Conical Fermenter

Any hardware used for mashing, fermenting or aging.

Moderator: Site Moderator

User avatar
Bushman
Admin
Posts: 15518
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Conical Fermenter

Post by Bushman » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:54 am

I am looking for a winter project and came across this idea. Looks like fun but I have a few questions. I can purchase a plastic welder fairly cheap at harbor freight to make a plastic conical shaped fermenter but not sure the weld would be food grade safe. Anyone on the forum have any experience with this? Below is a step by step processes for making one.
http://www.fermenter.0catch.com/conical_fermenter.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

User avatar
wv_cooker
Trainee
Posts: 933
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:48 am

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by wv_cooker » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:12 am

Haven't used the plastic welder Bushman but here is a pretty cheap link to already made ones and a link to a copper one a guy made.

http://stores.ebay.com/DudaDiesel-Alter ... 34.c0.m322

http://hbd.org/brewniversity/engineering/conical/

700G
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:52 pm

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by 700G » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:12 am

Here's another link if you decide just to buy one, they've got pretty good prices: http://www.spraysmarter.com/manufacture ... -mold.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
stillin' when I shoulda been buyin'

User avatar
Bushman
Admin
Posts: 15518
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Bushman » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:26 am

Yes, in my research I saw those, just thought it sounded like a fun winter project. Something about making your own equipment I guess. It would probably cost more for me to make it by the time I purchased the tools and equipment to make since it's a one time item.

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16571
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Somewhere in the Ozarks

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Prairiepiss » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:08 am

I've been wondering the same things bushman. I would think as long as you started with a food grade material. And used the same material as a filler. It would be fine. Not sure about the plastic filler rods from HF? One is PVC the other is pw pp? Not sure what the pw stands for? And the other was acrylic I think? The pp would be good. But what is the pw? Maybe if you used a bucket you could cut strips from one and use that as a filler?

But I will be watching. I would like to build some for beer fermenting.
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

Barney Fife
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1249
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 5:20 am
Location: Mayberry, NC

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Barney Fife » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:54 pm

I'd be concerned with rough welds harboring bacteria or other nasties, spoiling your efforts. Other than that, sounds do-able!

NineInchNails

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by NineInchNails » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:01 pm

PP probably stand for Polypropylene.

PW probably stands for polyethylene. Not 100% sure though.

varocketry
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:15 pm
Location: somewhere not near Detroit

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by varocketry » Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:50 pm

How would you use a conical fermenter?

You fill it with all your ingredients and wait a week. Then what? Would you use one of these for repeating use recipes like UJSSM?
Would you stir the mash the same way you do with coolers, just stir?
How do you separate the cleared mash from the grain? Siphon as usual?
How do you retain the grain and yeast?
-Just need something else to build. -

User avatar
Bushman
Admin
Posts: 15518
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Bushman » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:59 pm

Barney Fife wrote:I'd be concerned with rough welds harboring bacteria or other nasties, spoiling your efforts. Other than that, sounds do-able!
During my research that same concern came up.

User avatar
Bushman
Admin
Posts: 15518
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Bushman » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:01 pm

varocketry wrote:How would you use a conical fermenter?

You fill it with all your ingredients and wait a week. Then what? Would you use one of these for repeating use recipes like UJSSM?
Would you stir the mash the same way you do with coolers, just stir?
How do you separate the cleared mash from the grain? Siphon as usual?
How do you retain the grain and yeast?
Works the same but all the grain settles in the conical portion and you have 2 valves one above the conical part to draw the wash without the drub.

Barney Fife
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 1249
Joined: Wed May 21, 2008 5:20 am
Location: Mayberry, NC

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Barney Fife » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:14 am

In beer making, we do a primary, then a secondary, fermentation. The primary lasts about a week; then we rack the beer to a secondary fermenter, leaving behind the trub and dead yeast and stuff, and finish fermenting for another week or two. This leads to a cleaner beer. With a conical fermenter, we can simply drain-off the trub from the bottom valve, and once the secondary fermentation is done, we remove the beer via the upper valve, leaving the new trub at the bottom of the cone. This eliminates the need for a secondary fermenter, as well as racking. It's quicker, easier, and best of all, eliminates the chance of an infection which can happen while transfering to the secondary, the racking, etc...

Not sure it would be of much benefit to a distiller, but it would be a cool thing to have!

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Odin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:36 am

Something like this, Bushman?

http://www.bierbrouwshop.nl/index.php/w ... ter-detail" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16571
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Somewhere in the Ozarks

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Prairiepiss » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:39 am

My understanding is. The conical shape aids in the fermentation process too. We had lots of discussion about it in a thread I started a while back. About fermenter shape.
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Odin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:01 am

Spoke to a master brewer the other day about this. He told me the main advantage of this design is you can take off some lees like every day, thus leaving as little dead yeast in the beer as possible, not to create off tastes. That made sense to me.

It also meant that this type may not be the best for UJ's, with a grain bed "on the floor". They may be great for neutrals or off the grain fermenting or maybe even my new grappa. The raisins seem to stay afloat and minimal lees is gathering at the bottom.

Just my two cents.

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

User avatar
Bushman
Admin
Posts: 15518
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Bushman » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:55 am

Odin wrote:Spoke to a master brewer the other day about this. He told me the main advantage of this design is you can take off some lees like every day, thus leaving as little dead yeast in the beer as possible, not to create off tastes. That made sense to me.

It also meant that this type may not be the best for UJ's, with a grain bed "on the floor". They may be great for neutrals or off the grain fermenting or maybe even my new grappa. The raisins seem to stay afloat and minimal lees is gathering at the bottom.

Just my two cents.

Odin.
Interesting and worth further investigation.

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16571
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Somewhere in the Ozarks

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Prairiepiss » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:12 am

The setups that really interested me. Had a vessel that clamped to the bottom drain. A yeast collection vessel. Where you could ferment with the valve open. After primary was done. You just closed the valve. And took the vessel off. You could then carry that vessel over to another fermenter already filled with wort. Clamp it on and open the valve.

If the vessel was made large enough. That system could work great for a UJSSM wash. Make it big enough to hold the grains and trub. Fill the second fermenter with backset water and sugar. And just transfer the grains and trub over to it. Thenbthe first fermenter would clear even further. Like racking without disturbing. With the vessel in place. You wouldn't be losing volume of liquid in the fermenter. As you would by draining. And draining would pull in ambient air to the fermenter. Using the removable vessel would leave the CO2 protective layer in place. In disturbed.

But again my main interest in these is for beer now. My system for distilling is working out great. No need to change it now. And the beer would be on a smaller scale.
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

700G
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:52 pm

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by 700G » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:29 am

I've got a conical fermenter and it's a heck of a lot easier than racking and luggin' around heavy carboys. Ferment, degas & clear and then turn a valve to dump the lees. After clearing is done, turn the valve again and drain straight to the boiler. I love it!
stillin' when I shoulda been buyin'

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Odin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Mr. P, I saw what you mean. In a glass version, made in Canada. Small size, but a whole winery ran on those. Dozens of them little things hanging. With an extra collection bowl under take off. You'd open the drain, yeast/spent grains would collect and then you could close the drainand take this bowl off. Cannot find it anymore, but it looked very interesting.

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

likkerluvver
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 398
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:28 am

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by likkerluvver » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:08 pm

Here's a plastic version:

http://vvessel.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow


LL
Having fun stillin' seriously..... This antique engine runs best on high octane.

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16571
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Somewhere in the Ozarks

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Prairiepiss » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:11 pm

likkerluvver wrote:Here's a plastic version:

http://vvessel.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
That's the one I ran across first. And got me interested. Neat little design. The wall mounts are cool.
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Odin » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:26 pm

Just clicked the link ... looks to be about perfect! And.,.. took a look at the pics. Yes, this is the site I saw like 2 years ago. Great product, only, how big are they? I think I would want a bit bigger ...

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

User avatar
Bushman
Admin
Posts: 15518
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Bushman » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:53 pm

I agree it's 5 imperial gallons which works out to about 6 US gallons, for that price it's a bit over priced for plastic.

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16571
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Somewhere in the Ozarks

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Prairiepiss » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:58 pm

They would be perfect size for me. But that price is a killer. :wtf:
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

User avatar
Bushman
Admin
Posts: 15518
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Bushman » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:06 pm

I am starting to formulate a plan, I found HDPE large plastic funnels with a 10" diameter for around $11.00. With a 12 gallon fermenting bucket I think I can combine the two with HDPE weld and make the entire thing for around $100.00 and walk away with a plastic welder included in the cost that I can use for other projects.

Maybe it's just me but I like a challenge. I could easily make a copper one for a lot more money that would have the cool factor but at this point I think this presents a challenge if done right and could be a benefit and affordable to other members. So if I follow through I will document my steps and keep a price log and list where I purchased my items for others.

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16571
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Somewhere in the Ozarks

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Prairiepiss » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:36 pm

When you get it together. Please post us up a shopping list. And plenty of pictures. Ooooooo plastic porn. So taboo. :lol:
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

varocketry
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:15 pm
Location: somewhere not near Detroit

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by varocketry » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:26 am

Bushman:
I imagine a number of us would collaborate or closely track your progress on this.
-Just need something else to build. -

Prairiepiss
Master Distiller
Posts: 16571
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:42 am
Location: Somewhere in the Ozarks

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by Prairiepiss » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:58 am

I've really just been wanting an excuse to buy the plastic welding kit from harbor freight. :mrgreen:
It'snotsocoldnow.

Advice For newbies by a newbie.
CM Still Mods
My Stuffs
Fu Man

Mr. Piss
That's Princess Piss to the haters.

varocketry
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 512
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:15 pm
Location: somewhere not near Detroit

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by varocketry » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:25 pm

BTW, on this conical tank or VVESSEL, what prevents the grain from flowing down through the bottom drain if open to a collecting jar?

Is there an internal sieve or screen?

I haven't seen one in use so I'm still trying to picture/understand how it's used, how it's potentially better, etc.
-Just need something else to build. -

woodshed
Master Distiller
Posts: 2970
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:21 pm
Location: Pagosa Springs,CO

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by woodshed » Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:59 pm

Can't speak to on the grain but for someone who is not on the grain it allows the trub to settle out and be collected separately. This allows me to harvest yeast in an easy fashion.

ozone39
Rumrunner
Posts: 659
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:14 am
Location: Big Sky Country

Re: Conical Fermenter

Post by ozone39 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:10 am

I would get a kit that has an air compressor built into it along with a barrel type heating element such as this one, they work very well: I have tried the non built in compressor style and they do not work near as well. This is the unit I have for work (2001FC), costs more but has durable elements and the compressor flow rate is matched for the gun from manufacture.

http://catalog.seelyeinc-orl.com/viewit ... ic-welders" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

As far as building the conciliar tank it is very possible. We repair polytanks all the time at work. Your poly tank should be a HDPE type plastic (high density poly-ethylene) HDPP is not near as common (high density poly-propylene) material..Just make sure you use a matching filler material. Plastic welds can be sanded down and polished to a very low surface tension if it is being used in food process.
thinking inside the box is for squares....

Post Reply