Open top fermenter - Bourbon - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-13-2017, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Open top fermenter - Bourbon

Hi guys,

I'm interested in any tips anyone may have on making an open top fermenter that won't leak. I'm interested in making some for Bourbon and wanted to use the wood on my property, the oak, to make them.

I've seen some galvanized steel binding parts but I don't know what they are called, here is a video. forward to 3:33. The video is kinda how I imagined making a base for the thing but the seam swelling and sealing is the part that makes me scratch my head. Any ideas?

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post #2 of 9 Old 12-13-2017, 11:26 PM
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Wouldn't every wooden cask leak until it swells a bit and seals?

My only experience with anything related was being around a 30 foot sail boat that was pulled out for the winter for docking and repairs. When it was put back in the water it almost sank due to the wood drying out. The pumps couldn't keep up. It had to be tied to a pier while the wood swelled. A few days later it was OK, a week later it was "tight as a drum". I expect until your fermenter seals in a similar way there will be some leakage. Then again, others may have far better information.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-14-2017, 05:16 AM
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Most fermenters will leak until they swell up. Usually you'll keep a batch of sanitizer in the fermenter until it's not leaking anymore and then stick the end product in there.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-14-2017, 05:48 AM
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Find a cooperage. Highly skilled process. Me, I would find some other use for your lumber and buy ex Bourbon barrels.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-14-2017, 05:05 PM
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I wouldn't want galvanized anywhere near food/beverage prep stuff. Stainless all the way, less chance of something toxic. Or rust, for that matter, which does not taste good
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-14-2017, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not trying to use galvanized clamps, I'm trying to find out what the cinch they have holding the cables may be called to find them.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-15-2017, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Galvenized is definitely gross. I guess I'll weld up some flat stock and weld on a tube to hold a bolt on both sides. I was hoping to just buy like 18 of the clamps and put 3 on each.

I've got the talent to make the routed edges I was just looking for more ideas on how to swell the wood and prevent leaks. I've even found ways to do this but wanted some other peoples opinions, since this was a massive trade I hoped someone's grandparents passed along this info. Its almost dead. Sad. This was how all liquids were transported.

The only thing that is slightly difficult is when you have round barrels for strength, then its got the bow, but this is straight sided.

No one out there has made a sauna or hottub?
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-15-2017, 03:06 PM
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I expect you will need something custom for your application. That said, don't let custom scare you away. A good stainless steel swaging (wire rope or cable assembly) manufacturer should have readily available lists for you to pick from for your ends. select your cable, what you want on each end and you should be good to go.

That said, in answer to your question, I have never built a sauna or hot tub.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-15-2017, 05:46 PM
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Look on YouTube for some videos of building red wood hot tubs, it should give you some ideas

We used to had red wood stock tanks for cattle, they used 5/8 steel rods and tread the ends and had a fixture the ends went through,so you could adjust the tension as the redwood was swelling

Redwood cooling towers used to leak like sieves in the spring after they had been dry all year some of the big ones would leak almost as fast as the water was pumped in, go back the next day and not a drop

I am sure you are aware that New Zealand is the only country in the world that allows private distillation of alcohol unless you are licensed LOL

I did experiment with it a while back, made a reflux still out of a beer keg, I just used sugar to make it 50 lbs of sugar and 28 gallons of water would yield 2 gallons of 180-190 proof, 2 gallons of 140-150, and two gallons of 100 proof All the ingredients ran about $20-25 so it wasn't too bad, malting the corn would kind of be a PITA
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