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alter 12-07-2012 05:08 PM

Blichmann conical advice
 
I'm a newbie who has only brewed a few 5 gallon batches in plastic buckets and secondary fermenting in bottles but I've decided I want to go ahead and make an investment into some high quality brewing equipment, and would like some advice from more experienced brewers. I really like the looks of the Blichmann 14.5 gallon conical fermenter, but I'm wondering if its the right choice for me. My price range for equipment is around 700 and the 14.5 gallon with the standard fittings is 640, while the one with the tri-clamp fittings is 860....My question is whether the tri-clamp fittings are really worth a 35% price increase over the same one with standard fittings? Would it make more sense to start with the base model and upgrade later or are the tri-clamps really that great that I need to consider them now? Also can you foresee there being any other major investments required to brew with this thing that I might not already have, other than a bottling gun? At this point I just want to stick to the basics if possible. I have bottle capper,bottles, etc. Thanks!

jmcquesten 12-07-2012 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alter (Post 4659670)
I'm a newbie who has only brewed a few 5 gallon batches in plastic buckets and secondary fermenting in bottles but I've decided I want to go ahead and make an investment into some high quality brewing equipment, and would like some advice from more experienced brewers. I really like the looks of the Blichmann 14.5 gallon conical fermenter, but I'm wondering if its the right choice for me. My price range for equipment is around 700 and the 14.5 gallon with the standard fittings is 640, while the one with the tri-clamp fittings is 860....My question is whether the tri-clamp fittings are really worth a 35% price increase over the same one with standard fittings? Would it make more sense to start with the base model and upgrade later or are the tri-clamps really that great that I need to consider them now? Also can you foresee there being any other major investments required to brew with this thing that I might not already have, other than a bottling gun? At this point I just want to stick to the basics if possible. I have bottle capper,bottles, etc. Thanks!

Out of curiosity, do you brew extract or all grain?

alter 12-07-2012 05:14 PM

That is a good question, I believe the answer is extract. Although I am a newbie and might be mistaken....In the past I've gotten both a can of syrupy malt, as well as bags of grain combined together, when purchasing ingredients if that helps.

angrylu 12-07-2012 05:32 PM

I have 2 Blichmann 14.5 conicals and I love them! Don't waste your money on the tri-clamp fittings. It's just added bling. The regular fittings will work just fine. I have at least 50 batches under my belt using these conicals.
Wether your all grain or an extract brewer, the Blichmann will work fine.

jammin 12-07-2012 05:34 PM

I've heard the blichmann valves, being only 1/2" can get clogged easily.

I have no experience though.

Obliviousbrew 12-07-2012 05:37 PM

Conicals are nice but I will spend my money in going all grain before buying a nice shiny conical.

LandoLincoln 12-07-2012 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alter (Post 4659670)
I'm a newbie who has only brewed a few 5 gallon batches in plastic buckets and secondary fermenting in bottles but I've decided I want to go ahead and make an investment into some high quality brewing equipment, and would like some advice from more experienced brewers. I really like the looks of the Blichmann 14.5 gallon conical fermenter, but I'm wondering if its the right choice for me. My price range for equipment is around 700 and the 14.5 gallon with the standard fittings is 640, while the one with the tri-clamp fittings is 860....My question is whether the tri-clamp fittings are really worth a 35% price increase over the same one with standard fittings? Would it make more sense to start with the base model and upgrade later or are the tri-clamps really that great that I need to consider them now? Also can you foresee there being any other major investments required to brew with this thing that I might not already have, other than a bottling gun? At this point I just want to stick to the basics if possible. I have bottle capper,bottles, etc. Thanks!

There are so many things that you could buy to make your beer brewing days easier than one of these.

BBL_Brewer 12-07-2012 05:46 PM

I don't know. Being a newbie and all, you might want to ease off the gas a little bit. If I were you I'd wait a little longer before springing for a conical. Once you switch to all grain (which you will), you might decide to upgrade to larger batches. Then you might decide that the $700 would be better spent on a brewhemoth conical. Or maybe even a down payment on an autotomated e-brewery. Who knows. After you get some more experience under your belt you will have a better idea of what you want out of your homebrewery. Then again, a nice shiny Blingman would look fabulous under the Christmas tree.

Obliviousbrew 12-07-2012 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BBL_Brewer (Post 4659814)
Then again, a nice shiny Blingman would look fabulous under the Christmas tree.

Thatīs a tall tree, mine can fit inside the conical.

t_met 12-07-2012 05:51 PM

I went with the 7 gallon. There were two reasons. The first is the 7 gallon can fit in my keezer incase I wanted to make lagers. So I'd look at the size of the fridge/freezer if you decide to make lagers. I think the 14.5 is sized to fit into a typical fridge. So this may not be a factor.

The second reason was weight. I can move the 5 gallons down the stairs to my basement. With 10 gallons, I'm not sure I'd want to carry that down.

As far as taking it to the next level.... I would put my money first into kettles, all grain equipment, and kegging. Depending on the room you have the fermenters, if it gets large temp swings, you may want to consider a fermentation temp control/fridge.

The conical is nice, but it doesn't correlate to better beer as much as healthy yeast starters, full volume boils, chillers etc. I use my conical for only about half my brews.


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