View Full Version : wide mouthed gallon jars?

02-05-2012, 02:07 AM
Newbee to mead making and fermentation in general. when I started looking at the process, a friend who'd done it before recommended picking up some of the wide mouth pickle jars in glass to use for the fermentation. I did so, though I trashed the metal lid when I went to drill the hole for the airlock.

Anyway, what I gathered from him was that the wide mouthed gallon jars were convenient for small batched, as they were easy to clean out, being able to get your hand in etc.

Has anybody used these? they are cheap to aquire and would be easy to clean out for fruit based recipes in small quantities, but in searching I didn't find references so I got to wondering.

I'm also assembling some 4L Carlo Rossi wine bottles, and a couple 3L MD wine bottles to have on hand.

And for anybody who's done it, I got my airlocks at the local wine/home brew store, with the grommets. The hole for the grommet looks about 1/2" Does that sound right? The first lid I tried to drill with my regular bits and dril ended up getting thrashed when the bit caught and just tore the metal, rather than drilling the hole. I have drilled steel before, but never anything this thin. any tips or tricks?

02-05-2012, 08:56 AM
Put a piece of wood on both sides of where the hole will be a clamp it good and tight, then drill. When you hit the metal, back the drill back out and give the metal a good solid thwack with a center punch. Not so much to go through, but enough to put a good dip in it, then a drop of oil down there, then keep drilling.

Also, not sure if this is the gromet you are refering to, but they make rubber rings to put around these holes also called grommets that you can pick up pretty cheap at a hardware store or perhaps even a plumbing shop. I mention this because I got my bottle brushes from the brew shop, then found them cheaper at the hardware store a few days latter. Also, the package would tell you what size hole to drill to put the grommet in.

02-05-2012, 01:48 PM
Try using the wide mouth jars just for primary. Just cover with a cloth held in place with a rubber band.

Rack over to the wine jugs ( I bought 6 gallons of apple juice to make a cyser) with a stopper and air lock.

02-05-2012, 02:40 PM
My LHBS also sells some REALLY big rubber stoppers, I don't know how wide they are though as I haven't needed any. You might give yours a call and take a look though, if it'd be easier for you to buy a $3 stopper than to drill something.

I'm not very handy though, so YMMV.

Chevette Girl
02-05-2012, 06:58 PM
I almost exclusively use wide mouth pickle jars for JAO's and JAO variations (SOOO much easier to get the orange pieces out!), and occasionally I use them for other primary fermentations when I run out of buckets, I've even used them for secondary when I've run out of carboys. I've left some JAO variations in those jars for six months and no spoilage has occurred so far.

I would have suggested using a small hole saw for the lids but ZWolfupir's suggestion sounds like it'll be fine too. I never drilled the lids, I just cover the jars with a double-layer of plastic wrap and secure it with an elastic band. Much easier, and then I still have the lids if I want to use them as flour and sugar jars as they had been used for before I got them :)

I would also suggest you use something to line the metal edge with, for two reasons - you don't want the edges rusting, and you don't want them to slice up your bungs... I'd recommend food grade sealant if you can get it, kitchen/bath silicone or some form of epoxy would probably work too, just make sure you air it for a while before using it...

The Carlos Rossi jugs work really well, and their 1.5 litre Sangria bottles are awesome for JAO, I find one gallon of JAO racks perfectly into those (or one of the 3-litre jugs) after losses for fruit and lees.