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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Conical fermenter
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:17 PM   #11
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Much, much better pricing on those cone bottoms here: http://www.plastic-mart.com/category...FeiPPAodcFYABA

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Old 12-12-2012, 10:44 PM   #12
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Appreciate the info guys. Still gonna do a lot of research on it like I always do.
Still torn on cost, plastic vs ss. From what I've read here and online there is no difference in the end result.

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Old 12-12-2012, 10:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Brolan View Post
Appreciate the info guys. Still gonna do a lot of research on it like I always do.
Still torn on cost, plastic vs ss. From what I've read here and online there is no difference in the end result.
IMO/IME, big difference in usable life span of the units though. Stainless will [essentially] last forever unless you blast a hole through it, or somehow physically damage it (takes good effort to do so). Plastic can be scratched easily, which can then harbor infection and/or contamination. Plastic can also be cut far more easily than SS...

IMO, plastic vessels are 100% disposable and should be considered as such. Stainless can be considered to last virtually forever. Most likely, it will last longer than you will (barring major disaster that will also destroy where it's kept).
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:22 AM   #14
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I would say that if you are going to brew 10-15 gallon batches...stick with Sanke kegs. I am brewing award winning beer in mine. It would be nice to dump trub out the bottom but not at the additional cost of 500 dollars. As someone else said....they are also virtually indestructible. The cost though was the big one for me..you can probably find two sanke kegs for around 100 dollars....two similar sized SS conicals would set you back almost a grand. I think I WOULD go plastic though for larger batches again for cost reasons...of course you could always have multiple sankes for each batch.

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Old 12-13-2012, 12:31 AM   #15
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You can also use cheap furniture dolly's to move the kegs around. Or find an used 4 wheel dolly/cart to use. I'm probably going to do that once I start using my 50L fermenting keg more often. Although the cheap furniture dolly could be better. Just chock the wheels so it won't move around and you're set.

Something else to think about, if a seal goes on a conical, you can have a big mess to cleanup (picture batch flowing out the bottom valve). Not going to happen with sanke keg fermenters.

Amazon has furniture dollies CHEAP... A ~6" will be fine for a tall 1/4 barrel fermenter. The 12" would work for a 1/2 bbl fermenter. Either under $10 or under $20 each.

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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:35 AM   #16
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Thanks Phunhog. One thing though if ya don't mind. How exactly do use the kegs. I work for a beer distributor and can get a great cost on these. I just don't get the process.

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Old 12-13-2012, 01:25 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Golddiggie

LOVE fermenting in sanke kegs. SO much easier than buckets and such. Will be even easier (for me at least) very soon. If you're curious, PM me.
How much can you ferment in a sanke? I shoot for 5 gallons of brew for bottling - are sankes about 6 gallons?
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:34 AM   #18
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How much can you ferment in a sanke? I shoot for 5 gallons of brew for bottling - are sankes about 6 gallons?
1/6 barrel are 5.16 gallon capacity, but 1/4 (slim/tall or short) are 7.75 gallons. It's how I can easily get 6 gallons out, filling two 3 gallon corny kegs from each batch. Or I can fill a 5 gallon and 1 gallon keg (got all that).

I also have a 50L (that's 13.3 gallons) keg adapted for fermenting in (4" TC ferrule welded in the top, in place of the normal opening). I could even use one of the two 1/2 barrel kegs I have on hand (not adapted them to anything yet).

With the cheap furniture dollies, moving even a full 1/2 barrel keg would be easy. Going to order up a couple of those soon.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:32 PM   #19
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Default Light Penetration & Plastic Conical Fermenters

Any light that sneaks in will not have a perceptible effect on the palatability of the beer.
Just limit the exposure and you'll be fine. An occasional sunbeam dancing across the lid or flicker of light isn't going to damage your beer. Beer is pretty resilient stuff given a bit of common sense. The wavelength PLUS length of exposure is what gives skunky aromas and flavors. A blip isn't going to do much at all.
Most plastics that are not clear will block most or all of the UV. Even clear colored dyes usually absorb some UV. And anything that is flat-colored or opaque doesn't just absorb light, it scatters light. Try looking at the shadow of a piece of wax paper. It absorbs almost nothing, but most of the light gets bent or reflected somewhere else, so little of the light goes straight through, so it has a fine shadow, especially if it is far from the ground.
I brew in my basement so light exposure has never been an issue that I personally have run into with the Ace Tanks.


EDIT: Ace WebSite "Ace Roto-Mold tanks are molded from polyethylene compounded with the latest technology in ultraviolet (UV) light stabilizers. These UV stabilizers will reduce the harmful effects of ultraviolet light exposure and are intended to extend the life of a tank over similar materials that are not compounded with stabilizers. Our UV rating is “15” on most product materials which generally means that after 15000 hours of exposure to the sun, there will be 50% of UV protection remaining. Consult the factory for the specific UV rating of the product you are using."

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Old 12-13-2012, 06:33 PM   #20
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Thanks Phunhog. One thing though if ya don't mind. How exactly do use the kegs. I work for a beer distributor and can get a great cost on these. I just don't get the process.
I treat them just like a giant carboy!! A #10 drilled stopper fits in the hole perfectly. Of course you have to take the stem out first which is really easy to do. There are several threads on HBT on how to do this. Obviously they are hard to move when full so you do have to have a "system" in place. I have heard people put them on furniture dollies so they can just be wheeled around. I also know a guy who uses them for making wine and he has a chain hoist to lift them in and out of a chest freezer. As far as racking out of the sanke you have a couple of different options. A large auto siphon will work but you will have to get the sanke higher than the keg. I have one of these..http://www.brewershardware.com/Sanke-Fermenter-Kits/ I put it on when I am ready to rack into the keg and push the beer out with CO2.
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