Author Topic: Conical lessons  (Read 589 times)

Offline yso191

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Conical lessons
« on: April 03, 2014, 10:09:35 AM »
I just finished my 2nd brew on my new conical.  The big surprise is how often I have to dump yeast and hops to get any beer out.  I don't know if this is typical for a small conical like mine, but I expected the yeast and hops to sit in the cone below the two upper outlets.  Here is a picture (a Stout Tanks 7.3 gallon):



In the first brew (a RIS), I went to check the gravity via a sampler valve in the top-most T-C fitting you see there.  I got nothing but yeast, and had to open the top and draw it out using a pipette.  Not the most sanitary, and moreover, what is the %#*! point of having a sampler valve to check gravity if one has to dump the yeast first?  I would think that if the beer is not done, I want it to stay on the yeast.  I know, there is still a lot of yeast in there, but as I said this is in the category of what I expected and lessons learned.

Anyway, on the 2nd brew (an APA), I dumped the yeast prior to dry-hopping (I like the ability to do that!), and then after the allotted time for dry hopping, cold crashed the beer for 2 days assuming the hops and remaining yeast would precipitate down into the cone so I could keg using a hose connected to a valve on the middle T-C port.  Now hops were plugging that valve! And I only used 3 ounces of hop pellets.  I like to put 4-5 in my IPAs.

So apparently I am going to have to dump the yeast prior to dry-hopping, and dump the hops prior to kegging.  Is this typical?  Am I going to end up with 4 gallons from a 5.5 gallon batch because of all this dumping?  Or am I missing something - is there a better way?
Steve
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Conical lessons
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 12:20:20 PM »
I have one of the original 12 gal Blichmann's and I typically make 6 gal batches. I never dump the yeast since the yeast and trub generally fill the cone below the limits of the rotating racking arm. If I was doing larger batches, I might have enough of the cone filled to need to draw some stuff off. But no need so far and if I did empty the cone of the trub and yeast, then I wouldn't be able to draw off all the beer. So I think that leaving the cone filled as much as possible is a good idea.

It does look like the raking port on that fermenter is lower in the cone than my system. Maybe its too low and you do have to draw yeast off in your system.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Conical lessons
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2014, 01:17:47 PM »
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but are you using a racking arm on the middle TC port? If you don't have something shaped in a 90* ell so that you can swivel the intake so that it is above the yeast/trub/hops in the cone you're going to have issues that you have described.
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Offline yso191

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Re: Conical lessons
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2014, 01:35:46 PM »
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but are you using a racking arm on the middle TC port? If you don't have something shaped in a 90* ell so that you can swivel the intake so that it is above the yeast/trub/hops in the cone you're going to have issues that you have described.

No I don't have a racking arm.  See I knew I was missing something!
Steve
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Conical lessons
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2014, 02:01:09 PM »
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but are you using a racking arm on the middle TC port? If you don't have something shaped in a 90* ell so that you can swivel the intake so that it is above the yeast/trub/hops in the cone you're going to have issues that you have described.

No I don't have a racking arm.  See I knew I was missing something!

Yep, that will make all the difference for you on most batches.  The only times I've clogged the racking arm intake is when I've used a rediculous amount of fruit.  You can also get racking arms to which you can attach a zwickel valve to get samples. During fermentation/crashing you swivel the arm to point downward so that it doesn't fill with yeast/trub.  When you take a sample or rack, you swivel the arm up and out of the yeast/trub for transfer of clean beer.   
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Offline marquez

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Re: Conical lessons
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2014, 02:04:57 PM »
I've noticed on the Stout Tanks website that not all of the hobby sized fermenters have racking arms.

Its an extra purchase for some of the conicals, other conicals have them standard.

 

Offline yso191

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Re: Conical lessons
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2014, 02:17:19 PM »
I've noticed on the Stout Tanks website that not all of the hobby sized fermenters have racking arms.

Its an extra purchase for some of the conicals, other conicals have them standard.

Yep, I just placed an order for one.  ~$50 shipped.  My next brew day is a week from tomorrow, so I'm in great shape. 
Steve
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Offline dkfick

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Re: Conical lessons
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2014, 02:28:08 PM »
I have my sample valve on my rotating racking arm... it gets a small amount of yeast in it sometimes when fermenting... but 1 second of flow and it's clear beer... you just have to make sure your arm is not sitting in the yeast at the bottom....
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Conical lessons
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2014, 02:31:28 PM »
I've noticed on the Stout Tanks website that not all of the hobby sized fermenters have racking arms.

Its an extra purchase for some of the conicals, other conicals have them standard.

Yep, I just placed an order for one.  ~$50 shipped.  My next brew day is a week from tomorrow, so I'm in great shape.

Sweet! Happy brewing.
Steve Carper
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