Category Archives: Conicals

Hands on Review: Spike Conical Fermenters

spike conical review

This review is by Homebrew Finds Reader Benji S.  Benji has been brewing for 10 years.  His favorite style is Festbier.  He’s an all grain brewer and member of WIZA (Whidbey Island Zymurgy Association).  Check him out on Instagram at neon_hop

After well over a year of evaluating, I splurged recently and got a Spike Conical (the CF5). I’ve seen quite a few others going through this debate period, so I wanted to provide a hot take to help others in their own decision making process. So far I’ve assembled and prepped it for my first brews, but haven’t actually used it yet. Most of the points here will be about equipment quality/features rather than practice.

For context; I added on the temp control bundle with heater, leg extensions, casters, extended bracing shelf, and a few other nice to haves. So some of these will cover things that aren’t part of the “core” conical package.


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Save on Refurbished Conicals at MoreBeer!

9925

  • MoreBeer periodically makes a limited number of refurbished conicals available.
  • This is a great chance to get a deal.
  • Shipping is also free (for most sizes) to addresses in the contiguous US.
  • Limited quantities are available, check link below if you can still get in on this deal.

Refurbished Conicals at MoreBeer

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. tag:b3refurbconical

Hands on Review: Ss Brewtech Brew Bucket Fermenter – Get in Now Before Prices Go Up

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.


Limited Time Pricing Info, Review Continues Below:

Prices Increases…

Got this info from one of our partners, Keg Outlet… “The supply chain has continued to be unpredictable, but with that being said, We’ve received more updates this week that more of the brands that we carry are going to be increasing prices on items. Ss Brewtech will be increasing pricing on most of their products/lines”


Ss Brewtech Brew Bucket

Right from the start I knew there was something special with the Ss Brewtech fermenter as I opened the box it came in. Having received some gear that came out of torn and collapsing boxes recently, it stood out to me how the box was completely together. While you might chalk that up to how careful the delivery guy was, I could tell this box was designed with purpose. The thickness of the layers, and the construction of the layers were clearly designed to handle both scrapes and crushing loads. All this might seem trivial, until you unbox that new shiny piece of equipment you’ve spent your hard-earned dollars on and find it scratched, scuffed, or slightly out of round. With the thought and purpose Ss Brewtech put into their packaging, you can tell that they wouldn’t accept those careless things to happen to their equipment. And that counts.


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MoreBeer’s 7.5 Gallon Temp Controlled Conical, Refurbished… $1,199, Save $500!

9925

7.5 Gallon Heated and Cooled Conical from MoreBeer

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from MoreBeer…

Ferment 5 gallon batches of beer in these beautiful conical fermenters, and control the temperature of your fermenting beer to within 1 degree, any time of the year! The included Dual-Stage Controller will simultaneously control both the cooling unit and the 40-Watt heater. The cooling unit mounts to the outside of the cone with no internal contact with the beer. The cooling is extremely gentle on your yeast, changing wort temperatures at about a degree an hour. It can get to and hold your ale fermentation temperatures of 65-72 Fahrenheit all the way up to ambient temps of 100 Fahrenheit. In addition, it can get to and hold lager fermentation temperatures of 48-52 Fahrenheit all the way up to ambient temperatures of 80 Fahrenheit.

The Leg Extension Option (CONP770) is needed if you wish to gravity feed into a keg. If you would like to use CO2 to push your beer into a keg, you will need the CO2 Adapter Package (CONP775).

Cooling is made to work with 5 to 6 gallon batches.  Please note that when dropping temperature, your fermenting wort will contract and may pull liquid from your blowoff bucket into the fermentor.  This may also occur when dumping trub from the bottom port, or when racking from the racking arm.

Our conicals come with amazing standard features that makes them light years beyond other conicals on the market, and combined with our new set of options, you can configure them to fit your exact brewing needs! MoreBeer! Stainless Conical Fermentors come with these great features:

  • Control the temperature of your beer, any time of the year
  • Removable foam insulation
  • 304 Stainless Steel
  • Commercial-quality gasket made from durable, food-grade silicone
  • Low profile stand design
  • 1.5 inch butterfly valve
  • Threadless racking arm with position indicator
  • Professional sanitary sample and transfer valve
  • Cone removes from stand for easy cleaning
  • Domed lid with 3 inch clover fitting at the top
  • Sturdy lid clamp allowing for 5 PSI of pressure
  • Pressure Relief welded right to the lid
  • Includes Stainless Blow Off Assembly Kit with built-in Blow Off Bucket
  • Ability to add options, like leg extensions, wheels, and more!
  • For usuage on US 110v
  • .8 amp AC
  • Dimensions: 43″ H (with Blow Off Assembly) x 18″ W

 

  • MoreBeer has a limited number of refurbished 7.5 gallon temp controller conicals available.
  • These are marked down $500 to $1,199.99.
  • Shipping is also free to many US addresses
  • Limited quantities are available, check the product page to see if you can still get in on this deal.

Refurbished: 7.5 Gallon Conical Fermenter – Heated and Cooled – Heated and Cooled

Limited Availability… Refurbished BrewBuilt X1 Uni Conical Fermenters + Hands on Review

BrewBuilt™ X1 Uni Conical Fermenter

As of this positing, MoreBeer has a limited number of refurbished X1 UNI Conical Fermenters. Availability is limited, check link below to see if you can get in on this batch.

Refurbished X1 UNI Conicals

Full Lineup: BrewBuilt™ X1 Uni Line Of Conical Fermenters

Check Out Our Hands on Review!

Hands on Review: BrewBuilt X1 Uni+ Conical Fermenter!

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Hands on Review: Spike Brewing Flex Fermentor

spike brewing flex fermenter review

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.

Spike Flex Stainless Fermentor

Hands on Review: Spike Brewing Equipment Flex Fermentor

Stainless steel is highly valued in homebrewing because of its durability and ease of cleaning. When used in fermentors, this ease of cleaning means you don’t spend as much time scrubbing yeast crust and dry hop debris off the walls of your vessel when done fermenting. And since your beer spends so much time in contact with the surface of your fermentor, it’s easy for aromas to leech in over time to plastic fermentors. Glass of course doesn’t have this problem, but it does have the problem of shattering if you drop it…


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Spike is well-known for their heavy duty stainless kettles and free-standing conical fermentors. With all that stainless laying around in their shop, it’s no surprise that they’re now entering the category of “stainless bucket fermentors”. These bucket fermentors are smaller in size than the long-legged conical fermentors. What’s surprising to me is the price difference between the stainless bucket fermentors and taller conical fermentors. Even with the same holding capacity, you’re paying a few hundred dollars extra just to get a conical fermentor up on stilts. The stainless buckets offer essentially the same features, they just require you to crouch down- which to me, is an acceptable compromise.

Weld Flange from the Outside
TC Flange Seamless Surface in Contact with Beer

Spike’s new Flex fermentor is a bucket fermentor (crouching required) that has a 7.5 gallon volume, and has a 45-degree angle cone on the bottom. Utilizing the same 1.5” TC flanges that they’ve mastered the welding with their Spike+ kettles, you can interchange pieces from the Spike accessory catalog for a thermowell and a draining valve. It comes with a rack arm when time to drain that can be rotated by loosening the 1.5” TC clamp slightly and turning it. That feature is designed for those that want to take advantage of avoiding the fallen yeast that has collected in the 45-degree cone, but want to rotate the arm while draining to try to get as much viable beer out of it as possible. And the racking arm has a simple but ingenious bump welded onto it so you know which direction the pickup tube is pointing while you’re trying to rotate it from the outside .

Polished Interior with Etched Volume MarkPickup Tube Rotated Down into Cone

The fermentor walls are ultra-polished. While this has a super-glam aspect that’s sure to dazzle your friends, it serves a practical purpose as well. The polishing process eliminates any kind of surface roughness, which makes it even easier to clean. The inside of the vessel contains electrically etched black volume markings every 0.5 gallons, the same as they have on their kettles. The base is supported by 3 sturdy legs with rubber caps on them to keep it from sliding around on floors (or scratching your floor).

Lid Clamped on with Seal Visible

The lid looks like something from a 1920s diving helmet. In the middle of the lid, there’s a giant 4” TC port that holds a polished clear hard plastic window so you can easily see what’s going on inside your fermentor without having to open the lid. The base Flex model has a hole for a rubber stopper and airlock, and 5 latches that hook over the edge of the lid and onto a flange on the base. This base latch and seal set-up is capable of holding 2 psi of internal pressure. The Flex+ model uses a band clamp that goes around the circumference of the lid and tightens down with a screw/nut feature. And the hole for the bung/airlock is replaced by another 1.5” TC port. This ups the pressure holding capability of the unit to 15 psi.

With its short & stout size, the Flex can fit in shorter areas, but it is pretty wide. From the bottom to the top of a 3-piece airlock, it stands 22” tall. The widest diameter, with the stackup of the racking arm and a Spike butterfly valve with a camlock fitting at the end of it, is 21” across. If those dimensions don’t work for your fermentation chamber, Spike also has a version of its TC-100 temperature control system available that makes use of some common components from their unitank conicals and a form-fitted neoprene jacket sized to the Flex dimensions.

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The Catalyst Fermentation System 6.5 gal Conical Fermenter

The Catalyst Fermentation System – 6.5 Gallon Plastic Conical Fermenter

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Highlighted Features
  • 6.5 Gallon Conical Fermenter that separates sediment, eliminates transfers and allows you to bottle straight from your fermenter.
  • The Catalyst’s tank is made from Tritan, a food-safe, BPA-free polymer. This revolutionary material retains the same clarity and smoothness of glass, but is resistant to shattering.
  • 3” Trub Trap Butterfly Valve – the largest in the industry- is designed to work with any large-mouthed mason jar, which makes catching and storing viable yeasts or separating sediment super simple.
  • Includes: 6.5 Gallon Tank with Lid, Stand (Base, 2 Legs, 2 Support Beams, 8 Screws), 3” Proprietary Butterfly Valve, Bottling Attachment, Transfer Tubing, Tubing Clamp, Rubber Stopper, 16 Oz. Wide Mouth Mason Jar, Allen Wrench
  • Total Height (does not include airlock): 26.25" Maximum Width: 17"

 

The Catalyst Fermentation System – 6.5 Gallon Plastic Conical Fermenter – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Compare: The Catalyst at Austin Homebrew Supply

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7.9 Gallon FermZilla Flat Bottom Fermenter – $59.99 + free shipping

 FermZilla Flat Bottom Fermenter - 7.9 gal. / 30 L FE145

FermZilla Flat Bottom Fermenter – 7.9 gal. / 30 L

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From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

The FermZilla Flat Bottom Fermenter is an excellent option for making all kinds of beverages, from beer and wine to kombucha and cold brew coffee. It’s compact, lightweight, and made of brilliantly smooth PET. The extra-large lid opening makes it easy to get your arm inside and scrub the walls clean after use. The Flat Bottom features the same lid as the Conical FermZilla’s, so installing accessories like a thermowell or Temp Twister Cooling Coil couldn’t be easier.

Why MoreBeer! loves the Flat Bottom FermZilla:

Super smooth PET makes cleaning very easy.
Tight-sealing lid and PET material make for a better oxygen barrier than fermenters made of HDPE.
Lightweight and easy to move around, yet strong enough to be considered shatterproof.
The 4.75″ lid opening makes it easy to get your arm inside and clean after use.
The lid is designed for the easy installation of accessories such as a thermowell or cooling coil.
Affordable! The Flat Bottom is one of the most affordable plastic fermenters in this size range.
What’s Included:

FermZilla 30L Flat Bottom Fermenter
3-Piece Airlock
Adhesive Thermometer
Adhesive Voume Marker
Specs:

30 L (7.9 gal) Total Volume
Temperature Rated to 122°F
Height – 18.5″
Height w/ Airlock – 22.5″
Tank Diameter – 13.75″
Lid Ports – 28 mm PCO 1881 threads

Please note: The Flat Bottom is not pressure rated and was not designed to carbonate in. For this reason, the lid does not come with a PRV like that which is included with the Conical FermZilla. The tank can withstand approximately 2 psi, but beyond that there is risk of deforming and damaging the tank.


 

FermZilla Flat Bottom Fermenter – 7.9 gal. / 30 L FE145

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. prod:wmsfmzla55

The Catalyst Fermentation System 6.5 gal Conical Fermenter

The Catalyst Fermentation System – 6.5 Gallon Plastic Conical Fermenter

More Info
Highlighted Features
  • 6.5 Gallon Conical Fermenter that separates sediment, eliminates transfers and allows you to bottle straight from your fermenter.
  • The Catalyst’s tank is made from Tritan, a food-safe, BPA-free polymer. This revolutionary material retains the same clarity and smoothness of glass, but is resistant to shattering.
  • 3” Trub Trap Butterfly Valve – the largest in the industry- is designed to work with any large-mouthed mason jar, which makes catching and storing viable yeasts or separating sediment super simple.
  • Includes: 6.5 Gallon Tank with Lid, Stand (Base, 2 Legs, 2 Support Beams, 8 Screws), 3” Proprietary Butterfly Valve, Bottling Attachment, Transfer Tubing, Tubing Clamp, Rubber Stopper, 16 Oz. Wide Mouth Mason Jar, Allen Wrench
  • Total Height (does not include airlock): 26.25" Maximum Width: 17"

 

The Catalyst Fermentation System – 6.5 Gallon Plastic Conical Fermenter – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Compare: The Catalyst at Austin Homebrew Supply

More Fermentation Related!

FermZilla 55 Liter Conical Fermenter – on sale for $134.99 via William’s Brewing’s Spring Clearance Sale!

FermZilla 55 Liter Conical Fermenter

FermZilla 55 Liter Conical Fermenter

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From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

With the 55 Liter FermZilla (13.2 gallons) you have the many of the benefits of a much more expensive stainless conical fermenter but with the additional benefit of being able to see the fermentation process in action and also ferment at pressures up to 30 PSI. This is sized for 10 gallon batches. 45″ tall with airlock installed. See the videos and the instructions below for more details.

Included In The Box:
1 x Fermzilla Tank with Butterfly Dump Valve Parts (Pre-Assembled & Attached)
1 x Reinforced Stainless Steel Stand
1 x Stainless Handle
1 x Top Lid with Red PRV (35psi) [2 x Male Cap Threads] [Up to 4 drill ports for accessories] 1 x Top Lid Screw Cap 1 x 1000mL Collection Container & Lid* [2 x Male Cap Threads] 1 x KegLand Adjustable Easy Opening Tool
1 x Premium 3 Piece Airlock
1 x Approximate Graduations Sticker
1 x Strip Stick On Thermometer
1 x Grommet Bottle Cap (Airlock Port)
1 x Bag Spare Seals

Available options include:
Spunding Valve Kit
Extra Collection Jar

IMPORTANT NOTICE: When using this vessel under pressure. You must perform a water pressure check to ensure your connections are leak proof. To do this. Fill your FermZilla up with water, then apply a minimum of 15psi pressure to the vessel. Occasionally these units may come with some small indentations/dimples/dents from shipping, this is just a reality of shipping large blow-moulded thin-walled vessels. But dont panic, these fermenters are designed to endure minor deformations such as this. All small dents will push out and settle with use and positive pressure and are only an issue and warrant replacement in the rare event they start to show white stress patterns.

Maximum temperature is 130 degrees F., if you pour boiling or near boiling wort into this unit, you will ruin it, and heat damage is not covered by warranty.


 

FermZilla 55 Liter Conical FermenterSpring Clearance at William’s Brewing

Visit William’s Brewing – Web Only Clearance Sale

More: Recent William’s Brewing Finds

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability. prod:wmsfmzla55