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Leaking conical fermenter

I brewed on Saturday, and was super pleased with my newly automated setup and my new methods (water chemistry, batch sparging, extra vorlauf, yeast stir plate, etc.)

The entire day went well and I was excited. I put my beer into my new conical fermenter (fermentasaurus from NB) and it was all great. Over the past 1.5 days or so, I have noticed the conical is leaking. Nothing super alarming, about an ounce per day max. The trub is also stuck to the conical walls, thus eliminating the benefits of a conical. But this does bother me, both because I will be losing yield and who knows what sort of contamination I may get if the beer is exposed to air. My plan is to wait until primary is complete, then rack into a carboy. I know this basically means my conical is pointless right now, but if my beer turns out ok I can live with the hassle/extra work.

Anyone think this is a bigger problem? Should I be freaking out?

Where is it leaking? If it is somewhere that has a gasket of some kind, that should be easily fixable. From what I understand the slope of most homebrew scale conicals is not enough for all of the trub to slide down. You will still get a lot of it to drop to the bottom. Mine is stainless steel so “out of sight out of mind” I guess. All the other benefits of a conical make it still worth it.

If your leak is through the side somewhere I would contact NB and see what they say. They might be able to get the manufacturer to help you out.

Definitely not worth a good freak out but depending where and how it’s leaking I might be a little concerned about some nasties propagating because of it. Is it trub stick to the walls or perhaps dried krausen? Hopefully once you get the beer out of it you can get the leak identified and fixed.

I was hoping that with and outward flow the bad things wouldn’t be able to swim upstream. If the fermentation got going with a constant outward pressure, it should be fine. After that the alcohol content will help. Wouldn’t hurt to wipe it down with StarSan or something now and then.

I’m not 100% certain where it’s coming from. It is coming from the bottom of the cone, not sure if it’s coming from the seal or the butterfly valve itself. It’s not a crack in the tank itself, that’s for sure. Like I said, a very small and slow leak.

It looks like trub that is stuck to the bottom, the krausen hasn’t dropped yet. The butterfly valve is open and the bulb is no more than 15% full. Basically, I have lost the benefits of a conical while also slowly losing volume and possibly introducing nasties. I am sure I can fix it before my next brew, but for now I think I just need to transfer to a carboy once fermentation is complete. That will preserve the volume as best I can while also hopefully minimizing air exposure (except during the transfer)… I just assume it would be a mistake if I transferred before the fermentation is finished

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True. Collect yeast, dump the trub and not having to transfer to another fermenter. Hope you can get it fixed up.

Thanks. I’m sure I can fix it before the next use, I just have to chalk it up to a failed experiment at first use. Hoping the beer is still good, I wouldn’t be pleased if a bad fermenter cost me a solid beer

Here are some pictures of the predicament. NB is going to send me a replacement butterfly valve for the future. Not sure what will come of the beer, but I hope it’s ok

Other than the leakage underneath it looks great. I’m betting your beer will be fine.

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Ok I appreciate everyone helping put my mind at ease. Unfortunately due to the leaky valve I think I still need to transfer out of the fermenter once the fermentation is complete. I think its best to let it finish. But then I don’t want to let it sit in that vessel for 3+ more weeks, because I’m going to lose so much yield. Hopefully the next brew works better, I will do more testing and fixing on the new valve before I use it, if need be. for now… Wait and then off to the carboy

My take… You’ll be doing a gravity transfer… That then allows O2 to be sucked in… perhaps from the top… O2 would be your culprit more than a bug trying to infect a hopped wort, with a low pH… Does that sucker allow you to at least push a pound or two of CO2 to aid in racking? Just curious…
I have the Stainless steel fermenters that are like fancy buckets… I have trub stuck at the top… Does not affect the brew… In fact, I use a spoon and a mason jar to collect some yeast… I know… it isn’t 100% sealed from the atmosphere… But I do pitch from the yeast cake at least 5 times without any issues… Sneezles61

I know there will be O2 during transfer, just as there always is whenever I do a transfer. I will need to do a siphon transfer, because of all the trub clogging the butterfly valve in the bottom of the fermenter. Normally, I obviously wouldn’t ever transfer out of the conical except to bottle, but with the slow leak, I need to get it out of there. I just assume that I should wait until after the fermentation is complete, don’t want to mess anything up with the fermentation.

You have yeast in suspension, if you transfer while even the least bit active… it should scrub any O2 that occurred while racking… Sneezles61

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So you’re saying that I should transfer sooner rather than later?

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