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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: will on April 02, 2011, 03:33:59 AM

Title: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: will on April 02, 2011, 03:33:59 AM
Any advice would be awesome!
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: bluesman on April 02, 2011, 03:46:07 AM
If you have the money...Blichmann Fermenators are great and I'm biased towards them.

http://www.blichmannengineering.com/fermentor/fermentor.html

...but some folks prefer the morebeer version.

https://morebeer.com/view_product/10773

The advantages of using conical fermentors are the following:

- Ability to get most of beer in fermenter
- Ability to remove trub (allowing for a secondary fermentation in the same container)
- Ability to harvest yeast

The main disadvantage is the cost but I think the advantages can justify the cost. YMMV.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: pyrite on April 02, 2011, 04:03:01 AM
Pros: They are great for dumping cold and hot break material. They are great for collecting yeast.
  
Cons: Unless you have temperature control on them, such as a fridge you can put them in, or a basement that is at a constant fermenting temp they will be somewhat useless.  I have two morebeer 12 gallon conical fermenters, but I have a big Trauslen two door fridge to stick them in.  
  
Conclusion: It's a luxury item that only benefits those with temperature control.  There are other inexpensive and practical fermenters, such as carboys or other 15 gal stainless steel kegs that can be converted into fermenters.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: will on April 02, 2011, 05:01:27 AM
My question was more of tips on use. I bought a 14 gallon temp controlled conical from more beer. It's beautiful. Sunday is the maiden voyage.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: pyrite on April 02, 2011, 05:13:00 AM
haha, oh! Make sure all valves are sealed, and all tri-clamps and tri-clamp gaskets are snug before filling. You might want to mark the rotating racking arm so you know when it's in the up position and when it's in the down position. 
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: BarleynYeast on April 02, 2011, 06:12:27 AM
I always wait about 2 hours after filling for everything to settle and then dump the trub just before oxygenating and pitching.

It takes a couple of tries to learn when the best time to harvest the yeast for each strain. (If you are going to harvest from the bottom.) With a real flocculent strain (like WLP002) I will harvest the day I start to cool or the next day, or the yeast will be too thick to come out. With a medium flocculent strain (like WLP001) I will wait a couple of days and so on. You will need to figure out what’s best for the yeast you like.

+1 on temp control, but I am from Vegas and it is almost impossible to make a good beer without temp control.

Matt
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: majorvices on April 02, 2011, 12:29:58 PM


+1 on temp control,  it is impossible to make a good beer without temp control.



fixed that for ya!  ;) I like the new More Beer temp controlled conicals. the tri clamp fiting make it way better than the blickmann's IMO (and I have 4 blichmann's that I installed tri-clamp finttings on). Good choice and report back on how well it works.

Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: stlaleman on April 02, 2011, 01:26:22 PM
There is a third option, Brewhemoth. There is a chilling option with them also, and the price is fantastic.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: mabrungard on April 02, 2011, 02:35:08 PM
THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON to use a stainless conical over a glass carboy is the improved safety.  I really like my Blichman conical. But does it make better beer?  Probably not.  But I don't have to worry about severing a limb.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: will on April 04, 2011, 05:00:27 AM
So I was to hungover to brew today so next Sunday will be the maiden voyage. Everything looks good, all seals hold, all controls work. Built an easily cleaned transfer line with quick disconnects. The conical is awesome. can't wait to use it.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: majorvices on April 04, 2011, 03:31:13 PM
So I was to hungover to brew today so next Sunday will be the maiden voyage. Everything looks good, all seals hold, all controls work. Built an easily cleaned transfer line with quick disconnects. The conical is awesome. can't wait to use it.

weak.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: Bret on April 04, 2011, 07:32:26 PM
SS is pricey!  Anybody have any thoughts about this?  I've looked at them for awhile now, and my 6.5 gal carboy died in a tragic accident...

http://www.minibrew.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=7
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: Beer Monger on April 04, 2011, 07:48:40 PM
SS is pricey!  Anybody have any thoughts about this?  I've looked at them for awhile now, and my 6.5 gal carboy died in a tragic accident...

http://www.minibrew.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=7

That seems pretty pricey for a plastic one - of course it's far less than the price for the stainless ones from MoreBeer (The 7.5 gallon one w/o any of the heating/cooling extras runs $895.)
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: Bret on April 04, 2011, 08:56:33 PM
SS is pricey!  Anybody have any thoughts about this?  I've looked at them for awhile now, and my 6.5 gal carboy died in a tragic accident...

http://www.minibrew.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=7

That seems pretty pricey for a plastic one - of course it's far less than the price for the stainless ones from MoreBeer (The 7.5 gallon one w/o any of the heating/cooling extras runs $895.)

It is pricey for what seems to be an upside down bucket with a nose.  Was wondering if anyone went for it and what they think.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: Pinski on April 04, 2011, 08:57:31 PM
THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON to use a stainless conical over a glass carboy is the improved safety.  I really like my Blichman conical. But does it make better beer?  Probably not.  But I don't have to worry about severing a limb.
Wait. What?  Have there been reasonable glass carboy brewers that have sacrificed limb for their craft?  
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: jeffy on April 04, 2011, 09:20:39 PM
THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON to use a stainless conical over a glass carboy is the improved safety.  I really like my Blichman conical. But does it make better beer?  Probably not.  But I don't have to worry about severing a limb.
Wait. What?  Have there been reasonable glass carboy brewers that have sacrificed limb for their craft?  
I have a friend who almost lost his hand (and an awful lot of blood) once from a broken carboy.  Imagine one shattering when you are holding it upside down to drain.  All it takes is a little bump.  I've broken 2 in 20 years, but never injured myself.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: blatz on April 04, 2011, 09:32:32 PM
THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON to use a stainless conical over a glass carboy is the improved safety.  I really like my Blichman conical. But does it make better beer?  Probably not.  But I don't have to worry about severing a limb.
Wait. What?  Have there been reasonable glass carboy brewers that have sacrificed limb for their craft?  

he's exaggerating a little (I think toes and fingers more common than limbs), but there have been plenty of horror stories posted on the forums about broken carboys and the trips to the emergency room. 

the only nice thing about carboys is the voyeuristic aspect.  otherwise, they are an obsolete relic of late 20th century brewing  ;)
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: maxieboy on April 04, 2011, 09:33:20 PM
One of these days I'll get that darn Blichmann conical. 11 yrs brewing, 300+ batches all in carboys, 1 close call. I was rinsing a 6.5g carboy upside down in my laundry sink. It slipped and hit the top corner of my 40 yr. old Maytag washer. I held my breath and waited for the explosion of shards. Nothing. It hit the corner right in the middle of the carboy. Damage: none to the carboy, dented the corner of the washer in, knocking off a chunk of the porcelain? paint. I shoulda bought a lottery ticket that day...
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: stlaleman on April 04, 2011, 09:50:32 PM
Why buy a lottery ticket? You used your luck for the day.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: tschmidlin on April 04, 2011, 09:53:05 PM
Luck is just probability taken personally. ;)
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: Bad Brewer on April 04, 2011, 11:48:57 PM
SS is pricey!  Anybody have any thoughts about this?  I've looked at them for awhile now, and my 6.5 gal carboy died in a tragic accident...

http://www.minibrew.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=7

I have two 6.5g minibrew conicals.  They work well, as long as you remember to totally disassemble, clean, and sanitize in between batches.  The two valves have plastic threaded connections to the conical, have to use a little common sense in tightening them.  I typically soak all the pieces in starsan for 30 min, including some teflon thread tape, before putting them together.  Then fill them to the top, add an ounce of starsan, let them sit overnight.  Drain and cover the top on the morning of my brewday.

With any conical an important thing to remember, especially with ball valves, you have to sanitize the exterior of the valve before you open it.  Starsan in a spray bottle is what I use.  spray, wait 60 sec, spray it down again, wait 60 sec, take sample or drain trub/break.

Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: pfooti on April 05, 2011, 12:18:38 AM
Given the price of the plastic conicals from minibrew, I'd probably rather buy a brewhemoth. Less than $500 shipped, and most of the reviews all seem to be positive. Relatively inexpensive temp control as well, provided you can generate the hot/cold liquid for pumping through the immersion coil.

The reason I'm still fermenting in buckets for now is just volume- I tend to have a batch in primary and secondary at all times (well, at least in +1 week, I don't always rack to an actual secondary fermenter), and buying two or three conicals seems like quite an investment compared to just owning six buckets. Plus, my buckets all fit in my chest freezer. Still, someday *dreamy eyes*.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: tonyp on April 05, 2011, 03:12:46 AM
Luck is just probability taken personally. ;)

heheh and the lottery is a tax on people bad at math! :)
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: tubercle on April 05, 2011, 03:33:40 AM
Luck is just probability taken personally. ;)

heheh and the lottery is a tax on people bad at math! :)

 Right ;D

 Here's a math illiterate bastard for ya ::)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/01/06/lottery-jackpot-winner-claim-prize-wash/
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: tschmidlin on April 05, 2011, 04:50:23 AM
Luck is just probability taken personally. ;)

heheh and the lottery is a tax on people bad at math! :)

 Right ;D

 Here's a math illiterate bastard for ya ::)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/01/06/lottery-jackpot-winner-claim-prize-wash/
I'm with turbercle on this one (at least I think I am).  The lottery is a horrible investment strategy, but inevitably someone will win.  If you expect it to be you you're delusional, but hoping is fine.  As far as entertainment goes, it's way cheaper than a movie :)

(Yes, I play sometimes.  I've won $30.  Twice.  Net loss though, I'm sure ;) )
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: johnf on April 05, 2011, 09:16:33 PM
Lottery and nearly all casino games are negative expected value and high variance.

Penny stocks, venture capital, micro-loans etc are positive expected value and high variance so these are clearly the better high variance investments.

Appliance warranties are negative expected value, moderate variance, and have no entertainment value. These seem like the worst investments among these.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: Bret on April 06, 2011, 03:24:20 PM
Interesting, and a little cheaper:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/v-vessel.html
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: Beer Monger on April 06, 2011, 03:54:23 PM
Interesting, and a little cheaper:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/v-vessel.html
Yeah, I've seen that one.  You'd better have strong beams in your walls though, as that one is designed to be hung on the wall. 
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: narvin on April 06, 2011, 06:13:12 PM
Lottery and nearly all casino games are negative expected value and high variance.

Penny stocks, venture capital, micro-loans etc are positive expected value and high variance so these are clearly the better high variance investments.

Appliance warranties are negative expected value, moderate variance, and have no entertainment value. These seem like the worst investments among these.

Interesting tangent :)

Penny stocks certainly don't have as high an upside as the lottery.  

Any investment with a negative expected value should only be purchased to cover exceptional/catastrophic situations.  Insurance covers the 1:1,000,000 case that your house burns down.  The lottery is for the 1:300,000,000 case where you win an absurd amount of money that basically makes you a King.

I also believe that the non-linearity of the the utility function of money makes buying one ticket in the lottery a rational choice.  The loss of $1 is essentially 0 negative utility for many people, while the gain of millions of dollars is an exponentially larger increase in utility, even if the probability is minute.
Title: Re: Conical fermenter HELP
Post by: tubercle on April 06, 2011, 11:35:12 PM

I also believe that the non-linearity of the the utility function of money makes buying one ticket in the lottery a rational choice.  The loss of $1 is essentially 0 negative utility for many people, while the gain of millions of dollars is an exponentially larger increase in utility, even if the probability is minute.

 Well said

 Sounds like a student of Adam Smith.