I've scored a couple BIG (~40 gallon) dairy collectors from a club member, with the intent of using them as 'conical' fermenters. 316 stainless, wut wut!
Buuuut, before I go ordering all the requisite bits and pieces (and inevitably getting it wrong) I'd appreciate a 'dumb check' on a few things:
1. Can I get away with a threaded ball valve, or do I reaaaaaally need to go with a butterfly valve? Reason I ask is that a ball valve can be had for about $13, whereas a butterfly valve is rocking $47 at brewershardware...plus all the triclover bits you need to go with it.
2. Fitting sizes: the male fitting at the bottom of the tank measures a hair over 1" across the threads; that makes it a 3/4" fitting, correct?
The fittings on the side of the tank are greater than 5/8 but less than 3/4; these are 3/8?
3. Given those dimensions, where on earth can I order a 3/8" thermowell? Most all I can see are 1/2".
In return for your help, I promise to post up a thread with pretty pictures!
Welllll, that's the thing. They are curved at the bottom, hence the quotations marks around 'conical' . But certainly better than flat! As far as I'm concerned, if I can empty it out from the bottom portion, it's a success. I've fermented on trub many an occasion .
Of course, I could just put in a separate thermowell bulkhead and then use the existing side fitting for an arm, but that would require effort!
Here's a pic of them in my garage, to get the ideas flowing. Note I was backed up against my car and lifting the camera over my head at this point...these things are monsters!
Here's a picture of the hoops that they sit in. They are made to be wall mounted, but considering I conservatively estimate a 500 lb load, I don't think any of my walls are sturdy enough. Instead I'm building some superstrut supports for them.