Author Topic: Conical Fermenters  (Read 2466 times)

Offline bigfatjoey

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Conical Fermenters
« on: April 30, 2010, 05:19:52 AM »
Just a quick survey on who (if anyone) uses Conical fermentnters.

Is it worth the money?

If I'm looking to step up my brewing is this a good step forward?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2010, 05:32:31 AM by majorvices »
Ol' Edge Brew  -  Brewed and Enjoyed with Friends

Online majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6316
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Conico Fermenters
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2010, 05:27:30 AM »
I use one for large batches. For small batches I still use carboys and buckets. The pros are they are easy to clean, you can collect yeast very easy and they are easier to transfer from. The only cons are they are expensive. My .02 is if you only brew 5 gallon batches they aren't worth the price. 10+ gallons and maybe they are, if you have the money.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2010, 05:32:55 AM by majorvices »
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4554
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2010, 06:09:36 AM »
I have a conical and think it was an improvement to my system.  Many pluses, can't think of any minus.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2467
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2010, 07:09:31 AM »
I have a conical and think it was an improvement to my system.  Many pluses, can't think of any minus.

+1 - one of my favorite 'toy' purchases.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Online majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6316
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2010, 07:27:42 AM »
 Many pluses, can't think of any minus.

Expense? That's what keeps most from purchasing them. I makes collecting easier. It won't necessarily make you beer better, though.

What I will say, and this may not apply to the OP, is a better way to spend money is on temp control. A chest freezer and a temp controller will make a profound difference in the quality of your beer. Conicals sure are nice though.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2010, 07:29:24 AM by majorvices »
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2467
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2010, 07:35:17 AM »
well, yeah, I can't see how it would make your beer better - its just something that makes like a little easier in the handling.

I especially like being able to dump cold break (I know some of you leave it in the kettle, but I haven't figured that one out yet)  and being able to rack to keg with much less yeast cake making its way like the autosiphon.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Online majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6316
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2010, 07:37:40 AM »
For some reason I never can get a good dump on the break in my conical. It comes out like ... well ... a bad dinner at captain d's. I just feel like I am wasting beer.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2467
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2010, 07:57:01 AM »
LOL!!!

that's why I make 12gal batches - I realistically get 11-11.5 or so in the conical, and then don't mind dumping a half gallon or so.  gotta let it really compact, in my experience - takes several hours - and I admit, I never get it all, but its highly reduced. 

I did a visual comparison once of jars of yeast saved from APA and IPA batches - the APA I'd dumped the CB and then reused the slurry on the IPA - I'd forgotten to dump on that one.  The saved yeast slurry did *look* more pure on the APA but of course there are many variables at play, but it was enough for me to say, yeah, it does some benefit.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline mikeypedersen

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
  • Longmont, CO
    • View Profile
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2010, 07:59:33 AM »
What do you guys do for temp control on the conicals?  Upright fridge?

Online majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6316
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2010, 08:38:08 AM »
I have an upright freezer.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline hamiltont

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 972
  • Location: Somewhere in the Middle of Nebraska
    • View Profile
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2010, 09:01:40 AM »
I built a Fermentation Box about 4'X6'X6' & use a RANCO controller with a 5200BTU A/C unit. ~$200 I built the conical out of a 15 gallon inductor tank ( http://www.norwesco.com/page.cfm?menu=47 )& made the cart with scrap wood for a total of ~$100.
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4554
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2010, 09:40:18 AM »
For me cost was not a minus - it was my retirement gift from the folks I worked with!

I bought a temp control set up, and it is in the big 6 month/year fridge, also called the garage.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1851
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2010, 07:20:17 PM »
What do you guys do for temp control on the conicals?  Upright fridge?
I use large fridge.
Works well.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline skynyrd

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2010, 06:31:38 AM »
I have 2 - 7 gal. stainless steel conicals that are fermenting their 2nd batches.  After busting carboys and plastic bucket fermenters going bad (cracking and leaking from the bottom seams)(probably from extended use in lagering freezers)  Anyway, the conicals are the finishing touch to my equipment.  The 7g. ones are pretty easy to handle.  Lifting them in and out of the chest lagering freezer.  (Note: I did have to cut the legs of the stands so that they will fit in my chest freezer with out any freezer modifications.)  If you are buying a temp. controller... buy the digital one.  As soon as I can find some place with a "stopper thermowell" in stock where I can use the temp. controller probe to moniter the actual wort temp. (the digital one is the only one that will work with the "thermowell". 
I'm new to the yeast harvesting from the conicals... see my new post in this forum under yeast & fermentation...  waitin for replies.
BTW:  I found my ss conicals on ebay.  Less than 300.00 ea.  ....that make the decision easier?

Offline dak0415

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 489
  • Winston-Salem, NC
    • View Profile
Re: Conical Fermenters
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2010, 07:49:56 AM »
Lee,
Check out http://www.stirplates.com/tWellStraight.htm

I got a thermowell from him a few months ago, works great.  I just put a small rubber stopper in the open end when sanitizing and cleaning to keep the well dry.

Dave Koenig
Dave Koenig
Anything worth doing - is worth overdoing!