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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: gruversm on August 16, 2010, 11:55:31 PM

Title: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: gruversm on August 16, 2010, 11:55:31 PM
For those of you who use a conical fermenter (mine is a Blichmann), do you still use Irish Moss/Super Moss -type products?

I love the ability to drop out the trub through the bottom port to setup a secondary fermentation.

I'd like to hear your thoughts....
Title: Re: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: gordonstrong on August 17, 2010, 12:36:02 AM
I don't use conicals very often, but one advantage is being able to get rid of the break material while keeping the yeast.  You don't have to have a conical to do this, though.  You can either chill while still in your kettle and rack off it or filter it out, or you can first rack into a carboy, let the trub settle out, then rack it into your fermenter. If you do the second approach, you should avoid aerating it until it's in the fermenter; I also blanket it with some CO2 for some extra insurance.  But it only takes an hour or two.  Mostly I try to do the first approach (recirc/chill while in the kettle, then run off directly to the fermenter).  If you use a conical, you can do the second approach with just the conical. Let the trub settle, dump it, then start fermenting.  Leaving some break behind is OK, it helps the yeast, but too much can give off flavors if you leave the beer on it too long.

I don't use irish moss much any more; I tend to use whirlfloc or breakbright.  But same idea.  Copper finings.
Title: Re: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: majorvices on August 17, 2010, 12:37:21 AM
Since IM is added during the boil I don't really see what the difference whether you use a conical or not. FTR I have a conical, but ferment in carboys and buckets as well, and I often use IM for many of my brews.
Title: Re: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: blatz on August 17, 2010, 01:46:38 AM
For those of you who use a conical fermenter (mine is a Blichmann), do you still use Irish Moss/Super Moss -type products?

I love the ability to drop out the trub through the bottom port to setup a secondary fermentation.

I'd like to hear your thoughts....

same setup (blichmann) and yes, definitely still use whirlfloc.
Title: Re: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: freddy2 on August 18, 2010, 01:11:28 AM
I've never seen the advantage to conicals. Hard to move and very expensive.
Title: Re: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 18, 2010, 12:27:37 PM
I've never seen the advantage to conicals. Hard to move and very expensive.
That was my line of thinking until I ended up with one.  Have found it to be a great piece of equipment, though I still use buckets and carboys if the conical is tied up with lagers, which is often in the winter.

If you can recirc while chilling, much of the break is retained by the hops (whole cones in my case).  I use Irish Moss also.  With the conical, I can dump the trub after a day.  There is not much to dump using the above procedure.

Title: Re: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: majorvices on August 18, 2010, 03:49:49 PM
I've never seen the advantage to conicals. Hard to move and very expensive.

I personally think buckets take the cake for homebrewing. easy to move. Easy to clean. Cheap. No breakable. Replaceable. I use a conical for large batch brewing though.
Title: Re: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: richardt on August 18, 2010, 04:11:46 PM
I'll try to list the pros and cons.

I've fermented in:
6 or 7.5 gallon plastic (HDPE) bottling buckets (cheap; unbreakable; easy to clean, sanitize, and fill; easy to transfer via spigot or racking cane, harder to visualize the fermentation process; adequate headspace for krausen; width usually limits number of fermenters/fridge to one );
6 gallon Better Bottle (PETE) carboys (not cheap; unbreakable; not as easy to clean, sanitize, and fill; easy to transfer via spigot or racking cane; easy and fun to visualize the fermentation process; adequate headspace for krausen; width usually limits number of fermenters/fridge to one);
5 gallon SS corny kegs with special fermentation lids (relief valve drilled out and stopper/airlock used in place)--(moderate cost; unbreakable, harder to clean and sanitize; easy to fill; easy to transfer via racking cane or jumper tubing between corny kegs, impossible to visualize the fermentation process, practically no headspace for krausen [need to use FermCap-S]; narrow width makes it easier to squeeze more than one fermenter in a single fridge).

If fridge space is at a premium, I ferment in the SS cornys, otherwise I much prefer the Bottling Buckets.  They're cheap 'n easy.
Conicals are cool to look at and have the trub dump and yeast collection capabilities, but the expense and size makes it less attractive for the routine homebrewer.

Title: Re: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: joemero on August 23, 2010, 12:32:42 PM
I'm starting out again, I think I prefer glass carboys, what do you all think?  I just feel that there's a lot more cleanliness in using glass.
Title: Re: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: majorvices on August 23, 2010, 12:47:39 PM
I use glass, buckets and stainless (I am all over the place!!) Moving carboys sucks. I recently slipped while carrying a carboy and I broke it. I have broken many over the years. Once I slipped into one and cut my leg pretty good. I also worry about the kids or dogs running and slipping into them (I keep them put away). I know of a guy who had serious lacerations from a broken carboy, serious "go to the hospital with pints of blood gushing from your arm" lacerations. The big cons are you have to clean them with a bottle brush. Cleaning buckets is much, much easier. You can use a soft sponge and worm soapy water and get everything out of there.

OTOH I have lost batches in buckets on a few occasions to fruit flies. As long as you have a carboy sealed with bung/airlock fruit flies can't get in. But they can get in under the bucket lid - or at least, their larvae can. But if you are careful to remover the beer from the bucket soon after fermentation is over you won;t have a problem.
Title: Re: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: blatz on August 24, 2010, 12:46:22 PM
I'm starting out again, I think I prefer glass carboys, what do you all think?  I just feel that there's a lot more cleanliness in using glass.

better bottles are pretty good as well - I have a bunch of them (though they only get used maybe twice a year) - advantages of a carboy shape and without the disadvantages of glass.
Title: Re: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: denny on August 24, 2010, 03:00:15 PM
I'm starting out again, I think I prefer glass carboys, what do you all think?  I just feel that there's a lot more cleanliness in using glass.

I used carboys for years.  Then I broke 3 of them, 2 at once even!  I switched to buckets maybe 6 years ago and haven't looked back.  They're easier to clean and store, and there's no loss of "cleanliness" to them.
Title: Re: Using Irish Moss with a Conical Fermenter
Post by: beveragebob on August 29, 2010, 04:06:33 AM
I haven't used IM in years. My beers usually clear a few weeks after kegging and cold conditioning. If I have a beer that doesn't clear and I want it to, I'll fine with gelatin. After a few "close calls" with broken carboys, I too went to buckets and gave all my carboys away. Scrub them clean with green scrubby(heavens! the micro scratches!) and soak with iodophor, light rinse and stack upside down on my drying rig and I'm good to go!