I would appreciate if it was cheap. Also, I saw somewhere you could use a UTZ container from cheese balls. Has anyone tried that?
Whats your batch size?– brewchezFeb 16, 2016 at 0:17
I am making a one gallon batch of blackberry wine.– TrevorFeb 17, 2016 at 0:46
Depends on batch size. If your doing 2-3 gallons. I would recommend using glass 1 gallon jugs from wine or Apple juice.
The cheeseball containers I believe are made from the same foodgrade plastic as 2 liter soda bottles. They are novel in that they have more volume and a large opening for dry hopping.
I think either would be a good fermentor untill you can get into 5 gallon batches using a carboy or brew bucket.
Set the goal to use glass or stainless steel when you get into larger batches.
All plastics have sanitation limitations. Basically if they get scratched they can't be relied on to be sanitary anymore.
If you live near a good juice bar or restuarant that serves smoothies, ask the sales clerk if they have any empty glass jugs. Many drinks have an apple juice base and organic apple juice often ships in 1 gallon glass jugs. I've found two shops that happily give the jugs away for free, though I usually buy a smoothie in gratitude. Being a tipping patron helps to keep the jug supply flowing.
My favorites have a glass ring at the top for easy carrying and take a #6 rubber stopper. I get them at the juice bar of my local Whole Foods supermarket.
Check at your local bakery. Most of them get frosting in 5-10lb buckets. These are (obviously) food grade and have a good seal. Likely they will simply give them to you if you ask. You might have to enlist some small children to help you get the last of the frosting out of the bucket :), but after that and a good rinse with hot water all you have to do is drill a hole for an airlock and install it with a grommet.
There are a lot of good answers here, but I'd like to chime in with my favorite small-batch fermenter.
For small, 1-gallon batches, I like to use 4L glass wine jugs (I typically use Carlo Rossi, but any brand will do as long as it's glass). Since the jugs are a little larger than 1 gallon, they also offer a bit of extra headspace, so you can actually start with a full gallon (ie, make more wine).
The wine itself is pretty cheap (~$12-$15 USD) and is usually passable. If you can't bring yourself to choke it down (or find some friends to help out), it's usually decent for cooking. Some homebrew shops also sell the empty jugs for ~$2 -$3 USD (YMMV, of course).
TLDR: For less than $15 USD, you can get 4L of wine (yay?) and a sturdy small-batch fermenter that will last for years.