Conical: how to check volume?

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dsmithpdx

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I have a 7 gallon stainless steel conical which I recently used for the first time. As I was transferring my wort from the kettle to the conical, it occurred to me that I had no way to tell when I had reached 5 gallons of volume! Typically I will have to add a little water to get to 5 gallons, but I didn't want to guess where that was. As a result, I ended up with a higher OG, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I'd like to top off to 5 gallons in the future.

Hence my question: what is the best way to mark the 5 gallon level in a conical? Can I simply make a line with a permanent marker, or would that be a no-no? Thanks!

Doug
 

Amity

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I recently read that surgeons use Sharpie markers because they are sanitary (anti-bacterial) and permanent.

I don't know if it would endure repeated cleanings, however.

Mike
 

JVD_X

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You need to mark your kettle.

Also remember that you will lose about 1/2 gallon (measure it) of wort to the bottom of the conical if you don't have a rotating racking cane. I always adjust my recipes so I finish with 7 gallons or 12 gallons going into the conical.
 

BrewBeemer

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What I had planned when ever I get a concial fermenter (need $$$$$$) is to mark it with a pencil at each gallon level until full. Use rubber electrical splicing tape beside the pencil marks then razor cut about 1/8" wide slot 2" long with the gallon number cut out beside it.
Tape around the area with more rubber and duct tape then have my friend with his pencil sandblaster blast the exposed slot and number areas. The frosted markings would stand out against the inside of the conical fermenters factory finish but not hold the nasty bugs.
At a local sandblasting business they use 1/16" thick sheets of surgical rubber (brown like on sling shots) with a sheet of double back sticky tape.
Tape and roller the rubber down on a sheets of glass then mark with a pattern and cut out with a razor the areas that need to be sand or diamond blasted.
Simple with different grits and materials allowing different frosted markings and effects. You have seen these as dividers in restaurants between the booths. So simple.
I would hate to gallon mark a high dollar conical with a pencil then use a automatic center punch with a dulled tip set on very light impact dotting line and gallon numbers.
 

BrewBeemer

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With the diamond dust used thru the pencil blaster you can't even feel the difference in texture running a finger across the frosted or dulled area vs the spun conical finish. Just enough to see the level marks not pitted like a 70 year old rust pitted 38 chebbie found in the field full of bullet holes. I seriously doubt this would be a bug collecting area i've seen worse areas and corners inside new conicals at the my LBS. Even welded fittings to conicals have more bug collecting areas than a 100% weldless conical, where do you draw the line? On one LBS AG brew session at end of boil went directly into the fermenter hot then transplanted the chiller coil from the boil kettle to the fermenter then chilled.

A little off topic; you get moved and now settled in your new place?
 

2ndstorey

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Fill your conical with water to your desired volume and mark that line on the outside of the conical with a sharpie. It will get you real close when filling with wort.
 

BrewBeemer

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Get a piece of stainless 3/4"x 10 gauge (0.140" thick) mark it at the gallon fill marks in your fermenter, use a number punch set and stamp a line with gallon numbers. On the other side stamp a line with gallon numbers for your boil kettle, might want it corrected for the 4% cooling shrinkage. Add a short 180* bend for a hook to hang it on the side of the boil kettle with a tight 180* back up for a handle or Tig a handle to it. During your boil place it in the boil kettle to sterilize it. Use it as a dip stick, one tool calibrated for your boil kettle and fermenter. Simple enough?
 
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dsmithpdx

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Cool, thanks for all the ideas everyone! I love this forum. :)

Doug
 

Bob

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Beemer, that is an absolutely fan-smegging-tas-tic idea! I'm gonna make one. I don't have conicals, but I must have such a clever thing! I've got wooden dipsticks, you see, to tell me how much liquor is in the HLT and kettle. I should have a calibrated metal dipstick for my fermenters!

Genius!

[dashing to the scrapyard]

Bob
 

BrewBeemer

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bobNQ3X; be careful when you go to your local steel or iron materials supply places. Many places carry any material you can think of even 4" thick 4' x 8' steel plate to sheet or bar stock titanium. Most will have a $25 or $35 minimum order fee. Just use anything you happen to snag that would work for this but in stainless. This brewing hobby can be buy all new big bucks (not me) or use your noodle with eyes always looking for what you can add or use for your brewing project. I was always thinking "how can I modify or use this" when on different industrial job sites as a electrician. My job work was always second in this pecking order. My employer never had a problem with this as I kicked butt running a crew until this back failed me into a almost useless blob of a human. I now have many spare hours to think up ideas be it good or bad, just passing on to help fellow brewers what I would use.
 

BrewBeemer

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bobNQ3X; be careful when you go to your local steel or iron material supply places. Many places carry any material you can think of even 4" thick 4' x 8' steel plate to sheet or bar stock titanium. Most will have a $25 or $35 minimum order fee. Just use anything you happen to snag that would work for this but in stainless. This brewing hobby can be buy all new big bucks (not me) or use your noodle with eyes always looking for what you can add or use for your brewing project. I was always thinking "how can I modify or use this" when on different industrial job sites I worked on. Heck should I ask I would get some items free just for the asking when I was part of the work force.
 

BrewBeemer

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Sandblasting, punching, or otherwise marring the inner surface of a fermenter is ill-advised. You're asking for infection.
With only a slight dulling vs the conicals finish from the pencil blaster with diamond dust where the finger can't feel the difference across the dulled marks I can't believe you even replied with a statement like that at all Yuri.
Take a look at "Yuri's Fermenter" project on post number 106, I rest my case without going into a pissing contest. Even my up the street neighbor who's a Wine Master for a major winery in Livermore valley California and homebrewer said nothings wrong with how I marked the conical in gallon volume markings. Said it was a clean great idea. He also said no infection or bad bug trappings from these markings no worries. I have seen worse marks in their daily use tanks, sad part I can't take any home. I saw a lot of tri-clamps and fitting I could use.
 
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