From the HBD Archive
From: (Tim P McNerney)
Subject: An easier way of brewing?
Date: 1992-06-08 20:40:26 GMT

I have recently started using a method for brewing which I find
to be easier than what I was using before and I would be interested
in comments, suggestions or problems people see with it.

Basically, the main change was to start buying one of those 2.5
gallon plastic water jugs. I use the jug itself to ferment in,
then I just get rid of the jug (my apartment recycling bins won't
take it (only the 2 liter plastic bottles. Are they recyclable?).

Advantages I've found:

1. Cleanup is much easier.

2. I prefer 2.5 gallon batches since it lets me brew as often as I
did, but I don't end up with the backlog of beer I had before.

3. No fear of two foot long glass shards.

4. In general, easier to move around.

5. No need to wait for cooling to add to carboy.

6. I can fit the whole thing in the freezer to get it down to pitching

7. Easier to fit in the fridge. Before, brewing a lager was not
a possibility.

8. I don't have to use Mountain View sparkling tap water.

9. Faster ferments, quicker settling (I believe this is true, though
I don't have a large enough sample yet.

10. Since this is a one-shot deal, no problem with getting scratches
in the jug.


1. Cost. Though most ingredients are scalable, yeast isn't, so the
cost (if using Wyeast) would be twice as much per volume. Also,
brewing time is not cut in half. The first isn't a problem since
I culture my own (actually, it is an advantage as I do not have to
make a fullsize starter) and the second doesn't bother me. There is
the cost of the water and jug, though.

2. If I make a really good batch, then no one else gets to try any.

3. Somewhat strange shape of bottle makes blowoff less effective.

4. Most equipment not made for the Alhambra water bottle (new stoppers,

5. Temperature fluctuations more likely.

6. No obvious way for two-stage fermentaion without taking away some of
the advantages (ie. I would have to clean out some of the older jugs).

Some questions:

1. How clean are these bottles likely to be (do I need to give them
a quick bleach soak)?

2. I know these bottles are water safe, but are they also beer safe?

3. Can I recycle these water bottles?

4. Do I need to preboil the water (I am an extract brewer and I have
been brewing with 1.5 gallons of water while putting the other
gallon or so in the freezer, making for a quick pitch)?

5. Any other problems which come to mind?



- --Tim McNerney
- --Loral Western Development Labs
- --(408) 473-4748

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