Author Topic: Conicals  (Read 2588 times)

KernelCrush

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Conicals
« on: December 16, 2014, 07:53:33 AM »
I've been debating switching to a conical for 10 gallon batches  What I am interested in is if a conical fermentation will improve a  homebrew sized batch of beer.  I have heard some podcast hosts say its one of the best change they ever made.  Others whose business it is to sell them, have said it improves the dynamics of yeast & beer movement within the fermentor and improves the beer.  Others say that just doesn't apply on a homebrew sized conical.  If the only advantages are improved trub management and yeast harvesting, I will save my money.

Offline grathan

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Re: Conicals
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2014, 02:01:55 PM »
I don't have one, but was on the fence about it last year. I don't see how it can change beer flavor if you simply put your batch in it vs a carboy/bucket.

Perhaps having more surface area for the yeast to settle would lower diacetyl slightly? Though there are other ways to experiment with reductions that don't involve much money... Like beechwood chips or kreusening or experimenting with Valine or warming the fermenter for a better rest peiod.

Perhaps dropping the yeast out would lower any autoylsis flavors that you may normally have? Certainly you could rack to secondary to see if this is even a problem in your beer.

Perhaps dry hopping in a yeast free beer using co2 gas to percolate the hops into suspension would extract a cleaner flavor? Well if you don't percolate, then the flat bottom has the advantage here. Especially if you've racked to secondary to get off the cake anyways.



I think the people who say it's the best investment they've made are using it as a brewing tool. If start to look at it like a tool with potential to make better beer with added efforts, then it may in fact maybe be better. But if you plan to just dump and rack as usual then it will make the same beer regardless of shape on a 10 gallon batch.

KernelCrush

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Re: Conicals
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2014, 04:23:46 PM »
I listened to the BN's Fermenters episode on the way home, its 5 year old info but I looked at the yeast book when I got home and they still agree.  They say that conicals will give you reduced ferment times, lower diacetyl, increased attenuation, 'different' ester profile, and will require an adjustment to the ideal temp your used to in your carboy.  They started talking about the affect of head pressure and headspace but then kind of got off track.  The idea of increased beer and yeast mixing is explained that CO2 percolates from the bottom of the cone up through the center of the fermenter making kind of a fountain effect, the taller the better, which produces the results above.  Its pretty tempting but at ten gallons I'll never heave it into a fridge, I'd have to build a ferment chamber or buy a heated/cooled version.  Fairly pricey proposition either way.

Like you say all the above supposed improvements you should be able to overcome by other methods if they are a problem at all but if a conical does it better without having to monitor things so closely?  I don't know if its worth the expense.

« Last Edit: December 17, 2014, 07:03:44 AM by KernelCrush »

Offline grathan

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Re: Conicals
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2014, 12:58:24 PM »

If that were true there would be documented results posted and more people would be posting about how great there beer is since they got a conical.


It might have good resale value, especially if you get a good deal on a used one.

Offline JoePete

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Re: Conicals
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 03:42:25 PM »
Once I went conical, I never went back to carboys. Does it make a taste difference? That's hard to say, but I find it a much easier and cleaner way to transfer and ferment. I have three conicals (a 14.5 gallon and a pair of 3.5 gallon stackable mini fermenters). I got the 14.5 for doing 10 gallon batches, but these days I have scaled back my brewing (or at least my drinking!) and thus use the 3.5 gallon ones for split batches.

Offline Retired18Z

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Re: Conicals
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2017, 05:20:25 PM »
Brulosophy has done several fermenter evaluations EXCEPT conical. They did the SS Brew Tech Brew Bucket, a semi-conical semi-bucket. It would be interesting to see if they can validate the difference in flavor between a conical and carboy at "home brew" batch sizes.