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Stainless Conical Fermentors

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punkin

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As with the Rims, i am looking into the idea of stocking stainless conicals. I know nothing about them though so would be interested in requirements.

This is your chance to build the perfect unit. Design it as if you were building it yourself. B)

Things i would need to know are;

Size, not just capacity, but what shape, diameter and height do you think would be most universal?

Fittings, how many and where? Assume that all fittings will be triclover for easy removal and sealing, what do you need fittings for, where would they be and what size?

Lid, what thickness? How should it seal? Should there be fittings for a blow off etc?

All ideas needed. Please keep the thread respectful as not everyone will have the exact same requirements.
 

wakkatoo

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First of all.....subscribed.

Will have to measure my fridge for dimensions and think about the other bits...
 

punkin

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Another thought is would you like them to be externally powered? A recirculating coil or jacket to maintain temp? With a controller so you can 'think outside the white enamel square' as far as size goes?
 

vortex

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Some of my guidelines:
Fit in a fridge.
Legs handle one short leg at the rear to sit on the compressor hump (could be an issue due to different sizes of compressor humps)
Completely welded interior (more expensive, but done right is good. Doing it right at the price point will be the issue!)
Correct cone angle (60 degrees IIRC?)
Polished interior.
2" dump valve at least with tri-clover.
Might be possible to have a lower half which is a standard height, then attachable upper halves to increase volume without having to buy a whole new conical.

Most of this has already been done on the MoreBeer and Blichmann conicals. Blichmann are all weldless fittings which a lot of people won't like (I don't want them if spending $1400 on a conical), MoreBeer would just be too expensive to ship for just one.
 

_HOME_BREW_WALLACE_

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Legs handle one short leg at the rear to sit on the compressor hump (could be an issue due to different sizes of compressor humps)



That shorter (back) leg would be better off adjustable to suit all the different brands of fridge.
 

altstart

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That shorter (back) leg would be better off adjustable to suit all the different brands of fridge.
I had a S/S conical made locally with a telescopic back leg that is adjustable to any size hump in any fridge. I brew 100 litre batches and the back leg works perfectly. Being fully adjustable if my fermenting fridge dies on me it is not a major hassle to lay my hands on a replacement.
Cheers Altstart
 

cam89brewer

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Another thought is would you like them to be externally powered? A recirculating coil or jacket to maintain temp? With a controller so you can 'think outside the white enamel square' as far as size goes?
If I was going to spend the extra cash on one of these in which I have considered before, I would be aiming for a reasonably large size maybe at least 50 - 60L - Ideally 80 - 100L and I think that having a custom heating jacket or a recirculating coil would be very advantageous. The only query I would have is whether or not it would use a lot more power than the traditional fridge/freezer with an stc-1000 as it wont be insulated as well?
 

brad81

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A powered heatpad jacket would be good coupled with a thermowell and stc. This would suit if you are brewing ales, I'm guessing it would also assist if your lagering fridge gets too cold on a freezing night too.
 

cam89brewer

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If you make one a lot like this, so that it is compatible with this. You'd be on to a winner.
+2 I agree, this would be ideal and I have never seen these yeast harvesters before they look very handy and would save a lot of stuffing around.
 

MaestroMatt

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If I were to break it down as to WHY I would want a conical it would be ONLY for the ease of harvesting yeast and for ease of cleaning.

Don't worry about temp control ability - not needed.

Don't worry about fancy stands - just 3 solid legs (I do like the adjustable legs idea)

I wouldn't even worry about a domed top....just flat SS cover with some sort of clamping to keep it down.

Two ports (whatever fittings are the most desirable - triclover or just welded threaded fittings) - 1 for sampling and other for harvesting.

I personally like the idea of a single batch vessel (30L) as I don't brew doubles but would happily purchase a 50L if it was the only one going and it was of reasonable price - always easy to ferment 20L in a 50L vessel


So I suppose those I my own personal thoughts......subscribed to the idea in anycase!
 

Nibbo

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I'm the same as Maestro...Less is more. I'd like a plain fermenter i could engineer additions later on when needed. Having the basics to start with would mean the price would be open to more people i'd assume...size wise, i'd be looking at something around the 100ltr mark. If i'm going to get a bling fermentor, it'd want it to cater for larger batches. Though smaller size would be easier to control temp as a 100ltr fermentor might struggle to squeeze in the fridge.

Just my own thoughts
 

Airgead

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I've been looking at conicals recently as I'm sick of trying to keep plastic fermenters clean (and I'm terrified of glass ones after a small 5l one suffered a blocked airlock and went foom on me a few years ago).

Feature wise, the main thing I would be after is affordability. I know that's hard with conicals but something that doesn't cost a few grand would be nice. B3 and Blichman make some very nice ones but to get one out here costs a fortune.

A very basic 30l conical would do me. Other than that, features that would be nice are a lid that will take pressure so I can transfer with co2. I like the idea of weldless fittings for cleaning but have no strong feelings either way. Wheels might be nice as they do get heavy. Racking arm on the side so I can draw off clear beer above the yeast. Dump valve in the bottom. Basic stuff.

Cleanability and affordability are my main criteria.

I'll take two thanks.

Cheers
Dave
 

choppadoo

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This would be my ideal conical;
- 50-60L
- Basic design with options to add/mod for things like heating/cooling jackets, yeast harvester, rotating racking valve, etc. This would hopefully keep entry cost/price down a bit.
- Threaded fittings. I don't use tri-clover anywhere else in my brewery so I would prefer not to introduce a new type of (expensive) fitting where existing fittings are more than sufficient.
- Simple lid attachment for ease of cleaning. The lids on variable capacity wine tanks are quite nifty (Variable Capacity Wine Tanks). These would allow for different ferment volumes without too much headspace, and also eliminate ullage on beers being aged/lagered. I'm pretty sure you can buy the lids seperately- the 100L tank has a diameter of 400mm- could be a good option.
- Stand which doesn't stick out too much, so it can fit more easily into fridges.
- Adjustable height leg/s would be nice.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with, as I have been looking for the "perfect" conical for some time!

Cheers
 

drsmurto

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This would be my ideal conical;
- 50-60L
- Basic design with options to add/mod for things like heating/cooling jackets, yeast harvester, rotating racking valve, etc. This would hopefully keep entry cost/price down a bit.
- Threaded fittings. I don't use tri-clover anywhere else in my brewery so I would prefer not to introduce a new type of (expensive) fitting where existing fittings are more than sufficient.
- Simple lid attachment for ease of cleaning. The lids on variable capacity wine tanks are quite nifty (Variable Capacity Wine Tanks). These would allow for different ferment volumes without too much headspace, and also eliminate ullage on beers being aged/lagered. I'm pretty sure you can buy the lids seperately- the 100L tank has a diameter of 400mm- could be a good option.
- Stand which doesn't stick out too much, so it can fit more easily into fridges.
- Adjustable height leg/s would be nice.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with, as I have been looking for the "perfect" conical for some time!

Cheers
Agree. A base model with simple fittings and the option of adding on extras. Love the idea of the variable capacity, works well in the wibe industry.

If you specialise too much you decrease the number you will sell.
 

mikk

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If you make one a lot like this, so that it is compatible with this. You'd be on to a winner.
+3. no need to try to come up with all new features to suit every possible situation, just something the same as this but with temp control options/fridge 'insertability'.
 

mckenry

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What I would like (sorry if its already been suggested) is some sort of 'one way' method of adding things post primary ferment.

If I want to add dry hops or gelatin or more sugar etc after the initial sealing of the fermenter, I'd like to be able to do it without removing the lid.

Maybe some kind of reservior inside that can release a trap door?
Maybe some kind of pocket that I can fill from the outside, seal, purge with CO2, then drop the contents into the wort?
Maybe some way of rousing yeast after a day or two for those heavy floccers that need a good spanking, again without opening the lid?

Just trying to think of ways to minimise exposure to air and still do all those extra jobs I like to do from time to time.
 

vortex

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What I would like (sorry if its already been suggested) is some sort of 'one way' method of adding things post primary ferment.

If I want to add dry hops or gelatin or more sugar etc after the initial sealing of the fermenter, I'd like to be able to do it without removing the lid.

Maybe some kind of reservior inside that can release a trap door?
Maybe some kind of pocket that I can fill from the outside, seal, purge with CO2, then drop the contents into the wort?
I like these ideas. Probably one for the 'add-ons' though ;)

Maybe some way of rousing yeast after a day or two for those heavy floccers that need a good spanking, again without opening the lid?
Fitting your CO2 to the bottom valve and bubbling CO2 into the conical will do this. So, maybe a special fitting with a corney-keg type ball lock would make this simpler perhaps. This could even be adapted to do some of the liquid additions from above. Not so much the hops, though :)
 

Logman

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Just a thought but is there any reason the main 'top' area has to be round? Could it be a square with a cone on the bottom? The main problem with ferment fridges is that half the internal area is wasted. I'd have to think a square vessel is going to get into a lot more fridges and not have to stand as tall - therefore a 50 litre is going to suit far more people.

I guess 4 legs, two adjustable at the rear...

 

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