Author Topic: opinions on which conical is better solicited  (Read 2907 times)

Offline gymrat

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opinions on which conical is better solicited
« on: August 15, 2013, 07:56:30 AM »
Stout charges an arm and a leg for shipping so both of these are very close to the same price. I am looking at the 14.5 on each. On the stout I would want the one with the thermometer.

http://conical-fermenter.com/products/conicals/

Would it be better to buy this one?

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/the-fermenator-stainless-steel-conical-fermentor-14-5-gallon.html

Or this one?
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 08:02:08 AM »
Stout charges an arm and a leg for shipping so both of these are very close to the same price. I am looking at the 14.5 on each. On the stout I would want the one with the thermometer.

http://conical-fermenter.com/products/conicals/

Would it be better to buy this one?

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/the-fermenator-stainless-steel-conical-fermentor-14-5-gallon.html

Or this one?

I currently do not have a conical, but many members here love their Fermenators.  If I eventually pull the trigger on a conical, a Fermenator is what I'll probably get.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2013, 08:20:58 AM by thebigbaker »
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Offline gsandel

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 08:05:32 AM »
Stout Tanks come with Tri-Clamp fittings.  This could be a plus or minus.

on the plus side, they are professional level semi-sanitary fittings (only as clean as the operator, of course).

On the minus, it is a pain to introduce new fittings into the brewery.

I own Stout Tank HLT and have high opinion of it, but not any conicals.

You wouldn't believe the things I've seen...

Offline blatz

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 11:26:15 AM »
I have 2 fermenators.  I have had great experiences with them.

The triclamp fittings are better, but as gsandel said, changing your fittings can be a hassle.

I've never had an issue that I could attribute to the fittings - I soak with hot PBW, sanitize with iodophor or star san after every batch and once or twice a year, I break it entirely down and do an extended soak on all parts, and an acid soak to get the beer stone off.

I'm sure the Stout one is just as good, they just weren't around when I got my first blichmann.
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Offline james

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 12:22:32 PM »
Don't forget about the Brewhemoth (http://www.brewhemoth.com

I've got a pair of them I ferment in

Offline gymrat

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 12:55:07 PM »
Don't forget about the Brewhemoth (http://www.brewhemoth.com

I've got a pair of them I ferment in

Those are 22 gallon fermenters. Good prices and free shipping. But I dont want that big of one.
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Offline djsanta

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 01:29:27 PM »
I've been looking at these models too (in addition to the MoreBeer conical).  The Stout doesn't appear to be pressurized...in other words you have to gravity feed to your keg as opposed to transferring by CO2 as the Blichmann and MoreBeer are capable of doing.  Is this correct?  What about the Brewhemoth?
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Planned: Vienna Lager, Imperial Red, Oatmeal Stout

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 01:52:52 PM »
FERMENATOR.

Here's a few reasons:

1. First thing's first - the Stout Tank doesn't have a pressure relief valve. Not safe. These things aren't rated for very much pressure so its not hard to overpressure, especially when pressure transferring or if your blowoff gets clogged.

2. I don't like the downward-facing dump on the Stout. It would be tough to get an elbow in there for a tube connection, and you would be really limited in container size otherwise.

3. Why do you need a digital thermometer? Just another port to clean.

4. The domed top of the Fermenator allows for more head space.


Either way - definitely go with Tri-clamp. Stainless threads will significantly reduce the life of the unit.
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Offline blatz

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 02:08:37 PM »
Either way - definitely go with Tri-clamp. Stainless threads will significantly reduce the life of the unit.

not the unit - those parts maybe - not downplaying the triclamp, but just saying you would only have to replace an elbow or ball valve $20-$30 not $800.

to be honest, I've been using my first one since i think 2007 or 8 and it still looks and works like brand new (when clean  ;D)

john recommends using the silicone barbs rather than SS to not wear out the threads, FYI.

again triclamp is best, just saying...
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Offline gymrat

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2013, 03:14:25 PM »
All of the stouts are pressurized so you can push the beer with CO2. And they are rated at 4lbs psi where the Blichmanns are rated at 3 from what I understand. and the Blichmann 7 gallon chonicals do not pressurized at all. Which brings me to the tri clamps seeming to make the stout a better purchase. Unfortunately due to customer service at midwest supplies I will miss out on the fiftyfifty deal. And that will be a big factor in my final decision. I called to ask what I would need to order with the conical to pressurize it. The guy didnt know so he said he would email Blichmann and ask. The sale ended today.
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Offline gymrat

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2013, 10:55:18 AM »
I was pretty set on the Blichmann as I am so impressed with their over priced burner. Just kidding it is a fantastic piece of equipment.

But after researching both that and the Stout conical I decided on the Stout for the following reasons. Originally the price was going to be about the same for a 14.5 gallon conical. But I called midwestsupplies and asked some questions about anything I would need to purchase with the Blichman to be ready to go when I buy it. They didn't know the answers and needed to email Blichmann and ask then get back with me. In the mean time while doing that the $50 off sale ended. midwestsupplies is still my favorite online homebrew business. But they carry a vast array of inventory and they simply can't know everything about all they have in stock. Where as buying directly from a manufacturer I have expertise to draw on when I have questions.

I emailed Stout with the same questions and a few others. They promptly emailed me back, as in real time, with the answers and pointed out two conicals not on their website. This type of customer service to me is a big thing. As soon as I hear back from them on a question I asked when I got home from work last night I am fairly certain I will be ordering a 10 gallon conical for around $400.

Other selling points. On both the AHA forum and the brewtalk forums several said tri clamps are far superior to threaded fittings for both cleaning and durability. Tri clamps are standard on all Stout conicals but they are an extra $150 on the Blichmanns.

The Stouts come with the hose barbs on them, with the Blichmanns I would have to purchase them seperately. At least that is my understanding.

Stout Tanks custom builds commercial equipment for commercial breweries, the home brew versions are just miniaturized from those designs. The owner and founder of Stout Tanks has been a home brewer for 20 years.

Blichmann is an engineer and home brewer and builds the very best you can buy of what he builds. But it looks to me like the Stout equipment is not that far of a cry from what he does. It is certainly still an enormous step up for a guy who has been working with plastic buckets. I just can't justify the difference in price between the two. Also this way I will be dealing with the manufacturer and not a middle man.

Even though it is one more thing to clean around and sanitize I am going to get the one with the thermowell and thermometer. After talking on the phone with Stout Tanks I learned that the thermometer never actually touches the wort. There is a "well" that bubbles into the tank and the thermometer fits into that. So I will just have to clean the "bubble" that is molded or welded into the tank. The "thermowell" is an option, you can buy any of their conicals with it or without it.
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Offline repo

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2013, 12:10:46 PM »
I have 2 of the 7.3 stout conicals. I got them off ebay brand new for a pretty good deal. I've had them for a couple years now. Here are my thoughts. They are manufactured in China, Stout is not the manufacturer. I have never lost beer or had to have any work done on them. I have had to file done some sharp edges here and there. They are not high quality built products. They are not terrible either. I have fermometers on both of them and they work perfectly-3$ each. I set them on a counter to rack. 

The only benefit I find is the ability to dump/harvest yeast easily. If money were no object, I don't know that I would buy more. Buckets are easier to clean, sanitize and stack/store, or get into a fridge. I don't want to dissuade you but just offer my experience and feeling about them. They are very cool to look at.

Offline gymrat

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2013, 12:54:15 PM »
I appreciate that input. I haven't found anything that candid anywhere else. One thing I am looking at in a conical vs a bucket is the ability to push with CO2 as it eliminates lifting a full bottling bucket.
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Offline gymrat

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2013, 01:01:11 PM »
Repo bottom line...would you pay 200 to 300 dollars difference for a Blichmann?
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Offline repo

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Re: opinions on which conical is better solicited
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2013, 03:18:42 PM »
Repo bottom line...would you pay 200 to 300 dollars difference for a Blichmann?

No I don't think I would. It's like getting a Mercedes vs an average car, one is just nicer. But if money were no object, I'd go with the best.I got mine for about 275$ each after shipping. I'm sure  I could get close to that selling them now after 2 years. Kinda like kegs I think they will hold their value if not increase as stainless steel becomes more and more expensive.  Yeah the co2 push is another benefit , I don't need it with mine but anything bigger and it would be an absolute must.