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Homemade conical fermenter

So I was lookng on NB at the Fermenator conical fermenter. $600 for a 7 gal. It got me thinking. I have 2 kegs lying around. I was thinking of having my metal fabricator friend help me create my own conical fermenter using the two kegs. I will cut the bottom off of one, create a cone using the metal from the second keg and weld it to the first keg. Has anyone done this? Any ideas for the lid? how would you suggest creating a removable lid that is air tight? Am I a crazy person for even thinking about a project like this?

Keep in mind that you will need to have sanitary welds and the right slope for the cone.

rather than cutting the top off for a “lid” you could just leave the top on. Using the spear hole for the opening, reminiscent to a carboy. Then using some sort of cap.

one of these might fit.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/6-5- ... gundy.html

i would avoid using the second keg to make the conical, if you are planning on using 15.5 gallon beer kegs that is. The keg sides typically have a bead or two rolled around the circumference of the keg and it would make it almost impossible to roll. I would look at purchasing something like this http://www.toledometalspinning.com/pdfs/TMS16314.pdf and have it welded to one of the kegs.

I’d just use the keg as is for a fermentor. Weld a dump valve on the very bottom and a racking valve on the bottom of the side. The rounded bottom of a keg is plenty of space for yeast/trub to settle into. You’ll need a stand for it to sit on as well. Then I’d probably cut the top like you’d do for a keggle, and buy a stock pot lid that covers the hole. If you wanted to be really fancy buy a 4"-6" tri-clover port and weld that on the top.

I just bought a Brewhemoth conical, 22gal on sale for $480 with free shipping. I think their sale is over though. Check out Stout tanks too, they have some cheaper conicals.

Check these out too: http://www.ssbrewtech.com/

I’d jump on one of these immediately if they had a solution for temp control. The Brew Bucket is an interesting, relatively low cost idea.

As far as the lid, our conical has a flat lid with rubber gasket-like material on the fermenter itself and on the lid, along with a clamp that secures it. Not the best seal, but it works.

[quote=“kcbeersnob”]Check these out too: http://www.ssbrewtech.com/

I’d jump on one of these immediately if they had a solution for temp control. The Brew Bucket is an interesting, relatively low cost idea.[/quote]
I’ve ogled those too, although I have to say a larger model gives more flixibility in terms of choice of batch size. As far as temp control, I just built a ferm chamber with 2" blue foam and a small dorm fridge. I think this is going to work , at least for ales. Can’t tell about lagers yet.

Yeah I was thinking a gasket and something high tech to hold the lid on, like a big rock. Or a tie-down, or lets go full redneck and duct tape the lid on each time.

[quote=“tom sawyer”][quote=“kcbeersnob”]Check these out too: http://www.ssbrewtech.com/

I’d jump on one of these immediately if they had a solution for temp control. The Brew Bucket is an interesting, relatively low cost idea.[/quote]
I’ve ogled those too, although I have to say a larger model gives more flixibility in terms of choice of batch size. As far as temp control, I just built a ferm chamber with 2" blue foam and a small dorm fridge. I think this is going to work , at least for ales. Can’t tell about lagers yet.

Yeah I was thinking a gasket and something high tech to hold the lid on, like a big rock. Or a tie-down, or lets go full redneck and duct tape the lid on each time.[/quote]

A thick, compliant seal, ( say, 1/4 inch thick silicone), add some weight, and you’ll have a fine seal!

[quote=“tom sawyer”][quote=“kcbeersnob”]Check these out too: http://www.ssbrewtech.com/

I’d jump on one of these immediately if they had a solution for temp control. The Brew Bucket is an interesting, relatively low cost idea.[/quote]
I’ve ogled those too, although I have to say a larger model gives more flixibility in terms of choice of batch size. As far as temp control, I just built a ferm chamber with 2" blue foam and a small dorm fridge. I think this is going to work , at least for ales. Can’t tell about lagers yet.

Yeah I was thinking a gasket and something high tech to hold the lid on, like a big rock. Or a tie-down, or lets go full redneck and duct tape the lid on each time.[/quote]

Could you elaborate on how youbuilt your ferm chamber? that was another concern of mine. Thanks for all the help.

Its a rather half-a$$ed job, not sure you’d want to use this plan. Maybe with a plywood box around it. But here are some pics of its evolution.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=119826

Does anyone have the dimensions for the proper slope of the cone? My freind is a professional welder so I have that covered.

At least a 45 degree angle, and more is better although there’s a practical limit as far as the length of cone and fermentor. Basically you want enough slope that the yeast will slide down as opposed to sticking on the surface of the cone.

Got it. Thank you.

Returning to the fermenter chamber post, I was thinking of lining my closet with 2" insulation board, cutting a hole big enough to stick a small fridge in with the door removed and a thermostat. any ideas?

Can’t think of a better use for a closet. I’d still minimize the space to be cooled (maybe a false ceiliing at 5’) to avoid over-taxing your fridge.

I would personally use a window AC and try to bypass the thermostat.

Ya, I planned on creating a smaller space. The window cooler is a good idea. Thanks for all the help everyone.

I considered AC but you have to have a window (at least in summer when you dont want the extra heat), and it is loud and uses more electricity.

Actually, I would venture to say it would be easier to start fresh with a flat sheet of stainless.

I have DIY’d a cyclone dust collector scaled down for a shopvac and my tablesaw.

Most of the effort went into creating the paper template in order to get the right shape to cut out that would easily form the cone.

In my case, just spot welded the seam, then used epoxy to seal the seam. Lid was simple plywood.

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