Just got my 14.5 Fermenator

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billtzk

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My 14.5 gallon Fermenator arrived tonight. It sure is a looker! It's very well made and I think it's going to be worth every penny. I can't wait to use it. I'd post a pic, but I can't since I have a free membership here. You all know what it looks like anyhow. I bought it from Midwest Homebrewing Supplies. Here's the picture on their site: 14.5 Fermenator

I have a question for other Fermenator owners.

What cleaning and storage process do you follow between brews? Do you remove all the fittings and seals, scrub and wash with detergent, then sanitize and ziplok bag the parts, then reassemble it all sans seals, gaskets, and o-rings like the instructions suggest? If you do all that, do you re-sanitize everything again before next use?

Cleaning after you empty it makes sense. It seems like a waste to go to all that effort to sanitize and bag your parts at the same time. I can't imagine not going through the whole sanitizing regimen right before using it next time.

I'd just like to know how the rest of you treat your Fermenator when it's sitting idle. I'm thinking about standing mine in the corner of my bedroom so I can admire it as I fall asleep each night, but I guess that feeling will wear off before long.
 
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billtzk

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BuffaloSabresBrewer said:
First of all Im jealous you bitch.
Second, pony up freeloader! ;)
Well then, I'll be sure to also post about my Therminator from Northern Brewer when it gets here tomorrow. :p I had to wait forever to order that. It seemed that everyone was sold out of them for a long time.

I'll probably pony up for a paid membership eventually. I going to want to post pics of my Brutus Ten that I'm building when I get done with it. :D
 

FSR402

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billtzk said:
Well then, I'll be sure to also post about my Therminator from Northern Brewer when it gets here tomorrow. :p I had to wait forever to order that. It seemed that everyone was sold out of them for a long time.

I'll probably pony up for a paid membership eventually. I going to want to post pics of my Brutus Ten that I'm building when I get done with it. :D

Never mind then, just leave now because we all hate you.
 

Nate

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Here's our process...

1. After kegging, I clean the big pieces (shell and top) with PBW outside while the wife uses detergent on the smaller stuff inside (completely taken apart).
2. Store all small pieces inside the fermenator and cover the top to keep dust out.
3. Brew day, quick rinse, sanitize all the small parts in a bag, assemble the entire thing, sanitize the entire interior, then fill for fermentation.
 

Glibbidy

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Nate said:
Here's our process...

1. After kegging, I clean the big pieces (shell and top) with PBW outside while the wife uses detergent on the smaller stuff inside (completely taken apart).
2. Store all small pieces inside the fermenator and cover the top to keep dust out.
3. Brew day, quick rinse, sanitize all the small parts in a bag, assemble the entire thing, sanitize the entire interior, then fill for fermentation.
Ditto, except the part with the wife and the detergent. I clean it all with PBW. I'm solo in the brewery.

DSCN2354_1_224x300.jpg
 

WBC

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You will enjoy the fermentor a lot and you do not have to clean it every time if using the same yeast. I usually rack off into kegs and push the new wort into the fermentor and dump in saved yeast and it takes right off.

:off:
If you want a freezer that will work for the 27 gallon or smaller 14.5 Blichmann the whirlpool 24.7 cu ft freezer works great ( http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=240506-666-EV250NXRQ&lpage=none).

For the 27 gallon Blichmann you have to remove the door panel and replace it with a flat panel. You also need to raise the floor up 8 inches to clear the hump in the back bottom. Hook up your RANCO digital temp controller and you can ferment and lager at any temp.
 
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billtzk

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Thanks for the input so far guys.... Nate, I like that method. Now for another question.

The instructions say to completely fill the fermenator with sanitizer, put the lid on, and fill it the rest of the way, then drain it out. That sounds nuts. I use Iodophor, and while I usually mix up several gallons on brewday, 15 gallons would be a waste. Is it safe to assume that no one actually sanitizes the way the instructions say? After assembly with sanitized parts, I just plan on mixing up a couple of gallons of Iodophor solution and slosh it around inside including the lid, run it through the dump and racking ports, and spray it all down on the outside around the openings in the lid. Sound ok?



WBC, how many times can you ferment back to back without complete sanitizing. I'm not sure I'd want to try it anyway, but I figure you'd be pushing your luck to do it more than once.

Thanks for the freezer link. I think I'm covered though. I have a side by side fridge/freezer that I'm going to gut and put a sturdy floor in. I believe I can fit two 14.5's in it side by side once I remove most of the partition between the two compartments. Not that I plan to get another conical anytime soon.
 

WBC

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WBC, how many times can you ferment back to back without complete sanitizing. I'm not sure I'd want to try it anyway, but I figure you'd be pushing your luck to do it more than once.
I have done it 2 times but I was very careful to spray Starsan on everything I touched and kept the side port clean and baged too and that is where I pushed in the new wort and yeast using a pump. I figure it this way, if that beer that just came out was good then the next will be good too. Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize, ....
 

Reverend JC

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Why do i have this shiny new 14.5 sitting in my basement and fear in my eyes when i look at it?

I have (knock on wood) impecable sanitation techniques but i am leary about using this bad boy for the first time. not sure why.

Going to try to do it this weekend. wish me luck.
 

FSR402

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Reverend JC said:
Why do i have this shiny new 14.5 sitting in my basement and fear in my eyes when i look at it?

I have (knock on wood) impecable sanitation techniques but i am leary about using this bad boy for the first time. not sure why.

Going to try to do it this weekend. wish me luck.
WAIT STOP...... Don't use it, send it to me and I'll use it for you. :D
 

Snakebone

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I take the valves off after every use and soak them in sanitizer. I clean the inside then spray is down with sanitizer. When I'm ready to use it again I attach the valves, fill it with sanitizer just over the highest valve and let it sit for 15-20 minutes to make sure there are no leaks. I also spray the sides with sanitizer that aren't under water. Dump the sanitizer and fill it with beer, pop the lid and fermentation lock on and call it a day. No infections yet.
 

fermenator

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I use the 7.5 gallon fermenator, I usually clean with Iodophor and tear apart the fittings and clean them as well after every fermentation. Mind you im single and have no life so I gots time! :ban:
 

Reverend JC

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I am just now breaking out the instructions on it. I have a starter going in the kitchen and am going to try to fill it up tomorrow. wish me luck
 
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billtzk

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Reverend JC said:
I am just now breaking out the instructions on it. I have a starter going in the kitchen and am going to try to fill it up tomorrow. wish me luck
hey, good luck! report back and let us know how it goes.

I haven't used mine yet because I'm concentrating on getting my brew stand built.
 

nicksteck

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WBC has a good idea, I have a 14g and have a spray bottle with cleaner in it and I spray everything i touch, do you have the tri clamp fittings or not
 

nicksteck

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also when you pull your trub off use your thumb on the end of the hose to control the flow, then when you are done shut the dump valve off.
 

Reverend JC

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i did not get the tri clamp valves. they sure look cool but i did not think they were nessasry for the price.
 

fermenator

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Reverend JC said:
i did not get the tri clamp valves. they sure look cool but i did not think they were nessasry for the price.
Is there any benefit to the tri clamp valves? Or do they just look cool?!
 
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billtzk

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I did not get the tri-clamps either. They are supposed to be easier to clean and easier to keep sanitary and faster to attach and detach. I Like them, but they add significantly to the cost, so I went with standard fittings.
 

Reverend JC

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My yeast starter did not really start going until this evening so i did not try to brew today. I did however get the conical all cleaned and put together. My first test for leaks was not sucessful. I think i was a bit scotchy on the teflon thread tape.

2nd test is about 20 min in with double the thread tape and no leaks so far. If that remains the case then i will add the star-san and brew tomorrow.


The tri clamp or clover clamps are supposed to be alot more sanitary because it is metal and gasket that make a seal not a tight fiting piece of tube that could get a scratch in it and harbor bacteria while you slide it on and off. for the cost savings of going without the tri clamp i will buy more hose, alot more hose.
 
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