Conical fermenator questions

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Conical fermenator questions

Postby BrewBush » Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:18 am

Howdy all,
I was thinking of purchasing a steel conical fermenator because I am tired of the buckets and blowoff tubes and carboys but I had a couple questions.

1. I see the connections that I can hook my hose up to in order to bottle. Now if I have this thing sitting in my basement for a few weeks how do I sanitize those connectors? Can I remove them while BEER is still in the cone? How do I sanitize this thing prior to use and prior to actually bottling?

2. I read that Iodophore is safe for this? However is another sanitizer better? I do remember hearing somewhere NOT to use iodine on stainless steel...but Williams Brewing says it is ok?

3. I have seen the plastic fermentators...and many ppl here on the boards love them. Any advantage of the SS over the plastic? I know the price is a big difference.

4. Is there any need for the 7 gallon size one to EVER need a blow off hose?

Thanks for your help.
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Postby BillyBock » Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:52 pm

Brewbush: If you do a search for conicals on this site, you'll come across some previous discussions on the merits of them, sanitizing, etc. As far as your questions:

1) Sanitize the conical before filling with wort. Once you're ready to bottle or keg you would sanitize the bottling port fittings and the racking hose. I find Star San to be very effective for this task since you can make up a small quantity and place it in a spray bottle. Spray the bottling port with it to sanitize and hook up your sanitize racking hose and your ready to go.

2) As in above, Star San is my recommendation. It is a foaming sanitizer and can get in cracks and crevices. Chlorine-based sanitizers aren't friendly to stainless steel--they can cause pitting if left in contact too long.

3) I own a 15 gal Minibrew. The main advantage for me is price. However, I know that in the end it's not as durable as stainless, so eventually I'll have to replace it. Also another advantage of stainless (at least on some models) is being able to pressurize the fermenter. You can use this feature to use CO2 to push the beer out of the fermenter into a keg; or you can use it to let the beer carbonate as fermentation is winding down. You'd be hard pressed to do this with a plastic fermenter--and would be the main reason I would get a stainless fermenter.

4) Yea...if you put 6 or more gallons in it :D Seriously, in my 15 gal, I filled it up with 12 gals of Belgian Double wort thinking my Belgian Ale yeast wouldn't get too active. It foamed up pretty good filling the extra 3 gals of headspace with foam and almost came out the airlock.

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Re: Conicals - where to buy?

Postby Push Eject » Tue Nov 15, 2005 3:34 pm

I'm toying with the idea of getting conical as well.

Where have people purchased from and what have your experiences been with re-/e-tailers?

The price range seems nutty ($120 on eBay - $600 at MoreBeer), but customer service means a lot too.

Lemme know what you all think.

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