Do you really want that chronical?

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Merleti

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Why do you want it? Well it looks bad astrix! But really why? Bottom line breweries use it to re use yeast to save time and cost and flavor. Why? If you keep beer on yeast in a conical with pressure(and sometimes heat) it is not healthy for yeast over the initial fermentation. It can stress the yeast to a point they die and make beer not taste so well. Remember all those that say take your beer off the yeast cake after two weeks? Real answer depends on your fermenter and size. What happens if I buy a Chroni? If the cone is shaped correctly and you do it right you can harvist yeast. Overall in a typical homebrew setting you do not need it.
 

Vale71

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Remember all those that say take your beer off the yeast cake after two weeks? Real answer depends on your fermenter and size.
Real answer is you should dump yeast as soon as it collects because:

1 - sedimented yeast serves no purpose
2 - autolysis will happen regardless of fermenter size and shape and nothing good can come of it

Overall in a typical homebrew setting you do not need it.
Sure, as long as quality for you is always optional and you go by the metric, "I like it and so do my friends so why bother? Cheers." Which is perfectly fine, by the way. There's really no need to convince yourself and others that there is really no difference, because there actually is.
 

Alphadawg

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I like to reuse yeast. I don't have a conical but I'd like one
 
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Merleti

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I'm sure 3 weeks will be ok on the cake for homebrewers. For the 20 bbl conical with yeast heat and pressure not so much. Put the yeast in a bank well before that. We haven't gotten into what type of yeast ect... This post is just to make people re think why they are buying on tiny no pico chonical. The real test that we can't be a picky tit for tat post is just do a cell count to see how all the variables of you as a brew and the yeast play out.
 

Vale71

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I'm sure 3 weeks will be ok on the cake for homebrewers.
No it won't. The "autolysis only happens in large fermenters" mantra is just a myth. Large fermenters have additional cooling in the cone's tip to take care of heat. Hydrostatic pressure in large fermenters never exceeds 1 bar and that's a 10 meter tall fermenter (three-story house). You need more zeros after that to actually cause autolysis through pressure alone.
Yeast, like all living things, will start dying as soon as it has nothing more to eat. It's as simple as that.
 

Barbarossa

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I have two fast ferment conicals. I brew mostly wheat beer that stays in there for three weeks. At the two week mark, I close the valve and remove the yeast, then let it sit another week.

That's why I bought them. To save the trouble from having to switch to a secondary fermenter. And for my next trick, I'll start to look into making starters with the harvested yeast instead of dumping it.
 

Brooothru

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Real answer is you should dump yeast as soon as it collects because:

1 - sedimented yeast serves no purpose
2 - autolysis will happen regardless of fermenter size and shape and nothing good can come of it



Sure, as long as quality for you is always optional and you go by the metric, "I like it and so do my friends so why bother? Cheers." Which is perfectly fine, by the way. There's really no need to convince yourself and others that there is really no difference, because there actually is.
What HE said^^^^^

Brooo Brother
 

Bramling Cross

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Yes, I really wanted the chronical, so I purchased it. It made closed transfers far easier, so I purchased a second chronical. My life is better because of the chronicals.
 
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I own a Catalyst conical fermenter and love it. Makes sampling and packaging a breeze, not to mention yeast harvesting and dumping of trub for cleaner beer is a huge plus. So in the homebrew setting it has a place, so I disagree with your opinion. Devil's advocate, homebrewers make killer, award winning brews in plastic buckets and glass/plastic carboys; they just need more gear to get it out to package it up. If you can afford a cylindroconical fermenter, go for it.
 

Bobby_M

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It's a little odd to start a thread just to hightlight a piece of brewing equipment that someone doesn't "need".

Production breweries use conicals for the same practical reasons that homebrewers do (or you can say that vice versa).

1. Pre-pitch trub dumping. For people that use external exchangers and run direct into the fermenter, it is impossible to allow trub separation in the boil kettle.
2. Post ferment trub/yeast dumping/harvesting.
3. Post dry hop, hop dumping to reduce vegetal flavors.

Those are some of the benefits of bottom dump configurations specifically.

Side benefits that some/most conical fermenters have simply by virtue of their ability to hold some pressure, or at least seal tight:

4. Application of CO2 into the headspace during any draining operations including pulling samples.
5. Sample ports to monitor gravity and progress.
6. Rotating racking arms to increase yield before sediment pickup.

Again, those last three can be acheived with other fermentor options that are NOT conicals.

The last one to bring up is the ability to hold pressure. The UNItank versions of conicals allow for late spunding to allow natural carbonation and then subsequent transfer to kegs. Pretty much ready to go.

I personally don't use conicals so I'm well aware that you don't need them. However, I know many people who have full lines of conicals and all the reasons I listed serve them quite well for their processes. I personally don't like the cleaning regimin required for a relatively small batch size. If I brewed 10 gallon batches or more, I'd be all over the Spike CF10.
 

jrgtr42

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No it won't. The "autolysis only happens in large fermenters" mantra is just a myth. Large fermenters have additional cooling in the cone's tip to take care of heat. Hydrostatic pressure in large fermenters never exceeds 1 bar and that's a 10 meter tall fermenter (three-story house). You need more zeros after that to actually cause autolysis through pressure alone.
Yeast, like all living things, will start dying as soon as it has nothing more to eat. It's as simple as that.
I've had my beers in primary for up to 6 weeks with zero indication of autolysis. Yes, I'm sure there's plenty of dead yeast at the bottom there, but the umami flavor indicative of autolysis is completely absent.
 

Vale71

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I've had my beers in primary for up to 6 weeks with zero indication of autolysis. Yes, I'm sure there's plenty of dead yeast at the bottom there, but the umami flavor indicative of autolysis is completely absent.
By the time you taste umami your beer will be really far gone. Like with oxidation autolysis is a continuous process.
 

VikeMan

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Yeah, I don't know why people tend to look at off flavor producers in such a binary way, as in "a beer either has "X" or it doesn't." A partial list of some things every beer has:

Diacetyl
DMS
Acetaldehyde
Oxidation
Acetic Acid
Autolysis products (basically everything yeast cells contain)

What matters is how much of these things are present and their flavor thresholds among the drinkers.
 

Brooothru

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I personally don't use conicals so I'm well aware that you don't need them. However, I know many people who have full lines of conicals and all the reasons I listed serve them quite well for their processes. I personally don't like the cleaning regimin required for a relatively small batch size. If I brewed 10 gallon batches or more, I'd be all over the Spike CF10.
That last paragraph says it all, Bobby, and points out the only real downside of conicals and unitanks: cleanup. If you're gonna' do it right to avoid infections, or even just some random off-flavors, you're gonna' have to adopt thorough protocols to disassemble, clean and sanitize all the moving parts. At first I didn't, and ended up with results that were downright disastrous. Can it be tedious? Yes, if you let it. But if you approach the task with the attitude that your goal isn't just to make beer but to create BETTER beer, then you'll be rewarded for the effort.

I relate it to my attitude towards tools on my workbench. Over the past 50 years I've accumulated quite a collection both out of whimsical desire and/or necessity for a specific task at hand. A 1956 Mercedes 190SL required metric sizes that my former mid-60s Mercury Cougar didn't. A full set of wrenches and sockets set me back more than a few bucks that I didn't have a lot of at the time, but it was at the intersection of want and need. After every repair or tune up, things got wiped down and put away in their place rather than left scattered around waiting to rust. I've still got just about every tool I ever bought and can locate pretty much every one of them if needed, even if I haven't used it in decades. I don't think I'm anal about my level of organization and care, but rather protective of my investment and proud of what I can accomplish with what I've accumulated. Take care of your tools and they'll take care of you.

It's no different than that with brewing gear. Do I need a stainless conical? No, but these days I can afford it. It allows me to accomplish things in this hobby that I either couldn't do, or at least do as easily. The trade-off (after initial investment) is that cleanup, though more thorough and involved, is much less likely to result in infection from a scratched plastic bucket or siphon rod. I have much greater control over the process and believe that my end results are superior to what I used to brew. I take a lot of pride in the equipment I've obtained over the past few years and really don't mind the extra time and effort involved in keeping it in top working order.

And finally I can't ignore the bling. Can't deny it. I really like the bling!
 
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Merleti

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I started this post because I met someone that just about quit the hobby because he though he needed a conical to make good beer. You don't have to have it to make good beer is my point. Here is a direct quote from Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff that also sparked this post.

"With large cylindrocal fermentors, where the yeast is packed into the cone, the breakdown can be very quick. The best time to collect yeast from the bottom of the tank is one to two days after initiating chilling. Under these conditions, waiting just 24 hours longer can drop yeast viability by as much as 50 percent. This is in direct contrast to small homebrew-sized fermentors."
 

Brooothru

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A careful reading of the quoted paragraph could be taken two ways. In the first part of the quote, the authors speak about "large, cylindrical fermenters" used by professional breweries. The last sentence contrasts that to "small homebrew-sized fermenters." Are those fermenters plastic buckets or jugs, or are they "small homebrew-sized" conicals? Without more context from the quote, the meaning of the authors can be interpreted ambiguously either way.

Brooo Brother
 

Bobby_M

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I started this post because I met someone that just about quit the hobby because he though he needed a conical to make good beer. You don't have to have it to make good beer is my point. Here is a direct quote from Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff that also sparked this post.

"With large cylindrocal fermentors, where the yeast is packed into the cone, the breakdown can be very quick. The best time to collect yeast from the bottom of the tank is one to two days after initiating chilling. Under these conditions, waiting just 24 hours longer can drop yeast viability by as much as 50 percent. This is in direct contrast to small homebrew-sized fermentors."
I still think the way you approached the post was strange. You could have lead with the rationale at the very least because it's VERY rare for anyone to actually think you need a conical to make good beer. In other words, you're preaching to the choir. However, you also make the case that it can actually be detrimental to beer quality by quoting someone who is NOT making the arguement that you are. They are talking about LARGE tanks, not homebrew tanks. Misattribution.
 

Vale71

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I started this post because I met someone that just about quit the hobby because he though he needed a conical to make good beer. You don't have to have it to make good beer is my point. Here is a direct quote from Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff that also sparked this post.

"With large cylindrocal fermentors, where the yeast is packed into the cone, the breakdown can be very quick. The best time to collect yeast from the bottom of the tank is one to two days after initiating chilling. Under these conditions, waiting just 24 hours longer can drop yeast viability by as much as 50 percent. This is in direct contrast to small homebrew-sized fermentors."
They're talking about yeast viability. This means the context is "repitching of harvested yeast" and not "off flavors caused by autolysis". Reduced viability is the first step, autolysis is the next, separate step. BTW viability drops in small homebrew-sized fermentors as well, just somewhat more slowly. This in no way implies you can leave yeast sitting there for weeks or months without consequences.
 

Cloud Surfer

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I've gone from making crap beer to beer I would pay good money for at a bar in under a year of brewing. The two major equipment factors responsible for that is moving to an all grain setup, and using a temperature controlled conical fermenter. I could never go back to the way I use to do things.
 

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