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Old 07-14-2007, 03:07 AM   #1
Janx
 
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So as far as I know, there are two stainless conical fermenters available to us homebrewers beyond the DIY route. There's the B3 Varieties and the Fermenator. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The key differences as I see them:
B3 is welded, Fermenator isn't.
B3 has better valves as an option.
Fermenator lid is arguably better and it can hold pressure.
I think I like the leg framework on B3 better.

One other factor for me is size. I tend to make 12ish gallon batches, so the Fermenator 14+ gallon size is appealing over the 12.2 B3 model. But it occurs to me that these guys all get their materials in the same places. So, a big question I have is, are these two models (B3 12.2 and F 14.5) the same cone?

Also, are Fermenator's legs bolted on with bolts through the cone? Does that work OK if so?

I would really like to go with B3 because I like their quality, service, larger better valves and I would prefer welded over weldless. But if it's really 2 gallons smaller, I may go Fermenator, which I understand is also very nice.

I'd love to hear from anyone with experience, especially if you've seen both and ESPECIALLY if you can tell me if they're the same cone. Fire away with thoughts, experiences, preferences, corrections and additions on any of the differences above. Thanks!

Cheers
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:22 AM   #2
Bigfoot99
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I've got one of the 14.5 Fermenators. The legs attach to the outside by bolts that are welded to the outside of the conical. Blichmann's claim of "weld-free" only applies to the inside of the conical, where it matters. FWIW, the Blichmann has three-piece ball valves, meaning they can be disassembled for cleaning/sanitizing. The available extension legs mean you can gravity fill a keg, and make cleaning easier on the back (no bending over). I do 11-12 gallon batches, which is perfect for the 14.5 gallon size. I like mine so much I'm ordering another one.

 
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Old 07-14-2007, 05:42 PM   #3
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Argh...I do keep going back and forth on this issue. The Fermenators look very nice and I really do like the lids. Any chance you could post the dimensions of the cone itself? Just height and diameter would be great.

Anyone with a B3 conical who can post the dimensions of the cone as well?

Bigfoot - any problems with leaks from the weld-free fittings? How much of a PITA is it to disassemble and clean the fittings? Any problems with yeast clogging the bottom dump? Also, I'm curious what sort of holes and fittings the lid has...is there actually a gas-in fitting like on a cornie? A hole for a stopper? I can't find any pictures of the lids of these things...

Thanks for the info. Cheers
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Oh don't give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
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Old 07-14-2007, 05:54 PM   #4
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:03 PM   #5
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Hey thanks! So is that a pressure relief valve next to the cornie lid port? How does one push gas in?
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:17 PM   #6
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SWMBO got me a 14.5 gallon Blichmann for Fathers Day, but I have not yet opened the box. I'm trading up the the 27 gallon model cause everything is bigger in Texas.

Don't forget, the Blichmann is pressurizeable so you can move beer untouched by air. I don't think the B3 models are pressurizeable .

 
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:43 AM   #7
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I love my Ferminator!!!!! I've had it now for three days now!!! It is a work of art and now I know I could have made it for much cheaper. The next one is for sure is a DIY
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67coupe390
I love my Ferminator!!!!! I've had it now for three days now!!! It is a work of art and now I know I could have made it for much cheaper. The next one is for sure is a DIY
Yeah, but can you make it better as well? That puppy is out of my league.

 
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdWort
Yeah, but can you make it better as well? That puppy is out of my league.
All you need is a little love and some tenderness and a welder and a Grainger cat.
I would make the top seal and cover different too. The ferminators ring to hold top on is a good... no a great design but I think that its a bit over designed too. K.I.S.S. is my thinkin. I would use a style like a 55 gal drum. Simple and effective.
But like I said my vote is for the ferminator!
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:52 AM   #10
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Interesting...does anyone here have one of the B3 ones? I've heard those lids can be a bit of a drag.

For some reason weldless seems potentially leaky and also a PITA to take apart and clean. But no one seems to complain about it on the Fermenators...and the lid and size are very appealing.

I go back and forth...back and forth...come on B3 owners...make your case!
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Oh don't give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
No, don't you give me none more of that Old Janx Spirit
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Won't you pour me one more of that sinful Old Janx Spirit

 
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