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Old 05-03-2012, 01:18 PM   #1
Saj
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Default Conicals or Carboys?

Hi everyone, I've been a long time reader of this page and for some reason this is my first time posting. I guess theres such a wealth of knowledge on here I can usually do a search to find whatever I'm looking for and get a quick answer...until now.

My friends and I have just ordered in a new brew system that will be capable of 15 gallon batches and can even be upgraded to a full bbl. As of right now we have primarily been doing 5 and 10 gallon batches. We are debating about whether or not to keep fermenting everything in plastic buckets and carboys or move up to conical fermenters. We typically brew once a week so we are poducing a good amount of beer volume. We do not typically keep our yeast because we're constantly doing random beers, and frankly were just not at that point yet. The nice thing about the buckets and carboys is that theres a lot of used stuff out there and its much cheaper. Are there other advantages to the conicals that I'm missing? We are also making a new fermentation room as well so space isn't a problem.

Thanks,
David



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Old 05-03-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
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Advantages to conicals:

  • Harvest yeast
  • Shiny
  • Move beer to "secondary" without moving the beer (if you're into that sort of thing)
  • Shiny

But they are expensive...


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Old 05-03-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
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I use both, I have a 14 gallon conical and five or six 6.5 gallon glass carboys; the only real advantage to the conical is that I can dump the trub and any hop material from the bottom, after it all settles and prior to fermentation. That and the yeast harvesting, of course. It's also easier to take hydrometer and taste samples.

One disadvantage of the conical is that it takes more energy to keep the temperature down during fermentation, 11 gallons of beer generates a lot of exothermic heat.
I have a window A/C unit mounted through one of the walls in my brew closet, and it will chill the closet down to 60 degrees, even then this will only keep the conical at 70 degrees during a vigorous ferment, I have a hard time keeping the temp any lower.

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Old 05-03-2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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I use an assortment of carboys, buckets, and a 15g plastic conical, so no shine. However, of all these, the conical is my favorite. I don't have to split batches, I can fill a keg in under 1 minute, clean up is easy, and I can dump the trub as it builds up. I don't harvest the yeast from the fermenter, I build up new packs and harvest from an erlynmeyer flask, but it is an advantage. My plastic conical setup was around $100 or so.



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Old 05-03-2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireBrew63 View Post
I use an assortment of carboys, buckets, and a 15g plastic conical, so no shine. However, of all these, the conical is my favorite. I don't have to split batches, I can fill a keg in under 1 minute, clean up is easy, and I can dump the trub as it builds up. I don't harvest the yeast from the fermenter, I build up new packs and harvest from an erlynmeyer flask, but it is an advantage. My plastic conical setup was around $100 or so.
Hey, that's a pretty nifty looking set up. Is that a conical intended for fermenting, or did you find something that was suitable for repurposing? Also: where might other people find something like that?
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:07 PM   #6
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Here is a thread on the plastic conicals:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/super-simple-15g-plastic-conical-276378/

I just filled mine for the first time last week. Cost me under a hundred bucks also for the whole setup.

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Old 05-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #7
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Well if it ain't gonna break the bank go for the conical because they look awesome and I'm sure the operate just as awesomely. That said, although handy they are unnecessary so don't go out of the way to buy one if you need to stop buying groceries for a week.

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Old 05-04-2012, 01:29 PM   #8
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Wow, the plastic connicals seem like the way to go. The only big draw back to the conicals which I wasn't anticipating is keeping my room temp much lower. Our new brewery location (buddy's garage) has a cheap little addition built on the back of it. We were planning on insulating it like crazy and then puting a window unit on it. Going to need a lot more BTUs to get that room down to 60 when its 105 outside. We also have the opportunity to buy some stainless conicals for cheap, 27 gallon and a 7, however we may just consider re-selling them and building a bunch of the plastic conicals.



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