if you had to pick just one SS fermenter, which would it be?

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Top choice of 7ish gallons ss fermenter

  • Spike Brewing

  • SS brewtech

  • blichmann

  • the brew bucket

  • morebeer

  • stout brand

  • other, unlisted.

  • don't get one


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BrewingChemist

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Looking to pick up a ss fermenter (for 5gal batches) as a recently broken carboy has convinced me that something that won't break would be best.


So if you had to pick just one SS fermenter, which would it be? I would prefer something well made, but also not out of this world expensive.

I know of SS brewtech, spike brewing, Blichmann, and chapman brewing. Are there any others I am missing? Any suggestions are welcome! Thanks!
 

Robbienev

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Looking to pick up a ss fermenter (for 5gal batches) as a recently broken carboy has convinced me that something that won't break would be best.





So if you had to pick just one SS fermenter, which would it be? I would prefer something well made, but also not out of this world expensive.



I know of SS brewtech, spike brewing, Blichmann, and chapman brewing. Are there any others I am missing? Any suggestions are welcome! Thanks!

For the money the regular SSBrewtech chronicals are tough to beat. The brewmaster version has all the bells and whistles, but you can always upgrade parts from the base model as you want to.
 

Robbienev

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For the money the regular SSBrewtech chronicals are tough to beat. The brewmaster version has all the bells and whistles, but you can always upgrade parts from the base model as you want to.
 

Photopilot

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What only one conical. What self respecting home brew addict could get by with only one.

I recently picked up a SS Brewtech and am very happy with it but I am also relatively poor or at least somewhat frugal. If I had less expensive other hobbies or a better career, and cost were no object. I would probably go with this one.
http://www.brewershardware.com/30-Gallon-Stainless-Steel-Conical-Fermentor.html

Everything I have bought from Brewers hardware has been first class and the customization of the brew kettle I bought elsewhere has exemplary workmanship. I have not looked to closely at them when i visit because I do not want to have brew gear envy. I am pretty happy with what i got. The reason I would want that one is because i now have 15 gallon capacity and 30 is more than 15.

From Brewers Hardware's website on why their conicals are different.

One of the descriptions in the Our lid design is a simple and easy to use Tri Clover compatible cap. No large and awkward lid with a proprietary gasket to deal with, Tri Clover Compatible gaskets are

As much as I like my conical and the large open top is nice to get in and clean the lid and gasket are a huge pain to install.
 

TWAL

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1.) Brewers hardware
2.) Stout
3.) SS Brewtech

I just bought a larger Brewers hardware and it's by far the best Conical out there.
I would say the Stout is second but a little further back..
I have an older SS 7.5g and although I really like it I just couldn't get past the fact they now use a weldless fitting. I wanted something that was high quality and a weldless fitting wasn't for me,other than that I like it,minor issues but they are forgivable for the cost,just don't expect it to seal tight for a long time as the clamps on mine came loose within a year,still works fine though.
I'd say the Bru Gear but it seems to be a crap shoot as to wether or not they will return questions regarding their products let alone ship them in a timely manner.I personally had no problem w/them but the lack of communication and the negative reviews around sent me in a different direction for the new conical.
 

Photopilot

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I have been thinking of Conicals since this thread and am just chiming in. As well as I am convinced Brewers Hardware is top notch I am confused about their size offerings.

My Brewtech is a half barrel and holds 17 + gallons for a half barrel output. Brewershardware 30 gallon fermenter can produce 22 gallons. I want to brag about a barrel sized brewery not a .73 barrel brewery.

If I was to buy a bigger fermenter the weird sizing would give me pause. I think above 10 gallons a fermenter should be sized in multiples of 5 gallon capacity so it comes in an even or odd size number of corney kegs.
 

FoxPaw

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When I started looking for a conical about a year and a half back it was SS brewtech, spike brewing, Brewers hardware, Blichmann, and Stout tanks. Spike was out because no thermo weld, SS out threads on valves, Brewers to expensive, Blichmann weldless fittings. I settled on Stout tanks 15 gal conical, for the price point very good conical. Just know its made in china, so don't expect perfection, my first one was dented (from factory) second had damaged bottom TC fitting. I live about 3.5 hrs drive from their warehouse, so I was able keep picking thru their stock until I was happy with one. It has been great to use far better than my collection of glass carboys.

So it comes down to what features you are looking for and price. Hope this helps, good luck hunting, let us know what you come out with.
 

theDREWery

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I know one of the fun parts of this hobby is all the neat toys we can get, but I just can't imagine a conical ever being worth the price. If I were a professional, with fork trucks running around my plant, then it'd be necessary.

If you want to harvest yeast, overbuild your starters and harvest from that. If you want a fancy fermenter and don't mind the cost, go for it. My vote is for a bucket.
 

woo_pig

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I just picked up a 7 gal ss brew bucket. I wanted to get the brew master but I didn't .
 

Photopilot

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I know one of the fun parts of this hobby is all the neat toys we can get, but I just can't imagine a conical ever being worth the price. If I were a professional, with fork trucks running around my plant, then it'd be necessary.

If you want to harvest yeast, overbuild your starters and harvest from that. If you want a fancy fermenter and don't mind the cost, go for it. My vote is for a bucket.
At under 10 gallons I'd agree. Above 15 gallons disagree. Although I would consider a brew bucket for smaller batches. The ease and joy of cleaning stainless steel is worth a long term investment.
 
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BrewingChemist

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Ok, so I should perhaps expound on my initial post. This thread is for my parents (who have gotten into brewing the last 12mos or so). My mom makes wine and just shattered a carboy and cut her foot. She seems to be quite frightened by them at this point. My dad makes beer (and is happy with glass carboys). Neither like using buckets. Yes if it were me, I wouldn't buy a conical for 5gallon batches. But, if they have the money, it is their preference to spend it on what they see fit. Hence, Mom is interested in a ss fermenter so she doesn't have to worry about it breaking.

Thank you for all the replies, please continue to vote and post!
 

acidrain

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At $50 for a used 1/4 barrel off Craigslist, you can't beat it for the 5 to 7 gallon size.
Cut the top to accept a Corny lid, or use a 2" TC cap.
 

NewJersey

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I just put my first brew into a sanke 1/2 bbl keg using the brewers hardware kit yesterday. Words cannot express how happy I am with the setup.
Racking cane doesnt go low enough to suck up slop. problem solved. For me anyway.
 

YeastMode

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Based on your clarification, I think the SS Brewtech Brewbucket is perfect. It's light compared to the carboy, has handled, and can easily be used for both wine and beer. It allows for easy sampling and you can basically eliminate using an auto siphon of your kettle has a valve.

To me, for the price of $195, it's worth it. And you can get 2 for the price of one conical. I would label them "his" and "hers" and they will both be happy.
 

mongoose33

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You say your concern is having something that won't break. Good thinking, IMO, as I also do not use glass carboys for the same reason.

However, if you want something that won't break, a SS fermentor is not the only option out there. It seems to me the better question is what kind of fermentor won't break on you like a glass carboy, not what SS fermentor to buy.

There are a number of plastic fermentors out there that are not only far less costly than SS fermentors, they allow you to view the fermentation and they won't break either.

If you're set on a SS fermentor as the only option to solve your problem, so be it. It's still a free country, mostly, and we get to make our own choices according to our own interests. If it's what you want, then it's what you want.

But if the question is what kind of fermentor won't break like a glass carboy, well, there are a number of options out there. A Spiedel fermentor is plastic, won't break. There are plastic conicals if that's what you want. And you can get a variety of more conventional plastic fermentors, from a better bottle to a big mouth bubbler to the Fermonster 7-gallon plastic fermentor. And, of course, a SS won't break either.

Seems to me that if the question is asked that way, all the options are put on the table from which you can choose. You still might choose SS, but if so at least you're identifying it as the best option out of all of the available possibilities.
 
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BrewingChemist

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You say your concern is having something that won't break. Good thinking, IMO, as I also do not use glass carboys for the same reason.

However, if you want something that won't break, a SS fermentor is not the only option out there. It seems to me the better question is what kind of fermentor won't break on you like a glass carboy, not what SS fermentor to buy.

There are a number of plastic fermentors out there that are not only far less costly than SS fermentors, they allow you to view the fermentation and they won't break either.

If you're set on a SS fermentor as the only option to solve your problem, so be it. It's still a free country, mostly, and we get to make our own choices according to our own interests. If it's what you want, then it's what you want.

But if the question is what kind of fermentor won't break like a glass carboy, well, there are a number of options out there. A Spiedel fermentor is plastic, won't break. There are plastic conicals if that's what you want. And you can get a variety of more conventional plastic fermentors, from a better bottle to a big mouth bubbler to the Fermonster 7-gallon plastic fermentor. And, of course, a SS won't break either.

Seems to me that if the question is asked that way, all the options are put on the table from which you can choose. You still might choose SS, but if so at least you're identifying it as the best option out of all of the available possibilities.
I appreciate the response but am looking to be able to do extended aging in the vessel, so SS is the way to go!
 

Homercidal

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I just got a Chapman SS bucket yesterday. Pretty nice for the money. I paid $120, but have seen them going for less.

Only complaint was a tiny bit of weld pulled away from the inside wall where the spot welds are. Probably a QC issue for that one run. Maybe a new guy on the job or something. I just hit each one with scotchbrite pad on a 2" grinder. The average person might not have anything laying around to smooth those spots off, though.
 

crane

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Sanke.
At $50 for a used 1/4 barrel off Craigslist, you can't beat it for the 5 to 7 gallon size.
Cut the top to accept a Corny lid, or use a 2" TC cap.
+1

Ive been using sanke 1/4 and 1/2 barrel kegs as fermentors for the past couple of years. They are cheap and work great. Only concern is cleaning. I built a keg washer from a sump pump, bucket, copper pipe and a spray ball.
 

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I want the one at Treehouse. I also want them to keep it there and keep it full for me......
 

NewJersey

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I just put 10 gallons into a 1/2 barrel SS sanke keg a few days ago.
I am using the brewers hardware kit with triclamp and thermowell.
It's cheap, large, and bulletproof. Not a conical, but bottom is domed and it picks up above the trub and yeasties leaving maybe .5 a gallon or so.
You can easily use C02 to transfer as well.
I couldn't be happier
Fits in my low freezer with ease height wise
 

dmcman73

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Having the Spike Brewing conical in this poll at this point is subjective. They are going to release their new conicals at the end of the summer and from the looks of the pictures they have been posting, they look like they are going to be very hard to beat. Loving the new design, all welded TC ports, including the sample valve port, domed lid, etc. I own two SS Brewtechs, a 7 gallon and 14 gallon, and they are great as well. I just wish some of the items on the conical were welded on (thermo well and the sample port are weldless).
 
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BrewingChemist

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Having the Spike Brewing conical in this poll at this point is subjective. They are going to release their new conicals at the end of the summer and from the looks of the pictures they have been posting, they look like they are going to be very hard to beat. Loving the new design, all welded TC ports, including the sample valve port, domed lid, etc. I own two SS Brewtechs, a 7 gallon and 14 gallon, and they are great as well. I just wish some of the items on the conical were welded on (thermo well and the sample port are weldless).
Where have you seen pics?
 

stonebrewer

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Morebeer has the Peltier cooling that is rock solid at maintaining fermentation temps. Really expensive though, but you can do everything with that fermenter that the pros do. I don't have over 2 grand to dump into one, but if I did I would snag one! For me, the most important part of a fermenter is temp control. Second is yeast reuse/management. Third is fermentation and transfer under CO2 pressure.
 
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