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Old 02-02-2013, 05:05 PM   #11
Brew Dad
May 2006
Paradise, CA
Posts: 24

I've been using an 8 gallon conical for the past 10 years. It's one of those plastic deals from Minibrew. I was kind of hesitant to go with plastic but compared to the price of stainless, I couldn't justify the price to my wife lol. Anyway, it's been great all these years - easy to clean, doesn't scratch, nice and thick so no light or oxygen can get in. Super easy to harvest yeast and rack to a keg. You can even brew your next batch and drop your fresh wort right onto the yeast cake from the last brew, as long as you sanitized everything properly. Best of all, no secondary - just leave it in the primary and watch all your yeast and trub drop down into the cone. And no I don't work for them, I just like a conical better than carboys and buckets. I did have to modify the stand it came with a little bit so I could fit it into my lager fridge. Oh and my first couple of batches fermented in it turned out tasting super metallic. I brought some samples to my homebrew club (lots of BJCP judges there) and they couldn't figure it out. I decided to email John Palmer because of his metallurgy background. He suggested I look at the ball valves. Sure enough, the nickel plating on the brass ball valves the unit came with had worn away and was reacting with the acidic wort. I replaced them with stainless and haven't had any problem since.

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Old 02-02-2013, 05:10 PM   #12
Aug 2011
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 850
Liked 177 Times on 131 Posts

I've got Better Bottles, and buckets that I kinda randomly decide between when I'm fermenting (I go back and forth on what I like better). If I do a double batch (20 gal) I use 4 corny kegs and some fermcap. For sours I have my original glass carboy. And if I do a really oddball test batch I have a bunch of 1 gallon glass jugs. So I'm just all over the map.

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Old 02-02-2013, 05:11 PM   #13
bobbrewedit's Avatar
Sep 2012
, California
Posts: 296
Liked 32 Times on 24 Posts

PBW is your friend if you like better bottles. A good 1 hour soak and the fermenter is spotless, no scrubbing. Be real careful cleaning with standard detergent soap, odds are bad that u will actually fully rinse away all of the residue.

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Old 02-02-2013, 05:15 PM   #14
Whut's Avatar
Mar 2009
Peoria, AZ
Posts: 9,348
Liked 1880 Times on 1720 Posts

I built my keg/carboy washer after reading about them here on HBT. Cost me around $100 IIRC and it's great. Granted, I built it after switching from buckets to Better Bottles because, well, I hated trying to get them clean.

Buckets work great and I still use them for the occasional melomel.

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Old 02-02-2013, 08:22 PM   #15
Adjunct of the Law
Airborneguy's Avatar
Sep 2009
Isle of Staten
Posts: 10,886
Liked 855 Times on 626 Posts

I have one better bottle for lagering and any beers that need a secondary, but all of my primary fermentations are done in buckets.
Bottled: Atonement Brown Porter

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Old 02-02-2013, 08:25 PM   #16
/bɪər nɜrd/
MalFet's Avatar
May 2010
NYC / Kathmandu
Posts: 8,632
Liked 1474 Times on 975 Posts

I ferment mostly in cornies now, but before that it was all buckets. I've used portless better bottles too and liked them well enough.
"Be excellent to each other." -Benjamin Franklin

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Old 02-02-2013, 10:27 PM   #17
Oct 2012
Jefferson City, MO
Posts: 517
Liked 36 Times on 33 Posts

Originally Posted by bobbrewedit View Post
PBW is your friend if you like better bottles. A good 1 hour soak and the fermenter is spotless, no scrubbing. Be real careful cleaning with standard detergent soap, odds are bad that u will actually fully rinse away all of the residue.
Yep. Works on all carboys. Hot water and the prescribed amount of PBW and it basically cleans itself. Especially if you get to it shortly after racking out of the carboy.

I use glass 6.5 gallon carboys. I'll stick with these till I get a stainless conical.

Primary - Big Pale Citra Ale (AG)(1.063)
Secondary - Bitter (AG)
Bottled - Best Bitter, Bitter, SNPA clone
On deck - Tank #7 clone.

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Old 02-03-2013, 12:23 AM   #18
Mar 2011
Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 10
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I use 6.5 gallon carboys - and yes they are a pain to clean. But I can be sure thay are clean.

I use handles and brewhaulers to lug them around.
I use CO2 to push the beer into a corney after a long primary.

I have thought about using a stainless stockpot for primaries but haven't figured out a good way to transfer the beer.

A valve install will have threads (hard to clean) unless going with an expensive clover fitting. So for now the glass carboy is it.

Stainless conicals are just too expensive (and I would need 2 or 3 since I brew a lot of variety).

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Old 02-03-2013, 01:30 AM   #19
Bulls Beers
Bulls Beers's Avatar
Sep 2007
, Boston Bomber#1 place of death...
Posts: 3,277
Liked 171 Times on 132 Posts

I've used both buckets and better bottles, but I use mostly BB now. I don't have an issue cleaning them. Between hot water and a carboy brush, it's easy.
Spezialisiert auf Deutsch Lagerbier...

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Old 02-04-2013, 04:05 AM   #20
Brewing Fool...
sikkingj's Avatar
Feb 2012
Washington, DC
Posts: 416
Liked 50 Times on 40 Posts

I used cornies, but is anyone using milk cans?


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