Category Archives: Fittings

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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TWO x 1/2″ MPT to 1/5″ Tri-Clamp Ferrule – Convert Your Gear to Tri-Clamps – $12.79, $6.40 each, near best price + free prime ship

TAISHER 2PCS 1.5" Tri Clamp to 1/2" NPT Male Stainless Steel Sanitary Fitting Home Brew Connector (Ferrule OD 50.5mm)

TAISHER 2PCS 1.5″ Tri Clamp to 1/2″ NPT Male Stainless Steel Sanitary Fitting Home Brew Connector (Ferrule OD 50.5mm)


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

  • Product Type —— Tri-Clamp xMale NPT Adapter(Thread:1/2″Male NPT,Ferrule OD: 50.5mm)
  • Product Material —— 304 stainless steel strength and resistance to corrosion.
  • Special Feature —— Two fittings are clamped together with a high temp silicone gasket in between
  • Suitable Size —— Suitable for 1.5″ Tri Clamp / Clover / Sanitary.
  • Application range —— Used for food, beverage, and dairy applications

3/30 5:30 AM Central: These are selling for just $12.79. That’s 30 cents shy of the best historical third party Amazon price I found, notwithstanding Lightning Deals or coupons. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order. Prices and availability can change quickly Check product page for current info – More About Prices

TAISHER 2PCS 1.5″ Tri Clamp to 1/2″ NPT Male Stainless Steel Sanitary Fitting Home Brew Connector (Ferrule OD 50.5mm) – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

More Tri-Clover/Tri-Clamp: Brewers Hardware has a gigantic selection of Tri-Clover Compatible Fittings including some really unique offerings  | Tri-Clamp Fittings at Proflow Dynamics


1/2″ Stainless Steel CIP Spray Ball by QiiMii – $13.99 + Mark Keg & Carboy Washer Mod

QiiMii Fixed Spray Ball Stainless Steel 304 Tank Cleaning Ball 1/2" NPT Threaded (1/2" INCH)

QiiMii Fixed Spray Ball Stainless Steel 304 Tank Cleaning Ball 1/2″ NPT Threaded (1/2″ INCH)

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

  • Connection: 1/2″ NPT Female Thread
  • Wetting Radius: Max. 2.5m
  • Impact cleaning radius: Max. effective 0.6m
  • Working pressure: 1-3Bar
  • Recommended pressure: 2.5Bar

From HBF: Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

 

CIP (Clean in Place) Spray Balls are generally used for vessels that are too large to move.  Since they’re too large to move you… clean them in place.  If you have a larger setup, you could incorporate these into your system or routine to help clean your vessels more easily.

Other possible homebrew applications: A CIP ball could be as part of a recirculating or sparging setup or as part of a keg or carboy cleaning setup.  I use this rotary spray ball with my Mark II Keg and Carboy Cleaner.  See: Mark II Keg and Carboy Washer Mod – SS CIP Spray Ball

What are others saying?  Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “homebrew” – “brew” and “washer” – may include reviews for other sizes or variations

5/12 9 PM Central: These are selling for $13.99.  Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying orderPrices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

QiiMii Fixed Spray Ball Stainless Steel 304 Tank Cleaning Ball 1/2″ NPT Threaded (1/2″ INCH)note that multiple versions or sizes of this fitting may be available, as such a different product may appear at this link

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2 X Brass 1/4″ Tees AND 2 X Barbs – $9.98 + free prime ship & “Cheapest” Spunding Build Option

WYNNsky Metals Brass Pipe Fitting Barstock Tee 2 PCS 1/4" x 1/4" x 1/4" NPT Female Pipe 2 PCS 1/4" NPT X 1/4" Hose ID Brass Hose Barb Fittings

WYNNsky Metals Brass Pipe Fitting Barstock Tee 2 PCS 1/4″ x 1/4″ x 1/4″ NPT Female Pipe 2 PCS 1/4″ NPT X 1/4″ Hose ID Brass Hose Barb Fittings

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

  • Adapts 1/4″ NPT Female end to 1/4″ tube size female end to 1/4″ tube size female end at a 90-degree angle
  • 2 PCS 1/4″ x 1/4″ x 1/4″ NPT Female Pipe Fittings, 2 PCS 1/4″ NPT Male X 1/4″ Hose ID Brass Hose Barb Fittings
  • Tee with three openings for connecting and branching three pipes
  • Use to connect hoses and equipment or wherever a threaded barbed fitting is required
  • Brass for corrosion resistance, ductility at high temperatures, and low magnetic permeability

From HBF: Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions. prod:B07BXDHRQG

 

Of course you could use these fittings in lots of different applications.  One possible application is a Spunding Valve build.  A Spunding Valve [See: Spunding Valve Resource Post] allows you to ferment under pressure, naturally and precisely carbonate in the keg, fix over-carbonated beers and more.  A similar (different manufacturer and possibly specs) fitting and barb are featured in our “Cheapest” Spunding Valve Build Option

5/10 2 AM Central: This combo is selling for just $9.98.  Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying orderPrices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

WYNNsky Metals Brass Pipe Fitting Barstock Tee 2 PCS 1/4″ x 1/4″ x 1/4″ NPT Female Pipe 2 PCS 1/4″ NPT X 1/4″ Hose ID Brass Hose Barb Fittings – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

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1.5″ Tri Clamp Sight Glass – $21.99 + free prime ship

in-Line Sight Glass with Tri Clamp

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Highlighted Features
  • Body material:Stainless Steel 304.
  • In-line sight glass flow pipe OD:19mm. Ferrule OD:50.5mm, Fits to 1.5" tri clamp.
  • Max pressure:120 PSI. Max temperature: 300°F.
  • Sight glass flow indicators provides a full 360 degree to observe fluid flow in any direction.
  • Sanitary sight glasses are designed for sanitary applications used in the food, dairy, and pharmaceutical industries.

 

5/8 6:30 AM Central; This is selling for just $21.99. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying orderPrices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

Beduan in-Line Sight Glass with Tri Clamp End, Sanitary Flow Sight Glass Stainless Steel 1.5 Inch Tri Clamp Type (Flow Pipe OD 19mm)  – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

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Trick Your System Out With Kegland DuoTight Fittings & EVABarrier Tubing, Get a FREE Ultimate Beer Glass Set + 10 Resources!

duotight fittings

  • DuoTight Fittings are awesome: Easy to use push to connect fittings compatible with EVABarrier lined tubing.  Clamp-less installation and reconfiguration.
  • Lots of options mean the DuoTight system is flexible and full featured.’
  • Check out my extensive Hands on Review
  • Shipping is free or reasonably priced flat rate to addresses in the contiguous US depending on your order size for most items

Kegland DuoTight Fittings and Accessories!

FREE Ultimate Beer Glass Set

  • Place an order with a subtotal of $99.99 or more and enter web coupon code ULTIMATE at checkout and you’ll free set of William’s Ultimate Beer Glasses
  • No need to add the pints to your cart.  Just use the coupon code and they will be automatically added at checkout.

Free Set of William’s Vacuum Insulated Beer & Coffee Pint Glasses –  remember coupon code ULTIMATE

10 DuoTight Reviews on How-To’s!…

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Pair 1/4″ Quick Disconnects w/Shut-Off (gas & liquid) – $12.99 + free prime ship

LucaSng Plastic Hose Quick Connector with Shut-Off,Gas and Liquid Quick Connector Check Valve Beer Line Tubing Quick Disconnect (1/4” Barb)LucaSng Plastic Hose Quick Connector with Shut-Off,Gas and Liquid Quick Connector Check Valve Beer Line Tubing Quick Disconnect (1/4” Barb)

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

  • This plastic quick disconnect set features 1/4″ barb.
  • Shutoffs(check valve) prevent leakage when disconnected.Use these high quality, food-grade quick-disconnects on your gas and beer tubing lines.
  • These couplings make it very easy to swap out couplers and other beer and air side accessories.
  • Made of Food-grade plastic with stainless steel springs and NSF approved.
  • The temperature range is -40F to 180F.They can handle a vacuum to 80 psi – so you need not worry about them leaking gas.

 

These are valved disconnects. When they are disengaged a shut off mechanism stops the flow of gas or liquid.

5/7 5 AM Central: These are selling for just $12.99. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying orderPrices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

LucaSng Plastic Hose Quick Connector with Shut-Off,Gas and Liquid Quick Connector Check Valve Beer Line Tubing Quick Disconnect (1/4” Barb) – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Compare: Beer & Gas Quick Connect – In-Line Set (With Shut-Off) H550 – similar concept, but not identical

1/2″ MPT to 1/5″ Tri-Clamp Ferrule – Convert Your Gear to Tri-Clamps – $8.35 + free prime ship

Highlighted Features
  • 1/2" Flow Port
  • 1 1/2" Tri Clamp connections (50.5mm OD)
  • Made of food Grade 304 Stainless Steel
  • 1/2" MPT x 1 1/2" Sanitary Clamp (50.5mm OD)
  • High Pressure Durable

5/6 1 AM Central: These have dropped to $8.35. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying orderPrices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

HomeBrewStuff Stainless Steel Sanitary Male Threaded Pipe Fitting to Tri Clamp Clover (50.5mm Ferrule) – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

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Stainless Steel Tri-Clamp Thermometer! – $49.99, Save $10 + Free Ship Eligible, Limited Availability

1.5 in. T.C. Thermometer - 3.25 in. Face x 7.5 in. Probe H594Stainless Steel Tri-Clamp Thermometer from MoreBeer

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

Stainless steel dial thermometer with 1.5″ tri-clamp fitting. Thermometer face measures 3.25″ and measures from 32-220°F (0-100°C). Probe measures 7.5″ in length from the tip to the T.C. fitting.


 

Limited Availability Deal of the Day: As of this posting, this is marked down to $49.99 as a MoreBeer Deal of the DayShipping is also free to addresses in the contiguous US with most $59 Orders. Availability: This is available today only, while supplies last. Quantities are limited. Check the MoreBeer’s Deal of the Day to check today’s offering.

Product Description – Here – Use coupon code BEERDEAL to get this discount.

1.5 in. T.C. Thermometer – 3.25 in. Face x 7.5 in. Probe H594

More Tri-Clover/Tri-Clamp:

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…


Compare Prices, Review Continues Below


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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