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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > which of these conical fermenters?
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:24 PM   #1
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Default which of these conical fermenters?

Hello all,
With fall just around the corner I have started contemplating Christmas gifts. My Son in Law makes beer from kits about 3x/year, and after watching some video recently on beer making I realized just how much work is involved. He makes it with plastic buckets, racking, etc. and know a conical fermenter would save a lot of work for them when making the brew. Want the best bang for the buck, and money is limited, so would appreciate some input from some experienced brewers. I make wine, so do have a little knowledge about fermenting.
Is it really necessary/important to know the temperature of the brew in the primary?
Here are the 3 units I've narrowed it down to, going from cheapest to highest in cost.
1. ss 8 gallon from moonshine distiller. http://moonshinedistiller.com/conica...steel-8-gallon
2. ss 7.3 g from Stout. https://conical-fermenter.com/7.3-Gallon-Fermenter.html
3. ss 7 g from brewing technologies http://www.ssbrewtech.com/products/7-gallon-chronical
Thank you very much for your input and experience with any of these units.
zack

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Old 09-04-2014, 08:38 PM   #2
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No meaningful advice here, just a nomination for Father-In-Law Of The Year Award.

OK, maybe some advice. If he is only doing 3 brews a year, possibly take the funds and invest in something to upgrade his brewing system and make the brewing process more rewarding. If he brews extract you could upgrade him to a pretty slick All-Grain system for that price.
This is also the starting price for a kegerator, and it can be set up to dispense commercial or homebrew beer.

On the other hand, you could just stick with your original plan, which would make for a fantastic gift.

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Old 09-04-2014, 08:55 PM   #3
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Thanks How, upgrading his system to make it more enjoyable was my intention. Not sure what an all-grain-system is, he only does kits right now. Not sure if my answer is relevant to your suggestion The kegerator I assume is a keg type device and they opt for bottles as they are easier to store in the refrigerator as I've suggested small kegs before. Right now they only do 3 kits a year as the whole process with the current set up takes a lot of time. I know with wine a conical fermenter would be a time saver, being able to drain the lees off the bottom without racking and figure the same to be true in brewing. Albeit a lot of time is in the beginning of the brewing process.

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Old 09-04-2014, 09:36 PM   #4
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This would definitely be a simple way to make a big upgrade to their brewing. The only reason I suggested other options is that many advanced brewers choose to upgrade other parts of their process before bumping up to a conical and continue to lug around the buckets/carboys. I have been brewing for years and still brew this way. That said, this doesn't mean I don't still lust for a shiny, awesome conical, and it definitely would make brewing easier for me.
The other stuff is distinctly more complicated to buy and to use, so I think you are on a good path with the conical.
For my $.02 on the conicals you have there- Stout is a very respected name in brewing products, and that distiller unit looks suspiciously similar (like, maybe the exact same unit, only cheaper). The SS also has a great reputation. They make another product called 'The Brew Bucket" that is a little less expensive that has a lot of great features, as well.

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Old 09-04-2014, 09:59 PM   #5
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'The Brew Bucket'? I will definitely check it out, thank you.

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Old 09-05-2014, 03:28 PM   #6
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I second howhownow's comments. Those are real purdy conicals you're looking at, but at 3x/yr that's a lot of un-used bling. But switching from extract to all-grain will double the work, and double his enjoyment of it (i'm assuming he enjoys the art of brewing).

After sprouting kids i went to brewing 4x/yr and i look forward to spending time with the brew buddies, a brew day is an all-day affair for us, plus post-fermentation clean up, etc. It is definitely a long hard day of work, but that's what makes it rewarding. The resulting beer is almost secondary to brewing.

p.s. the day i switched from bottles to kegs ranks up there with having a kid : )

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Old 09-05-2014, 07:51 PM   #7
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I've had a stout Tank for a few years now...lots of batches...no Probs. Tri clamps easy to clean, not much more that guy could want

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Old 09-05-2014, 08:04 PM   #8
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I'd go with the brewbucket myself. Like you said, he does 3 batches a year. That seems to be a little easier to carry around from where he brews to where it ferments. I'm assuming he's brewing on a stove top and fermenting in a closet somewhere else there. I've got no experience with it, but a friend has one and loves the handles and being able to cart it up and down stairs easily. Just my .02

That said, that's a great gift! Talk to my MIL would ya??

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Old 09-05-2014, 08:09 PM   #9
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I tend to agree that a conical, while easier to use in the long term, would be under utilized only brewing 3 times a year. I brew between 15 and 20 times a year and have yet to buy a conical. I have spent more of my time and money on upgrading smaller highly used parts of my home brewery. I would talk to the s-i-l and find out if there was anything that his current brewery could use that would make it easier and more enjoyable.

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Old 09-05-2014, 08:14 PM   #10
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Problem with upgrading the brewery bits is you go down the veritable rabbit hole. I agree there are other things that could make brewing easier, perhaps to the point where he does it more than 3 times a year. But like most of us know, alot of that comes down to personal preference and how you want to skin that cat. This option, and it's a nice option, allows the SIL to continue doing what he's doing, and make the decision for himself if he wants to step up his game. Sometimes a nice gift is just that, a really nice gift.

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