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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > More Beer! heated and cooled conical
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
thach1aj
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Default More Beer! heated and cooled conical

I been saving up somemoney to buy a stainless conical and I was wondering if anyone knew anything about this fermentor and if it is worth the extra money to buy one or if I should just go with a normal stainless steel. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Cheers!

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Old 05-09-2012, 01:51 PM   #2
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I took a 15.5 gallon keg and made it into a fermentor. I also use a sanke conversion kit that does not require any modification to the keg. I am able to get into my converted freezer to control temp during fermenting. The racking cane on this lets me adjust the height were I can rack my beer without any trube from it with a little C02 to push it out. If i want yeast slury just lower the racking tube a little. It works great for a lot less price. I have 125 dollars in it total.
The conical will be hard to keep cool unless you have a basement or conditioned room. I have brewed with carboys and using secondary and only primary. I have found that secondary is not required. I usually go from primary straight to keg and my beer is crystal clear (according to what yeast is used and style), Below is a pic. of my last beer. Here is the link for the conversion kit.

http://www.brewershardware.com/sanke-fermenter-kits/

beer.jpg  
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:01 PM   #3
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The MooreBeer heated & cooled conicals look nice, however three things dissuaded me from considering them as I conical shop

1) They're are rated to cool 20-33 degrees off ambient. In the summer ambient here gets 110 in the garage and 80 in the house. I'd have to have the conical in the house during the summer and I'd expect the fans to run all the time.

2) If you're relying on the cooling you're pidgin holed into the designed batch size for the fermenter. That's fine if you buy the 7g and only do 5g batches, but if you buy the 14g and normally do 10g batches, but still like doing 5g ones also you'll need to ferment elsewhere.

2) They're god awful expensive. You could buy a stand up freezer, a controller and a Stout or Brewhemoth conical and still have cash left over.

I looked at More Beer, Blichmann, Brewhemoth, Glacier and Stout conicals. I'll likely go with Stout though I wish they used a tri clamp lid like Blichmann and Glacier. The brewhemoth looked nice, but the cost of building a CIP solution and buying the tri clamp fittings which aren't included pushed it above what it would cost me for the Blingmann.

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Old 05-09-2012, 04:32 PM   #4
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Default What size?

If you're doing anything 10 gallons or less, I question the need for a conical. I say this as someone who *had* to have a conical, and had the budget to buy one, but decided in the end that they are more about 'bragging rights' at the homebrew scale than anything.

Regarding the supposed 'advantages' of conicals:

Can move beer under pressure: I can do this with any vessel that will hold the relatively low amount of pressure it takes to move beer.

Off-flavors from sitting on yeast: This not necessarily proven in the homebrew arena. Award-winning beers are brewed in plastic pails all the time.

Yeast harvesting: As far as I know, yeast does not care whether it leaves the vessel through a downward-facing spout or not. At any rate, I am planning to have a proper yeast library and probably won't be repitching yeast anyway.

Conicals are also more delicate due to the legs required to provide clearance to the valves. Also, it's just as easy to attach tri-clamp fittings and rotating racking arms to a cylindrical vessel as it is a conical one.

Regarding the temperature-controlled nature of the MoreBeer! conicals, the above poster was right in that they are limited in how much control they can provide in a hot room. Also, the type of fans they use are prone to failure.

Most important to me was also the fact that I'd like to have multiple ferments going on at once - and that requires multiple fermenters. That gets expensive, fast. Also, the argument of doing secondary in a conical without moving beer to another vessel is interesting, but you're tying up an expensive fermenter for that much longer.

I personally am working on tracking down 1/2 bbl Sankes for conversion. I may TIG the fittings myself, but even taking them to a welding shop shouldn't be that expensive. Even buying new kegs at $150/pop, I can be in a fully stainless fermenter with tri-clamp fittings for less than half the price of a conical. Plus, I can easily put multiples in a converted chest freezer without worrying so much about damage to legs.

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Old 05-11-2012, 03:58 AM   #5
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I bought a MoreBeer conical about 2 months ago. I decided not to go with the heated/cooled version, because I figured I could find a upright freezer and controller to maintain temperatures. I'm still looking.

Part of me wishes I just spent the money for the temperature control one. If you have the money to burn, then I would recommend buying the heated/cooled one. If you are on a budget, then go for regular stainless one and figure out where to get a big enough freezer. It won't be easy to find, though.

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Old 05-11-2012, 04:35 AM   #6
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You could save a lot of money by just using carboys/buckets and converting a mini-fridge into the fermentation chamber with a temp controller

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Old 05-11-2012, 04:58 AM   #7
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Condensation can become an issue on them as well, for the money I'd go Blichmann and buy an upright freezer.

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Old 05-11-2012, 05:01 AM   #8
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Conical fermentors are probably one of the least beneficial pieces of equipment in terms of value/quality added per $ spent. I would personally make this one of the very last upgrades to my brewery. I also know of a couple of cases where people who purchased conicals eventually went back to using Better Bottles, carboys, or Sanke kegs for fermenting.

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Old 05-11-2012, 05:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcaneXor View Post
Conical fermentors are probably one of the least beneficial pieces of equipment in terms of value/quality added per $ spent. I would personally make this one of the very last upgrades to my brewery. I also know of a couple of cases where people who purchased conicals eventually went back to using Better Bottles, carboys, or Sanke kegs for fermenting.
Yeah, Jamil apparently likes using his carboys better than the conical he has
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:35 AM   #10
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I own a morebeer 14 gallon heated/cooled conical and absolutely love it. Everything about it is top quality. It is very nice to be able to ramp up or down the temperature so easily. Provides great control for fermenting lagers.

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