Spike Conical- observations and best practices

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

KBW PilotHouse

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
220
Reaction score
142
Excellent info on response… I found that to be true here. If you wanna see the differences in the O2 purity by classification see attached….and draw your own conclusions. The tank ratings are key.

Cheers 🍻

KBW.

Scroll down to see the O2 data.
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,499
Reaction score
1,660
Location
Living free in the 603
From the file posted by KBW it appears that the gas we get for welding is a higher purity than 'medical grade', or 'food grade'.

From what I recall the only real difference between the medical and welding/industrial grades, were the tank composition. Welding is usually steel tanks, where medical is aluminum. More for the weight savings you get from aluminum. Helpful when people are walking around with the tanks. Most of the people needing the O2 are otherwise limited.
 

KBW PilotHouse

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
220
Reaction score
142
From the file posted by KBW it appears that the gas we get for welding is a higher purity than 'medical grade', or 'food grade'.

From what I recall the only real difference between the medical and welding/industrial grades, were the tank composition. Welding is usually steel tanks, where medical is aluminum. More for the weight savings you get from aluminum. Helpful when people are walking around with the tanks. Most of the people needing the O2 are otherwise limited.
Yep, the purity gradings surprised me. I use the welding 02 with an inline filter. Not because it’s “better” but because it’s readily available and reasonably priced here.
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,679
Reaction score
2,237
Location
Long Island
Guys, do yourself a favor and split a batch, half pitched with oxygen added and half stirred up with a mix-stir on a drill for a minute. I did a pretty intense study on this 15 years ago with taste testing and no longer use oxygen. I understand the concepts, but at a home brew level you have bigger things to worry about.
I was also a doubter about need for oxygen and was using it in about 2/3 of my batches when I remembered to use it and not really being able to tell a difference.

But then I switched from chilling in the kettle with an immersion chiller while pumping the wort and maybe splashing around with the chiller until I was at pitching temp to running wort at 190F at end of whirlpool into fermentor in single pass through a stainless CFC. Worked just fine until I ran out of oxygen and decided to skip that step. Long lag and noticeable fermentation flaw in the beer. I stupidly reused that yeast in next batch (got in a hurry and didn't really taste the packaged beer before reusing the yeast) and it was even worse. Actually dumped 17 gallons.

Anyway Ace had the tanks again last week and I brewed a batch this weekend, did an agressive hot PBW cleaning cycle, sanitized with iodophor instead of usual star-san, used new dry yeast packets and O2 and had blowoff activity in 12 hours.

While the drill sounds easy I don't think it would be compatible with how I have my fermentor setup. Would probably consider aquarium air pump before that but happily O2 cylinders seem to be coming back in stock.
 

Beholder

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2011
Messages
222
Reaction score
97
Location
Orlando
Thanks to this thread, finally got around to setting up O2 from tank to carb stone. Fortunately, can get welding O2 locally at a reasonable price so a CGA fitted O2 regulator with lpm dial gauge and we’re in business.

I expect this will help my lagers that have a tendency to stall due to spunding, but will be good for all in any case!
 

TheMadKing

Western Yankee Southerner and Brew Science Nerd
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 17, 2015
Messages
3,894
Reaction score
2,043
Location
Gainesville
Guys, do yourself a favor and split a batch, half pitched with oxygen added and half stirred up with a mix-stir on a drill for a minute. I did a pretty intense study on this 15 years ago with taste testing and no longer use oxygen. I understand the concepts, but at a home brew level you have bigger things to worry about.
I just had a batch with a bad ferment due to lack of oxygenation. A conical fermenter makes this pretty impractical as well.

And honestly I don't have bigger things to worry about. It's the little things these days that make the difference between an ok batch of beer and a batch that I'm really proud of. I have a pretty good process and system that's comparable to most small pro breweries except for my oxygenation system
 

KookyBrewsky

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Messages
327
Reaction score
111
Is anybody using a racking arm on their sample port? Any other strategy to get a clean sample out of that port?
I've seen you quite a bit on the forums so I know I'm not as well versed as you, but why isn't it clean exactly? The yeast/hops from fermentation? Just not sure I understand.

From a racking arm in the sample port, maybe you could use a valve with the sight glass?

Edit: I guess the above wouldn't work because it's not vertical.
 

Nate R

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
1,533
Reaction score
913
Location
Sacramento
but why isn't it clean exactly? The yeast/hops from fermentation?
Yeah- on my cf5 each 1.5" port always has a little "crud" (or more likely, trub!) In the crevices.
If you have say 30 gallons or more in there, not a big deal... but for us c5 users, it stinks running like 2 to 4 ounces out to get a sample.
 

kenmcchord

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
723
Reaction score
583
Location
Kissimmee, FL
Seems to me that the way the port is oriented the welded flange seems to trap whatever crap is floating in the beer. As @Jag75 says you can dump some volume to clear out the area but honestly I find this a bit of a pia too. I have a CF-10 and even with the current batch of Janet's Brown ale I'm getting crap out that valve too. I might purchase a racking arm as well, then move the entire sample port up to the highest centered port where I've been putting my thermowell temp probe. Also I think the sample port valve that came with the fermenter kind of sucks. I've seen upgraded sample port valves on the innernut and might give that a try one day. It's always something...
 

KookyBrewsky

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2020
Messages
327
Reaction score
111
Seems to me that the way the port is oriented the welded flange seems to trap whatever crap is floating in the beer. As @Jag75 says you can dump some volume to clear out the area but honestly I find this a bit of a pia too. I have a CF-10 and even with the current batch of Janet's Brown ale I'm getting crap out that valve too. I might purchase a racking arm as well, then move the entire sample port up to the highest centered port where I've been putting my thermowell temp probe. Also I think the sample port valve that came with the fermenter kind of sucks. I've seen upgraded sample port valves on the innernut and might give that a try one day. It's always something...
I have my sample port on the top middle port. If you're doing 5 gallon batches you have to be really pushing it with the trub calculation. I'm not sure even 5.5 gallons would be sufficient to get a tiny sample from it in that port. As much as I like variety I like making the best I can, so I might have to make 10 gallon batches and share as much as possible..
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,679
Reaction score
2,237
Location
Long Island
Seems to me that the way the port is oriented the welded flange seems to trap whatever crap is floating in the beer. As @Jag75 says you can dump some volume to clear out the area but honestly I find this a bit of a pia too. I have a CF-10 and even with the current batch of Janet's Brown ale I'm getting crap out that valve too. I might purchase a racking arm as well, then move the entire sample port up to the highest centered port where I've been putting my thermowell temp probe. Also I think the sample port valve that came with the fermenter kind of sucks. I've seen upgraded sample port valves on the innernut and might give that a try one day. It's always something...
this is good explanation of my problem. That port being aimed up like it is just collects a lot of yeast. Not an issue i guess if you are looking to get a gravity sample but I was hoping to see the beer drop clear. Might be the yeast ... I normally brew with US-05 (new packs or harvested) and haven't had as much issue with that yeast. This batch I used LalBrew Verdant which is supposed to be a dry version of WY1318. Was not looking for a hazy beer. Was aiming for this: Brighid's Irish Red Ale
and frankly the sample tastes good, beer tastes done, but it looks horrible. Really hoping it is issue with the sample port. Guess I will keg it and see what I get.
 

kcinpdx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2008
Messages
558
Reaction score
53
Location
Portland, OR
I know that the spike conical heater has been covered here, but has anyone tried to repair one? I had not used it in a long while and plugged it into the controller and nothing. I already tried it in a few different ones.It is too old to send back, but it is frustrating seeing the number of complaints on them.
 

Nate R

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
1,533
Reaction score
913
Location
Sacramento
I know that the spike conical heater has been covered here, but has anyone tried to repair one? I had not used it in a long while and plugged it into the controller and nothing. I already tried it in a few different ones.It is too old to send back, but it is frustrating seeing the number of complaints on them.
Did you contact Spike yet? Their customer service is top-notch. Might see what options they have.
I pieced my cf5 together over time (did not order heat with cooling package, etc) and tried to do a cheap ferm-wrap plastice sheet heater i got cheap from morebeer. It doesnt fit well. Spikes heater is a perfect fit.
 

jpakstis

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 23, 2014
Messages
295
Reaction score
116
Location
Lexington
Just ordered a CF!0 and looking for some user info. WoW 70 pages is going to take a while! Going to run mine with Glycol. the new version doesn't come with a thermowell. wondering if that is the best way to go or is anyone just taping the probe to the vessel?
You can order one:


I recently got a CF5, my first conical. I had a glycol chiller already and with the coils and thermowell it worked out great!
 

WESBREW

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 28, 2018
Messages
596
Reaction score
416
Location
The Free South
Its early to contribute here but heres an option that might work
77324D52-D121-455A-BC92-0431873EB773.jpeg
i got this from brew hardware , pushes in from the inside and stays put. Ive been using it in my kettle
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,679
Reaction score
2,237
Location
Long Island
Its early to contribute here but heres an option that might work
View attachment 750758
i got this from brew hardware , pushes in from the inside and stays put. Ive been using it in my kettle
not sure how that would work with the TC port. You are going to want a real racking arm at least for getting the beer out of the conical. This one is the one: Racking Arm | Spike Brewing

I'm thinking of adding a second one of these to the sampling port. Took this pic of the ports after kegging my last batch and dumping but before cleaning. You can see how much yeast collected in that sampling port. Might be better off putting the sample valve on the thermowell port and putting thermowell on the sample port but not sure down in the cone is best spot to be using for driving temperature corrections. For current batch I just capped the sample port and if I want to take a sample I will mount the sample valve to the racking valve.
IMG_1125.jpeg


here is the inside of the sample valve when I took it off... you can see the port was half full or more with yeast. I tried dumping a bit and then taking my sample but it was just never enough, the sample would always pull some more yeast.

IMG_1124.jpeg


All that said I think this particular yeast was designed for hazy beer. Still not dropped bright even after several days in the keg.
 

WESBREW

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 28, 2018
Messages
596
Reaction score
416
Location
The Free South
It pushes into a TC port. I was thinking it would keep debris from settling at the sample port facing down. sounds like from your post that the port is also drawing yeast in though .
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
892
Reaction score
1,659
Location
duncannon
I have debated swapping my sample valve with my thermo well also. Haven't considered using a racking arm in its current position but I agree that both of these options would be good. Even trying to pour a hydro sample can prove tedious. Open the valve slowwww, hear some movement, slight turn, nothing yet slight turn, BOOM hydro tube overflowing with beer, close close close. Ahhh crap. Yep happens. Depends on yeast some but I think I'll add another racking cane to my next order. Seems like the best solution to me. Not sure if the cf5 and 10s are set up the same as the cf15 but the only thing you would have to be aware of is to turn your racking arms in opposite directions of each other so they wouldn't hit when transferring.
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,679
Reaction score
2,237
Location
Long Island
It pushes into a TC port. I was thinking it would keep debris from settling at the sample port facing down. sounds like from your post that the port is also drawing yeast in though .
OK thanks for clarification. I thought this was a different item but had never seen this one. Seems like a great solution let us know if it actually fits when you get your CF10.
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,679
Reaction score
2,237
Location
Long Island
I have debated swapping my sample valve with my thermo well also. Haven't considered using a racking arm in its current position but I agree that both of these options would be good. Even trying to pour a hydro sample can prove tedious. Open the valve slowwww, hear some movement, slight turn, nothing yet slight turn, BOOM hydro tube overflowing with beer, close close close. Ahhh crap. Yep happens. Depends on yeast some but I think I'll add another racking cane to my next order. Seems like the best solution to me. Not sure if the cf5 and 10s are set up the same as the cf15 but the only thing you would have to be aware of is to turn your racking arms in opposite directions of each other so they wouldn't hit when transferring.
Haha been there done that. I really hate the sample valve. Every few months I think about swapping it out for one of these.

 
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Messages
1,729
Reaction score
1,977
Location
New Brighton
Haha been there done that. I really hate the sample valve. Every few months I think about swapping it out for one of these.

That is the valve that came with my SsBrewtech conical. It works ok, but isn’t great. It’s hard to clean to a sanitary condition without fully disassembling it every time.
 

matt_m

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
519
That is the valve that came with my SsBrewtech conical. It works ok, but isn’t great. It’s hard to clean to a sanitary condition without fully disassembling it every time.
But takes 10s to disassemble by spinning off one 1/2" nut and only a few more to assemble because you need to add a little keg lube. My only complaint is it drips after use but I've been flushing with a lab squirt bottle so what drips is cheap vodka.
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,679
Reaction score
2,237
Location
Long Island
the push in pick up tube in the sample port
Thanks for posting. Looks like it will work just fine. However that picture has me hesitating. It appears there is a gap between the tube and the piston that would be impossible to clean. Is that the case? For a little more $ I'm thinking this might be better way to go...

 

WESBREW

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 28, 2018
Messages
596
Reaction score
416
Location
The Free South
Thanks for posting. Looks like it will work just fine. However that picture has me hesitating. It appears there is a gap between the tube and the piston that would be impossible to clean. Is that the case? For a little more $ I'm thinking this might be better way to go...

can't really see the union of the tube/tc. i wonder if it has the same gap? i'm looking at the Brewbuilt x1 TC with the clamp at morebeer. Could add a sack of malt for free shipping.
 
Last edited:

Tom R

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
534
Reaction score
598
Location
S. Puget Sound
It appears there is a gap between the tube and the piston that would be impossible to clean. Is
Worst case, after a PBW soak and rinse you could put it in a pressure-cooker or oven to kill the nasties. Kind of a pain, though.

Maybe on the next-gen Spike will consider moving the sampling port above the cone.
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,679
Reaction score
2,237
Location
Long Island
Worst case, after a PBW soak and rinse you could put it in a pressure-cooker or oven to kill the nasties. Kind of a pain, though.

Maybe on the next-gen Spike will consider moving the sampling port above the cone.
I think that one is designed for use inside kettles. @Bobby_M doesn't mention using it in tanks in the description. I like the design of the TC dip tube but looks like it might have a small but cleanable groove where the tube meets the ferrule. At least it is described as being for use in tanks.
 

deuc224

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2019
Messages
440
Reaction score
226
Damn is everyone really using o2 in beer that much? I only really break mine out for high ABV beers, the rest go off without a hitch, but for my beer this week, im gonna have to break it out, westy 12 clone attempt. Also one 20lb tank should literally last you a lifetime, my regulator goes down to 1/4 lpm so i do that for 4 minutes to really give the wort time to absorb it instead of just seeing it bubble out the top.
 

WESBREW

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 28, 2018
Messages
596
Reaction score
416
Location
The Free South
I tried to get through this thread but its super long-
- Im doing a neipa with lots of dry hops soon for my first run in the conical . I need an order of operations so to speak, particularly where im harvesting yeast.
 
Top