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Old 04-09-2009, 12:36 AM   #1
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Default Conical Fermenter ... Which One?

Okay, so Im in the market for a brand new conical fermenter. I generally do 10 gallon batches ... so the question is ... which one do I get? Plastic? Stainless? What is everyones opinion of the minibrew? I think I'd rather go stainless unless someone can convince me otherwise. I don't mind the added cost so much. I was also looking at MoreBeer, but they have three different grades. Economy, Standard and Pro. Once you step into the Pro range you are talking Fermenator type pricing. Which leads me to my next question, should I go with Blichmann? Then standard or sanitary fittings? Also, Im guessing its better to have welded fittings? I need some help here ...

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Old 04-09-2009, 12:40 AM   #2
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If money isn't an issue I would definitely get a stainless one. I will last forever unlike a plastic one that you will have to be careful not to scratch when cleaning. I can't give much help or insight on the various options though.

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Old 04-09-2009, 12:45 AM   #3
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I have a stainless one but I built it out of scrap, we have conicals laying all over at work that we don't need luckily. However if I had to actually buy one I might look into one of the plastic ones and just be super careful when cleaning. It shouldn't scratch with a soft sponge and cleaner solution and will last forever if taken care of.

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Old 04-09-2009, 12:59 AM   #4
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I have tried the V-Vessel (lightbulb shaped plastic thing) and it works as long as you filter out the break material. If you don't it gets clogged. With 10 gallon batches forget I mentioned it.

I just started using a 15 gallon inductor tank, plastic and there are several threads discussing it. Other than a minor drip from the bottom fitting (grrh!), need more teflon and 7 gallons of wort say no at this point. Some complaints about the sealing of the lid from others, I think I managed to get it done by using a cut up kids giant bouncing ball as a rubber gasket. The silicone sealant I had used never fully cured and smelled like crap (vinegar). I made a stand out of a golf practice net steel cage (golf is harder to do right than beer) and amazingly I made it work. 10 gallons will easily fit, 16+ gallons is doable . Very large cover so cleaning is simple - just put it into the shower or bathtub and have at it.

After all that I can see myself eventually moving to stainless and using the inductor for a backup. The V-Vessel will eventually wind up on Craigslist. I would go Blichmann as I don't really like Morebeer. Minibrew is pointless to me if you can do the inductor tank.

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Old 04-09-2009, 01:04 AM   #5
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We went with ss. Part of the thinking was that it will last forever and you can sell it for at least what you paid for it. Would you buy a used plastic one?

The Blichmann is the one we got. You need the 15 gallons on to make a 10 gallon batch
Its great and you will love the ease of making beer with it

good luck

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Old 04-09-2009, 01:47 AM   #6
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I have 2 B3 Pro-Series 12.2G conicals. I love them from the lid down. They are well made and nicely welded. I like the large 1.5" dump valve. After using it I'm not sure how people are really using a 1/2" bottom dump as even my 1.5" gets clogged.

The lid kinda sucks though and it cannot be pressurized. If you could put the Blichmann type lid on the B3 bottom you'd have one great conical.


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Old 04-09-2009, 07:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrin View Post
I have 2 B3 Pro-Series 12.2G conicals. I love them from the lid down. They are well made and nicely welded. I like the large 1.5" dump valve. After using it I'm not sure how people are really using a 1/2" bottom dump as even my 1.5" gets clogged.

The lid kinda sucks though and it cannot be pressurized. If you could put the Blichmann type lid on the B3 bottom you'd have one great conical.

Very nice ... what is the copper for? To chill your fermenter? Are you using glycol?

So from what Im reading the Blichmann would be a good way to go because Im going to be paying about the same for a Pro grade MoreBeer and it can be pressurized? Can anyone help me clear up the difference between regular and sanitary tri-clamp fittings? There is a substantial price difference. Is it really worth it?
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:27 PM   #8
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I have the 14.5 gallon blichmann. I've done 12 gallon batches in it without a problem. I got the deal of a lifetime off craigslist, so I can't really comment on pricing. The only thing I dislike about my Blichmann is how close it sits to the ground. They do have the option for leg extensions, but to me its just more $$. I have the Minibrew MLT (part of the same CL deal) and it is pretty scratched up. Its about 5 years old. Obviously that doesn't give you a review of their conicals, but it does provide some insight regarding the materials they are made from. The previous owner of my new gear took excellent care of everything, and was VERY careful when cleaning. Just my 2 cents...

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Old 04-09-2009, 12:36 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Derrin;1249682] I like the large 1.5" dump valve. After using it I'm not sure how people are really using a 1/2" bottom dump as even my 1.5" gets clogged.
QUOTE]

I wish I had a 1.5 dump valve on my 14.5 Blichman. I am going to try and removal the elbow and have the dump valve straight down to see if that helps with yeast removal. Other than that, I really like it. Before this I had a plastic 15 gallon one. I never could get a comfortable feeling with the plastic and did not like the lid and the lack of a 100% seal.

Mike

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Old 04-09-2009, 03:35 PM   #10
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From my experience with fittings I don't see the need for the sanitary tri clamp style but I'm sure others will tell you they are amazing. I've never had a problem with my regular fittings and if I did find that I had something inside there infecting my beer I'd either replace the valve (fairly cheap) or rig up a way to have it sitting in boiling water for about 20 min to ensure I killed the little SOB's that are messing with my beer. I would think that a good soak in Oxyclean would clean them up very well after each use....just my $0.02 though.

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