>Can I ferment in a 55 gallon drum, and then distill as needed?
>Will I run into any problems making a wash so big?
You may have problems keeping it cool. The yeast put out a fair bit of
energy while doing their business, and can overheat themselves. Commercial
systems have cooling tubes through their fermenters to avoid this.
Hobbyist's can use say ice (toss in a couple of frozen 2L softdrink bottles
of ice) or an evaporative system (wet towels & a fan) to try and keep the
fermenter cool. Smaller fermenters get around this by having a larger
surface area, relative to the amount of wash inside, over which to lose the
heat (and most actually need some form of heating to ensure it doesn't cool
Once fermented, the wash should be OK for a couple of weeks, provided you
keep air out of it. Air (oxygen) will encourage the alcohol to oxidise
(become vinegar). Thus the dilemma of how to get the wash out, without
getting air in, particularly if you're doing say 5 gallon batches. Maybe
some sort of arrangement using CO2 for kegging beer to purge it ?