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Review: SSBrewTech Chronical 7Gal Fermenter

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opqdan

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How is the rotating racking arm on this thing? Lifesaver or just an extra piece to have? Does anybody actually rotate it to avoid the yeast/trub? My concern is that you cannot see the height of the trub in the steel, so you don't know where to rotate to (unless you just watch the tube for clear beer). But then, if you use the bottom dump valve appropriately (dump trub after a few days, pull yeast after primary fermentation), do you even need to rotate the arm at all or just point it straight down? Does it offer any advantage over a fixed dip tube?

I've been comparing pricing on building my own conical from a 15gal inductor tank, and with the stand and hardware, the total price isn't that appealing compared with just going to a Chronical. I just wish that they had the option of swapping at least the dump valve with a full 1.5" TC butterfly, then I could skip the 3/4" ball valve and directly convert to male camlock for filling (in) and CIP (out) purposes, but still use the 1.5" TC for dumping/yeast collection.
 

Feurhund

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I just got mine and bought the squeeze handle butterfly valves to upgrade. Unfortunately I didn't realize the pick up tube needs to be used with the NPT Male triclamp fitting that the ball valve screws onto.

The only way I see to get to the butterfly valve is to use a female NPT fitting in place of the ball valve and the go to the butterfly. I don't like this for two reasons. It is $13 for the bridging piece and it is a spot for beer to sit, isolated from the rest of the ferment and it will be a threaded connection.

Anyone know a better way?
 

pvpeacock

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I live in Southern California, so cooling, not heating my fermenter is the reason I bought the FTS temperature controller. I just brewed a Mosaic IPA over the weekend and used my Hydra wort chiller to get the wort down to 78 degrees. I then transferred the wort into my Chronical and set the FTS to 63 degrees while I started clean up and started to rehydrate my dry yeast. Within 5 minutes, the FTS took my wort from 78 to 63 degrees. Wow! Perfect way to get to pitching temperature. Then the unexpected happened. The day after I pitched the yeast, we actually had three rain storms come through which dropped the temperature in my fermenter to 58 degrees. For 2 days I saw no activity in my airlock. So, I dumped the cold water out of my cooler and put hot water in it, set the FTS temperature to 56 degrees to start the FTS pump and watched the hot water circulate. Within 5 minutes, my wort temperature was up to 66 degrees, so I stopped the pump by turning off the FTS. The next morning the airlock was bubbling away and the wort was maintaining a 66 degree temperature on its own. Now that the storms and cold weather have passed, I have refilled my cooler with cold water and turned the FTS back on set at 66 degrees to maintain that temperature. Very handy to be able to cool or warm the wort while in the fermenter. Great product.
 

Feurhund

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That upright is a good option. I have chest freezers now because I used carboys before.
If I go upright I would want a glass door. These things look so nice I want to see them thumping along.
I have looked for wine fridges tall enough, but the only option with good height seems to be the true "coke" fridges and they get spendy quick even used. I saw great prices on here, but the guys was in cali.
I am just going to keep watching craigslist. Bigger problem is I want two that match.
 

silhouette

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I actually think the SS temperature controller might work on my Stout conical (it looks like its the same size. My only question is whether the lid will seal or not. I'll have to give it try once my current batch of Zombie Dust Clone finishes fermenting in the SS Conical.
Interesting. Might you also be able to use the stout peltier cooler on the SS brewtech (7 gallon)? Are the diameters the same?
https://conical-fermenter.com/Peltier-Kit-for-7-and-12-gal-fermenters.html

It says, "won't work with other fermentors". But if the diameter was the same (or pretty close) it would probably work just fine. I would greatly prefer a all electric solution to control heating and cooling (similar to the morebeer setup) so i could program different fermentation profiles on a BrewBit.
 

bcrawfo2

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Interesting. Might you also be able to use the stout peltier cooler on the SS brewtech (7 gallon)? Are the diameters the same?

https://conical-fermenter.com/Peltier-Kit-for-7-and-12-gal-fermenters.html



It says, "won't work with other fermentors". But if the diameter was the same (or pretty close) it would probably work just fine. I would greatly prefer a all electric solution to control heating and cooling (similar to the morebeer setup) so i could program different fermentation profiles on a BrewBit.

I'm in the same boat as you. I wondered about the stout cooler. I haven't been able to get any data on cooling capacity, energy usage, nothing. I'm planning on just going with a heated/cooled chamber instead of circulating liquid around/thru the fermenter
 

Feurhund

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silhouette

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I just got mine and bought the squeeze handle butterfly valves to upgrade. Unfortunately I didn't realize the pick up tube needs to be used with the NPT Male triclamp fitting that the ball valve screws onto.

The only way I see to get to the butterfly valve is to use a female NPT fitting in place of the ball valve and the go to the butterfly. I don't like this for two reasons. It is $13 for the bridging piece and it is a spot for beer to sit, isolated from the rest of the ferment and it will be a threaded connection.

Anyone know a better way?
I was looking at doing the butterfly valve upgrade too. Can you replace the whole racking arm assembly with something like this?
http://morebeer.com/products/conical-racking-arm-sample-valve-assembly.html

You could probably get just the racking arm to get to a tri-clamp fitting, but that part seemed like a decent way get a rotating racking arm that you didn't need pliers for and a sample valve with barbs that you could fill a keg from.

That said, I am a complete newb, so I am not sure if racking arms are indeed swappable between vendors.
 

Feurhund

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That arm and sample assembly is pretty sweet. I like that it is low profile.

I put the butterfly's on these two conicals and it seems like overkill. It adds a lot of weight and makes it feel front heavy. It is also very tight clearance wise to operate the levers.

$75 is steep, but I could return a $50 butterfly valve and hose barb triclamp which is about the same.

I need to measure and make sure the arm would fit but nice find.
 

bcrawfo2

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Somebody buy that sample valve and try it out. My 14g is coming in two weeks or so
 

Feurhund

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I bought two of them and will hopefully report back that they fit the 7 gallon!

If they do, is anyone interested in two brand new 1.5" squeeze trigger butterfly valves? $50/each+shipping.

I am using them in my bottom dump valve and won't need the extra two for the racking port.
 

bcrawfo2

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I bought two of them and will hopefully report back that they fit the 7 gallon!

If they do, is anyone interested in two brand new 1.5" squeeze trigger butterfly valves? $50/each+shipping.

I am using them in my bottom dump valve and won't need the extra two for the racking port.

Are they the $53 ones from brewershardware?
I'd like to be first in line for the chance to buy
 

Feurhund

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They are the same and I have already cleaned them with TSP and passivated with starsan but never used.

Once I am sure the racking arm fits you will be first in line.
 

bcrawfo2

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Thanks for the tsp reminder. At Home Depot as I speak/type

Can I mount a cip spray ball on the top tri clover?
 

Feurhund

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Should be able to. It is a standard 1.5" triclamp port. As long as the CIP is designed for that opening.

The TSP is a good step to get any machine oil etc. off before using.
 

bcrawfo2

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How does SSbrewtech's digital therm fit into the thermowell? Is there any way I could sneak an STC1000 probe in there too? Or would the SSbrewtech therm be extraneous (even for just information) at that point?
 

lyonshead

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How does SSbrewtech's digital therm fit into the thermowell? Is there any way I could sneak an STC1000 probe in there too? Or would the SSbrewtech therm be extraneous (even for just information) at that point?

You would never be able to fit the probe in WITH the probe Ss brew tech provides, but you may be able to substitute it. I'm unfamiliar with the stc 1000 probe but I use a Johnson A419 and it fits the Ss Thermowell like a glove. I'll like never use the provided thermometer


Sent from my iPad using Home Brew
 

lyonshead

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How does SSbrewtech's digital therm fit into the thermowell? Is there any way I could sneak an STC1000 probe in there too? Or would the SSbrewtech therm be extraneous (even for just information) at that point?

You would never be able to fit the probe in WITH the probe Ss brew tech provides, but you may be able to substitute it. I'm unfamiliar with the stc 1000 probe but I use a Johnson A419 and it fits the Ss Thermowell like a glove. I'll like never use the provided thermometer
 

bcrawfo2

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You would never be able to fit the probe in WITH the probe Ss brew tech provides, but you may be able to substitute it. I'm unfamiliar with the stc 1000 probe but I use a Johnson A419 and it fits the Ss Thermowell like a glove. I'll like never use the provided thermometer

For others....I just got my conical and the ssbrewtech temp probe. The stc and the ssbrewtech probe fit in the thermowell at the same time
 

millsbrew

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Anyone have the specs on weight for the 7g Chronical Conical? And does it have handles for moving? I want to be able to easily get it in/out of my ferm chamber even when full with 6g of beer. Thanks.
 

pvpeacock

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It has handles, but I don't know how much it weights when full other than water weighs 8.34 lbs. per gallon. x 6 = 50.04 lbs. + the weight of the Chronical.
 

Feurhund

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I have lifted two of them pretty much full and put them into a chest freezer on a platform across the hump. I had to hug the legs as I couldn't lift up over the edge, but I got then in and out.

I plan on using a stand up commercial cooler or freezer and that will be easy.
 

millsbrew

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Thanks for the quick responses on the handles. They weight 32lbs according to homebrewing.com for anyone else interested.
 

BlueHemlock

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Based on these reviews and others I've read, I just ordered the 14 gallon chronical. Can't wait to get it. While I can't speak for the product yet, I can speak to the customer service of SS Brewtech. Top notch! A+. They answered all my questions promptly and were a pleasure to deal with.

Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to wait a month or so for this thing to show up. I guess maybe fill those carboys one last time :D
 

abeasst

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Mine showed up in 4 days!! I plan to try it out next weekend.
 

nicolas_james

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I can't seem to find a plug for the thermowell hole on my chronical. Maybe it's just that I don't know what I'm looking for.

Anyone have something for this?
 

Einberger1

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You shouldn't need a plug. It is a sealed tube to hold their thermometer. It will not leak at all if you don't put one in
 

nicolas_james

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I know, but I use the FTS so I have no use for that particular thermowell. There is one in the lid, so I'd prefer to just put some type of plug in.
 
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nickmv

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To add to that, just in case he's thinking in this manner --- if youre trying to keep outside air from "leaking into" the thermowell, don't even bother. Once a probe is in there, outside air is simply not going to affect the temp reading.
 

augiedoggy

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I ordered the ss 14 and 17 cronicals last November for friends who love them, and their customer service is top notch.
I have a 12.5gallon stout conical myself (which I am happy with for the $370 cost) and wanted to mention that this http://www.gotta-brew.com/products/cool-zone-cooling-jacket.html cooling jacket actually does an awesome job at cooling my conical with my chiller... I believe it would work just as well with an aquarium pump and ice water method...they are very easy to remove and install (velcro) so moving from fermentor to carboy fermentor is easy with no additional cleaning like with a coil inside)

I was considering the peltier option and am soo glad I didn't ... I plan on purchasing more of these for my other fermentors and using 12v solenoid valves activated by stc1000+ temp controllers to turn on and off flow to each cooling jacket.
 

abeasst

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My half barrel continues to pull sanitizer out of my airlock. I refill it and within 2 days its dry again.
 
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