Affordable Equipment Review : Mini Brew 6.5 Gallon Conical Fermenter.

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Today I will be giving my opinion and review on a new purchase of mine. I recently purchased a Mini Brew 6.5 Gallon Conical Fermenter. This fermenter is approximately 30" tall and has a 12"x12" footprint.

Its very affordable for the average home brewer looking to take a step towards better production, at a price of about $210.00 after shipping costs, I felt this wasn't a bad price for something pre built. Its made of food grade plastic for the tank, and the legs and frame are made of aluminum, so its only about 12 pounds empty. When I received it I was surprised to see it included the airlock and bung stopper. It also comes packed with all hardware needed, including the filling opening cover, two different size ball valves for racking and cleaning, a nozzle for the upper ball valve that accommodates the average siphon tube, and of coarse the bolts, nuts, and washers, for assembling the legs and frame.
I feel there are many pros:
  • -Light weight
  • -Easy to assemble
  • -Sturdy (full or empty)
  • -High quality parts
  • -Can eliminate the need for racking to a secondary vessel

There are a few things I didn't like:
  • -The filler opening is only about 6" diameter which makes it very difficult to pour wort from boil kettle right to fermenter without a large funnel, making a mess, or having to siphon most of the wort
  • -Very cumbersome to move when filled
  • -Somewhat difficult to sanitize. I ended up filling a spray bottle with sanitizer and spraying the inside walls through the 6" opening on top

All in all, I felt it was well worth the purchase and the few cons can be worked around without too much trouble.
I expect to use my Mini Brew 6.5 Gallon Conical Fermenter for all of my 5 gallon batches and I am over all very happy to have it available to me. Great addition to my always expanding equipment inventory!
Personally I think $210 for a plastic conical is a bit rough. You can get that SS BrewBucket one for $225 or so. Although it's not a true conical, sure.
Yes it is true that the BrewBucket isn't a conical and shouldn't be confused as one. The benefits of a true conical are much higher than the BrewBucket. You can dump trub before pitching your yeast, you can then dump your yeast for farming before dry hopping and finally transfer to a keg or bottling bucket without transferring the dry hops/trub/yeast (depending on your process). The BrewBucket only allows you to transfer the beer from the trub in the bottom, just easier than a standard bucket or carboy.
You can build this fermenter for less than 100 bucks which includes shipping the conical to your door.
@dcarter any info on where to get the conical to make it less than 100? Or a parts list of how you built it up?
@dcarter, I, as well, would be interested in where you can put this same thing together for less than 50%.
I have been debating purchasing one of these on ebay, but I don't like how there are no product reviews from other customers posted on the site. Has anybody bought the 8 gal version mini-brew? Are there any advantages to that over the 6.5 gal besides capacity?
Would you be able to use a brew-hauler strap or possible rig some sort of bracket or handles to the legs to make it easier to carry?
You might be able to add casters to the bottom of the legs. That would make it much easier to move. Hard to say for sure without seeing the bottoms of the legs.
I can say I can build it for $50 but it's a bit confusing if I don't share the details. So don't reply if you leave it open ended.
An idea on sanitizing is to add the sanitizer to the conical and add water. That way you are getting the valves and not struggling with a spray bottle.
Thanks for the review...I have been thinking about one of these for awhile. THis helps
I had three of these. very handy, as long as you take a little more time to sanitize them well. Now I have two 12 gallon stainless fermenters ($500 on ebay) that are much better value for the money if you can afford it. I still keep one of my mini-brew conicals for smaller batches.The one thing I noticed: because of the non-tight rubber cap, if you want to see bubbling, you need to stack a couple of textbooks on top to seal it better. also comment that these are pretty easy to clean with the wide mouth top.
I have one and have used it a couple times so far. I like that I can get in there and clean/sanitize it really well. For the rubber cap on top, I use a rubber hand to go around it to keep it air tight. I like that I can dump the trub before dry hopping and transferring to the keg. It is a bit cumbersome to move when it's full so I try to put it in a place where I won't need to move it. it is a bit low to the ground when trying to transfer to a keg. Otherwise, great fermenter, very happy I have one.
I have one I got for christmas, only used it twice but i loved it, very easy to dump the yeast for re-use, bit hard to move when full though.
so where are the plans to build one, either for $50, or $100 ?? I've been considering one of these for teh brew club, so whatever we get must be stury and durable as well as easy enough to clean.
thanks for your time
I think those referring to the <$100 setups are referring to something like this:
The key is to search for "Cone Inductor Tank"