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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * January 9, 2004 * Conical Fermenter < Previous Next >

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Eric Lord (209.234.86.3)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 02:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does anyone use a conical fermenter? I am thinking about investing in a 12.5 gal stainless steel conical, but it brings up many questions. How to control the temperature? Since you really can't move it once its filled. Are they hard to clean? Is it really that much easier/better to justify the cost? Any advice would be helpful.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 03:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Stainless conicals are the Lexus of fermenters. It would be hard to call them essential but they are wonderful in terms of harvesting yeast and trub and eliminating the need for racking the beer. They are easier to clean than carboys and can be placed on stands with wheels if you need to move them when full (again not essential). I would recommend the racking arm option for ease of bottling or kegging.

Cooling is another issue. B3, for example, sells a very expensive electronic cooling option that is effective, but many more people adapt an old refrigerator or beverage cooler for temperature control.

If you have to try to justify the cost of a stainless conical, I would argue against it. It's one of those items to buy for the dream brewery where the budget is not an issue.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 05:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yea... i have a 12.2 gallon ss conical.
Its a sweet toy :) But as bill said, ya cant justify it money wise, so much.. heh
I do not have any temp controlling "things" hooked upto it. I just put it in the location i put my fermentor before, which sits around 68 degrees, give or take a couple..
I put mine together myself... cone from TMS, fittings and stand from Zymie...
COst was about 350.... this was before they jacked the price at TMS.. prob run ya 400 to make now...
http://www.lamabrewery.com/Various%20Toys.htm

Walt
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 05:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My problem with _any_ expensive fermenter is that I tend to have more than one batch going at a time. Having to wait for a fermenter to free up would really put a cramp in my brewing. Besides that, I can't see any advantages that outweigh the cost.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 05:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Welll.. one nice thing about it is when i brew up a 10 gallon batch of "special" beer, i can just let it sit in there and not have to worry about racking, or moving or well.. basically anything...heh.. it just sits in there, never to be disturbed again till keg time...Its nice n easy to take samples, snag the yeast...

Which is nice when brewing a big beer that has nothing to do but sit around a long time...

Course I have 12 other fermentors... heh
4 plastics, 2 carboys, and (6) 33 gallon plastics :)

BrewON!
Walt
 

Adam W (128.125.6.113)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 06:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Unitank-type fermenters are useful where issues of floorspace are important.

However, as any winemaker will tell you, and as I believe personally, the physical act of racking your beer to a secondary container aids in clarification of the beer.

They are a waste of money as far as I'm concerned.

In addition, as in my case, three year old boys and top-heavy fermenters don't make a good combination!
 

Greg Nolan (12.10.148.126)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 12:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I like mine but I wish I would have gotton the 15 gallon. I boil in a keg and can easily make a 13 gallon batch. They are a snap to clean and offer great convenience in kegging or bottling. I took a 50 gallon plastic drum and cut a hole in the top slightly smaller than the conical so the cone slips in without slipping through. I then cut big holes to access the ball valves. This has worked good for me. I wish i would have had TMS weld fittings on for the ball valve - pay the extra and have it done. I ended up silver soldering a fitting on.
 

Keith O. (64.136.26.235)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 03:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have 3 20 gallon conicals and I'm always waiting for an empty. (check my profile) For temp control in the winter I wrape them with heat trace and control with a ranco.
I can insert co2 fitting on top and tranfer to secondary if needed. I like fermenting in a Lexus. carboys sucks, plastic sinks. SS ROCKS

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