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Old 11-19-2012, 11:34 AM   #1
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Default 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. 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)

Blichmann Engineering
http://www.blichmannengineering.com/fermentor/fermentor.html
Brewhemoth
http://brewhemoth.com/
Glacier Tanks
http://www.glaciertanks.com/Products-Conical_Fermenters.html
More Beer
http://morebeer.com/search/103503
Stout Tanks and Kettles
http://conical-fermenter.com/products/conicals/
Wine Country (I Know they make them but do not have them on site)
http://winecountrystainless.com/index.html

Plastic Conical Suppliers-

Mini Brew
http://www.minibrew.com/
OneDerBrew
http://www.onederbrew.com/

Do It Your Self Conical’s-

Stainless-

Toledo Metal Spinning
http://www.toledometalspinning.com/metal-spinning-products/hoppers

Plastic-

Plasti-Mart
http://www.plastic-mart.com/category/19/cone-bottom-tanks?gclid=CMbXwZ6C27MCFQSg4AodYDEAJw
The Tank Depot
http://www.tank-depot.com/browse.aspx?id=49
US Plastic Corp
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.aspx?catid=513&gclid=CPy-tuiC27MCFQ-f4AodDCAAaQ
Spraysmarter
http://www.spraysmarter.com/liquid-application/ace-roto-mold-white-inductor-tank-2.html

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:36 AM   #2
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Default Home Brew Talk Links - Conical Fermeters

Home Brew Talk Links -

Super Simple 15G Plastic Conical

Brewhemoth Conicals?

DIY Conical Fermenter - (Stainless Steel)

MoreBeer 14 Gallon Conical Fermenter and Yeast Harvester Review


15 Gallon Conical Fermenter Build

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:38 AM   #3
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Default Choosing A Conical Fermenter

(Future Use)

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:48 PM   #4
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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!

John

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Old 11-20-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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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.

img_2499.jpg   img_2475.jpg   img_2488.jpg   img_2487.jpg   img_2465.jpg  

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Old 11-20-2012, 05:10 PM   #6
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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

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Old 11-21-2012, 05:48 PM   #7
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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.

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Old 11-21-2012, 07:26 PM   #8
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Awesome post Max!
If you dont mind me asking what did the conical cost you? How long did it take to get?

Thanks

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerguyNC61
Awesome post Max!
If you dont mind me asking what did the conical cost you? How long did it take to get?

Thanks
They were $1095.00 each on sale with standard fittings plus shipping. I added stainless pressure relief valve, T's, 3/4" ball valves on blow off, 2" 90's on dump, CIP, pressure gauges and larger 1 1/2" Tri clamp on lid to accept CIP. All in all with shipping to east coast was around $3200.00 for both. Shipping was steep at $460.00 They had them in stock and I had them in 1 week. They got a little dinged up in shipping but they are working on getting that resolved through the carrier. Mike @ Glacier Tanks has been very helpful and customer service has been top notch.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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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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