Fermentation is a point in our brewing process where we’ve always had a bottleneck. We’ve been using 5 and 6 gallon glass fermenters since we jumped to 5 gallon batches but have always been looking for something more. This past fall MoreBeer had a very quick sale on Speidel Plastic Fermenters. I happened to catch the sale thanks to Homebrew Finds and because of the price jumped on making the purchase. After I made the purchase several concerns ran through my head; it’s plastic, there were no reviews, how well does it seal? I figured it was worth the cost to experiment with it but I really hoped it wouldn’t be a dud.
Now several fermentations later I can happily report back that the Speidel is great. My concerns have amounted to nothing and the benefits are huge. I purchased the 60L version because it would be able to hold our 10+ gallon batches no problem. Now instead of separating our batches into two carboys we can ferment the whole batch in the Speidel. It’s also very light compared to glass carboys. It’s easy to move around when empty. The pour spout on the bottom has also been great, we can take samples whenever we want easily to check gravity. This has allowed us to keep better track of how our fermentation is going. Finally, the whole top of the fermenter comes off allowing you to easily add dry hops or other crazy additions like strawberries or coconut (we put all additions in hop sacks so we can pull them back out). Being able to pull the whole top off also makes cleaning much easier. We can spray and wipe it down without having to use stiff brushes, reducing the chances of scratches.
My only complaint about the Speidel is that the spigot usually lines up with the top of my trub so the first bit of beer we pull off has a little yeast in it. That being said I’m already signed up with MoreBeer to be notified when the next batch of Speidels come in so I can pick up at least one more. Overall I’m really happy with the Speidel and look forward to continued use until it’s replaced by a stainless conical.
I originally wrote this post over a year ago and I just wanted to note that the Spiedels are doing awesome. We picked up a second 60L to use for our primary beers and a 30L for some of our experimental batches. The only problem that we’ve had so far is the large O-ring on the lid of the first fermenter split. We super glued it back together and so far it has been fine. I still highly recommend the Spiedels.