Author Topic: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?  (Read 7093 times)

Offline majorvices

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2009, 09:32:01 AM »
FTR I didn't say the plastic conical was my only conical.  ;) I have a Stainless one too - one that I can't move when it is full of beer (hence my "stationary" comment above). I just said I couldn't ever get a good beer out of the plastic one and that, for the price, buckets and carboys are more convenient (IMO) for 5 to 10 gallon batches.
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Offline lisatim

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2009, 07:18:12 PM »
Thank you all for the input!  I'm currently doing 12 gallon batches of ale.  By the time I primary then secondary ferment plus rack to my bottling bucket, I'm down to 10.  I hate loosing 2 gallons but I try to stay away from the trub in the bottom of the pails during each transfer.  Frankly, that's what I hate with the bukets and carboys...the transfers that take place between primary and secondary. I always mix 1/2 from one bucket into one carboy and the other 1/2 from the second bucket.  Then do it again for the second carboy.  I want both carboys to produce the same result in the end (for good or bad) and  I'm freaked out over the poss. of contamination.  Although I haven't totaly wrecked a batch in three years, if I keep going this way it's bound to catch up with me.  As for the water useage (municiple system), I have to sanatize the buckets then the carboys a week later, then wash the buckets out, then wash the carboys out after secondary as well as the bottling bucket, not to mention all the water I use during the brewing proccess, and yeast starter proccess.  I also have to wash and sanitize my pump and CFC, my 20 gallon kettle, my glass bottles and PET Tap-a-Draft bottles.
Sorry for the novel but I would love to bump up to 15 gallon batches and be able to cut out some " middlemen" along the way.  The fellow members of a fraternal organization I belong to love my stuff and are very thirsty. I need to be more efficient, thus the question about conicles.
Happy Thanksgiving
Tim

Offline alemental

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2009, 05:06:03 PM »
Did you ever consider a demi-john? It is not a conical, but it does hold 15 gallons. It comes with a basket which helps you move it about. If you can lift it, that is. Bear in mind though, these things are a little bit of a PITA to handle as thay are quite large. I was using a couple of these with great  results until I switched to using converted sanke kegs.
Link:
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=6255

Offline dhacker

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2009, 06:37:17 AM »
Greetings.   I'm looking into a more efficient way to ferment 15 gallon batches.  Stainless conicles look beautiful but quite a bit of money for someone who only brews 2 or 3 times a year.  I would brew more often if I could only take some of the hassle out of "brew day", and I believe my wife would allow a one time expenditure if it may save on the water bill.  The buckets and carboys have to go!!  Can anyone suggest a less expensive, reliable fermentation device than s.s. conicles?
Thanks for your input,
Tim

Find a 1/2 bbl keg, cut the top out like you would if you were making a BK. Get some Lexan to make a strong, transparent lid, buy a big gasket to go between the keg opening and the Lexan, drill a hole in the Lexan for an air lock drilled bung, make a simple clamp to tighten the Lexan to the gasket to make it air tight . . Voila! Inexpensive 15.5 gallon fermenter!

I have two!  ;D
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 06:40:09 AM by dhacker »
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Offline beerocd

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2009, 07:54:26 AM »

Get some Lexan to make a strong, transparent lid, buy a big gasket to go between the keg opening and the Lexan, drill a hole in the Lexan for an air lock drilled bung, make a simple clamp to tighten the Lexan to the gasket to make it air tight . . Voila! Inexpensive 15.5 gallon fermenter!

I have two!  ;D

Pics of the lid - and clamping contraption please? Sure I can come up with something from what you said, but you might have done something different/better than what I would think up. So, pics would be a big help.

Thanks!
-OCD
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Offline boydbrewing

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2009, 12:30:51 PM »
Check this out. It's a pretty nice setup for converting a Sanke Keg to a fermenter. http://www.brewershardware.com/fermenter.htm

Offline dhacker

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2009, 02:02:52 PM »

Get some Lexan to make a strong, transparent lid, buy a big gasket to go between the keg opening and the Lexan, drill a hole in the Lexan for an air lock drilled bung, make a simple clamp to tighten the Lexan to the gasket to make it air tight . . Voila! Inexpensive 15.5 gallon fermenter!

I have two!  ;D

Pics of the lid - and clamping contraption please? Sure I can come up with something from what you said, but you might have done something different/better than what I would think up. So, pics would be a big help.

Thanks!
-OCD


Gimme til tomorrow to get the pics up . .
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Offline dhacker

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2009, 05:37:38 PM »
OCD . . don't give up on me . . I'm gonna get a pic up fer ya.  :-[
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Offline yugamrap

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2009, 08:37:53 PM »

Get some Lexan to make a strong, transparent lid, buy a big gasket to go between the keg opening and the Lexan, drill a hole in the Lexan for an air lock drilled bung, make a simple clamp to tighten the Lexan to the gasket to make it air tight . . Voila! Inexpensive 15.5 gallon fermenter!

I have two!  ;D

Pics of the lid - and clamping contraption please? Sure I can come up with something from what you said, but you might have done something different/better than what I would think up. So, pics would be a big help.

Thanks!
-OCD
This lid is just a cheap plastic plate from WalMart, but it's pretty much what dhacker describes.  The hole in the top is 6.5" and there is a 7.25" X 0.25" o-ring from Fastenal used as a gasket between the plate and the top of the keg.  The hold-down bar is made from a keg spear, some all-thread and a few nuts, and is held on with a couple c-clamps.

...it's liquid bread, it's good for you!

Offline karlh

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2009, 01:30:04 PM »
I have used kegs converted in the same manner as described above and they work great.  My old brew partner had two fermenters like this with a drain valve welded on in the same manner as a converted keg boil kettle.  For his lid, he cut a smaller hole (10") in the keg he used for a fermenter and a larger (12") hole out of another keg for a boil kettle.  He then used the scrap sankey top from the larger hole with a bead of silicone for his lid.  Boiling water in the keg was the preferred method of sanitation. 

For a commercial product I have the Sabco "yeast brink"... essentially a sankey type keg with a corny-style top welded on and the same gas-in and beer-out ports as a corny.  I am not sure they still sell these, but it would be worth the call.  They ran about $175 when I bought mine.  I can't compare it to a stainless conical, but it has worked great for me using the gas-in line, a short length of hose, and a cup of water on top of the keg as an airlock.  I have a 12 gallon batch of Classic American Pils fermenting in it now.  If they don't sell these anymore it might be worthwhile to hire a welding shop to tig weld the top of an old corny to a (legally obtained) sankey keg. 
Karl
Mundelein, IL  USA

Offline dhacker

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2009, 02:00:22 PM »

Pics of the lid - and clamping contraption please? Sure I can come up with something from what you said, but you might have done something different/better than what I would think up. So, pics would be a big help.

Thanks!
-OCD

I'm trying to post pics . . what a PITA.  >:(
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Offline dhacker

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2009, 02:30:48 PM »
Pics of the lid - and clamping contraption please? Sure I can come up with something from what you said, but you might have done something different/better than what I would think up. So, pics would be a big help.

Thanks!
-OCD

Finally . . The pics!




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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2009, 08:28:20 PM »
Nice work.
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Offline beerocd

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2009, 10:25:45 PM »


Finally . . The pics!


Thanks! Looks good.
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Offline mindar

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Re: conicle fermenters: go stainless or is there a less expensive way?
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2010, 09:06:09 PM »
This may be a bit late, but I found this website about the same time as the original post.

Check out www.conical-fermenter.com The guy has SS conicals for better then half the price of the same-size Bilchmans. I've got a 14.5 gal on it's way right now and John's been super to work with.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 09:22:40 PM by mindar »