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Old 10-22-2009, 11:26 AM   #1
betacrash
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Default anyone ever make their own plastic conical?

i know some people buy the conical storage containers like the ones at usplastic, but has anyone ever made their own by means of heating and forming. im sure it would be possible to just take a 6.5 ale pale and heat the bottom then vacuum it into a mold. strength may be an issue so maybe it would be possible to use a thicker food storage barrel of some sort. ive never heard of anyone doing this and was just curious if anyone would think it might work. i have a cnc router and could make the mold out of mdf. feel free to call me a stupid idiot.

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Old 10-22-2009, 11:48 AM   #2
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Give it a shot, I don't know how many people around here would have the experience to do that. If you do it post some pics!

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Old 10-22-2009, 12:15 PM   #3
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YOu are a stupid idiot.



Wow. That was not as much fun as I thought it would be.

Anyway, I would imagine forming plastic could be a bit of a challenge, depending on the type of plastic. The trick would be in heating it to the proper temp, slowly enough, and having the tools to bend it without cooling it.

If you have some experience in this sort of thing, it would be an interesting project. My experience with molding plastic is that getting all of these things to come together at home would be very difficult.

I HAVE thought about figuring out how to turn a water cooler jug upside down and use as a conical. It might be easier to modify the opening to accept a valve of some sort to allow the trub to drain off. But I imagine you might need to heat and stretch the upper portion to make it slope less gradually.

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Old 10-22-2009, 02:02 PM   #4
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It would seem the better bottle people with all their plastic molding capabilities would make an upsidedown cone end betterbottle that a valve could thread on to and have the appropriate shape. A simple bucket based stand and everyone could have a conical.

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Old 10-22-2009, 02:05 PM   #5
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ok so my response got me thinking, and I looked up better bottles FAQ and found:
" . . make a PET conical fermenter? – Large-scale, conical fermenters, used in conjunction with filters, are definitely effective; however, on a small scale, things do not work out so well. We tested a prototype of a transparent, PET conical in our development lab and we saw what cannot be seen in opaque conicals. Fine particles settle on the sloping walls of the conical section and remain "stuck" there, until the liquid level reaches them during racking. Then, they contaminate the clarified wine or beer. Racking was not nearly as clean as it is with our standard carboys and racking adapters. There is a reason for drawing clarified wine or beer from above the sediment during small-scale racking. Nevertheless, a conical made of our PET would have many advantages compared to conicals made from polyethylene, polypropylene, or polyvinyl chloride. The PET conical would be essentially impermeable to oxygen, would not stain, would not add or transfer flavors, would be transparent, and would be a great deal easier to clean. Unfortunately, a PET conical would also cost more, making it quite impractical in view of the fact that Better-Bottle racking-carboys perform better in any case."

uhh, so what if a thin layer of trub stayed behind? the idea is to get most of the trub out for yeast harvesting and clarity. What are they waiting for? Maybe if their racking arm was a little longer it would not pick up the side trub.

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Old 10-22-2009, 03:23 PM   #6
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Well, I guess it would be possible to make it with a vaccuform rig. take a nice sheet of plastic the correct thickness and such, heat it up with heat lamps and then suck it down into the mold with a vacuum pump.

The hard part will be figuring out what thickness of plastic and such you will need to create the correct size fermentor.

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Old 10-22-2009, 05:53 PM   #7
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My minibrew conical is 3x as thick as an ale bucket. I can't imagine that you could do this with an ale pale.

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Old 10-22-2009, 06:01 PM   #8
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For proof of concept that would probably be fine. I'd love to see it done, and maybe he's got the next best thing in homebrewing. If the walls are thin - maybe the stand makes up for the rigidity in terms of support?

Good Luck.

-OCD

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Old 10-22-2009, 06:07 PM   #9
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Heating up a sheet of plastic in your oven is easy.

The difficulty comes with finding a mold and dealing with the deep draw. You would need to make a square frame to hold the sheet then lower it over the mold. I think it would take quite a bit of vacuum to get the job done.


P.S. I worked at a thermoforming shop in high school and had a job selling sheet a coupla careers back.

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Old 10-22-2009, 06:21 PM   #10
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What about a thick (real thick) bag corner?
And some kind of male/female connection on the bottom.
Male goes inside bag, female screws over and allows for a valve to be placed.
All this goes in a bucket with bottom cut out.
Lid goes over bag and holds the weight of contents.

Dunno, I am very new to this. So if it is a stupid idea then tell me.

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