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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Turning a bucket into a conical fermentor
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:16 PM   #1
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Default Turning a bucket into a conical fermentor

So I was browsing on my laptop for some interesting diy projects and stumbled upon this link that was to a guy who made a conical fermentor from buckets like two ale pales.

http://www.fermenter.0catch.com/conical_fermenter.htm

I thought it was a very cool idea but since I have never seen it done here or even referenced here is it possible and/or has anyone done such a thing?

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Old 03-15-2013, 07:21 PM   #2
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Interesting

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Old 03-15-2013, 07:56 PM   #3
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I have done a bit of plastic welding with a soldering gun as is described in the link. I suspect that it will be difficult to make the inside smooth enough to prevent contamination issues. Folks here talk about the need to be careful not to scratch your plastic bucket, the surface of the weld could easily be worse than a few scratches.

Smoothing of the weld on the inside won't be much fun since you are working down inside a deep bucket.

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Old 03-15-2013, 08:27 PM   #4
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I feel it is more important to have a smooth, cleanable, sanitary surface on the inside of a fermenter than it is to have the cone shape. The cone shape make's it easier for dumping trub or harvesting yeast....and that's IT.

The risk of having a hand melted plastic bucket with all sorts of area's for bacteria to form far outweigh the benefits of the cone shape.

Racking to a secondary isn't that hard. In fact, if you are using a plastic fermenter, then get one with a spigot (instead of rigging up a cone). Now it's equally easy to transfer to a secondary (leaving the trub behind) as it is to dump from a conical. One turn of a handle.

Harvesting yeast from a flat bottomed bucket is easy as well. But, if you are going to get into yeast harvesting, then the expense and need for perfect sanitation make this an unfeasible option. Why cheap out on this if you are going to go through the trouble and time and expense of maintaining a yeast library?

Doing this is simultaneous overthink/underthink #9,678,022,984,206,454 in the homebrewniverse. (about 15,000 of those are my own).

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Old 03-15-2013, 09:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraNova
I feel it is more important to have a smooth, cleanable, sanitary surface on the inside of a fermenter than it is to have the cone shape. The cone shape make's it easier for dumping trub or harvesting yeast....and that's IT.

The risk of having a hand melted plastic bucket with all sorts of area's for bacteria to form far outweigh the benefits of the cone shape.

Racking to a secondary isn't that hard. In fact, if you are using a plastic fermenter, then get one with a spigot (instead of rigging up a cone). Now it's equally easy to transfer to a secondary (leaving the trub behind) as it is to dump from a conical. One turn of a handle.

Harvesting yeast from a flat bottomed bucket is easy as well. But, if you are going to get into yeast harvesting, then the expense and need for perfect sanitation make this an unfeasible option. Why cheap out on this if you are going to go through the trouble and time and expense of maintaining a yeast library?

Doing this is simultaneous overthink/underthink #9,678,022,984,206,454 in the homebrewniverse. (about 15,000 of those are my own).
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:40 AM   #6
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Sorry to c-block. Oddly, thats one of the things I like about engineering DIY equipment for homebrewing. I have thousands of what I think are really brilliant ideas that when I attempt to execute, I realize it may solve one problem but create a dozen more.

BUT....

When I do come up with something I have either created from scratch of improved on a previous design, it is, well, almost a buzz. It's like that first taste of a brew that you designed the recipe for that comes out INCREDIBLY. Not much else is like it.

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Old 03-16-2013, 11:05 PM   #7
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Haha np. I'm thinking of trying this with some of my old buckets I don't use anymore and mounting them on the outside of my house under the rain gutter to catch water for my garden

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Old 03-17-2013, 12:38 AM   #8
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I have successfully welded 5 gal plastic buckets for a leakproof seal. I use them in a portable keg dispenser as an ice bin. I left the bottom bucket intact and the top bucket I trimmed the very top lip off and cut the bottom out of it. Then I turned the top bucket upside down and slid it into the first bucket up to the first lip. So the top lip of the bottom bucket and the second lip of the top bucket. To weld them together I use a heat gun and a putty knife. Slowly heating up both the top lip and the second lip and pushing them together after they were nice an hot (Just shiny not discolored). It took a couple of practice tries but I got a coupe nice 10 gallon buckets.
I would NOT use these as a fermenter there are lots of areas in the "Weld" that can collect nasties. They work great for ice though!

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