Author Topic: Conical from China  (Read 27113 times)

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2010, 06:21:18 PM »
Quote
Curious that they couldn't get a 10+ gallon brew pot.   Instead they have some liter size that's 9.2 gallons

9.2 gallons < 35 liters < 9.25 gallons.

Quote
OK, I get it.  You don't like the idea of buying things from China.

It's not that it's from China and China means crap, as much as that you can't easily return it easily if something is wrong with it.
Would you purchase a dozen of the things and sell them, risking the headache if one of your customers returns a bad unit?
If you do, let me know.  I might buy one if you'll give me a refund if it turns out to be cheap Chinese crap. 

If you buy one for yourself and it turns out to be cheap Chinese crap, what are you going to do?
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

avanoah

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2010, 04:34:02 AM »
Yes i could do it. Yes its risky and hard nut to crack but i could do that.

Offline CR

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2010, 10:44:19 AM »
Quote
If you buy one for yourself and it turns out to be cheap Chinese crap, what are you going to do?

Fair question and one that should I think lead to a "teachable moment."

First off:  A tank is such simple thing that  it is hard to imagine that a company regularly engaged in the business of making  the very think I'm looking at (a standard production item no special order)  would be unable to  produce a perfectly fine product.
It beggers the imagination that they would fail at such a straight forward thing.

They'd have to screw it up terribly to make a unit so bad that it was unusable.
Remember you can fix any bad weld that has those horrid little pores that trap bacteria with a good  quality high flow, low temp melt,  silver solder and a MAPP torch.  If you are fortunate enough ot have a nitrogen tank to flood the solder area it's even easier, but not necessary.  The key is low melt point, not that crap the sell at Home Depot.

Plus like any smart purchaser, I'd have the wisdom and forethought to purchase an insurance rider against shipping damage.
In the law,  unless you have an agreement stating otherwise, the purchaser  bears the liability of  damage after an item leaves the manufacturer's dock.  You can hold the shipper responsible, but you will have to go to court for that.  So  it is so much  easier and better to buy an inexpensive Rider from your  home owner's insurance company.  That way if your piece of equipment arrives crushed  like a tortilla, you are covered.

One could (and I might do such a thing)  I can also purchase a surety bond to cover the actual manufacturer's description of the product.  A surety bond  Is nothing but an insurance policy that guarantees a certain level of performance stated in the bond's terms. In a case such as this ( any manufacturing or construction application) the manufacturer's product description and engineering drawings would comprise the substance of the guarantee.   such a bond can even covering the date of delivery too. 
These things are not terribly expensive.

So in this case  such a  surety bond would  cover the risk of loss if the manufacturer fails to perform and keeps the  money or  delivers crap, or makes it from inferior metal not according to the specifications etc..    Surety Bonds are as common as pig tracks on a farm, in the world of manufacturing and  construction.

Who ever you get your home owner's insurance from will be able to set you up with these sorts of insurance products.

All  of your  perfectly reasonable objections about buying from China also inhere when buying anything from anyone who is not willing to offer you  an enforceable warranty on everything from the product to the shipping.  Those objections are solved by purchasing the correct insurance.   It's cheap easy and you are covered.



Offline CR

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Re: Conical from America
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2010, 08:34:56 PM »
WYZAZZ linked me to these guys earlier on in this thread
http://conical-fermenter.com/products/
They have a 14.5 gallon conical for $400
and a 7 gallon conical for $275.00

they also have a very interesting  9.2 gallon boil kettle for $200.00 with a little cone in the bottom for your  whirlpool trub and waste
But they also make 19.8 gallon  one for $299

Kind of odd  they go from 9.2 to almost 20 gallons with nothing inbetween
I'm asking them about  a mid size kettle and if they can weld on SST  flanges
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010, 08:49:16 PM by CR »

Offline CR

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2010, 08:32:03 AM »
The folks at  http://conical-fermenter.com/ answered my  query
I had a bunch of questions I asked them  in numbered paragraph format which are quoted below:


QUESTION 1.) Can you make a larger brew kettle say: 14 or 15 gallons to facilitate 10 gallon batches? If so, what is the Up-charge? ( I notice you have a custom order $299.00, 19.2gallon kettle.)

***********NO ANSWER


QUESTION 2.) In your last e-mail, you spoke to the possibility of outfitting a brew Kettle with two or three welded on Stainless flanges threaded to 1" to accept standard water heater elements.
---------- (i) What would the Up-Charge be per flange?
----------(ii) FLANGE: The industry standard is 1" NPSM <http://www.plumbingworld.com/plumbingabbreviations.html>
----------(iii) I’d want them placed with the flange center line 1.5” up from the upper rim of the bowl (cone) in the bottom of the brew Kettle (assuming the flange didn’t interfere). I could fax you a sketch with a signed authorization if you need that.
----------(iv) I can send you a sample of the heater element in question. Could you work from that?

**************ANSWER:
They don’t want to quote this because they  have aesthetic objections to brewing electrically.  He said  that he thinks it’ll be problematic for cleaning.
 PERIOD ~!!   I am guessing that it's just not worth his bother to go to his  Chinese Manufacturer and ask them to do it.
They must sell a lot of equipment to  be able blow me off like that I was talking about a 15  gallon Conical & a kettle.
Now I am unsure I want to do business with them.   They said they could do custom work and  they wont?



QUESTION 3.) What is your product warranty?

*************ANSWER:
“I don't have the ability to fix problems - my products are made to my specification and I inspect them before accepting them.  The welds overall are excellent.”

(((((( So there is no warranty. You get what they ship to you and  if it sucks, then it's your problem.)))))
--------------------------------- wow ----------------------------------------
Wasn't the idea of warranty and customer service the major reasons to buy in the USA?



4.) What grade of Stainless are you using and what is the wall thickness of the Kettle and Fermenter?

************NO ANSWER
((((((( He's got no way to know.  So long as it's shiny and magnets don't stick then it's golden? ))))))

5.) If a fermenter has a weld that turns out to have porosity harboring bacteria do you have a silver solder that can flow and fill pores or do you take it back and re-weld & grind all the welds?

*************ANSWER I am guessing that  the answer is the same as to the warranty question  #3.
He thinks it’s good enough  and that is all there is to it.  There is no warranty.   Nothing NADA Zip.


QUESTION 6.) I noticed you have a hose barb on the sanitary line from the Fermenter valve.
----------(i) what is the diameter?
----------(ii) are other sizes available?

************NO ANSWER

QUESTION  7.) Are you able to produce an inline type (Cold Plate) Heat Exchanger that can be boiled or baked in an oven to sterilize it, which will, when connected, chill the wort? Say 10 Gallons at 212 Deg F to 60 Deg F in 10 minutes?

**************ANSWER: 
He told me to use an immersion instead and that baking and boiling won't clean a plate type  chiller.
I think he just doesn't want to ask his Chinese manufacturer to quote a  One-Off and can't think his way through to making it a part  of his product line.
******************************************************

All in all he offered me not one single reason to do business with him.
Yah the fermenter is like $200.00 less than a Blichmann.
Yah the Kettle has a nice design and is cheaper than a Blichmann ( but I wasn't looking at Blichmann's kettle I was looking at a $145 Aluminum stock pot type kettle.
He advertises the ability to make custom but then when asked backed away from it entirely.
He pooh pooed the idea of electric brewing - (really weird) - speaking to me as if he is an authority on the topic without giving me any reason to think that he might be.

His exact words were:
"I am a believer in simple solutions and processes, so I would suggest you look into a propane type burner to put your brew kettle on.  Fewer fittings to deal with mean cleaner brew and easier cleanup.  You are also likely to get significant residue build up on your heating elements, which may damage them and/or be harbingers of bacteria."

Which (while polite enough)  is all nothing but pure unadulterated speculation (besides being just plain wrong).
I think it's really that  he  doesn't want to ask China to drill a couple holes.


 

 

 
 

Offline stouttanks

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2010, 10:57:12 PM »
Hi,

I have to respond.  I am the one who CR is trashing in the prior post.

I just can't quote or sell a product I don't believe in.  CR was asking for a custom product that, in my opinion, has a low likelihood of working out for him. 

No, I did not answer all of his questions, there wasn't a point in it since I was just explaining why I felt it wasn't a good concept.

My experience?  I owned and operated a microbrewery for 10 years.  I know a little bit about brewing equipment.

I am proud of the products we have brought to market that I believe are superior to much of what is otherwise available.  I have a money back guarantee on the products.  Send it back if you don't like it and I'll refund your money. 

My clients have expressed great pleasure in their new fermenters and brew kettles.  Here is what one of my customers put on another forum:  http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/check-out-stainless-conical-fermenter-156727/

Cheers,

John

PS:  I think I may have dodged a bullet in not doing business with CR, esq.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2010, 07:07:55 AM »
Strictly my opinion, but that would seem to wrap up this thread.  CR had every right to explore any and all options, and was nice enough to share his findings.  This supplier has every right to refuse orders it considers to be off its preferred sales path.

Offline CR

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2010, 08:37:04 PM »
Strictly my opinion, but that would seem to wrap up this thread. 

Well, hopefully that chapter of it is wrapped up.
I won't be  getting into a pissing match on this board.

I am planning on a RIMS setup using  the Brown-Halco pot I think it's be good all round.
I was  messing around with the HERMS approach and decided that RIMS is a better way for me to go.




Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2010, 08:58:00 AM »
I know, I know, You guys want to close this thread. My 2c. (:
First let me say that I am glad you are here Stouttanks. We need more people that are willing to find the best products and sell them for a reasonable price, instead of marking them up to lofty heights where home brewers could not afford them. Your efforts are appreciated, and I will be purchasing from you in the near future. I would suggest contacting Brad and maybe you two could come to an agreement, kind of like he has with Barley Crusher mill. That may be a great deal for both of you.

I would have to agree with the simple notion. However it is his (CR's) money and ideas, so long as the product is made to his specs your golden. If it doesn't work, your not at fault. Cleanliness is Godliness. However we are talking about a brew kettle. So long as he boils for more than 20 min he should be fine with a simple dis-assembly/cleaning. I know of, and have plenty of friends that use electric "water heater" elements in their kettles as well as in the HLT. My local HBS has one of the old "BrewInABucket" (kettle and primary fermenter in one) kits and they have made more beer in it than most people will make in a lifetime.

We as home brewers need to think out of the box. I view CR as an out of the box thinker, he has an idea that is plausible and fits his needs. I agree that it is not industry standard, but there is nothing wrong with that. It makes the industry/hobby better.

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline 88Q

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2010, 04:22:42 PM »
Quote
First let me say that I am glad you are here Stouttanks. We need more people that are willing to find the best products and sell them for a reasonable price, instead of marking them up to lofty heights where home brewers could not afford them.

I just had to comment here. My experience with them has been A1.... Great communication and the product is extremely well made! I can't believe he isn't overwhelmed with orders at these prices. Maybe he is!

 I have absolutely no regrets, and for someone to be willing to package this unit up, with the amount of work involved, and not ding you for handling/shipping bigtime, is worth applause! 28 bucks shipping. I hope his prices stay low.... I plan on buying at least two more!

My 2cents .... Great company selling a GREAT product at a GREAT price. Communication (for me) was clear, concise and very prompt.

88Q

Offline CR

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2010, 10:35:12 AM »
So the chinese conicals are not a certain junk trap.  That's nice to know.
Puts me to thinking along the lines of  group purchases from a manufacturer.
Problem is that these sorts of things  seem always to fissle out after generating some interest.

It seems to work in a close knot club where people physically meet and get to know each other  and they all know who is holding the money  and how.  But when it comes to doing something like that in the web it's a whole different ball of un-trust.
Folks tend to not want to extend themselves either by pre paying for a group making promises or to pre-pay  by providing  funds to the organizer.

Can't blame 'em really.  Example:I send you a check across state lines and you don't come through. Unless I have a signed agreement that stipulates  my home state's courts and laws as the venue I am stuck with having to trek to your state and pay a lawyer to sue in your jurisdiction,  hotels, travel, legal bill and for what? Because I trusted some guy  on the internet.
And every body will want jurisdiction in their home state which sort of makes  trying to get every one to agree on some universal venue out of the question.

Ahh well,  such is human nature.  Trust is a frail beast and best not ridden with added freight of one's money.






Offline CR

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2010, 08:33:09 AM »
I've been querying  several Chinese companies. slowly coming to the position that if it ain't water jacketed It's a waste of money.

I can get a  50 liter  jacketed fermenter for about $600

Most the comnpanies have images and drawings they  send me to let me  get better informed about their products.

One company I queried sent  me a picture of  three "ferminators" Label and all, telling me that they sell 'em out of NYC.
They didn't call 'em ferminators but that's what they were.



 

Offline CR

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2010, 11:46:19 AM »
Finally
http://s1002.photobucket.com/albums/af143/zydaco/?action=view&current=jacketed-1.jpg
That's what I'm getting
Rotating racking arm,  no welds inside, 14 gallons,  water jacketed, all tricked out with Butterfly sanitary valves.

Under a grand to my door.


ORBeerDude

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2010, 12:06:01 AM »
I have purchased a Conical from John at Stout Tanks and have been very satisfied with the quality and performance of the fermenter.  The triple clamps are very good quality, the ball valves are done very well, the stand is excellent... My only wish list item was that I had the money to purchase 3 or 4 to make multiple batch fermenting easier then having to move between primary and secondary and could ditch my other fermenters. 

John is reputable and provided a great transaction via Craiglist for me locally and would recommend his products and hopefully will purchase more in the near future.  There are other products that cost 3 times as much for a fermenter and unless you have hit the power ball recently it makes no sense to me to purchase them. 

V





The folks at  http://conical-fermenter.com/ answered my  query
I had a bunch of questions I asked them  in numbered paragraph format which are quoted below:


QUESTION 1.) Can you make a larger brew kettle say: 14 or 15 gallons to facilitate 10 gallon batches? If so, what is the Up-charge? ( I notice you have a custom order $299.00, 19.2gallon kettle.)

***********NO ANSWER


QUESTION 2.) In your last e-mail, you spoke to the possibility of outfitting a brew Kettle with two or three welded on Stainless flanges threaded to 1" to accept standard water heater elements.
---------- (i) What would the Up-Charge be per flange?
----------(ii) FLANGE: The industry standard is 1" NPSM <http://www.plumbingworld.com/plumbingabbreviations.html>
----------(iii) I’d want them placed with the flange center line 1.5” up from the upper rim of the bowl (cone) in the bottom of the brew Kettle (assuming the flange didn’t interfere). I could fax you a sketch with a signed authorization if you need that.
----------(iv) I can send you a sample of the heater element in question. Could you work from that?

**************ANSWER:
They don’t want to quote this because they  have aesthetic objections to brewing electrically.  He said  that he thinks it’ll be problematic for cleaning.
 PERIOD ~!!   I am guessing that it's just not worth his bother to go to his  Chinese Manufacturer and ask them to do it.
They must sell a lot of equipment to  be able blow me off like that I was talking about a 15  gallon Conical & a kettle.
Now I am unsure I want to do business with them.   They said they could do custom work and  they wont?



QUESTION 3.) What is your product warranty?

*************ANSWER:
“I don't have the ability to fix problems - my products are made to my specification and I inspect them before accepting them.  The welds overall are excellent.”

(((((( So there is no warranty. You get what they ship to you and  if it sucks, then it's your problem.)))))
--------------------------------- wow ----------------------------------------
Wasn't the idea of warranty and customer service the major reasons to buy in the USA?



4.) What grade of Stainless are you using and what is the wall thickness of the Kettle and Fermenter?

************NO ANSWER
((((((( He's got no way to know.  So long as it's shiny and magnets don't stick then it's golden? ))))))

5.) If a fermenter has a weld that turns out to have porosity harboring bacteria do you have a silver solder that can flow and fill pores or do you take it back and re-weld & grind all the welds?

*************ANSWER I am guessing that  the answer is the same as to the warranty question  #3.
He thinks it’s good enough  and that is all there is to it.  There is no warranty.   Nothing NADA Zip.


QUESTION 6.) I noticed you have a hose barb on the sanitary line from the Fermenter valve.
----------(i) what is the diameter?
----------(ii) are other sizes available?

************NO ANSWER

QUESTION  7.) Are you able to produce an inline type (Cold Plate) Heat Exchanger that can be boiled or baked in an oven to sterilize it, which will, when connected, chill the wort? Say 10 Gallons at 212 Deg F to 60 Deg F in 10 minutes?

**************ANSWER: 
He told me to use an immersion instead and that baking and boiling won't clean a plate type  chiller.
I think he just doesn't want to ask his Chinese manufacturer to quote a  One-Off and can't think his way through to making it a part  of his product line.
******************************************************

All in all he offered me not one single reason to do business with him.
Yah the fermenter is like $200.00 less than a Blichmann.
Yah the Kettle has a nice design and is cheaper than a Blichmann ( but I wasn't looking at Blichmann's kettle I was looking at a $145 Aluminum stock pot type kettle.
He advertises the ability to make custom but then when asked backed away from it entirely.
He pooh pooed the idea of electric brewing - (really weird) - speaking to me as if he is an authority on the topic without giving me any reason to think that he might be.

His exact words were:
"I am a believer in simple solutions and processes, so I would suggest you look into a propane type burner to put your brew kettle on.  Fewer fittings to deal with mean cleaner brew and easier cleanup.  You are also likely to get significant residue build up on your heating elements, which may damage them and/or be harbingers of bacteria."

Which (while polite enough)  is all nothing but pure unadulterated speculation (besides being just plain wrong).
I think it's really that  he  doesn't want to ask China to drill a couple holes.


 

 

 
 


Offline CR

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Re: Conical from China
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2010, 09:18:27 AM »
I'm glad for you that you are happy with your acquisition.

I ended up ordering a 14 gallon conical with a water jacket for under a grand, delivered and completely decked out with sanitary valves and fittings.
My purchase of the conical was a bit of a journey through a learning curve.  I ended up in a place where I was unable to justify the cost of the conical unless I also had a thermal regulation mechanism that was integral.   

I hear ya about wanting more than one.  That may happen for me as well, but then maybe not.  We'll see.  There was a  time when I thought that 5 gallons was plenty large enough.






 

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