Spike Conical- observations and best practices

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WESBREW

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One thing is also depending on your setup, if your elbow is full of oxygen before you start, what I do is set my psi to 5 or so and loosen the tc fitting on the elbow enough to blow the oxygen out with co2. I just do it for a few seconds to try and purge the oxygen before pushing it into the fermenter.
Thanks for the info. I’ve got a good feel for trub dump and yeast harvest before that.
No elbow for me. 2” valve is clamped to bottom of cone
 

natmartin

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Since I have the all-in-one PRV now, I use my old gas manifold for things like this. One benefit is I can use the PRV on the gas manifold to flush O2 a few times.
 

BoilerInSoCal

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Yeah, that's my problem too, I only have a 1.5". Also interested in other's thoughts on this.
@Bobby_M sells 2" TC posts. That is where I got mine. works great!

I am the same with respect to process (I have a CF10). 8-10 psi on before opening (don't forget to purge the headspace between the fitting and the valve before opening valve...I do this by keeping the tc clamp loose enough for gas to escape, turn on gas for 20-30 seconds, and then close the clamp while gas still on until tight...then open the butterfly valve). I have also found that unless the hops are really compacted in my sightglass (I no longer use the elbow), I can get good mixing with the valve just *barely* open. This prevents the pressure from getting too high in the CF10 and I don't have to release any pressure despite multiple mixing hits (I generally only get up to 10 psi after multiple hits). I like the idea of not releasing the pressure. Whether valid or not, I feel like maintaining the pressure keeps the aroma from blowing off. And I have positive pressure there for the cold crash.
 

boondocksaint

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If you can get an oxygen free dry hopper I think you will find good results letting fermentation finish and then dumping yeast more or less completely before dry hopping.

When I started with the Spike I found an awful lot of hop pellets getting lodged in the piping. Dumping the yeast may actually make this worse as the pellets drop straight into the plumbing instead of yeast filling the plumbing and the hops sitting on the yeast. They fall in, swell enough to form a solid mass, and then never actually disintegrate. Sort of like what you get putting too many pellets into a hop bag. I mentioned above good experience bubbling CO2 in from the bottom a couple hours after adding the dry hops using this adapter from brewhardware:

I'm testing @k-daddy 's recirculator and was really happy with first batch made that way. Second batch will be kegged this weekend for further evaluation.
Eric, what is your process for doing this? Assuming the pressure is very light (~3-5lbs)? Also, for how long are you bubbling in CO2? Is this a one and done type thing or once a day?
 

YeastFeast

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Ok, so I attempted to move wort from my boil kettle to my CF5 about a week ago. From what I've read, most pump from the boil kettle into the dump port. So I tried Boil Kettle > plate chiller (Therminator) > CF5 dump port to try and do it in one pass. The first 4 gallons seem to go fine but by the last gallon it stopped transferring. I assumed the Therminator got clogged so I turned off the pump. Then I looked and the wort was heading back into the boil kettle. Guess the plate chiller wasn't clogged? So now I'm guessing the 6 feet of tubing is too far a distance to pump everything into the dump port of the CF5 without it trying to push back?? Can anyone confirm this? Do I need to whirlpool to chill and then eliminate the plate chiller and go direct from Boil kettle > dump port to make it work??
Any thoughts are welcome!
Thanks.
 

WESBREW

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Ok, so I attempted to move wort from my boil kettle to my CF5 about a week ago. From what I've read, most pump from the boil kettle into the dump port. So I tried Boil Kettle > plate chiller (Therminator) > CF5 dump port to try and do it in one pass. The first 4 gallons seem to go fine but by the last gallon it stopped transferring. I assumed the Therminator got clogged so I turned off the pump. Then I looked and the wort was heading back into the boil kettle. Guess the plate chiller wasn't clogged? So now I'm guessing the 6 feet of tubing is too far a distance to pump everything into the dump port of the CF5 without it trying to push back?? Can anyone confirm this? Do I need to whirlpool to chill and then eliminate the plate chiller and go direct from Boil kettle > dump port to make it work??
Any thoughts are welcome!
Thanks.
Was the pressure being bled off with a spunding valve?
 

YeastFeast

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Was the pressure being bled off with a spunding valve?

It was not, didn't even consider that. I'm totally new to this, my past experience up to this point is putting a hose into a top opening of a brew bucket.
So I guess I was building up pressure pushing wort into the conical. So what's the proper way to do it, I have Spike's All-in-one PRV? Thanks!
 

WESBREW

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I tx with my lid off or I have a lid port open, pump in from top and let it splash. It needs to get oxygen anyway. If you’re pushing something in and it’s sealed, it’s going to build up pressure. Use that prv to relieve fermentation pressue if you’re pressure fermenting
 
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Pacific Electric

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Finally got my first brew into the conical yesterday! Everything went well. Took 2 hours to get from 100F to 66F pitch temps vs. my previous 6 hours in a chest freezer with a PET conical. . Used a ball lock gas post to oxygenate this time, will try out the carb stone next time.

Ok, so I attempted to move wort from my boil kettle to my CF5 about a week ago. From what I've read, most pump from the boil kettle into the dump port. So I tried Boil Kettle > plate chiller (Therminator) > CF5 dump port to try and do it in one pass. The first 4 gallons seem to go fine but by the last gallon it stopped transferring. I assumed the Therminator got clogged so I turned off the pump. Then I looked and the wort was heading back into the boil kettle. Guess the plate chiller wasn't clogged? So now I'm guessing the 6 feet of tubing is too far a distance to pump everything into the dump port of the CF5 without it trying to push back?? Can anyone confirm this? Do I need to whirlpool to chill and then eliminate the plate chiller and go direct from Boil kettle > dump port to make it work??
Any thoughts are welcome!
Thanks.

I did this yesterday for the first time with no issues. My setup goes Boil Kettle > old chugger pump > CFC > 6' - 1/2" silicon hose w/ QDs > dump port. I have a ball valve on my conical lid for my dry hopper, so I cracked that lid to prevent any back pressure and was able to pump my kettle dry, ~7 gallons into the CF10.
 

YeastFeast

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I did this yesterday for the first time with no issues. My setup goes Boil Kettle > old chugger pump > CFC > 6' - 1/2" silicon hose w/ QDs > dump port. I have a ball valve on my conical lid for my dry hopper, so I cracked that lid to prevent any back pressure and was able to pump my kettle dry, ~7 gallons into the CF10.
I tx with my lid off or I have a lid port open, pump in from top and let it splash. It needs to get oxygen anyway. If you’re pushing something in and it’s sealed, it’s going to build up pressure. Use that prv to relieve fermentation pressue if you’re pressure fermenting
Or just leave one of the top ports uncovered (or maybe with a piece of sanitized aluminum foil over it.
Good to know, thanks. I'll have to figure out my best option.
 
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I am curious what people's process is when transferring carbonated beer from your conical to the kegs? I typically don't carb in my cf15 but there are some times when I'd like to with certain styles. I did this once a while back and I got a decent amount of foam. I do closed transfers and have the ability to control pressure on either side of the transfer.
 
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So, can I purge the pressure in the fermenter down to 5psi and transfer with the spunding valve set to 4psi? Or do I need to start with the carb pressure of say 12psi? Or does that not matter as long as the spunding valve is set accordingly.
 

k-daddy

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I am curious what people's process is when transferring carbonated beer from your conical to the kegs? I typically don't carb in my cf15 but there are some times when I'd like to with certain styles. I did this once a while back and I got a decent amount of foam. I do closed transfers and have the ability to control pressure on either side of the transfer.
I pressure ferment @ 8-10psi and use the fermentation gas to purge my 2, 2.5 gallon kegs so the beer is lightly carbonated and subject to foaming. Once fermentation is complete, I disconnect the kegs from the system while I wait to transfer. When ready, I purge a jumper from my still pressurized conical to the kegs gas post to equalize pressure between the two vessels. I then connect the racking tubing to the conical and slowly fill my hydrometer tube to purge the line of any debris and get a sample for testing. I then connect to the outpost of the keg, slowly open the ball valve and begin the transfer. Works like a charm for me. Good luck.
 
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sibelman

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So, can I purge the pressure in the fermenter down to 5psi and transfer with the spunding valve set to 4psi? Or do I need to start with the carb pressure of say 12psi? Or does that not matter as long as the spunding valve is set accordingly.
If you've got 12psi already in your fermenter and, thus, somewhat carbed beer, I'd transfer at that pressure with spunding valve set just below 12. Gravity or some extra push from bottled CO2 will, in my experience, be needed to assist the transfer.
 

natmartin

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I realize I just made a mistake and shoved oxygen into my beer. I put a sightglass on the output of my racking valve so I can better see flow during transferring. Unfortunately, I put my valve on the CF5 side of the sightglass.
So last night, without thinking, I used my carbstone for the first time, and connected it to the sightglass. I turned on the gas, and opened the valve.
Of course, this means all of the trapped air in the sightglass just got pumped right into my beer! The other problem is that when I remove the carbstone, I'm going to lose all of the beer that's sitting in the sightglass. And I'll need to figure out how to purge that air before transferring.

Thankfully this is a porter, and hopefully the dark grains will help prevent some oxidation. And hopefully we drink it fast enough to not notice any problems!

Next time I'll attach the sightglass directly to the racking port with the valve on the outside.
 
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I pressure ferment @ 8-10psi and use the fermentation gas to purge my 2, 2.5 gallon kegs so the beer is lightly carbonated and subject to foaming. Once fermentation is complete, I disconnect the kegs from the system while I wait to transfer. When ready, I purge a jumper from my still pressurized conical to the kegs gas post to equalize pressure between the two vessels. I then connect the racking tubing to the conical and slowly fill my hydrometer tube to purge the line of any debris and get a sample for testing. I then connect to the outpost of the keg, slowly open the ball valve and begin the transfer. Works like a charm for me. Good luck.
Thanks for the suggestions, very helpful.
 

Whalewang

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I just got a CF15 and made a Gose with the first batch as a test batch. I focus on NEIPAs and have one fermenting at the moment (second batch). I want to rouse the DH hops and I am torn between re-circulation and CO2 through the dump port but I want to try the CO2 option first.

I don't have casters or legs. What's the simplest configuration to be able to both dump trub/yeast/hops and be able to CO2 burp using the 2" TC to Ball Lock GAS Post? @eric19312 I think is close to what I want to try first but what is the barb fitting (ref: #2,879)?
 

YeastFeast

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I don't have casters or legs. What's the simplest configuration to be able to both dump trub/yeast/hops and be able to CO2 burp using the 2" TC to Ball Lock GAS Post? @eric19312 I think is close to what I want to try first but what is the barb fitting (ref: #2,879)?

I use 2" TC X 5/8" HOSE BARB from Brewhardware. Attach 1/2" ID silicone tubing to it to dump to a bucket.

I switch out (to the link you posted) to burp with Co2.

My setup is conical > elbow > sight glass > butterfly valve (then switch out to either attachment above). I don't have extension legs either and have no intention to get them.
 
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boondocksaint

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PRV question…For those that are using the new all-in-one PRV. Are you still using a blow off tube (run into a jar of Star-San -or similar) for the initial fermentation or do you just use the PRV from the get go?

Thanks! Cheers 🍻
 

YeastFeast

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PRV question…For those that are using the new all-in-one PRV. Are you still using a blow off tube (run into a jar of Star-San -or similar) for the initial fermentation or do you just use the PRV from the get go?

Thanks! Cheers 🍻
I use a blow off tube in star san initially as well. I had the same question and Spike said you could...but recommended not using it as a blow off.
They discuss it in one of their videos on their site.
 

natmartin

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I've been just using the PRV, set to a lowish pressure at first. Why did they suggest still using a blow off? Concerns of clogging the PRV?
 
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I don't see this prv having an issue with clogging, personally I have the 3 port lid and I fill my cf15 pretty high and get blow off a lot of the time. So that's why I use the the blow off tube. I also have my prv on a riser to keep any foam from climbing into it.
20220507_132431.jpg
 

YeastFeast

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I've been just using the PRV, set to a lowish pressure at first. Why did they suggest still using a blow off? Concerns of clogging the PRV?
OK, they don't give a great reason (and said technically you could).....but basically that the holes are small because it's a release valve and it will make a mess depending on your fermentation.

* See the 05:40 mark in this video:
 
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boondocksaint

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OK, they don't give a great reason (and said technically you could).....but basically that the holes are small because it's a release valve and it will make a mess depending on your fermentation.

* See the 05:40 mark in this video:

Thanks YeastFeast! Kinda what I thought...Guess I'll stick with the blow off tube and then purge when I switch to the PRV after initial fermentation. Cheers!
 

Chorgey

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In early July, I sent an IM to Spike, asking "With the PRV... I want to pressure ferment. Do I need to use a blowoff tube first or can I install the PRV from the beginning of fermentation?"

Their response was...

1661389667638.png
 

YeastFeast

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In early July, I sent an IM to Spike, asking "With the PRV... I want to pressure ferment. Do I need to use a blowoff tube first or can I install the PRV from the beginning of fermentation?"

Their response was...

View attachment 778737
Hmmmm....that's interesting?! So if you pressure ferment, no need for a blowoff tube, if not pressure fermenting, use a blow off? I haven't pressure fermented yet so I don't understand how that changes the activity of fermentation?
 

Chorgey

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Hmmmm....that's interesting?! So if you pressure ferment, no need for a blowoff tube, if not pressure fermenting, use a blow off? I haven't pressure fermented yet so I don't understand how that changes the activity of fermentation?
I haven't tried it yet and cannot give any first hand observations.
Maybe @SpikeBrewing can weigh in on this.
 

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I'm struggling to get my DIY glycol chiller colder than 38F. The solution around the radiator/fins ice up when I get approach that temp. I'm using 20% glycol which I believe means that the freezing temp should be around 20F. Interesting, I was getting around the same temps (in the chiller) using 100% water.

Bad glycol?
Do I need some kind of re-circulation pump in there? If yes, any suggestions?
Do I need to be using a higher ratio of glycol?
 

CottonBrew

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I'm struggling to get my DIY glycol chiller colder than 38F. The solution around the radiator/fins ice up when I get approach that temp. I'm using 20% glycol which I believe means that the freezing temp should be around 20F. Interesting, I was getting around the same temps (in the chiller) using 100% water.

Bad glycol?
Do I need some kind of re-circulation pump in there? If yes, any suggestions?
Do I need to be using a higher ratio of glycol?

Glycol chiller system cooling potential is all about the volume of glycol flowed through the fermenter heat exchanger at the chiller set point. More volume and/or colder set point will allow the fermenter to reach a colder temperature. A higher glycol ratio allows for the chiller to run a lower set point. Although a higher glycol ratio will typically cause the pump to slow and flow rate will be reduced. There is an optimum glycol ratio for the highest pump flow and the lowest glycol set point. See my post #2652.

It sounds like your chiller is icing up which means your glycol ratio is not high enough. Check the specific gravity of the glycol solution to verify the ratio. On my system I got chiller icing at 26F and 15% glycol. See page 2 and 3 of the document linked below for Brix reference values.
https://www.solventsandpetroleum.com/uploads/6/0/3/7/60372849/dowfrost.pdf
 

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Finally got a conical since I upgraded to 10g batches. I have a 2 inch valve before the site glass and after. I’m not using the elbow. After reading through, it sounds like this should be my process:

- transfer from BK with site glass open. Dump trub 20-30 minutes after?
- oxygenate through carb stone.
- pitch yeast.
- keep site glass valve open.
- once fermentation is complete, crash to 50 degrees.
- dump/save yeast in site glass.
- sanitize, reattach, open site glass valve. After some time, will I have to dump another site glass full of yeast?
- add dry hops, let free temp free rise.
- CO2 bubble hops from the bottom a couple times over a day.
- dump dry hops.
- crash temp and keg

Thanks!
 
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