55 Gallon Fermenters

Written by Simon in Beer Brewing
Image Credits: Pixabay.com

If you are looking to up your homebrewing game in terms of volume, acquiring a larger fermenter is a step you can take to make way bigger batches of delicious homebrew.

In this blog post I will review and compare 9 Various 55 Gallon Fermenters and they are as follows:

  1. (My Pick)Eagle 1656MBBG Straight-Sided Drum with Metal Band and Plastic Lid
  2. 55 Gallon Uline Food-grade Plastic Drum
  3. 55 Gallon Conical Fermenter (with Thermowell, Wheels and Butterfly Valves)
  4. 55 Gallon Conical Fermenter (with Butterfly Valves)
  5. 55 Gallon Conical Fermenter With Wheels and Cooling Coil
  6. Blichmann WineEasy 55 Gallon Fermenter
  7. 55 Gallon Kombucha Tank
  8. 55 Gallon Kombucha Fermenter Barrel
  9. 55 Gallon Blue Plastic Open Head Drum With Lid and Lever Lock

Read on as i compare different aspects of these 55 gallon fermenters and help you get a clear view of the various properties, to help you find a 55 gallon fermenter that suits you!

Comparing Price, Material and Store

To give you an easy overview, all comparisons will be in the form of tables where you can easily see the differences or similarities between the different fermenters.

PriceMaterialStore
Eagle 1656MBBG~75$PlasticAmazon
Uline Food-grade Plastic Drum~76$PlasticUline
Conical Fermenter (Thermo, Wheels & Butterfly)~1350$Stainless SteelConical-fermenter
Conical Fermenter (Butterfly Valves)~1195$Stainless SteelConical-fermenter
Conical Fermenter (Wheels & Cooling Coil)~1575$Stainless SteelConical-fermenter
Blichmann WineEasy~900$Stainless SteelMidwestsupplies
Kombucha Tank~1200$Stainless SteelConical-fermenter
Kombucha Fermenter Barrel~475$Stainless SteelBubbasbarrels
Blue Plastic Drum (Lid & Lever Lock)~110$PlasticBayteccontainers

Most of the more expensive 55 gallon fermenters are sold through sites that may require you to sign up or inquire via email. However most cheap 55 gallon barrels are rather easy to acquire and one of these can even be bought on amazon and shipped to you instantly.

Comparing Height, Diameter and Weight

A simple overview of the dimensions of each fermenter:

HeightDiameterWeight
Eagle 1656MBBG35"24/21"22.9 lbs.
Uline Food-grade Plastic Drum--25 lbs.
Conical Fermenter (Thermo, Wheels & Butterfly)58"22.5"Heavy
Conical Fermenter (Butterfly Valves)57"22.5"Heavy
Conical Fermenter (Wheels & Cooling Coil)58"22.5"Heavy
Blichmann WineEasy25.4"31"74 lbs.
Kombucha Tank47.5"30.5/31.5"Heavy
Kombucha Fermenter Barrel34.5"23.5"Medium-heavy
Blue Plastic Drum (Lid & Lever Lock)36.8"22.9"24 lbs.

The weight of your choice of fermenter may be important to you, since moving it around can prove rather difficult if it isn't fitted with wheels. The general height and diameter of these fermenters might also play a role into choosing which to buy, if you have a homebrewing "lab" where you have tight space.

Comparing Other Specifications

In this section you will find a table which shows whether or not the fermenter has wheels, legs or neither, which valves they might have and if they use a thermowell or not.

Wheels/LegsValvesThermowell
Eagle 1656MBBG---
Uline Food-grade Plastic Drum---
Conical Fermenter (Thermo, Wheels & Butterfly)WheelsButterflyYes
Conical Fermenter (Butterfly Valves)Legs1.5" ButterflyYes (Tri-clamp)
Conical Fermenter (Wheels & Cooling Coil)Wheels1.5" ButterflyYes (T/C Style)
Blichmann WineEasy-Standard Valve-
Kombucha TankWheelsButterfly-
Kombucha Fermenter Barrel-Optional-
Blue Plastic Drum (Lid & Lever Lock)---

For the heavy steel fermenters, having one with welded-on wheels can be greatly beneficial to easily move it as you please. The plastic barrels/drums are very easy to move when they are empty whereas the steel fermenters without wheels can be quite challenging to move around. 

9 Solid 55 Gallon Fermenters

In this section you will find more in-depth details about each fermenter.

For more info you can visit each store on the links provided.

Why Use 55 Gallon Fermenters?

These massive type fermenters are for the seasoned homebrewer who probably knows his recipe in and out, and now simply wants to increase the volume.

Below you’ll find a great variety of fermenters in different price ranges. They all serve the same purpose, but some have some nice specifications giving them some nice extra added qualities to make your home brewing easier.

55 Gallon Conical Fermenter (with Thermowell, Wheels and Butterfly Valves)

Price: ~$1350

Where to buy: conical-fermenter.com

This fermenter is top notch in large fermenters. Made from premium virgin 304 stainless steel, this fermenting tank is stunning to look at and very durable.

Designed and rated for up to 4 PSI- Giving it the perfect amount needed for a closed-loop transfer using CO2

The bottom shape of this fermenter is made for homebrewing since it allows the yeast to slide down the sides.

Specifications:

  • Material: Premium Virgin 304 Stainless Steel
  • Capacity of 55 Gallons
  • Conical with welded-on legs + wheels
  • 4 PSI
  • Sanitary Thermowell
  • Heavy Duty Casters
  • Butterfly Valves
  • Dial Thermometer
  • Sanitary 1/2 “ Hose Barb
  • Tri-Clamps and gaskets
  • 3” Tri-Clamp Port in Lid + 90-Degree Hose Barb
  • Diameter of 22.5”; Height of 58”; Steel gauge = 1.2mm

55 Gallon Conical Fermenter (with Butterfly Valves)

Price: ~$1195

Where to buy: conical-fermenter.com

A small step down compared to the first fermenter, with no wheels for a more stationary approach. Easy to clean and straight forward to use.

Specifications:

  • Made from premium virgin 304 stainless steel
  • Welded-on legs
  • Sanitary 1.5” Tri-Clamp Thermowell
  • Dial Thermometer
  • 1.5” Tri-clamps and gaskets
  • 1.5” Butterfly valves
  • Sanitary hose barb(1/2 “ hose)
  • 3” Tri-clamp Port in Lid with 1/2 “ hose barb adapter
  • Diameter of 22.5”
  • Height of 57”
  • 1.2mm steel gauge

55 Gallon Conical Fermenter With Wheels and Cooling Coil

Price: ~$1575

Where to buy: conical-fermenter.com

This fermenter is similar to the first one but comes with advanced temperature control that you can use for the fermentation process if you can’t find the right natural cooling conditions. Fitted with welded-on wheels for easy maneuverability.

Comes with a built-in cooling coil designed for use with cold glycol to achieve the right temperatures for your fermentation!

Like most other conical fermenters, shaped in the bottom in a way that allows the yeast to slide down then slide after falling out of suspension.

Specifications:

  • Made of Premium virgin 304 stainless steel
  • Conical with welded-on legs
  • A built-in cooling coil in the lid
  • 1.5” Butterfly valves
  • 1/2 “ Hose barb
  • T/C Style thermowell
  • 3” lid port
  • 3” TC x 1/2 “ -90 deg hose barb adapter
  • Clamps
  • Gaskets

Blichmann WineEasy 55 Gallon Fermenter

Price: ~$899.99

Where to buy: midwestsupplies.com

This fermenter is made with the focus on winemaking, giving you a large fermenter that is easy to use for winemaking.

After fermentation, the free ruin will be drained from the fermenter. Then you install a sliding piston. There is a vacuum pump that can evacuate your carboy or another container. This causes pressure to push down the sliding piston and press out the pomace up to a maximum of 14 PSI.

All this can be done without transferring the pomace, in a completely airtight fermenter where oxidation and thereby the chance of contamination is essentially impossible.

The clean up is very easy granted the smooth stainless steel, where you simply scoop out the dried-out pomace and then wash the fermenter.

Specifications:

  • Stainless steel
  • Unique “false bottom” allowing the pomace to be separated from your wine while draining
  • Wine Press Piston
  • Wine Vacuum Press Kit
  • Efficient
  • Easy to use
  • Simple cleanup

55 Gallon Kombucha Tank

Price: ~$1200

Where to buy: conical-fermenter.com

A kombucha tank on the same level as a commercial fermenter. Ideal for brewing large batches and lagering them.

Welded wheels make this tank easy to move around as you see fit.

Specifications:

  • Made from Premium 304 Stainless Steel
  • Welded on wheels for increased maneuverability
  • Racking arm
  • Clamps
  • Gaskets
  • Push handle
  • Butterfly valve
  • Cap
  • No lid(lids aren’t for kombucha brewing)
  • Dimensions: 30.5” x 31.5”
  • Height: 47.5”

55 Gallon Kombucha Fermenter Barrel

Price: ~$475

Where to buy: bubbasbarrels.com

A very basic fermenter made from a used stainless-steel drum. Fitted with a port for a drain valve to make transferring easier. Made for primarily fermenting kombucha with an open top.

Specifications:

  • Several drain options
  • Medium or large stand
  • 23.5” diameter
  • 34.5” Height
  • Open top for kombucha brewing

55 Gallon Blue Plastic Open Head Drum With Lid and Lever Lock

Price: ~$110

Where to buy: bayteccontainers.com

Now it's time to look at the lower cost fermenters you can get as a homebrewer. This barrel isn’t made only for fermentation, but can easily be used for this purpose.

It comes with a lid and fittings, to make sure you can close it airtight for fermentation.

Make sure to clean it, especially if you buy it used.

Specifications:

  • Cover: Plain
  • Ring: Bolt
  • Wt.: 24 lbs.
  • Diameter: 22.9”
  • Height: 36.8”
  • FDA Compliant
  • BPA Free
  • Container material: HDPE Plastic
  • UN Rated: 1H2/Y250/S & 1H2/X150/S

55 Gallon Uline Food-grade Plastic Drum

Price: ~$67-76

Where to buy: uline.com

One of the cheapest and biggest fermentation containers you can get as a homebrewer. It is quite simply just a plastic barrel that can contain up to 55 gallons of wine or beer.

Specifications:

  • Comes in open or closed top
  • Stores up to 395 lbs or 55 gallons
  • Quick-lock lid included
  • FDA compliant

Eagle 1656MBBG Straight-Sided Drum with Metal Band and Plastic Lid

Price: ~$75

Where to buy: amazon.com

Similar to the Uline barrel, i found this very cheap barrel that comes with a lid and a metal lever lock ring.

This is a very cheap barrel suitable for homebrewing, and granted that it’s on amazon shipping will probably be very easy and straightforward.

Specifications:

  • Plastic Bung Lid
  • Metal Lever-lock
  • HDPE UN Rated for solids
  • Lightweight
  • Made of High-density polyethylene

My Personal Recommendation

It all comes down to what you need and what your budget is. Personally i would choose a cheap barrel for simple yet large batches of wine. The one i'd pick is the one from Amazon since its most customer friendly, since most of the other sites are focused on larger commercial businesses.

In reality i would most likely choose the cheap eagle-barrel from Amazon, granted it's price and Amazons reputation.

Amazon is a website i know, and feel comfortable doing business with, whereas the other sites for 55 gallon fermenters are more commercially focused, and some require inquiries and can take a while to deliver.

I hope this post helped you shine a light on which 55 gallon fermenter is suited for you.

Good luck brewing your enormous 55 gallon batches in the future!

About Us

Hello, my name is Simon. Together with a group of writers I write about brewing beer and making wine. We all share a passion for the great things in life, such as making stuff from scratch.

The business of HomeBrewAdvice is to bring you great information, stories and product reviews from brewing at home, and making wine