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Conical Fermenter Sizes
100 Litre conical fermentors
200 Litre conical fermentors
400 Litre conical fermentors
Conical Fermenters for Home Brewers
A conical fermenter allows you to avoid racking your beer and also to reduce the amount of time you would otherwise take cleaning your vessel.
Conical fermenters are no longer as expensive as they once were and they can now be used by home distillers, as well. Some of these vessels are still quite costly, but if quality is top of your priority list, then price should not be a deterrent.
Home distilling is a very rewarding hobby, but it can also be a labor-intensive one. By making your homebrewing process more efficient, you can save time and enjoy better results. A conical fermenter can help make your brewing process easier and more effective, thereby enhancing the quality of your beer.
What is a conical fermenter?
In a large distillery, you’ll find a series of large stainless steel tanks with conical bottoms. These are simply big conical fermenters, technically known as cyclio-conical fermenters.
Those made for homebrewing purposes are normally shaped like a traditional kettle with a conical base. Plastic conical fermenters are available in a wide range of shapes, from a balloon to an irregular hourglass.
But why is shape so important? And what are the benefits of using a conical fermenter? Let’s find out below:
The main advantage of using a conical fermenter is that racking is no longer needed. Once the beer recipe has fully fermented, you can avoid transferring the beer or trub to the secondary fermenter using gravity.
The cone shape at the base allows sediments to settle at the bottom of the vessel from where you can remove the slurry using the bottom dump valve. The sediment at the bottom can make your drink hazy, and also less attractive to look at.
Trub is not necessarily dangerous and it may actually give your drink a hop flavor and aroma. The most important thing is to ensure it doesn’t go through the secondary fermentation.
With a conical fermenter, the yeast and trub will collect at the bottom of the container. The need for racking is eliminated because conical fermenters have a built-in racking arm set at the center of the cone. Since the racking arm rises up to the middle of the fermenter, you can get cleaner beer for your sampling needs.
However, it is vital to keep in mind that although racking to the secondary vessel was previously an integral part of the homebrewing process, that step is no longer necessary. While you may still want to do it, you run the risk of oxidation whenever you do it.
Not only will conical fermenters eliminate this time-consuming step, it will help prevent oxidation and possible contamination of your beer.
More Durable Conical Fermenter and Easier To Clean
Most conical fermenters are made from stainless steel – and for good reason. Stainless steel conical fermenters are more durable and easier to clean and maintain than your ordinary plastic fermentation bucket. Plastics can sustain scratches from everyday use, thereby creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
While plastic conical fermenters are more affordable, they are less durable and less hygienic than stainless steel fermenters.
By choosing conical fermenters, you will not only be reducing the number of equipment but will also be cutting down on the amount of cleaning you do. You’ll be able to eliminate racking, so the equipment will no longer be needed. You might still need a hose to drain off the trub, but it reduces the number of secondary vessels that you would otherwise need for the secondary fermentation process.
Can you bottle from conical fermenter?
Another advantage to using a conical fermenter is that it allows you to collect and reuse any yeast from previous batches. The saving will definitely add up if you are used to purchasing a vial of yeast whenever you want to brew.
Harvesting yeast from previous batches is very easy. Simply harvest the yeast through the dump valve together with the trub. From there, wash your yeast or simply pitch the used slurry into the next batch. This can save you money over purchasing new yeast for the next batch.
In fact, professional brewers constantly reuse yeast for a number of reasons. Firstly, the cost of buying yeast can be excessive when brewing large batches. Moreover, professional brewers normally use just a single strain of yeast and if you want to experiment more, you can still benefit from reusing yeast at home.
Are conical fermenters better?
In addition to the cost savings, you can achieve better fermentation of the subsequent batch since the yeast is alive provided it is properly sanitized. This is particularly important if you are looking to make a high gravity beer.
As you can see, a conical fermenter can help you save time, money and effort all at the same time. Generally, stainless steel conical fermenters are extremely easy to use and are a great addition to your home brewing arsenal. While stainless steel fermenters are quite expensive, their benefits outweigh the costs in terms of their ease of use and overall utility.