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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Stainless Conical Fermenter from Bitter Creek Homebrew: Review ala Boerderij Kabouter

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Old 05-27-2009, 02:47 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
Concerning dry hopping: This lid is very easy to get on and off. If you are worried about contamination within the 4 seconds it takes to dump in some hops, then you could just crack the lid up half an inch and scoot them in there, then this lid would pose less open space than a cornie lid Neither is a worry unless you ferment in a bio ridden and infested bacteria lab.

I still like the cornie lid but that may also be because I am accustomed to using it for additions and what not. If you have not used one it may not be an issue.

I am also not sure how lifting the lid to put in a hop bag of hops will open less space than a cornie lid.

For me it would come down to price. The one feature that I like the most is the ability to close it up and throw a spudding valve on there and carbonate in the vessel.

How is the comparison going to work? Will you brew 2 batches and ferment both in different conical. I have skimmed this thread mainly looking at pictures so if I missed it I apologize.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:55 PM   #32
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Yeah, the other very cool option would be the ability to do pressurized fermentation in a conical for truly professional brewing control. That's some pretty sweet stuff!

I am hoping to find a Blichmann fermentator and then brew two batches side by side. I haven't found a donor yet, but I have about 2 weeks till I brew my second batch that would go in the Blichmann.

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Old 05-27-2009, 02:59 PM   #33
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I agree no pissing but come on, nobody is making "snarky" comments and nothing has been said or implied regarding the quality being "crap." Rich has been hinting at comparable pricing to the Blichmanns and you say "lower" than. As HellenicHomeBrewer said the jury is waiting on a price. FWIW I spent a couple of years working for a company that sourced parts from China so I know first hand how much work Rich is putting into this. It can be very much like beating your head into a brick wall. I applaud the effort Rich has made on these as they are indeed quite beautiful looking! A person could dominate the stainless conical market bringing these in at low enough prices. I myself am eagerly waiting for official pricing. Pricing? Pricing? Pricing? Pricing?

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Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
Concerning buy US: It is true that these conicals are made in China, but you are still supporting Rich. I know some people are crazy about the buy American thing, but I for one would rather support a small shop owner who is trying to offer great and progressive products that are of better quality at a lower price. Blichmann is great and I owe several of their products, but just because they are a US company does not mean I will be loyal to them over Rich. I think he is working very hard to give us some great new products and options and deserves more than, 'yeh, its not made in (or assembled in the US, so his stuff is crap.' This conical is better produced IMO than the Blichmann with better features and will be at the same or lower price (I believe). If you want a US made fermenter of this quality at the same price, go make one yourself and start marketing it.

I don't want to start a pissing contest or get this moved to the debate forum. If you feel a need to buy only US made products go right ahead. Making snarky comments here doesn't do anyone any good.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:05 PM   #34
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I agree with your sentiments. Concerning pricing, Rich told me that he won't know the pricing until he is happy with the design and actually orders the first container of fermenters from China. I don't know anything about dealing with Chinese suppliers, but I do understand why there are no prices yet. Please be patient, I am sure Rich has everything put together.

For now, please just enjoy the pr0n, and we will get the skinny on the price later.

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Old 05-27-2009, 08:09 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
Hello everybody!

SuperiorBrew, a.k.a. Rich, the owner of Bitter Creek Homebrew Supply in Slinger Wisconsin is working toward bringing in high quality stainless conical fermenters from China. He started this thread at the beginning of the project.

He has graciously allowed me to be a guinea pig and use the fermenter for my next few batches to work out any kinks that may remain in the design. Rich has spent countless hours dealing with the supplier making sure that the quality is up to our standards and that every feature we could want is included in the fermenter.

Here is a list of features on this conical:

1. 16 gallon capacity (I have not measured yet, but that test is coming soon)
2. All stainless and polished
3. Welded legs
4. rotating racking arm
5. full 1" bottom dump
6. pressurizable up to 35 psi (you could carb in it if you cared to)
7. many more features that will be more apparent as this test progresses.

For now, I took a bunch of pictures and have tried to review the workmanship. In the coming days, I will fill the fermenter to test total capacity, pressure test it, and play with the dumps and venting options.

........


Without further ado...

Here is the beauty!


It has a taller slimmer profile than the Blichmann alternative. Here are the dimensions:
16 gal rated capacity
45" high w/o airlock
16" diameter
18" widest part of the clamp (upper right in my pic), can be turned any direction to fit into corner area

I really like the look of the legs. They are welded on, take no additional floor space, and look professional.

As you can see here, the shape allows it to fit very nicely in a fermentation chamber and allows a more efficient usage of available space. I tested it and I can fit the conical and two fermenters on the floor space.



..........

Onto the details.
I recall a couple of years ago when these fermenters first came up on this forum that the quality was very high as these newer pictures still show but better.
The 7 gallon I recall held something like 8 1/2 or 9 gallons, more than the listed volume.
The larger 16 gallon might also hold more than the listed 16 gallons also, this would be good to know after a real water test was done.
I must add as back then I asked about having a larger capacity fermenter and was told they can make any size requested. With this I was happy as i'm wanting a fermenter that will after all the yeast, trub, spillage and what can not be racked off and still be able to have a net of three fully filled 5 gallon corny's for a net of 15 gallons for my efforts. Not 13 1/2 or 14 gallons net. If this net volume with brewing stouts which will have a larger volume of trub and yeast to dump out. That was my request to meet the the net volume from these larger fermenters. The shipping time as well the final price was also a factor asked by many members. After hearing about issues with importing and delays this fermenter went dead app two years ago until coming alive again now. Maybe with the past history behind us and China importing so many other items now these fermenter will come thru like all the other imported items. I wish you the best of luck this second go around as they blow away the Blichmann's is my opinion. Last time I mentioned that I got some replies for making this same statement, I know i'll get them again.

Back the first time a couple years ago I had a question and the answer to this reply was they can make them taller if requested and that it wasn't a problem. This had me happy and waiting as I never got the real volume measurements of the 16 gallon as it might be larger than 16 gallons like the 7 gallon fermenter holding 8 1/2 to 9 gallon instead of 7. I recall the importer was asking should he have those frementers cut down to 7 gallon in size. These volumes are off memory but I know they were more than the 7 gallon fermenter. JMO's here not to start any flame wars agains Blichmann and their faithful owners.
The only thing that worries me is the seal if it can be replaced quickly or any other material made in the USA that can be cut and butt welded with a hot wire.
I have done this with 3/8" round belts and trimmed the flashing after having a hot melted smash together. Again JMO's here.
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:26 PM   #36
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I don't think I have anything going on tonight so I might be able to do the water test. I can't image the gasket being difficult to replace. McMaster has all sorts of silicone gaskets. This one is 1/4" square.

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Old 05-27-2009, 08:38 PM   #37
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IIRC it held 16g filled right to the brim and 2 more gallons in the domed lid.

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Old 05-27-2009, 08:53 PM   #38
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When racking from the conical to a corney, is it possible to never expose the beer to an uncontrolled environment?
I'm thinking
sanitize keg and purge with co2
pressurize conical
attach hose to valve on conical and attach other end to product side of keg
open pressure valve on keg and open valve on conical.

Am I missing something?

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Old 05-27-2009, 08:58 PM   #39
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Not to beat the China vs US made debate even more but Blichmann doesn't use 100% US sourced parts either. I asked John when I imported three of his 20 gallon Boilermaker pots to Canada for duty/tax disclosures reasons and he told me that "the pots are about 60-70% US content."

Nice looking fermenter though guys. Very nice looking. Those welds are fantastic!
Keep us informed.

Kal

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Old 05-27-2009, 08:58 PM   #40
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Looks like a rocket ship.

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