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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: ScottBeh on December 25, 2014, 09:25:01 PM

Title: Conicals again
Post by: ScottBeh on December 25, 2014, 09:25:01 PM
Hi.  Trying to justify the leap to a conical.  Ive searched and read the posts here, but they don't answer this question.  While the convenience factor looms large, the yeast book talks about the fluid dynamics within a conical will give you faster ferments, less diacetyl, better attenuation because of the flow of CO2 upwards from the center of the cone.  Can anyone who uses one say they get these improvements on a homebrew sized conical.  There don't appear to be a lot of side by side tests, likely cause once you get a conical you never look back.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: yso191 on December 25, 2014, 10:25:56 PM
Here is a review I did a while back after putting a couple of brews through a new conical.   
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=19586.msg249656#msg249656

The only thing I would add is that I am awaiting a second conical right now.  I have ordered the Chronical 7 gallon fermenter: http://www.ssbrewtech.com/products/7-gallon-chronical

I like the seal on it much better than the Stout fermenter.  It also comes with a tri-clamp fitting on the lid, which I had to add to the Stout one.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: mabrungard on December 25, 2014, 10:44:04 PM
I don't subscribe to the contention that a conical creates a better ferment. I do WHOLE-HEARTEDLY contend that moving from a large glass vessel is very important to a brewer's health! While plastic is a decent material for a fermenter, stainless is still better. That is how a SST conical can be better. The new cylindrical SST vessels could be a good option too.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: Alewyfe on December 25, 2014, 10:47:55 PM
On a homebrew scale I have experienced no difference in quality of the finished product. I have been using a stainless conical, buckets, glass and plastic carboys for a number of years. I actually prefer the buckets and carboys for the ease of arranging them in my cooler. If you're wanting to drop trub or pull yeast from the cone, that would be the only advantage to the conical and that can be a pain as the racking ports (mine is not rotatable) can get completely clogged so nothing comes out easily.

If you have everything else your heart desires for brewing - go ahead. But, a conical would definitely not be an early purchase in my acquisition of desired brew gear.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: ScottBeh on December 26, 2014, 11:08:10 AM
Thanks.  Lots to think about.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: majorvices on December 26, 2014, 09:22:07 PM
I love my spiedel tanks! I recommend them over a conical. That said, the only thing I don't like about them is yeast harvesting. Conicals are definitely good for that.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: JT on December 26, 2014, 11:21:01 PM
I love my spiedel tanks! I recommend them over a conical. That said, the only thing I don't like about them is yeast harvesting. Conicals are definitely good for that.
Considering getting a spiedel for the valve to ditch my siphon, but I've heard a number of people say theirs leaks so they don't end up using it.  Any feedback on the valve?
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: majorvices on December 26, 2014, 11:42:07 PM
I love my spiedel tanks! I recommend them over a conical. That said, the only thing I don't like about them is yeast harvesting. Conicals are definitely good for that.
Considering getting a spiedel for the valve to ditch my siphon, but I've heard a number of people say theirs leaks so they don't end up using it.  Any feedback on the valve?

I have 4 of them and no problems leaking. They also hold pressure amazingly well. If you seal the top with the cap as opposed to the airlock and if there is any activity going on the lid will bulge and swell.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: quattlebaum on December 27, 2014, 12:23:35 AM
To many parts to clean for me. Keep it simple in my eyes. Carboy glass or food grade plastic.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: JT on December 27, 2014, 12:30:37 AM
To many parts to clean for me. Keep it simple in my eyes. Carboy glass or food grade plastic.
Don't you clean your siphon in between uses as well?
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: ram5ey on December 27, 2014, 02:01:34 AM
I've had several speidel valve leaks. I did the mod of adding a brew bucket valve and racking arm to a spare cap. That has worked well.

All that said I ordered a 7gal chronical today.  I will be keeping the speidel though because it is still very useful.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: quattlebaum on December 27, 2014, 03:49:16 AM
To many parts to clean for me. Keep it simple in my eyes. Carboy glass or food grade plastic.
Don't you clean your siphon in between uses as well?

Yes run a bit of PBW through it in a 2Qt container and soak for a bit. 
To much to break down with conical. The more parts the more to break down and clean. For me anyways.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: klickitat jim on December 27, 2014, 04:47:21 AM
Speidel fan here. Its really the only way to go. But then duh, everyone knows that. I don't seem to have any trouble harvesting yeast. Rack beer, leave a bit, swirl n pour. I dont use the spigots, they are still new. In fact the cap on the bottom is only used for dumping oxyclean or sanitizer. I would think a conical would be handy once you get up to barrel sized or larger batches. Like I can't imagine a 15 barrel speidel would be much fun to swirl n pour.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: majorvices on December 27, 2014, 11:29:36 AM
To many parts to clean for me. Keep it simple in my eyes. Carboy glass or food grade plastic.
Don't you clean your siphon in between uses as well?

Yes run a bit of PBW through it in a 2Qt container and soak for a bit. 
To much to break down with conical. The more parts the more to break down and clean. For me anyways.

Yes, those small conicals are a PITA to clean. I had the 42 gallon blickmans for a while and it took hours to clean. Lots of gaskets and ball valves that need disassembled.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: majorvices on December 27, 2014, 11:33:44 AM
Speidel fan here. Its really the only way to go. But then duh, everyone knows that. I don't seem to have any trouble harvesting yeast. Rack beer, leave a bit, swirl n pour. I dont use the spigots, they are still new. In fact the cap on the bottom is only used for dumping oxyclean or sanitizer. I would think a conical would be handy once you get up to barrel sized or larger batches. Like I can't imagine a 15 barrel speidel would be much fun to swirl n pour.

Well, it's not the most sanitary transfer what with the large opening and the lid being off the entire duration of the transfer. Since the lid is so large and my container I store yeast in has a small neck (1 gallon bottle) I have to use a funnel. Certainly not a deal breaker but it is on the con list. I think the pros outweigh the cons.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: JT on December 27, 2014, 11:38:07 AM
To many parts to clean for me. Keep it simple in my eyes. Carboy glass or food grade plastic.
Don't you clean your siphon in between uses as well?

Yes run a bit of PBW through it in a 2Qt container and soak for a bit. 
To much to break down with conical. The more parts the more to break down and clean. For me anyways.
Sorry, I was still thinking of the Speidel still and not the topic at hand.  I'm not really interested in the conical though.  Plastic works great, is lightweight and much cheaper. 
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: klickitat jim on December 27, 2014, 11:39:28 AM
Speidel fan here. Its really the only way to go. But then duh, everyone knows that. I don't seem to have any trouble harvesting yeast. Rack beer, leave a bit, swirl n pour. I dont use the spigots, they are still new. In fact the cap on the bottom is only used for dumping oxyclean or sanitizer. I would think a conical would be handy once you get up to barrel sized or larger batches. Like I can't imagine a 15 barrel speidel would be much fun to swirl n pour.

Well, it's not the most sanitary transfer what with the large opening and the lid being off the entire duration of the transfer. Since the lid is so large and my container I store yeast in has a small neck (1 gallon bottle) I have to use a funnel. Certainly not a deal breaker but it is on the con list. I think the pros outweigh the cons.
True. If you use the spigot, why not swirl and drain through the spigot?
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: majorvices on December 27, 2014, 11:41:16 AM
Speidel fan here. Its really the only way to go. But then duh, everyone knows that. I don't seem to have any trouble harvesting yeast. Rack beer, leave a bit, swirl n pour. I dont use the spigots, they are still new. In fact the cap on the bottom is only used for dumping oxyclean or sanitizer. I would think a conical would be handy once you get up to barrel sized or larger batches. Like I can't imagine a 15 barrel speidel would be much fun to swirl n pour.

Well, it's not the most sanitary transfer what with the large opening and the lid being off the entire duration of the transfer. Since the lid is so large and my container I store yeast in has a small neck (1 gallon bottle) I have to use a funnel. Certainly not a deal breaker but it is on the con list. I think the pros outweigh the cons.
True. If you use the spigot, why not swirl and drain through the spigot?

Ain't no way that would work. Opening too small. Clog-city.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: klickitat jim on December 27, 2014, 11:50:59 AM
Speidel fan here. Its really the only way to go. But then duh, everyone knows that. I don't seem to have any trouble harvesting yeast. Rack beer, leave a bit, swirl n pour. I dont use the spigots, they are still new. In fact the cap on the bottom is only used for dumping oxyclean or sanitizer. I would think a conical would be handy once you get up to barrel sized or larger batches. Like I can't imagine a 15 barrel speidel would be much fun to swirl n pour.

Well, it's not the most sanitary transfer what with the large opening and the lid being off the entire duration of the transfer. Since the lid is so large and my container I store yeast in has a small neck (1 gallon bottle) I have to use a funnel. Certainly not a deal breaker but it is on the con list. I think the pros outweigh the cons.
True. If you use the spigot, why not swirl and drain through the spigot?

Ain't no way that would work. Opening too small. Clog-city.
I suppose.  Like I said, never used my spigots. And I only repitch a time or two, so swirl and pour hasn't been a concern contamination wise for me.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: reverseapachemaster on December 27, 2014, 06:26:55 PM
I like the idea of a conical but it wouldn't be good value for my brewing. One gallon batches are too easily brewed in 5l wine jugs. There is somebody out there selling a one gallon conical but there's no way to dump the bottom to collect the yeast so it doesn't do me any good.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: ScottBeh on December 27, 2014, 10:33:45 PM
Thanks for all the advice.  My situation is doing 10 gal and its getting to be a royal pain slinging around 2 full carboys from the brewdeck back into the barn where my ferment fridges are.  Worse I brew in a climate with 80F water supply pretty much year round and use a ice bath fed CFC into the carboys and use them as a settle tank then rack off the break after it settles, so I have to sling them into the fridge after chilling, back out to rack off, back in to ferment, back out to rack to keg.  I usually have 2-3 batches in various ferment stages so I'd have to get 3 conicals to keep up.  I ferment with temp ramping so a conical would have to be self-cooled or build a dedicated fermentation closet but that comes with a dedicated ferment temp.  I harvest yeast since I live way back in the woods and its hard here to get fresh except from yeastman.  So a cooled conical would reduce the work load by dumping cold break, then collecting yeast, but the expense is crazy money. Thinking I just need to man up and keep hauling carboys.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: majorvices on December 27, 2014, 11:29:40 PM
Get rid of the glass carboys! They suck! Go with plastic buckets or the Speidel tanks of Better Bottles. I've completely given up on dangerous glass carboys. Too many serious disasters with those things.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: HoosierBrew on December 27, 2014, 11:34:52 PM
Get rid of the glass carboys! They suck! Go with plastic buckets or the Speidel tanks of Better Bottles. I've completely given up on dangerous glass carboys. Too many serious disasters with those things.

No joke, I got stitches after a couple of broken carboys. I use buckets and BBs now and wouldn't go back for anything.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: yso191 on December 28, 2014, 03:32:09 AM
And the Speidel fermenters have carrying handles.  That makes moving full fermenters much easier.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: tommymorris on December 28, 2014, 04:10:50 AM
I am also a Speidel fan. I can confirm using the spigot to harvest yeast is clog city. I collect the slurry via auto siphon into a 2L bottle. The process is not great. I have to get my son to hold the tube in the bottle and keep the bottle from falling over. But, it works.

As a fermenter and cold crash vessel the Speidel is great.

My spigot doesn't leak. I use the spigot to transfer and it works pretty good. Some slurry gets in the keg but not much. One dumb mistake I have made more than once: if you have the air tight cap on for cold crash and then use the spigot to transfer you need to remember to open that cap. Otherwise, there will be back pressure and you won't get good flow. It will flow though and when you realize your mistake it's too late, air bubbles will get sucked back into the fermenter through the hose going to the keg. The air bubbles stir up the yeast cake pretty bad. Also, don't turn off the spigot too soon. It is hard to get flow started again if your down to the last 0.25 gallon.

Regarding lots of parts, I don't have a problem there. I find it very easy to clean.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: ynotbrusum on December 28, 2014, 12:10:53 PM
I do 10 gallon batches in my two 60 liter Spiedels, using the supplied valve - never a leak so far after dozens of batches...my only issue is lifting them out of my lager chest freezer - I need a hand from a friend with that.  I have the makings of a winch set up (using a deer hanging arrangement), but I never seem to get around to putting it together...too much brewing to do.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: klickitat jim on December 28, 2014, 12:29:15 PM
I do 10 gallon batches in my two 60 liter Spiedels, using the supplied valve - never a leak so far after dozens of batches...my only issue is lifting them out of my lager chest freezer - I need a hand from a friend with that.  I have the makings of a winch set up (using a deer hanging arrangement), but I never seem to get around to putting it together...too much brewing to do.
2 ten gallon batches would be a back destroyer.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on December 29, 2014, 03:19:32 AM

I do 10 gallon batches in my two 60 liter Spiedels, using the supplied valve - never a leak so far after dozens of batches...my only issue is lifting them out of my lager chest freezer - I need a hand from a friend with that.  I have the makings of a winch set up (using a deer hanging arrangement), but I never seem to get around to putting it together...too much brewing to do.

Do not hurt yourself.
Title: Re: Conicals again
Post by: coolman26 on December 30, 2014, 01:21:46 AM
I usually do 10-12 gallon batches and use the 15 gallon Curtec containers with the screw on red lids.  The lids have a seal and are tight enough to do tranfers.  Best fermenter I've found.  The hands fold away, but lifting them into the freezer does s#ck.  I would never go back to the small necked fermenters.  I still have glass carboys for extended secondary.  I would like to have a 25 gallon conical, but these fermenters work so well.  They do remind me of the larger Spiedel.