A while back, 1 to 2 years, I decided I needed to reduce the physical labor involved in lugging around 6 gallon carboys because i'm getting older than rocks. I bought a couple 14 gal. Blichmann conicals, thinking that my labor would be reduced, 1 for lagers and 1 for ales. They also have a lot of bling going for them. I thought I might report my experience with this "investment".
The Bling is surely there! espessially if wiped down with a "no spot" solution after cleaning. They are downright impressive. Makes me feel like I know what the hell I'm doing when I look at them.
Cleaning and sanitising: Now the pain begins. Compared to carboys, these things are a nightmare come true. Every part must be disassembled, washed and sanitised and reassembled. In my mind reassembly negates sanitisation.
Dumping Trub: Good idea, but since the half inch hole is not big enough to allow the trub to fully flow, most of it stays in the fermenter because the fluid bores a hole through the rest of it.
Collecting yeast:Since most of the trub is still in the fermenter, opening the dump valve will give you a mixture of old trub and yeast. Where is the break and middle cut? Who knows?
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not dissing Blichmann, they make good stuff. The thing I'm saying is if a Blichmann conical(or any conical) looks like a solution to whatever problems you might have, investigate, investigate, investigate.
Presently, one of my conicals is for sale at my brew club for half price. The other is in a shop being modified to 1 1/2 inch tri-clamp. I'm still lugging 6 gal carboys......