, in plastic jerry cans?

Thanks!
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alexlark
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Re: Storing fermented beer in plastic containers

Post by alexlark » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:02 pm

Longest I've left 1 was an Old Peculiar clone, 18 months. It was really smooth. That strength beer mellowed well.

Routinely though I leave the beer in there for about a month or 2. I've got 4 jerry cans and they are my overflow/buffer. Also the beer goes in the Sankey crystal by the time I transfer.

I don't do this though with hoppy IPAs or DIPAs.

These are the ones, they are 25L.

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Re: Storing fermented beer in plastic containers

Post by Kev888 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:24 pm

Thanks, very useful to know; I wasn't sure given that they're relatively thin. That seems quite a reasonable amount of time. I guess old ales are a special thing, but even for normal types a month or so would easily be long enough for a kind of unpressurised bright tank (or a temporary buffer) between fermenter and keg.
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Re: Storing fermented beer in plastic containers

Post by Jaydee » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:51 am

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion.
I’ve left it a week or so and moved the unfermented beer from the cube storage to a Fermentasaurus and it’s started fermenting. I have to say there was quite a bit of protein crud but it tasted ok!

Once it’s fermented out I’ll report back - the signs are good!

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