Choosing A Conical Fermenter
I recently purchased a couple conical fermenters and searched endlessly before making my decision. I searched forums as well as manufacturer’s sites. Home Brew Talk has a ton of information that helped me make my decision but it is scattered about. My intention in starting this thread is to compile a thread full of information on conical fermenters for home brewers as well as reviews from actual owners who can share the features, options, opinions and specific information regarding any customizing. A thread like this would be useful for anyone considering the purchase of a conical fermenter and I hope it becomes a sticky. :D I encourage anyone who has a conical fermenter or has any experience with them to please share your information here. Before I review the conical’s I purchased and how I ended up choosing them I would like to compile a short list of links to manufacturer sites and some threads here on Home Brew Talk. I’m sure there is a lot more out there and need your help to review, share and compile info on them here.
Stainless Steel Conical Suppliers – (Click For Link)
Stout Tanks and Kettles
Wine Country (I Know they make them but do not have them on site)
Plastic Conical Suppliers-
Do It Your Self Conical’s-
Toledo Metal Spinning
The Tank Depot
US Plastic Corp
Home Brew Talk Links - Conical Fermeters
Choosing A Conical Fermenter
Excellent post so far with all the links right here and easy to navigate. This will help me (and I'm sure countless others) get all the info I need much quicker than searching myself, so I can make the right buying decision.
Thanks for posting brother!
Well I’ll kick it off with my review and reasons for choosing Glacier Tanks conical’s.
I’ve only been brewing for a short time but brewing has become one of my most enjoyable hobbies and has quickly grown out of control. I started with 6 gallon batches and have grown to 1BBL over the course of a year. I started fermenting in buckets and like them for their ease of cleaning, large opening, size and cost. But once I nailed down a few recipes and started brewing 1BBL size brews sanitizing 6 buckets, separating yeast into 6 buckets, secondary in 6 buckets etc…you get the point it became a pain. I started looking into larger fermenters and started reading up on conical fermenters and their advantages. After a lot of research I nailed down what I wanted and set off to find a conical that ft my needs. Many argue that a conical does not make better beer than buckets or carboys but two advantages I see right off the bat is that your beer will have no air or light exposure post fermentation if you do pressure transfers to kegs. I only keg and do not bottle so there are even more advantages to my style of brewing.
Here is a list of requirements I set based on my research-
-Stainless Steel – Easy to clean, less risk of infection, better thermal properties than plastic and last forever (plus they look cool).
-All Tri-Clover Fittings – Ease of cleaning, sanitary and compatibility of hardware.
-Rotating Racking Arm – Ease of racking clear beer.
-Large Opening In Top - For ease of access when cleaning and room for adding ferrules.
-Rated at a Minimum Of 15PSI – Pressurized fermentation and pressurized transfers, force carbonation, and serve double duty as a brite tank.
-Minimum 25 Gallon Capacity – Plus an additional 25% head space.
-Fit In Existing Fermentation Chamber
-Compatible with CIP – Ease of cleaning
Well based on my steep list of requirements almost all options were eliminated except the Glacier Tanks conical. The Brewhemoth was the only other home brew conical I found rated for 15PSI but I did not like the small opening and only has a max capacity of 27 gallons including headspace.
This is my scenario that persuaded my requirements-
When I brew big it’s mainly Lagers and I did allot of reading on how big breweries use pressurized fermentation to expedite the maturation process and also save money on CO2. I wanted to experiment with this. I also liked the idea of transferring to a secondary conical to use as a brite tank and Lager in.
This is my ultimate goal –
After boil run wort through filter, plate chiller, HERMS, Inline oxygenation system with sight glass straight into primary fermenter. Knock out and ferment to 75%. Close blow off and raise pressure to 15PSI over 14 days, raise temp for D rest if needed and maintain until a few points from final gravity. Transfer to secondary conical cold crash and carbonate to final desired CO2 level through 6” CO2 Stone mounted in thermometer port. At this point I will be able to serve directly from conical (brite tank) or transfer to kegs and serve from kegerator.
Here is a couple shots of the Glacier Tanks conicals I purchased. The first one is the Primary and the second one is set up as a secondary with relief valve. I am still gathering fittings and the configurations will change to accomplish my ultimate goal.
I wil add more pictures and descriptions as time allows.
I currently have one of the 15 gal hdpe conicals....but am in the market for a second. I have been considering the brehemoth, so I'm subscribed
Wow those r a nice set of conicals, i will hopefully be purchasing some 1bbl conicals in the not too far future and those look like exactly what im looking for, thanks for all the info.
Awesome post Max!
If you dont mind me asking what did the conical cost you? How long did it take to get?
hnnnnnnnnnngggg those are beautiful!
We just started to ferment our 30g batches in sanke kegs for the same reason. Moving, cleaning, and transferring 6 carboys per batch is not fun.
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