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.