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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Minibrew Conical Fermenter?
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Old 10-20-2007, 04:16 PM   #1
lpdean
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Default Minibrew Conical Fermenter?

I ran across these while searching the net for brewing things and wondered if anyone uses them or had some feedback on them.
I would love to have a conical fermenter and the SS ones are soooo expensive but I wasn't quite wild about leaving beer in plastic that long. Does anyone see a down side to these?

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Old 10-20-2007, 05:17 PM   #2
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One of the guys from the brew shop uses the 25 gallon one with great results.

I'd recommend going with the biggest one possible. The cost diffrence between them is pretty minimal and there really isn't a signifigant time/effort diffrence between a 5 gallon and 25 gallon AG batch.

As long as you can manage a larger MLT and boil kettle (restaraunt wholesale/closeout) and have a fairly efficient chiller, you should be all set.

He makes some phenominal beers and usually pitches when just under 100*.

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Old 10-20-2007, 05:27 PM   #3
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I have two of the MiniBrew 6.5 gallon conicals and love them. Easy to use, easy to clean and sanitize and no more racking to secondary.

I got both of mine off of ebay for about $100 each, so watch on there for people selling them. I tried really hard to get a 15 gallon one locally off craigslist for $75 (which would hae been an amazing score!) but apparently was not he first one to want it.

Go for it, I don't think you'll regret getting one.

Austin

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Old 10-20-2007, 05:39 PM   #4
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The 15 gallon and less all look great for yeast harvesting and trub removal, but bigger than that there is a noticable "shelf" between the ball valve and the start of the slope of the cone. I guess this wouldn't be too bad, but I would prefer them to go straight from slope to ball valve.

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Old 10-20-2007, 06:45 PM   #5
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Do any of you see a problem with off flavors or anything from the plastic? Thats my only concern.....the plastic transfering taste or something like that.

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Old 10-20-2007, 11:24 PM   #6
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I have the 15 gallon and love it. You should pull it apart and clean it periodically which is a little bit of a pain, but not that bad. I usually don't dump the trub until a day or so before racking to kegs. After I rack, I'll toss in some sterilized water and then drain into either a flask or mason jar and wash my yeast. I wish the racking port was a racking arm, but other than that it's great. You do need to think about where you'll put it and how you'll control temps. I have mine in a converted closet with a portable ac unit and can keep it right around 64*F. I may start looking for a cheap upright freezer to turn into a lagerator though.

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Old 10-21-2007, 12:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpdean
Do any of you see a problem with off flavors or anything from the plastic? Thats my only concern.....the plastic transfering taste or something like that.
No off flavors or plastic flavors whatsoever... don't worry about that.

As for the comment about the "shelf" by the dump valve, I still get the vast majority of the yeast and trub out prior to racking through the valve. I'm not worried and have had no negative results from the very small amount of trub left down by the valve. If you're that concerned, you can always keep using carboys, or pony up the big bucks to get the SS conicals.


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Old 10-21-2007, 05:15 PM   #8
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I know the trub probably isn't a problem for most, but I was just interesting to see if there was a shelf. I am planning on building a SS coni in the near future and have decided that when I do I want it as slick to the valve as possible. I am planning on a trub/yeast collection reservoir similar to the V-vessel and simply closing the valve to the fermenter once fermentation is done. My interest in the shelf is, with it being there I couldn't use the same valve in the bottom to transfer the finished beer without "more than what I am wanting" in yeast. I am all for the plastic conni's though. Way cheaper than SS (in shipping too) and just as functional. I guess the main thing you would have to worry about is not scratching it while cleaning. On the plastic 15 gallon, could you replace the racking port with a racking arm from say... morebeer or something?

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Old 10-22-2007, 05:28 AM   #9
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Don't know about putting a racking arm on the 15 gal Minibrew...

I just went out to the garage and looked at my 6.5 gallon Minibrews, and it looks like the "shelf" area is about 1/4" around the hole to the dump valve in the bottom. It's also a smooth curve to the hole, so it should help to get more of the trub and yeast down to the dump valve. I just tap around the sides of the conical with a rubber mallet prior to dumping trub to help get any of it stuck on the sides down, and this works pretty well. From what I read in the latest issue of BYO, this is a recommended method for the SS conicals too.

Austin

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Old 10-22-2007, 03:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpdean
Do any of you see a problem with off flavors or anything from the plastic? Thats my only concern.....the plastic transfering taste or something like that.
if $14 Ale Pail's don't have plasticy flavors, $200 plastic conical shouldn't either. remember, not all plastics are created equal...food grade plastics cannot leach flavors/odors into your food/beer.
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