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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Conical Fermenters
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Old 02-08-2005, 11:01 AM   #1
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Default Conical Fermenters

Are conical's designed for Primary fermentation? I can see it would be easier to catch the sediment and drain off the top of the sediment, but other than that what are the advantages of using one? Do most still rack into a glass carboy, or go right into the keg. Is it better just to use as single stage. I was thinking about buying one, but They are kind of expensive so I wanted to do a little research before I take the plunge.

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Old 02-08-2005, 03:54 PM   #2
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I do believe that running off the yeast on the bottom means that you don't have to go to a secondary. You took all the stuff out that you want to get away from by moving to a secondary.

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Old 02-08-2005, 04:02 PM   #3
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Right. The purpose of racking to a secondary fermenter is to take the beer off of the traub. If you're using a conical, and remove the traub from the bottom, you don't need to rack.

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Old 02-08-2005, 04:16 PM   #4
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Ease of harvesting yeast for the next batch is another bonus. No racking cane nonsense is another.

Downside is you don't want to be moving the thing. You better have a pretty stable brewing setup/area. I know we couldn't do it because we shuffle our fermenters around according to wherever there's room and a good temperature.

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Old 02-08-2005, 05:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
Ease of harvesting yeast for the next batch is another bonus. No racking cane nonsense is another.

Downside is you don't want to be moving the thing. You better have a pretty stable brewing setup/area. I know we couldn't do it because we shuffle our fermenters around according to wherever there's room and a good temperature.
How do you harvest the yeast, in the sediment at the bottom? How do you store it for your next batch? How does all this harvesting work?
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Old 02-08-2005, 05:27 PM   #6
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Yep...in the sediment at the bottom. You carefully sanitize a container and pull that goop out. Bunch of yeast in it, and it'll make a heck of a big, vigorous pitch. Your ferment will take off in no time.

Note that you want to be extra EXTRA careful about sanitization here, because it's sort of the beginning of the line. You could potentially infect a lot of beer if you infect that yeast.

As I have said in other threads, my non-conical way to do it is to simply rack out of my primary on brew day, and then put the new beer right on top of the old yeast slurry in the primary without washing it.

Either way, you get a much better yeast pitch than even a nice big starter made from a Wyeast or White Labs yeast.

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Old 02-08-2005, 07:14 PM   #7
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so does that mean you never need new yeast, janx? and never have to clean a carboy?

sounds to me like that easy button commercial - and SMART!

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Old 02-09-2005, 02:49 PM   #8
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Wow those conical's look pretty kool but are expensive!!!

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Old 02-09-2005, 03:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franiblector
so does that mean you never need new yeast, janx? and never have to clean a carboy?

sounds to me like that easy button commercial - and SMART!
Unfortunately no (the best part would be never cleaning a carboy). We use that technique 3 or at most 4 times before we clean and re-sanitize the primary. But we only need to wash it about once a month that way, which is cool.

The yeast will start to develop off-flavors in the long run, and you run the risk of infection slowly building strength from the continued exposure through racking, etc.

But, this is the best way to pitch yeast. It's convenient, and it's the biggest most vigorous starter you can get (that's the name of the game). Our 12 gallon batches are usually bubbling away within a couple hours.
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Old 02-09-2005, 03:49 PM   #10
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i did this last saturday and had the yeast go nuts in about an hour. it went nuts for three days and has subsided. i'm gonna drop another batch on top of it this weekend

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