Author Topic: Conical Question  (Read 1068 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Conical Question
« on: January 27, 2016, 07:45:45 PM »
I've been toying around with the idea of getting a conical. I currently use a 30L Seidel and while I love it, I also like the idea of ease of cleaning with the conical and perhaps cutting down on fermentation time by dumping the traub.

For the people here who use them, how do you dump traub when the fermenter is sitting in your fermentation chamber without actually moving the conical? In my case, I use a chest freezer and can't think how you'd dump and remove traub without having to lift the conical out.


Offline flbrewer

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Re: Conical Question
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2016, 03:20:24 PM »
No one owns a conical here?

Offline Philbrew

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Re: Conical Question
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2016, 03:41:57 PM »
No one owns a conical here?

Mepps, mepps!  There are no cones on this planet.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Conical Question
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2016, 04:15:18 PM »
For the small conical kept at proper fermentation temperature, dumping trub is not really necessary. The yeast tend to remain in good shape for a week or two after fermentation and I've found that its not critical to move the beer right after ferment completion. In addition, if you empty the cone, then your racking port can't reach all the beer in the cone and you end up losing that. I typically ferment 6 gallons of wort in my 12 gal Fermenator and I leave the cone full of yeast to allow the recovery of more beer. I only rarely ferment 10 gal of wort and I'm not sure that its necessary to waste any of the yeast in the cone under that condition either.

I think those stainless Spiedel fermenters with the large lid and racking port are probably equal to a similarly sized conical. From what I've seen, their biggest drawback is that they don't seem to be available in larger sizes. But, if they had existed when I was in the market, I would have something like the spiedel since glass and plastic aren't ideal and I feel that having a large opening for cleaning is necessary. 
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Conical Question
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2016, 04:30:52 PM »
For the small conical kept at proper fermentation temperature, dumping trub is not really necessary. The yeast tend to remain in good shape for a week or two after fermentation and I've found that its not critical to move the beer right after ferment completion. In addition, if you empty the cone, then your racking port can't reach all the beer in the cone and you end up losing that. I typically ferment 6 gallons of wort in my 12 gal Fermenator and I leave the cone full of yeast to allow the recovery of more beer. I only rarely ferment 10 gal of wort and I'm not sure that its necessary to waste any of the yeast in the cone under that condition either.

I think those stainless Spiedel fermenters with the large lid and racking port are probably equal to a similarly sized conical. From what I've seen, their biggest drawback is that they don't seem to be available in larger sizes. But, if they had existed when I was in the market, I would have something like the spiedel since glass and plastic aren't ideal and I feel that having a large opening for cleaning is necessary.

Martin, take out the dumping traub bit and what is your opinion on the advantage of a conical on a 5 gallon scale over a non-conical fermenter?

Offline denny

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Re: Conical Question
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2016, 04:32:48 PM »
Martin, take out the dumping traub bit and what is your opinion on the advantage of a conical on a 5 gallon scale over a non-conical fermenter?

I'm not Martin, but there isn't really any advantage other than dumping.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Conical Question
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2016, 04:42:48 PM »
I don't think a conical makes a difference to the beer at our scale. Its mainly the materials of construction that provide an advantage.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Conical Question
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2016, 07:41:49 PM »
I don't think a conical makes a difference to the beer at our scale. Its mainly the materials of construction that provide an advantage.

That and leaving the beer on the yeast for a bit can help clean up the beer. Dumping the trub/yeast too soon is like racking to the secondary before your beer is done.
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Re: Conical Question
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2016, 01:52:41 AM »
Not sure why you think dumping the trub will speed up fermentation time because it won't. The main advantage is harvesting yeast, as the others have said. But it makes it a little easier to get clear beer too, assuming your conical has a racking arm. I wouldn't get one without. After you dump, harvest yeast you will crash cool, then fine, and is you fine properly most all of your yeast will fall into the cone. You can then position the arm to rack off clear beer. You should be able to rack crystal clear (or near crystal clear) beer over to kegs. Course you can do that with any other fermentor this just makes it easier.

Also, you can dry hop or add spices without worrying with yeast on the bottom. While I do think they are convenient its hard to justify the cost unless you just have the extra money and want to spend it.

BTW MoreBeer has 15 gallon conicals for sale right now at a very good price.

Offline yso191

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Re: Conical Question
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2016, 04:04:17 AM »
Below is a post I copied when I reviewed my first conical purchase.  The only thing I would add is that since then I have purchased a Chronical 7 gallon conical and I like the design much better (http://www.ssbrewtech.com/products/7-gallon-chronical).  The Speidel now sits on a shelf.  I really like my new one.  One additional point perhaps pushing back a bit on previous posts; If one is going to dry hop, there is some evidence to suggest that dumping the trub prior to dry hopping may result in more hop oils staying in your finished beer.

Here is my previous review FWIW:


I have put half a dozen batches through my new conical now, so I thought I'd share what I have learned.
This (http://conical-fermenter.com/7.3-Gallon-Conical-Fermenter.html) is the one I bought for $374. 

First, the positives:
* As far as conicals go, a good price. 
* The welds are very smooth /sanitary.  I can't fault them on the construction.
* It is nice being able to dump yeast prior to dry-hopping & hops prior to kegging.
* Clean-up is a breeze.
* I don't have to worry about scratching plastic while cleaning
* I can re-use yeast

The Neutrals:
* My son-in-law is a pipefitter (welder) in the commercial food industry so I had him add leg extensions so that a 2 liter Erlenmeyer flask *just* fits under the bottom valve so I can harvest yeast easily.  I also had him weld a tri-clamp fitting on the lid so I can pump from the boil kettle through the plate chiller and into the conical which is sitting in the freezer/fermentation chamber.

The Negatives:
* My system losses have gone way up.  I used to brew 5.5 gallon batches to end up with a full corny keg.  Now I am at 6.5, and I'm not sure that  is enough.  I have yet to get a full corny.  Dumping yeast & hops = dumping beer.
* Even with a racking arm I was plugging Quick Disconnects with hop material like crazy.  On the last brew I bypassed the QD completely and directly fed the beer into the 'Beverage In' tube with a plastic hose barb.
* There was a learning curve - which I did not expect.  I imagined easy peasy.  After 2-3 'Oh crap!' moments when beer or wort was shooting where it ought not, I think I'm done with that.
* The worst design aspect of this fermenter is the seal.  One really has to crank down on the wing nut to get it to even have enough seal to direct the CO2 to the airlock.  So when I go to keg I put a couple of pounds of CO2 into the top, it wont hold pressure at all.  So I go through a lot of CO2.
* I can't see the wort/beer level inside the fermenter.  This is the worst aspect of the conical to me.

If I had known this I may have stuck with my Speidel.  Not sure though - it is on the bubble.  At $53 each, one can buy 7 Speidels for what I paid for the conical, and they have none of the drawbacks stated above (except the scratching-while-cleaning fear).

But it looks cool. Which is something.
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