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Old 03-08-2011, 09:30 PM   #21
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That all sounds just like what I have planned only I need to go at least 3bbl. Can't wait to see the pics.


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Old 03-08-2011, 11:58 PM   #22
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x2 ^^^^

How do you like the plastic conicals? Any specific reason you didn't just go all plastic?


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Old 03-09-2011, 09:48 PM   #23
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Well got really busy while brewing and didn't photo anything... I'm having issues figuring out my numbers. My boil-off volume loss is not matching my gravity readings. But I got 40 gallons on my IPA into a fermenter and gave it some yeast from my pale ale right next to it.

I really like the plastic conicals. I drilled out one of the lids (which are about 16" in diameter and screw-in) to install a sprayball I got from St. Pats. Put a 1/3 hp sump pump in a bucket below the 1" bottom drain. Using 3/4" hose the pump will really drive that spray ball and clean the entire conical in minutes. There is no residual plastic taste that anyone can perceive, and these beers all taste better than what I've done at home.

These conicals cannot be pressurized, so I had someone cut the legs and weld on some extensions, in order to fit a keg underneath the cone.

I put the side port at about the 3 gallon mark, which is halfway up the cone. I think it was too high, it should be maybe 1/3 up the cone. I just leave more beer in the bottom than yeast this way. For the remaining 3 undrilled conicals I will place it quite lower.

The plastic conicals are kind of a pad for our startup costs :P I would've wanted all SS, but this saved us alot of money. The stainless one I may place in our walk-in, or fit with a glycol jacket to lager in the ferm. room. The plan is to replace them as we are able with stainless.

This was before I discovered those cool stainless cooling plates super-cheap that I could easily install in the lids of the plastic conicals :P

So I'll probably end up keeping these plastic ones for a good while.
Brewing again on Thursday, will be testing the full volume capacity of these things with a 75gallon boil volume, over 100lb of grain, and 1.5lb of hops.

Here are some pics of the conicals and the beginnings of some krausen:


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Old 03-09-2011, 11:05 PM   #24
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Sweet, that sounds like a really cool setup. Are you just going to fill kegs with gravity then have a bunch of keg couplers hooked only to gas in your cold box for carbonation? That plate chiller idea just made my plan a lot simpler. I was think of putting the conicals on wheels then rolling them into the cold box to lager. I wonder how cold you could get them with a little chest freezer glycol setup? If you feel like taking more pictures I would enjoy seeing the rest of your brewery.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:47 PM   #25
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Yes, i gravity fill them with a wash/fill coupler, then roll them outside and put them on couplers with sample taps, and force carb.
I'm hoping to get a chest-freezer chiller going as well, unless we find another good deal on a commercial unit. The one we have for our taps has a 5 gallon bath and cost us less than 1k.
I'd think it would work great for chilling down to 50 or so with those 300$ plates from st pats, but it would be pretty inefficient I would think to go towards the 30's. I could be wrong... the plastic walls are verrrry thick and might insulate enough.. but that's a pretty big temp difference.
But for now all my cold conditioning is done in keg, in the walk-in. I just don't move the kegs once they are in there.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:10 AM   #26
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I've honetly never seen plate chillers for inside of conicals! That's a great idea and probably easier than glycol(?). Do you have a link for those? Great set-up by the way!
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:20 AM   #27
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Yeah where did you get those chillers from?
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:04 AM   #28
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You would probably run glycol through the chiller, just a hell of a lot cheaper then a jacketed stainless fermenter. The plates are from here http://www.stpats.com/index.htm
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:38 PM   #29
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Just to clarify, I don't yet own any of those cooling plates. It is just the better option I discovered while trying to think of a glycol jacket strategy. Jacketing these plastics wouldn't work well at all because of the legs in the way, plus the thickness of the plastic.
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:42 PM   #30
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I'm waiting for my invitation to come and help on a batch. That setup looks amazing.

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