1 Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:18 AM

I'm thinking of getting a small fermenter for test batches and the like and these are my choices it seems. I've seen Cooper's 15L one now and it looks VERY small, so I'm not sure that's right, but then again 20L is getting closeish to 30 anyway so is there any point?

My batch size for these would likely be at least 10-15L, although obviously the 15L fermenter would probably have a maximum size of around 12.

My main question though is whether a 10L batch would be too small for a 20L fermenter, and whether I'm right in thinking you wouldn't want to go above 12 in a 15L fermenter.

I'm talking your garden-variety fermenters too by the way, not a Coopers one. Similar to this:

2 Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:53 AM

I have a 15l Coopers FV I bought from Aldi for $50-00 which included the gear and the kit for the first brew. I reckon that is a reasonable price (they actually went down to $40-00 a week after I bought mine but I reckon it would be a once a year pre-Christmas promotion).

I only brew to 11l for the following reasons:

a. that's pretty much a half brew if you use the standard kit which is meant for 23l
b. so far using only kit yeast the krausen has yet to explode and overflow. I'd be worried if I went up to 12l though. From what I read I could be in trouble using US05 or some other more vigorous yeasts.
c. more than 11l and I reckon you'd need one of those Krausen Kollar thingies and I can be bothered.

I imagine if you were making up your own recipes and not using a kit it wouldn't matter what the size was.

On the other hand, the 15l FV is pretty good for my needs and apartment living. It makes a dozen 740ml PET bottles with enough for two or three swing tops for gifts.

3 Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:20 PM

20L would give you more versatility in terms of batch sizes being between 10-15 litres. I did brew a 11 or 12 litre batch in my 30 litre fermenter once without any problems. Well actually there was one problem in that it didn't carbonate properly, but that was because it was bottled right in the middle of winter and the bottles got too cold overnight and never warmed up during the days. Flavor wise it was perfectly fine though, no infections or oxidation issues. I don't think you'd have any issue making 10 litre batches in a 20L fermenter.

4 Posted: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:07 PM

I wouldn't put more than 12 litres in a 15L bucket myself. 10L in a 20L bucket is ok, but 15L would be better, less headspace/oxygen. Maybe you need to decide what brew length you will do, consistently, and then decide. Up to 12L, go for a 15L bucket, above 12L then it's gotta be a 20L bucket. If you want flexibility, then 20L. IMHbucketyO.

Last edited by Phil_McGlass (Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:07 PM)