Stainless fermenter... yes or no?

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What kind of Fermenter should I get?


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ILMSTMF

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Want to treat myself but don't want to make a foolish purchase.
Have been using the same plastic bucket for... ~7 years? She's treated me well and still works fine. She goes into my mini fridge FC which has heating wires installed too.
Why even change up to SS? With the Ss Brewtech Brew Bucket, I really like the idea of being able to do an easy closed transfer to keg. I still haven't figured out how to do that with my plastic bucket. The conical trub trap is a nice convenience but I've lived without it for this long so, not the biggest draw. Maybe I misunderstood but cleaning this kind of fermenter versus the plastic bucket is actually more of a headache. That's a minus I wouldn't be happy with. Unless I'm wrong?
The SS BB has a heating and cooing system... for $316. OK. Answered my own question. That plus the $200 bucket and another... $35 in accessories, nope. Can't justify spending that much.

So, friends, what would you do? Cheers!
 

AzOr

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anvil ss for a cheaper alternative. Not as fancy as others but still a great fermenter. I have both sizes for beer.

for mead and cider I still use plastic buckets when the anvils are in use.

I recently started doing “closed” transfers in the anvils.

I put a barbed co2 line in the top as I’m tferring to a keg. It’s at about 2psi so it really is just filling the top w gas instead of o2.
At just over 100 bucks I love both of them.
 

bkboiler

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Just got a sale on a kegmenter for $175. Floating dip tube I plan to modify to blend off the porous weld or solder (whatever it is), but should work great for pressure transfers and no more complicated than cleaning a keg.
 

VTX1300

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I went from plastic to the SS Brew Bucket BM edition and am glad I did. It's very easy to clean. The drain valve and thermowell only take a minute to remove and clean. As for temp control, I use a chest freezer same as when I used plastic. No need for the heating/cooling unit that is sold for these units. There are some mini fridge that these fit into for temp control too.
There are a few less expensive brands available with good reviews if they fit your budget better.
 

mjdonnelly68

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Second vote for the Speidel Fermenters. I splurged on a 14.5g Blichmann Fermenator Conical and it's great. But unless I'm planning to harvest yeast, I seem to gravitate to using my Speidel fermenters instead. They are easier to handle, you can see through them enough to judge kruasen, they are sized so you never have to worry about a blow-off tube and they are breeze to clean. They even have a CO2 conversion cap available so I can use them for closed transfer. And for the same money as a SS conical you could have half a dozen Speidel fermentations going. You really can't go wrong with a Speidel.
 

matt_m

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I rapidly moved from buckets to Spiedels purchased cheap on Craigslist, to a pair of SS Brew Buckets, to a pair of SS Chronicals bought cheap here. Not the ideal plan but opportunities presented themselves. I've also been fermenting with Kveik yeasts in a keg.

Spiedels - good step up from a bucket. With elevation and a tiny bit of pressure transfers worked fine. I did the upgrade to use SS Brew Bucket pickup tubes. I've since learned Norcal has some better options to really upgrade these. Negative is the rough edge on the inside under the lid from a mold parting line. Also they are huge so a chamber is an issue which was my ultimate reason for selling them. I've since picked up a baby one for small batches of cider and need to order a couple upgrades for it.

SS Buckets - Comparable to the upgraded Spiedels functionally but the footprint allowed putting them in a fridge for a chamber and being stainless no concerns about cleaning. Heating and cooling without a chamber is an option.

SS Chronicals - Lots more functionality, mine came with heating and cooling, I can do trub and yeast dumps. They look really cool since my brewery is behind the bar in a finished basement. Negatives are cost of the whole setup with a chiller and the whole setup takes a decent amount of space. Still can't pressure ferment, CIP cleaning the vessel itself is almost mandatory due to the cooling coil.

Corny Keg - Works really well. I've been doing pressure fermentation with a BlowTie blowoff valve. I use a 10 gallon drink cooler (like many use for a mash tun) as a water bath and a sous vide cooker as a temperature controller. I use fermcap to reduce foam and limit to ~4.75 gallon batches. I did add a floating dip tube, not sure it was worth it as it likes get caught and I have to give the keg a light shake probably negating the benefit. Other than that transfers couldn't be easier and chamber options would be plentiful.

If I had to do it again I'd seriously look at the Spike Flex+ if I was looking to go with bucket-style fermenters due to their pressure capabilities. I considered ordering a Flex+ in November for use as a brite tank but decided a keg works fine there. I was dreaming of upgrading to Unitanks before the current meltdown but probably wouldn't have done it regardless.
 

phyllobeddo

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I ferment in corny kegs and use a Clear Beer Draught System for a floating dip tube with a screen on it. Oxygen free pressure transfers to another keg work great. I can dry hop without any containers by cold crashing before a transfer. I have a SS Brew Bucket that I rarely use because cornies make it easier.

Vote for fermenting in kegs.
 
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V-Fib

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I've been happy with Delta Brewing's Fermtank. It offers a bit more than the SS brewbucket. The main reason I switched is because once I jumped to 10 gallon I either had to fill glass carboys outside and carry them to my basement or carry 12-13 gallons of wort downstairs. Both options didn't sit right in my head for safety reasons.

I didn't look at any of the plastic options but if its worked good for you for 7+ years why not stick with one that can pressure transfer and save some $
 

Yesfan

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.....With the Ss Brewtech Brew Bucket, I really like the idea of being able to do an easy closed transfer to keg. I still haven't figured out how to do that with my plastic bucket. The conical trub trap is a nice convenience but I've lived without it for this long so, not the biggest draw. Maybe I misunderstood but cleaning this kind of fermenter versus the plastic bucket is actually more of a headache. That's a minus I wouldn't be happy with. Unless I'm wrong?
The SS BB has a heating and cooing system... for $316. OK. Answered my own question. That plus the $200 bucket and another... $35 in accessories, nope. Can't justify spending that much.

So, friends, what would you do? Cheers!

For the bold type, ignorance is bliss. I can say that because I said the exact same thing to another member here when comparing a stainless brew bucket vs a plastic conical with a dump valve before buying one. I thought that's something I could "do without" but until you are able to dump trub and/or harvest yeast from a batch, you're selling yourself short on the cost of convenience. I didn't know this until I finally splurged on my 10 gallon conical. After two batches, it's become a worthy purchase I don't regret.

Does that mean you have to go blow a grand on a stainless conical? No, there are plastic versions out there that will run about the same as a base model brew bucket but give you the convenience of having a dump valve. The Fermzilla comes to mind.

Cleaning my conical is easier than you'd expect. Mine has casters, so I just will it out and hose it down while the triclamp parts are soaking in cleaner. I was wondering if cleaning my conical was going to be a bigger headache. If anything, it's made me go back and look and see where I can upgrade anything with NPT threads to tri-clamps (ex: my kettles).

Comparing a stainless fermenter to buckets is like comparing kegging to bottling. There is an upfront cost, but the convenience is worth it. Case in point is my Spike conical. I can ferment 10 gallons of wort in one vessel vs splitting it to two carboys and I have the added benefit of being able to dump the trub, harvesting yeast, and spunding to self carb a beer before doing a pressure transfer. You can't do that in a bucket.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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Wow. I am glad I made this post!

I really should have included these details too:

• FWIW, I BIAB.
• 5 gallon batches. I truly do not want to do bigger batches. It's hard enough to move the kettle around with a 5 gallon batch (it moves 4 times on every brew day [I've been down this road already - not looking for ideas to prevent moving the kettle, thank you though!]) Thus, I wouldn't need to ferment more than a 5 gallon batch at a time.
space is limited in my home. In a perfect world, I could get a vessel that will fit in my current FC, a mini fridge. It is my second converted mini fridge. My keezer is packed, I would not be able to fit a fermenter in there. Plus, I like to ferment with warmth (high 60's[F]). In an imperfect world, I would need to purchase the necessary accessories to TC right in / on the vessel I purchase.
I just took some rough internal measurements in the FC. 29” high, 17” wide, 10” deep from opening to compressor hump.
Budget is a concern. I guess we should start there. $200 - 300 would be OK. $400 is pushing it. $500+ is too much. Clearly, could get a Spiedel with that. But if SS is in the affordable range... and if there are truly notable benefits to that versus plastic... There's a good chance I'd pull trigger.
• I don't have time to brew much so, one batch ferments at a time.

recently started doing “closed” transfers in the anvils.

I put a barbed co2 line in the top as I’m tferring to a keg. It’s at about 2psi so it really is just filling the top w gas instead of o2.
Love this idea. 1) The price is damn right but 2) it won't fit in my FC with the compressor hump. However 3) they offer a cooling system! that requires a cooler with ice too??
This seemed like a great solution but space concerns (the cooler) and the possibility that I can't ferment warm are the issue.
Before I move on, @AzOr , do you put that gas line into the lid where the airlock would normally go? I can't find a photo of what the lid looks like. I have a 3 piece airlock - I am able to get a gas line attached over the airlock stem. Thus, lid could, theoretically, remain closed and CO2 streamed in during transfer. I think that would work in this unit too?

I went from plastic to the SS Brew Bucket BM edition and am glad I did. It's very easy to clean. The drain valve and thermowell only take a minute to remove and clean. As for temp control, I use a chest freezer same as when I used plastic. No need for the heating/cooling unit that is sold for these units. There are some mini fridge that these fit into for temp control too.
I'd hate to do it but I guess I should concern getting a small / cube-type freezer. Deep, no compressor hump. Could replace the mini fridge FC with that. This would eliminate the need for proprietary cooling / heating devices... hmmmm...
Maybe something like this?

https://www.hotsaleitem.com/product...kcI4wrbpVGPkGcxmaMWh-ykGNEaVEolBoC4G8QAvD_BwE

The photos don't show inside so if there's a compressor hump, bets might be off.

unless I'm planning to harvest yeast, I seem to gravitate to using my Speidel fermenters instead. You really can't go wrong with a Speidel.
I usually overbuild my starters for the sake of harvesting. I've harvested from true / yeast cake to good results except... one strain that went weird from that lineage. Paranoia set in and I'm committed to harvesting from generation 0 yeast starters. For now, anyway. I really should stay on-topic...
Can't go wrong with a Spiedel eh? Excuse me for busting balls, is SS inherently better, by default?

Negative is the rough edge on the inside under the lid from a mold parting line. Also they are huge so a chamber is an issue which was my ultimate reason for selling them.
I hate how long my cleaning jobs take. I hate the physical effort. It is my own fault for not building the multi-purpose washer I've been meaning to build. That being said, a bucket is a friendly vessel in the cleaning realm. Reach down to the bottom easily. No ceilings or tight crevices. I mean, maybe under the outside rim that the lid snaps into... So, @matt_m , is there a way to clean that part of the Spiedel with confidence?
As for size, yeah, it would barely fit into my current FC. It's really the damn compressor hump that interferes with everything. Allows for only 10" or 11" from hump to door.

SS Buckets - Comparable to the upgraded Spiedels functionally but the footprint allowed putting them in a fridge for a chamber and being stainless no concerns about cleaning.
Again, I'd probably not be able to fit it in my FC.

If I had to do it again I'd seriously look at the Spike Flex+ if I was looking to go with bucket-style fermenters
Looks sexy. Price is up there but still in range. Again, the footprint.
Starting to look like I need to change my FC, at a minimum.

once I jumped to 10 gallon I either had to fill glass carboys outside and carry them to my basement or carry 12-13 gallons of wort downstairs. Both options didn't sit right in my head for safety reasons.
Again to my point about even moving 5 gallons around. Well, actually, moving the kettle with ~ 7 gallons. That's a pain that requires a second adult. I can do it, have done it... not smart. Moving 13 gallons of wort downstairs... NOPE.

Comparing a stainless fermenter to buckets is like comparing kegging to bottling. There is an upfront cost, but the convenience is worth it.
Amen.

Have a lot to consider here. Thanks for the help, everyone; I welcome all insight!
 

VTX1300

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I'd hate to do it but I guess I should concern getting a small / cube-type freezer. Deep, no compressor hump. Could replace the mini fridge FC with that. This would eliminate the need for proprietary cooling / heating devices... hmmmm...
Maybe something like this?

https://www.hotsaleitem.com/product...kcI4wrbpVGPkGcxmaMWh-ykGNEaVEolBoC4G8QAvD_BwE

The photos don't show inside so if there's a compressor hump, bets might be off.
My FC is a 5CF freezer with a 6 inch collar to gain more interior space. I sit the Brew Bucket on top of the compressor hump.

Check the internal dimensions of your current mini fridge. one of the stainless buckets may fit.

I don't do a trub dump or harvest yeast (I over build starters for yeast) so a bottom dump is not something I feel I need.
 

matt_m

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So, @matt_m , is there a way to clean that part of the Spiedel with confidence?
As for size, yeah, it would barely fit into my current FC. It's really the damn compressor hump that interferes with everything. Allows for only 10" or 11" from hump to door.


I rinsed really well then used hot PBW. I'd let it sit, with the cap on, for a while upside down. Rinse then do the same with sanitizer.

If you can fit a 6 gallon bucket in an FC you can probably fit the SS Brew Buckets. Not sure about the Spike Flex series. The Spiedels are much larger.
 

mjdonnelly68

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Can't go wrong with a Spiedel eh? Excuse me for busting balls, is SS inherently better, by default?
True, but the Speidel is a great lower cost alternative. They are made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic, which is much thicker and harder to scratch than buckets. The extra wide top makes them as easy as buckets to clean. I've been using them for 10 years, never had to replace them (unlike buckets) and have never had an infection. Stainless is great and I love my Blichmann Fermenator, but I'm still a big fan of Speidel. Your mileage may vary...
 

Yesfan

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Others who have these can tell you more than I can, but

For $200, I'd probably be willing to go for the Fermzilla 7G conical with pressure kit lid (for pressurized fermentations and transfers) and the temp coil. The temp coil would allow you to still use your fridge in case the fermenter won't fit in it. You could rig up a small glycol set up to run coolant through the chilling coil to keep the fermenter at your set temp. That will be an added cost with glychol pump, temp control, etc, but imagined it should still be under your budget. If you forgo the route, then I'd at least get the pressure kit for it as you could get the other things down the road. The Fermzilla will let you dump trub and harvest your yeast. More beer has these and it's free shipping.

If that doesn't work, then probably the Speidel, SS Brew bucket or Spike Flex+. Out of those three I like the Spike because I have one. I'm sure the others I would be just as happy with them, but I am a bit of a fanboy after getting their kettles and fermenters....plus, I just like stainless.

The Speidel looks to be the cheapest and the Spike is the most expensive. I like the Spike because of the tri-clamp ports on it and you can do pressurized fermentations with it. I know it's out of your budget, but you could always add things like casters (it's a heavy little b!tch) and what not. The SS might give you the best of the two with price and it being stainless.

That would be my picks, but the main thing is seeing if it will fit in your chamber.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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Check the internal dimensions of your current mini fridge. one of the stainless buckets may fit.

I don't do a trub dump or harvest yeast (I over build starters for yeast) so a bottom dump is not something I feel I need.
Already done ;-)
29” high, 17” wide, 10” deep from opening to compressor hump. It's that damn compressor getting in the way that reduces space in there. The "shell" of the door has been removed to afford more space. It looks very ghetto in there. I use a ratchet strap to hold the door closed tight.
I, too, harvest from overbuilt starters. Nice to have the option of harvesting from yeast cake but rather.. I would be glad to do a trub dump / just transfer beer out without worrying about picking up solids. Conical would surely get the job done. Looks like the SPiedel could do similar based on the raised spigot position.

I'd let it sit, with the cap on, for a while upside down. Rinse then do the same with sanitizer.

If you can fit a 6 gallon bucket in an FC you can probably fit the SS Brew Buckets. Not sure about the Spike Flex series. The Spiedels are much larger.
That's how I imagined it - cap on, invert and let hot cleaner soak into that space. This might sound funny, but, that's not something I can do with my bucket. Would be nice to, say, mix up 1 gallon of cleaner... put in bucket... cap it with a lid with no ports in it (I don't have one)... shake it... repeat with rinse water. Or, hey, why not get stoppers to plug into the lid grommets? Lol
I've been using Brewer's Best ale pail, 6.5 gallon capacity. I will re-review the Ss bucket specs but I think the diameter is going to be too much for the FC.

The extra wide top makes them as easy as buckets to clean. I've been using them for 10 years, never had to replace them (unlike buckets) and have never had an infection.
How about gaskets and such? Quick / easy to break down and reassemble for cleaning? How often do you do that break down?
Why have you had to replace buckets? The fact that I'm still using this ~$10 bucket almost concerns me. ...paranoia creeps in. There's probably some micro-scratches in there. No big gouges.

The one thing that's got my attention and has had it for a while is that the bucket "holds" the aroma from last batch even after a thorough cleaning. Like a mix of hops and cheese. Your next question: "Is your beer turning out OK though?" Answer: I suppose so. Nothing has
tasted awful or even bad...

For $200, I'd probably be willing to go for the Fermzilla 7G conical with pressure kit lid (for pressurized fermentations and transfers) and the temp coil.

The Speidel looks to be the cheapest and the Spike is the most expensive. I like the Spike because of the tri-clamp ports on it and you can do pressurized fermentations with it. I know it's out of your budget, but you could always add things like casters (it's a heavy little b!tch) and what not. The SS might give you the best of the two with price and it being stainless.
No way do I want to add some kind of glycol system. Anything requiring a separate unit next to the fermenter = Nope. Don't have the space!

At the end of it all, I'm thinking (hoping) I get a cheap upright freezer on Craig's List. Surely will allow more internal space than my mini fridge. And I
do have space to go up and even slightly more deep than the mini fridge. A stout / wide chest freezer, I do not have the room for. So, that's a small investment. Could theoretically get any damn unit I want once I've got a new FC. While I wait to get that figured out, perhaps I should poll you wonderful folks on what unit to get!

Crap. The forum doesn't allow for polls. Or at least, I can't figure out how to do it.

• SS Brew Bucket
• Spiedel
• Anvil
• Fermzilla
• Delta
• Spike
• did I forget some?

Thanks all!
 

marc1

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Just got a sale on a kegmenter for $175. Floating dip tube I plan to modify to blend off the porous weld or solder (whatever it is), but should work great for pressure transfers and no more complicated than cleaning a keg.
I second the Kegmenter. Love it. Pressure transfers, spunding, easy to clean, durable. They make a smaller one now, too, that's better for 5 gallon batches.
I got mine before it came with a floating dip tube, so I put a Clear Beer in with the hop screen.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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If you want to go big, they've got a CF30 right now...

Can’t do it. Too expensive, don’t have the space.

I second the Kegmenter. Love it. Pressure transfers, spunding, easy to clean, durable. They make a smaller one now, too, that's better for 5 gallon batches.
I got mine before it came with a floating dip tube, so I put a Clear Beer in with the hop screen.
The one factor stopping me from a keg fermenter is the footprint. Other factors would be lack of features vs other options.
 

adman

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The one factor stopping me from a keg fermenter is the footprint. Other factors would be lack of features vs other options.
Based on the dimensions of your fridge, you might be able to put the 7.6 gallon Kegmenter on a low shelf so that the hump isn't in the way. It fits on the lowest shelf of my 4.4 cu ft beverage cooler, which has similar dimensions to what you described. I agree it's not hugely compelling at $200, but when I got mine on sale for $160, it was pretty hard to beat for the price. It also helped that I was already fermenting in corny kegs, so my fermentation/cleaning regimen will stay very similar, and I'll just have more space to ferment.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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you might be able to put the 7.6 gallon Kegmenter on a low shelf so that the hump isn't in the way.
The shelves are long gone. The FC aint pretty, that's for sure. I don't have access to it at the moment. But, the height I describe is from floor to (accessible) ceiling. If I were to put a shelf in... place the vessel on it... I'd gain the width of that floor space but I'm pretty sure the freezer chamber would interfere with the top of the vessel. I need to take a better look / better measurements when I get a chance. Cheers
 

LittleRiver

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...I really like the idea of being able to do an easy closed transfer to keg...conical trub trap is a nice convenience but I've lived without it for this long so, not the biggest draw...Can't justify spending that much....what would you do?...
I chose clear PET fermenters for these reasons:
  • Transparency allows me to see when the krausen has fallen (so I can bump up the temp), and when a cold crash has finished clearing the beer.
  • Lightweight and easy to clean.
  • Easily fit into my mini fridge fermentation chamber.
  • Gravity powered closed transfers are simple and effective. There are some photos in this post.
  • Inexpensive. They're durable too. I've got 5 years on mine and they are still going strong. No infections.
 

Yesfan

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Already done ;-)
29” high, 17” wide, 10” deep from opening to compressor hump. It's that damn compressor getting in the way that reduces space in there. The "shell" of the door has been removed to afford more space. It looks very ghetto in there. I use a ratchet strap to hold the door closed tight.
I, too, harvest from overbuilt starters. Nice to have the option of harvesting from yeast cake but rather.. I would be glad to do a trub dump / just transfer beer out without worrying about picking up solids. Conical would surely get the job done. Looks like the SPiedel could do similar based on the raised spigot position.



That's how I imagined it - cap on, invert and let hot cleaner soak into that space. This might sound funny, but, that's not something I can do with my bucket. Would be nice to, say, mix up 1 gallon of cleaner... put in bucket... cap it with a lid with no ports in it (I don't have one)... shake it... repeat with rinse water. Or, hey, why not get stoppers to plug into the lid grommets? Lol
I've been using Brewer's Best ale pail, 6.5 gallon capacity. I will re-review the Ss bucket specs but I think the diameter is going to be too much for the FC.



How about gaskets and such? Quick / easy to break down and reassemble for cleaning? How often do you do that break down?
Why have you had to replace buckets? The fact that I'm still using this ~$10 bucket almost concerns me. ...paranoia creeps in. There's probably some micro-scratches in there. No big gouges.

The one thing that's got my attention and has had it for a while is that the bucket "holds" the aroma from last batch even after a thorough cleaning. Like a mix of hops and cheese. Your next question: "Is your beer turning out OK though?" Answer: I suppose so. Nothing has tasted awful or even bad...



No way do I want to add some kind of glycol system. Anything requiring a separate unit next to the fermenter = Nope. Don't have the space!

At the end of it all, I'm thinking (hoping) I get a cheap upright freezer on Craig's List. Surely will allow more internal space than my mini fridge. And I
do have space to go up and even slightly more deep than the mini fridge. A stout / wide chest freezer, I do not have the room for. So, that's a small investment. Could theoretically get any damn unit I want once I've got a new FC. While I wait to get that figured out, perhaps I should poll you wonderful folks on what unit to get!

Crap. The forum doesn't allow for polls. Or at least, I can't figure out how to do it.

• SS Brew Bucket
• Spiedel
• Anvil
• Fermzilla
• Delta
• Spike
• did I forget some?

Thanks all!
Personally, if I was gonna splurge for the Flex+, might as well shoot for Spike's CF5 conical. Pretty much everything the Plus has, the CF5 also has (minus the racking arm...highly recommend getting).

I have the Flex+. I love mine, but at the time of purchase I was wanting the CF5. The CF5 is about $200 more but I think you get more for your money with it than the Flex+ for $400. I got mine because of Spike's Black Friday sale.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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Pretty much everything the Plus has, the CF5 also has (minus the racking arm...highly recommend getting).
So... CF5 costs more... is bigger, has a dump port... but no racking arm??
It's too big (for me [insert Michael Scott reference here]). Also, that beast isn't fitting into a FC. At least, not a compact FC. Cool product though!
 

Yesfan

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I thought I read in this thread you were considering an upright freezer because of lack of space. There's a member here (probably several) who have the Spike 15 gallon conical in an upright. I imagine a 5 or 10 gallon would be no problem.

If space, especially vertical space, is a problem then maybe something like the 10 gallon Spiedel would be a better option vs the SS brew bucket or (more expensive) Spike Flex +.
 

Cato1507

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Want to treat myself but don't want to make a foolish purchase.
Have been using the same plastic bucket for... ~7 years? She's treated me well and still works fine. She goes into my mini fridge FC which has heating wires installed too.
Why even change up to SS? With the Ss Brewtech Brew Bucket, I really like the idea of being able to do an easy closed transfer to keg. I still haven't figured out how to do that with my plastic bucket. The conical trub trap is a nice convenience but I've lived without it for this long so, not the biggest draw. Maybe I misunderstood but cleaning this kind of fermenter versus the plastic bucket is actually more of a headache. That's a minus I wouldn't be happy with. Unless I'm wrong?
The SS BB has a heating and cooing system... for $316. OK. Answered my own question. That plus the $200 bucket and another... $35 in accessories, nope. Can't justify spending that much.

So, friends, what would you do? Cheers!
I use both the 7gal and the 3.5gal Ss Brewbucket. They are super easy to clean and maintain and the conical portion gathers the trub and the rotating racking arm allows you to draw very clear beer with excellent clarity.

I can fit my 7 gal in the mini fridge, or I can fit the 3.5 gal and my 2.5 gal plastic fermenter in for separate batch brewing. I use an inkbird controller and a flexible heat grid that I tape to the brew bucket. Stainless might not be the cheapest way to go, but IMO you end up with better returns on the investment.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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I thought I read in this thread you were considering an upright freezer because of lack of space. There's a member here (probably several) who have the Spike 15 gallon conical in an upright. I imagine a 5 or 10 gallon would be no problem.
You read right! I'm a space cadet re: physics (wait, I don't think this analogy works haha) So I'm surprised that the CF5 could fit into an upright freezer. I think the legs on there are throwing me off. Your insight gives me more confidence.
Again, I think I'm on the right track by assuming getting that upright freezer should instantly allow for flexibility to buy any damn fermenter without fear of it being able to fit.

Stainless might not be the cheapest way to go, but IMO you end up with better returns on the investment.
Is the jury still out on this? To you @Cato1507 and others, what are the key advantages of SS over plastic? Cheers!
 

IslandLizard

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Is the jury still out on this? To you @Cato1507 and others, what are the key advantages of SS over plastic?
Yeah, I'd say the jury is still out. When you commit you definitely want to be happy with it. That includes a provision for an FC that will fit the fermenter.

I think the SS brew bucket (and alikes) are fine, but the aspect ratio (steepness) of the "cone" is not enough for dropping trub. IMO, it's a pretty much useless "feature."
You want to make sure there's a port in the lid to add stuff (dry hops) while flushing CO2 in through another port. That CO2 "nipple" should also allow you to do closed transfers.
With good care a stainless bucket should last forever.

The issue with metal buckets is you can't see inside without removing the lid, that could make racking a bit more unpredictable. I guess you could peek through a wide enough port in the lid and a flashlight perhaps.

The issue with plastic fermenters is being more scratch prone, having mould seams, or other protrusions. Spending $150-200 on a PET fermenter is a bit crazy, IMO. Looks are immaterial, you need to cover them up anyway, or better yet, stick in an FC.
 

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Im a new homebrewer but quickly learning and love the challenge of learning processes leading to brewing good beer. I wanted a lot of the things that the OP posts about. So in the end and after looking over LOTS of options, I went with fermonsters in mini fridges in order to afford to build two of them. Love it! While I cannot do any sort of trub/yeast dump, Ive been VERY satisfied to put together a system (based 100% on what lots of others in HBT are already doing) that can minimize oxygen and control temps. Both of those were my most important considerations in building my systems which then made it easier to plan it out once I figured out these two goals in mind.

If you are considering this option, Ive put together a thread with parts list for a general cost estimate as well.

Dual Fermentation Systems Build
 

LittleRiver

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...The issue with plastic fermenters is being more scratch prone, having mould seams, or other protrusions....
Scratches inside PET fermenters happen during cleaning. If you have an appropriate cleaning procedure the inside is not going to get scratched, and the "scratch prone" issue just goes away.

Regarding plastic mold seams, etc, you mean like the ridges and tiny pockets that can be found in SS welds? ;)

...Spending $150-200 on a PET fermenter is a bit crazy....
That would be crazy, considering they're priced at about $35.
 
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