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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: flbrewer on January 12, 2014, 09:09:50 PM

Title: Conical Fermentors
Post by: flbrewer on January 12, 2014, 09:09:50 PM
Looking at SS conical fermentors online  ;D and I'm curious how the home brewer using one of these regulates temps with them?
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: harbicide on January 12, 2014, 09:16:00 PM
My 27 gallon conical barely fits in a 14 cu. ft. upright freezer.  I did need to remove the door shelf molding in order to shut the door.  I use a transfer cart (seen in the photo) to roll the conical into the freezer.

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5521/11915423804_5df03b61d1_m.jpg)
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: yso191 on January 12, 2014, 09:17:09 PM
I am just setting up to do this.  I bought a freezer with a flat bottom and removable shelves.  My 7 gallon Stout Tanks conical fits perfectly.  In fact I'm having my daughter's boyfriend weld 5" extensions to the legs so I can dump yeast directly into an Erlenmeyer flask.  I'm going to drill a hole through the side for my dual stage controller temperature probe and a power cord for a heating wrap.  I don't think the wrap will fit elegantly around the conical but it will still provide heat.  I may get a narrow band for heating in the future though.
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: flbrewer on January 12, 2014, 09:19:05 PM
Is glycol an option?
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: AmandaK on January 12, 2014, 09:21:41 PM
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/13/by9eqe8y.jpg)

I use a commercial fridge (old True Manufacturing model used for soda display) to house my 15g conical. I'll be putting a little space heater in there for Belgians soon.
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: yso191 on January 12, 2014, 09:22:19 PM
Is glycol an option?

If you've got the money.  It's very expensive, and I've never seen a setup for 5 gallon batches.  Speidel has them for larger batches.
Title: Conical Fermentors
Post by: Stevie on January 12, 2014, 09:33:03 PM
Your picture looks oddly artistic Amanda. Kinda like it's a watercolor.
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: AmandaK on January 12, 2014, 09:41:00 PM
Your picture looks oddly artistic Amanda. Kinda like its a watercolor.

Haha. Camera phones are (of course) artsy! :))

I think it's the dual paned glass that's causing that. And the crappy camera phone...
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: Jeff M on January 12, 2014, 09:43:58 PM
What brand Plastic Conical are you running Amandak? Ive read bad things about certain brands and wondering how its working for you.

As for Conicals, i plan on making a fermentation chamber much like a walk in cooler.  it will be controlled by a Coolbot attached to a Window AC unit for cooling and a Heater.

http://www.storeitcold.com/

Still not a cheap option:)
Cheers,
Jeff
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: AmandaK on January 12, 2014, 10:06:32 PM
What brand Plastic Conical are you running Amandak? Ive read bad things about certain brands and wondering how its working for you.

As for Conicals, i plan on making a fermentation chamber much like a walk in cooler.  it will be controlled by a Coolbot attached to a Window AC unit for cooling and a Heater.

http://www.storeitcold.com/

Still not a cheap option:)
Cheers,
Jeff

It's an Ace Rotomold or something like that. I picked one up after several recommendations from other club members. After spending months comparing SS concials, I figured that I could replace the plastic conical 8-10 times before I made it to the cost of a SS conical. Most other people that have this set up use a plastic dump valve and siphoning source, but I went with SS fittings there because it seems like the area of greatest weakness for harboring buggies.

I also toyed with the idea of a walk in cooler (with window AC and Coolbot) but decided it wasn't right for me. Too expensive, too much space and not enough individual control over each fermenter.
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: Jeff M on January 12, 2014, 10:19:09 PM

It's an Ace Rotomold or something like that. I picked one up after several recommendations from other club members. After spending months comparing SS concials, I figured that I could replace the plastic conical 8-10 times before I made it to the cost of a SS conical. Most other people that have this set up use a plastic dump valve and siphoning source, but I went with SS fittings there because it seems like the area of greatest weakness for harboring buggies.

I also toyed with the idea of a walk in cooler (with window AC and Coolbot) but decided it wasn't right for me. Too expensive, too much space and not enough individual control over each fermenter.

Good to know, ill have to look into it.  Leos and Keith are trying to talk me into going plastic instead of SS.  Im seriously considering it because its obviously much cheaper, but ive heard from people that have purchased plastic conicals that have a LOT of issues.  YOu havent seen nay quality problems in any of your beers fermented in it?

Cheers,
Jeff
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: corkybstewart on January 12, 2014, 11:47:45 PM
(http://i362.photobucket.com/albums/oo65/rocdoc1/my%20beer%20stuff/WeeHeavyOctober2009014.jpg) (http://s362.photobucket.com/user/rocdoc1/media/my%20beer%20stuff/WeeHeavyOctober2009014.jpg.html)
Mine's not nearly as pretty as Amanda's but under $200 including the $100 window AC.  I can ferment lagers in my 110F garage in the summer.
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: AmandaK on January 13, 2014, 01:12:36 AM

It's an Ace Rotomold or something like that. I picked one up after several recommendations from other club members. After spending months comparing SS concials, I figured that I could replace the plastic conical 8-10 times before I made it to the cost of a SS conical. Most other people that have this set up use a plastic dump valve and siphoning source, but I went with SS fittings there because it seems like the area of greatest weakness for harboring buggies.

I also toyed with the idea of a walk in cooler (with window AC and Coolbot) but decided it wasn't right for me. Too expensive, too much space and not enough individual control over each fermenter.

Good to know, ill have to look into it.  Leos and Keith are trying to talk me into going plastic instead of SS.  Im seriously considering it because its obviously much cheaper, but ive heard from people that have purchased plastic conicals that have a LOT of issues.  YOu havent seen nay quality problems in any of your beers fermented in it?

Cheers,
Jeff

I just finished building it not too long ago, so I don't have a beer through it yet. So I don't have a status report on my own. However, 3 guys in my club use them for award winners, so there's that. ;)

What were the "lot of issues"?
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: Jeff M on January 13, 2014, 01:32:02 AM
um 3-4 threads in the last month.  All infection based from what i can only assume is porous plastic.  None your brand tho so im sure you will be good:)
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: dkfick on January 13, 2014, 01:43:53 AM
I use an upright freezer with my Stout 14.5 gallon conical. 

The only real issues I have with a plastic conical are that you know it will need to be replaced one day... and they really don't have the resale value when you want to get rid of them.  I've seen this guy on craigslist trying to sell 2 of them for 3 years lol.
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: reverseapachemaster on January 13, 2014, 03:11:24 AM
I use an upright freezer with my Stout 14.5 gallon conical. 

The only real issues I have with a plastic conical are that you know it will need to be replaced one day... and they really don't have the resale value when you want to get rid of them.  I've seen this guy on craigslist trying to sell 2 of them for 3 years lol.

Do they really *have* to be replaced? Even if they get scratched up a little on the inside it still seems like a long oxy or PBW soak followed by a long bleach soak would clean out anything that might be trying to shack up in there.

Alternatively, any reason why they could not be put to use brewing sours?
Title: Re: Conical Fermentors
Post by: dkfick on January 13, 2014, 03:26:01 AM
I use an upright freezer with my Stout 14.5 gallon conical. 

The only real issues I have with a plastic conical are that you know it will need to be replaced one day... and they really don't have the resale value when you want to get rid of them.  I've seen this guy on craigslist trying to sell 2 of them for 3 years lol.

Do they really *have* to be replaced? Even if they get scratched up a little on the inside it still seems like a long oxy or PBW soak followed by a long bleach soak would clean out anything that might be trying to shack up in there.

Alternatively, any reason why they could not be put to use brewing sours?
I suppose... I know some of my old bucket fermenters have absorbed alot of interesting aromas and flavors that even long PBW soaks will no longer remove.  Especially if you happen to do a really strong flavored melomel or metheglin in them etc...  I have a bucket that to this day still imparts a subtile spearmint flavor to anything fermented in it since I used it for a spearmint mead...

Dedicating it to sours I suppose could be an option.  Though I still am very sanitary with my sour beers.  There are lots of wild yeast that do not impart what I would call 'good' flavors/aromas.

I'm not saying that a plastic conical can't last you many many many batches without being replaced, if properly taken care of.  Obviously there are different manufacturers of plastic conicals out there (I own one of those Onederbrew ones that fits onto a bucket) and they have many different price points.... But for not much more of an added cost you can get a stainless conical which will retain value better (if you ever decide to sell it) and it will be easier to maintain.

Just a quick look a mini-brew 8 gallon plastic conical is $349 and a 7.3 gallon stainless Stout conical is $329 and a 12.5 is $399.  I did alot of analysis on many different conicals when I was looking... I initially included plastic ones in my search but they were quickly eliminated for the above reasons.  If they were in the $50-$100 range they are definitely an appealing option though.  This is why I purchased the Onederbrew fermenter at the NHC in Seattle.