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Old 03-14-2006, 02:35 AM   #1
Aug 2005
Tampa, FL
Posts: 606
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So, I had a thought..
How hard would it be to put together a home brewed conical fermenter? You could get a keg and use a plasma cutter to remove the bottom. Then have a metal fabricator or perhaps even a local welder put together a cone and have it welded on the bottom of the keg.

If the keg only costs 20 bucks I that leaves at least another $100 to spend getting the rest of it fabricated and welded before the project becomes cost prohibitive. Does anyone see any big problems with this project? I may just try it this summer when I've got a bit more free time....

You could have a 15 gallon + conical (or less if you cut the keg in half). That would leave you just about the right amount of room for a 12 or 13 gallon batch of beer. I suppose you could do a much smaller batch in it (7gallons?) if you purged it first with co2.. I wonder how you could go about cooling it? Do they make external cooling conversion kits?


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Old 03-14-2006, 04:12 AM   #2
I prefer 23383
Pumbaa's Avatar
Oct 2005
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,262
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I dunno if the welder will be able to bend the thickness you are going to need to match up with the metel of the keg. What is that stuff 1/8 of an inch thick?

Not sure how much steel like that would cost you either or where you might get it.

Plus ya got the valves ya need to get on the bottom and the lid needs to seal pretty well . . .

I dunno if it's something I would try but I hope it works out for ya
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Old 03-14-2006, 04:22 AM   #3
Dec 2005
San Diego
Posts: 848
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20 years ago, welding cost $1 per inch, stainless was about $3 per pound. You do the math, and don't forget inflation. 22 gauge would suffice, you'll need about 12 sq/ft, a web search will find the weight per s/ft.
So far, I've had more experience thinking than I've had brewing....you don't think they are mutually exclusive, do you?

72 batches so far,
48 wine, mostly Loquat, peach, plum, prickly pear
23 beers and ciders
1 sauerkraut
1 Tequila, from a prickly pear wine experiment that didn't work. I call it "Prickly Heat"

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Old 03-14-2006, 02:22 PM   #4
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
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Or start with one of these conical hoppers
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:55 PM   #5
Jan 2006
Chicago, IL
Posts: 620
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you need the inside to be pretty damn smooth or you'll have all kinds of tiny homes for bacteria and other undesirables... i imagine this would be difficult to achieve when welding from the outside...

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Old 03-14-2006, 06:00 PM   #6
Aug 2005
Little Rock, AR
Posts: 334
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Originally Posted by Lou
you need the inside to be pretty damn smooth or you'll have all kinds of tiny homes for bacteria and other undesirables... i imagine this would be difficult to achieve when welding from the outside...
yea, you'd have to find a welder that is certified for sanitary welds (I think that is the term, something like that).

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Old 03-14-2006, 06:10 PM   #7
Beer, not rocket science
Brewpastor's Avatar
Feb 2006
Corrales, New Mexico
Posts: 4,574
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I say go with a prefab conical hopper and go from there. As far as cooling, I use an immersion coil that is inside the tank. It works really well and was easy to construct. You can see them in this picture. In the picture they are upside down. I run glycol out of the chiller on the right, but there are other options. These conicals were built out of Toledo Metal Spinning conical hoppers.

Before I learned to brew I was poor, sober and lonely. Now I am just poor.

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Old 03-15-2006, 01:10 AM   #8
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Aug 2005
Torrance, CA
Posts: 6,252
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That picture makes me want to cry! Finally I have a purpose in life.
Fermenting:#160 Apollo/Calypso Pale Ale
Kegged:#153 Old Helicon Barleywine 2013, #157 Irish Red, #158 Mosaic IPA, #159 Bravo/Delta ESB
Up Next:Brown Porter, American Stout, Imperial Stout
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Old 03-15-2006, 01:37 AM   #9
Will work for beer
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Jan 2005
Knob Noster, Missouri
Posts: 8,770
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Originally Posted by Maestro Brewsmith
I have a purpose in life.
You found your special purpose?!? NAVIN R. JOHNSON!!!!!!!!
On Tap: Lake Walk Pale Ale -- Eternity (Raspberry Stout) -- Nutrocker -- Donnybrook Dark
Primary: Lake Walk Pale Ale
Secondary: Summit IPA
Up Next: Smoked Porter -- Pub Ale -- Watermelon Wheat
Gone But Not Forgotten:


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