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Fermentation or Kegging Equip

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Crabby

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I'm relatively new to brewing beer. I've been at it for several months now. I'm considering my next purchase. Either a conical fermentation container or keging equipment. My question is does the conical really make everything easier and is it worth the purchase?
 

Brew-ta-sauraus

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I would go with kegging equip. myself. I personally have never bottled a batch yet, started home brewing with a kegerator in the garage and bought a corney with my beginner kit. You can ferment in a bucket, but to be able to keg today & drink tomorrow that is nice.
 

isac777

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go w/ kegging dude but beware you can nevere have enough cornys
 

MoRoToRiUm

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go w/ kegging dude but beware you can nevere have enough cornys
+1 On kegging setup, and I need more cornies! I also ferment in my cornies- I install a 'Sure Screen' from northern brewer on the dip tube, do a long primary ferment, and then force rack it into another keg for carbing/serving.
 

heinz57

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It depends. Do you want to save time or make better beer?

In terms of fermenting equipment, I think the best thing to do is get a fermentation chamber purchased/built rather than having a conical. The over all quality of your beer will drastically increase if you ferment at proper temperatures. Plus, conicals are super expensive, and if you ask me a carboy works just as well, especially if you're brewing quantity is only 5 gallons.

That being said, kegging is much easier, and quite nice. I went that way first because I thought having my beer on tap at home was one of the niftiest ideas I'd ever had, so I went with it. However, I'm still fermenting in an ice bath to maintain temperatures during fermentation. I know when I get around to controlling those temps better I'll make a higher quality beer.

In summary, I say skip the conical altogether and if you choose either kegging equipment or fermentation equipment, I don't think you can really go wrong, just depends what you're looking for. If I had to do it over again, I would have sucked it up and kept bottling in order to rig up a chest freezer as a fermentation chamber. Even if you get the kegging equipment, I say look into a cheap and easy solution to controlling fermentation temps. There are a few threads already posted about cheap ways to control temps and they shouldn't be hard to find.
 

mykayel

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It depends. Do you want to save time or make better beer?

In terms of fermenting equipment, I think the best thing to do is get a fermentation chamber purchased/built rather than having a conical. The over all quality of your beer will drastically increase if you ferment at proper temperatures. Plus, conicals are super expensive, and if you ask me a carboy works just as well, especially if you're brewing quantity is only 5 gallons.

That being said, kegging is much easier, and quite nice. I went that way first because I thought having my beer on tap at home was one of the niftiest ideas I'd ever had, so I went with it. However, I'm still fermenting in an ice bath to maintain temperatures during fermentation. I know when I get around to controlling those temps better I'll make a higher quality beer.

In summary, I say skip the conical altogether and if you choose either kegging equipment or fermentation equipment, I don't think you can really go wrong, just depends what you're looking for. If I had to do it over again, I would have sucked it up and kept bottling in order to rig up a chest freezer as a fermentation chamber. Even if you get the kegging equipment, I say look into a cheap and easy solution to controlling fermentation temps. There are a few threads already posted about cheap ways to control temps and they shouldn't be hard to find.
Agreed. If you have the money to buy a conical, you easily have the money to buy a kegging setup and a way to control your fermentation temps. A conical would be really nice to have but to be honest, I don't see how it will improve your quality of beer over fermenting in 2 bukets (I do 10 gallon batches). It definatly won't improve your beer over as controling your fermentation temps will.
 

madewithchicken

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Conical MAY make better beer, but kegging will change the way you make beer thus change your life.

I also suggest bottling a few from each batch so you can save them, bring too parties, or give as gifts. Guess what my family is getting for Christmas.
 
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Crabby

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Thank you all for the great advice. I've allready got the stand up freezer with a temp control. So, either way I can control fermentation temp and also use it as a kegorator. I'll go buy my kegging equipment today. Cheers!
 

kappclark

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+1 On kegging setup, and I need more cornies! I also ferment in my cornies- I install a 'Sure Screen' from northern brewer on the dip tube, do a long primary ferment, and then force rack it into another keg for carbing/serving.
Is there enough headspace in the corny for primary fermentation ??

how is pressure relieved ??
 

ScubaSteve

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That's an entirely different discussion. Search for "fermcap", and it'll give you some good ideas. The possibilities are endless, but you basically won't end up with a full 5 gallons to drink...more like 4 due to trub/blowoff. If you use a 6.5 gal carboy, this is avoided.
 

MoRoToRiUm

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Is there enough headspace in the corny for primary fermentation ??

how is pressure relieved ??
There is headspace- Cornies are actually almost 6 gallons. I don't bother with the fermacaps as posted- I use a spare gas connect, tube, and a bottle with water as a blow off (on the IN post). If you have a lot of hops/grains in your beer, you have to make sure it doesn't get clogged, but I haven't had a problem. After the very vigorous stage, I take mine off, clean sanitize and change the water, and let it bubble on.
 

mysteryberto

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There is headspace- Cornies are actually almost 6 gallons. I don't bother with the fermacaps as posted- I use a spare gas connect, tube, and a bottle with water as a blow off (on the IN post). If you have a lot of hops/grains in your beer, you have to make sure it doesn't get clogged, but I haven't had a problem. After the very vigorous stage, I take mine off, clean sanitize and change the water, and let it bubble on.
The cornies I've used have been exactly 5 gallons. 640 OZ is stamped on the side of mine. I fermented apfelwein in them and fifth gallon filled it to the top.
 

MoRoToRiUm

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Perhaps I have more boil off then expected- I boil 2.5-3 gallons, and add three gallons to my fermenter- Still air space under gas dip tube. Have to fill one up and measure- All said and done, OG is usually dead on the expected.
 
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