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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: weazletoe on November 15, 2018, 04:21:50 PM

Title: Conical
Post by: weazletoe on November 15, 2018, 04:21:50 PM
   I'm looking at getting a conical. SS is not in the budget. I'm looking at the Catalyst, the Fastferment or the Fermentasaurus. I'm leaning towards the Fastferment. I really like the idea of being able to wall mount it. Anyone with experience of any of these three have some advice? Thanks!
Title: Re: Conical
Post by: yugamrap on November 15, 2018, 08:09:51 PM
Why conical?  Will you be harvesting/repitching yeast, or just wanting to be able to drop yeast/trub?  If you're not going to be doing any of those, I don't think a conical is worth the expense.  There are some nice stainless options that aren't budget breakers. 

I ferment in these :https://brewhaus.com/8-gallon-stainless-steel-moonshine-still-kettle/ (https://brewhaus.com/8-gallon-stainless-steel-moonshine-still-kettle/)

The 2" triclover fitting on the top lets me use these https://www.brewershardware.com/American-Sanke-Keg-Fermentor-Kit-with-Thermowell.html (https://www.brewershardware.com/American-Sanke-Keg-Fermentor-Kit-with-Thermowell.html)  to help with temperature control and to use CO2 to push beer instead of siphoning. 

One of these fits fine inside a 5 CF chest freezer for great temperature control - no modification or collar necessary.

Two full sets like that were less than one 7.5-gallon conical.  If you watch the sites, you can sometimes find the items on sale.

Title: Re: Conical
Post by: Robert on November 15, 2018, 08:57:59 PM
My preference is the 10 gallon corny-style tank.  Stainless, pressure vessel (conicals that hold full pressure are many times the price,) so you can ferment, carbonate, closed transfer, all oxygen free,  and still harvest yeast after transfer (I do repitch;) just trim the dip tube a little bit.  These are pricier than yugamrap's options, but offer virtually the same functionality as the high end conicals, and again at a fraction of the cost.   And with no valves and such to disassemble and clean. 

https://www.chicompany.net/beer-store/ball-pin-lock-kegs-parts/ball-lock-kegs/10-gallon-ball-lock-keg-new

I went through a brief stage of using a Speidel, and will not use anything plastic again.  It seems to  me the Catalyst,  etc offer the worst of all worlds;  not fully functional conical pressure systems,  and they're friggin' plastic.  Sorry, I'm almost off on a rant.
Title: Re: Conical
Post by: weazletoe on November 15, 2018, 09:21:09 PM
Why conical?  Will you be harvesting/repitching yeast, or just wanting to be able to drop yeast/trub?

These two reasons. I like the idea of being able to secondary without racking.
Title: Re: Conical
Post by: denny on November 15, 2018, 09:41:33 PM
I've got a Fermentasaurus on the way to test.  I like that it can be pressurized for xfers, and I can use my Brewjacket for temp control.
Title: Re: Conical
Post by: weazletoe on November 16, 2018, 01:12:23 PM
I do like the idea of being able to pressure transfer, but couldn't any vessel handle a couple PSI for a transfer?
Title: Re: Conical
Post by: goose on November 16, 2018, 02:18:29 PM
My preference is the 10 gallon corny-style tank.  Stainless, pressure vessel (conicals that hold full pressure are many times the price,) so you can ferment, carbonate, closed transfer, all oxygen free,  and still harvest yeast after transfer (I do repitch;) just trim the dip tube a little bit.  These are pricier than yugamrap's options, but offer virtually the same functionality as the high end conicals, and again at a fraction of the cost.   And with no valves and such to disassemble and clean. 

https://www.chicompany.net/beer-store/ball-pin-lock-kegs-parts/ball-lock-kegs/10-gallon-ball-lock-keg-new

I went through a brief stage of using a Speidel, and will not use anything plastic again.  It seems to  me the Catalyst,  etc offer the worst of all worlds;  not fully functional conical pressure systems,  and they're friggin' plastic.  Sorry, I'm almost off on a rant.

I used to have a half barrel Mini-Brew plastic conical.  I bought it from a guy that was giving up on homebrewing since he was going to re-enlist in the military.  It was a good fermenter for a novice brewer but since it was plastic, I always worried about scratching it when cleaning it and I had to take the ball valves off and clean the area where they threaded into the fermenter which was a real PITA,  I then had to be careful when re-installing them that I didn't over-tighten them and ruin the plastic threads.  I agree with Rob and would never use a plastic fermenter again.

I sold it when I bought my SS Brewtech conical. I can pressurize it to around 4 PSI for transfers (it has a PRV on the lid that vents when the pressure exceeds 4 PSI) and I have the sanitary butterfly valves on it which makes cleaning them really easy when I CIP the fermenter and my chiller during the brew day.  Yes stainless conicals are not cheap and you can use other things for fermenters that are more cost effective But I feel the money I spent for this fermenter was well worth it, especially when it comes to harvesting yeast and or burping off the trub.  Disclaimer:  I do not work for SS Brewtech, I am just a happy customer.
Title: Re: Conical
Post by: Jeffrey on November 17, 2018, 04:01:59 PM
I just started using this...

https://www.minibrew.com/products/48?variant=25687095366

So far, one experimental Belgian style ale and a Pliny the Elder clone. Both great. Don’t have to clean two car boys (or 4 in the case of the Pliny). Simple to harvest the yeast and/or dump trub. Got a thermowell and put the RTD for my temp controller in there, also a plus. I could go on...

Maybe this could give you some alternatives to consider.

Cheers!!!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Conical
Post by: soymateofeo on November 18, 2018, 06:53:34 AM
I have a blichmann conical and a brewbucket.  I NEVER use my conical.  I will be getting the anvil fermenter soon. Never is extreme.  2x a year.  Cleaning it is a pita
Title: Re: Conical
Post by: goose on November 18, 2018, 03:49:14 PM
I just started using this...

https://www.minibrew.com/products/48?variant=25687095366

So far, one experimental Belgian style ale and a Pliny the Elder clone. Both great. Don’t have to clean two car boys (or 4 in the case of the Pliny). Simple to harvest the yeast and/or dump trub. Got a thermowell and put the RTD for my temp controller in there, also a plus. I could go on...

Maybe this could give you some alternatives to consider.

Cheers!!!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

That's the same one I had Jeffrey.
Title: Re: Conical
Post by: Visor on November 19, 2018, 04:47:02 PM
   I have 4 of the fast ferments and have done more than 80 batches of beer in them. After using my 1st one for a while I realized I needed more FV's and looked long and hard at the other options before adding to my stable. I brew upstairs and have to carry the FV downstairs where the fermenting and bottling take place, the extra weight of stainless FV's, when added to the weight of 7 gallons of beer is far too much for this old man to carry down a steep staircase with a 180* turn midway. Of the plastic options the Fermentasarurs appears to be too top heavy, and some of the reviews I read indicated that they are pretty flimsy. I really like the Catalyst's larger diameter bottom opening and the ability to use mason jars, but it also looks to be difficult to pack down stairs, and there are a number of negative reviews that seemed pertinent to me. I have some complaints about the design of the FF's, the thermowell is poorly located and the thermometers are wildly inaccurate, I eventually removed the wells on all of my FV's and plugged the openings, fermometers are inexpensive and more accurate the stock FF thermos. I wish the Fast Ferments had a larger diameter opening at the base as sometimes sediment will adhere to the base of the cone instead of making it's way into the sediment ball. I have built wooden support stands and portable bases for all of mine, using the wall mounting brackets. The support stands were specifically designed to facilitate carrying the FV's down stairs. I really need at least one larger fermenter, if the Fast Ferment 14 gallon ones were designed for use with the wall brackets I'd buy one, alas they aren't compatible. I'll keep looking for a viable alternative.