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Conical worth it? How long to clean with tri clovers?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:49 pm
by krizwit
Hey all - I am brewing 18+ gallon batches and am getting sick of cleaning, sanitizing, filling, and aerating 3 to 4 carboys.

I was wondering for those of you who have a 22+ gallon conical if you really like it and it is saving you time, or if it wasnt worth the purchase.

Re: Conical worth it? How long to clean with tri clovers?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:23 pm
by pclemon
My brew day before getting a conical was cleaning, sanitizing, filling and then carrying 4 carboys from the brew shack into the house, then down to the basement to a freezer I used for temp control. A pain in the arse and the back.

2 1/2 years or so ago I switched over to a 27 gallon B3 conical. Now the conical lives in an upright freezer in the brew shack. Add that to the expense list if you don't already have that item (or some way of controlling the temp of it).

I typically do back to back batches and keg on the same day I'm brewing. I use the time that I'm mashing to clean and fill kegs. While I'm sparging I'm breaking down the conical, soaking items and scrubbing the conical. While I'm waiting for the wort to come up to a boil I'm re-assembling the conical.

I completely get that it's a bit of bling and doesn't really add anything to the quality of the beer. It does make my brew day a lot easier though.

It does restrict your ability to be creative with different yeasts. But in those circumstances you can still use your carboys.

The conical also gives easy ability to harvest yeast for re-use and easy samples for gravity measurements.

The value of the equipment to you should be measured on how much you brew and what your financial means are. In 2 1/2 years, my conical has spent probably 2 weeks total empty - so it gets used pretty well.

I have the B3 unit - can't speak to +'s and -'s of this unit over a Blichmann or a Stout or some other Mfg.

Re: Conical worth it? How long to clean with tri clovers?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:17 pm
by Chopper
I had an older Blichmann conical for a while but ended up selling it -- I ferment strictly in converted sankey kegs now. Two for a 20 gallon batch is perfect. I cut access ports on top of each keg to fit a corny lid for cleaning/inspection/yeast harvesting and have a weldless ball valve low on the side for samples and draining to kegs.

I liked the conical well enough, but the one benefit I wanted from it -- easy yeast dump/harvest -- didn't really work as planned. With just a 1/2" ball valve for the dump valve I could barely get yeast out of it. A 1 or 1.5 inch dump valve would be better -- so would the ones you can pressurize.

Either way though I don't miss carboys -- there's no breakage risk with stainless.

cheers

Re: Conical worth it? How long to clean with tri clovers?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:31 pm
by krizwit
Thanks. I typically ferment 11 gallons in a fridge with temp control and then carry the other carboy or two down to the basement where I may or may not put a fermwrap on to warm them up. In the hot summer months, I just have to hope for the best...

What is the process to clean a conical?
Fill conical up with PBW? Or just use a soapy sponge and rinse thoroughly and then spray starsan all over it?

Do you pump the wort in through the top or one of the ports?

Re: Conical worth it? How long to clean with tri clovers?

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:04 pm
by BrewBum
Cleaning is pretty easy, about like a bucket.

I pre clean my clamps and stuff in a dishwasher or bucket of PBW, they are usually pretty easy to clean though.

I fill the conical part way up with PBW or higher if I have some beer stone or something that needs an extra soak if I was lazy putting it away last time.

Rinse, add star san, repeat, done.

I transfer my wort with buckets because my conical used to set in my cellar with no way to pump to it. I would pump through the bottom port and will when we use it in our commercial brewery for test batches.

It is far from necessary but it makes large batches super easy, mine was only a 12gl though, even easier at the size you are talking.

Re: Conical worth it? How long to clean with tri clovers?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:01 am
by pclemon
Chopper wrote:I liked the conical well enough, but the one benefit I wanted from it -- easy yeast dump/harvest -- didn't really work as planned. With just a 1/2" ball valve for the dump valve I could barely get yeast out of it. A 1 or 1.5 inch dump valve would be better -- so would the ones you can pressurize.



The bottom dump on the current B3 unit is 1.5", but I really only use that as specifically a dump. When I harvest yeast I find that the racking port that's adjustable is much more useful. I put a little pressure on the keg with the port faced down (into the yeast) and harvest off 1/2 litre or so of yeast and then adjust the port up into the beer to fill the kegs.

Re: Conical worth it? How long to clean with tri clovers?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:47 am
by lilyalvin
I don't used to brew more than 4+ gallon batches. I also have a dishwasher for cleaning carboys.

Re: Conical worth it? How long to clean with tri clovers?

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:15 am
by peter007
I don't brew more than 4+ gallon batches too..... lol
HyperthymesiaTreatment