Author Topic: Conical Fermenters  (Read 8128 times)

Offline davidgzach

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Conical Fermenters
« on: June 21, 2012, 09:27:34 AM »
I saw one on Craig's List and it got me wondering.  What are all the pros and are there any cons about using a conical?  One con is it will not fit in my chest freezer so I cannot make lagers with it.  But I know little about all of the pros.  So what better place to hear about why I should buy it, right!

Can the forum gurus please make a case for me so I can make a case to my wife?  What are the advantages of the conical?

Dave
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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2012, 09:29:47 AM »
As I understand it (and I don't have one, nor plans to get one) the big advantage is the ability to dump trub at the begining of the fermentation and yeast at the end. Add to that the ability to presurize (if the one your looking at has that ability) to ferment at slightly higher temps. Also it means one fermenter instead of a bunch of buckets.
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Offline harbicide

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 09:20:08 AM »
One con is it will not fit in my chest freezer so I cannot make lagers with it.

My conical stands 5 foot tall, thus I do not have a fridge or cooler large enough for it to fit in.  I therefore built a 2' X 2' X 6' insulated surround for it.  I have evolved into having a 40' 1/2" OD copper coil centered in the conical.  I pump chilled water from a chest freezer through the coil to maintain lager temps.
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Offline realbeerguy

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 12:15:46 PM »
Dump of trub and yeast harvest are a plus.  If you don't have the ability to maintain & control temps, a minus,
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Offline Gribble

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 09:26:34 AM »
I have 5 of these [url]http://www.tank-depot.com/productdetails.aspx?part=A-IN0015-19[/url outfitted with racking arms and valves in the bottom.  They work great and fit perfectly in a medium size cabinet (upright) freezer.  Great for cold crashing and lagering.
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Offline cheba420

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 09:32:00 AM »
I've had a conical for a couple years now and love it. I use an upright refrigerator for fermenting so it fits perfectly. I like the ability to pull yeast from the bottom and I really like the convenience of just opening the lid to dry hop. I hate trying to get a bag of wet hops out of a carboy! So, all of my bigger dry hopped ipa's go into the conical. I typically still use the carboys for everything else.
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Offline stlaleman

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2012, 11:07:00 AM »
I am able to ferment at reduced temperatures using one of these http://brewhemoth.com/immersion-chiller
in my Brewhemoth. In fact, I can ferment 30 gallons of beer using two Brewhemoths each with a chiller, cooling my chilling fluid with a 5 cubic foot freezer!

Offline tom

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 08:48:03 AM »
I typically still use the carboys for everything else.
Why?
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Offline tom

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 08:50:12 AM »
I am able to ferment at reduced temperatures using one of these http://brewhemoth.com/immersion-chiller
in my Brewhemoth. In fact, I can ferment 30 gallons of beer using two Brewhemoths each with a chiller, cooling my chilling fluid with a 5 cubic foot freezer!
Cool!  Tell me more.  How do you control the temperature?  Activate a pump?  Water and/or glycol?
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2012, 01:18:05 PM »
Great info.  Thanks for the replies.  I think I'm going to put it on my brewing bucket list right now.  Just upped my process to 10G batches and have 2 carboys and 3 plastic fermenters.

Dave
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Offline onthekeg

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 09:22:36 AM »
One con is it will not fit in my chest freezer so I cannot make lagers with it.

My conical stands 5 foot tall, thus I do not have a fridge or cooler large enough for it to fit in.  I therefore built a 2' X 2' X 6' insulated surround for it.  I have evolved into having a 40' 1/2" OD copper coil centered in the conical.  I pump chilled water from a chest freezer through the coil to maintain lager temps.

Copper is good prefermentation, but you don't want it in fermenting beer.  I would recommend you make a SS coil and keep the copper one out of your conical.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2012, 03:45:09 PM »
One con is it will not fit in my chest freezer so I cannot make lagers with it.

My conical stands 5 foot tall, thus I do not have a fridge or cooler large enough for it to fit in.  I therefore built a 2' X 2' X 6' insulated surround for it.  I have evolved into having a 40' 1/2" OD copper coil centered in the conical.  I pump chilled water from a chest freezer through the coil to maintain lager temps.

Copper is good prefermentation, but you don't want it in fermenting beer.  I would recommend you make a SS coil and keep the copper one out of your conical.
Agree.
Beer is low pH and it will "eat" your cooper coil.
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Offline stlaleman

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2012, 04:20:04 AM »
I am able to ferment at reduced temperatures using one of these http://brewhemoth.com/immersion-chiller
in my Brewhemoth. In fact, I can ferment 30 gallons of beer using two Brewhemoths each with a chiller, cooling my chilling fluid with a 5 cubic foot freezer!
Cool!  Tell me more.  How do you control the temperature?  Activate a pump?  Water and/or glycol?
[/quote
The pump in the freezer is governed by a temp controller, the cheap aquarium ones you can buy off of eBay work great. Currently I have water in my freezer, at 35 degrees. I have run glycol at 28 degrees, but did not see much advantage. For pumps, I'm using 1/3 horse sump pumps. The system works great.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2012, 06:27:13 AM »
I use a 15gal conical in my cellar during the colder months. I like having the ability to drop trub and yeast. It's very easy to keg from a conical and they are also very easy to clean and maintain. I'm planning to buy a used freezer and controller large enough to house the fermenter. This will allow me to control fermentation temps, make lagers and cold condition any beer before kegging. I highly recommend conical fermenters for the intermediate or advanced homebrewer.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2012, 06:52:54 AM »
I really like my conical. It is in the garage, which gets down to 40F most winters (last winter - not so much). To control temps, I have a regulator and add heat with a thermowrap.

You can rouse the yeast by using 2 PSI CO2 on the dump port. You can get dry hops off the bottom the same way. The top has a corny lid, so that is nice for dry hop additions.





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