Temperature-Controlled Cylindriconical Fermenter


Cylindriconical Fermenter

The cylindriconical fermenter was made from a 10 gallon Cornelius keg ($45). The bottom of the keg was removed and 60º cone was welded in its place. The cone terminates in a 1" male N.P.T. fitting which is attached to a 1" brass ball valve. I chose the 1" N.P.T. fitting and brass valve over stainless steel sanitary fittings (tri-clamp) and a butterfly valve to keep the total cost of the project under $75. The capacity of the cylindriconical fermenter is approximately 12 gallons.

I believe many of the cones used in this application are seamless as a result of being "spun". This cone was actually formed from two pieces of stainless steel, but the welds are extremely clean.

I got the idea for the cylindriconical fermenter from Northwest Brewers Supply Co., 1-800-728-ALES. Northwest offers an 11 gallon Conicorn conical fermenter for $549 ($748 with tri-clamp butterfly valve assembly). The Conicorn is also made from a recycled 10 gallon Cornelius keg. The Conicorn has removable stainless steel legs.

Temperature Control

The cylindriconical fermenter is housed within a Sanyo refrigerator. The "crisper drawer" was removed to allow the cylindriconical fermenter to set on the bottom.

The temperature of the refrigerator is controlled by a Brewer's Resource Ferm Temp.

[Ferm Temp picture]

I think there has always been a question as to whether the Ferm Temp can control both a cooling and heating element at the same time. The following is taken from the Ferm Temp instruction manual and explains the confusion,

"Note: Neither Brewers Resource nor the manufacturer are recommending the use of both cooling and heating elements at the same time for obvious reasons of liability. While we have used both simultaneously with good results in a multiple of situations, you will have to experiment with your system to make sure there is no conflict between the cooling and warming cycles."

I "warm" the refrigerator with a light bulb/fan assembly. The light bulb is an ordinary 100 watt incandescent bulb which threads into a ceramic base. A 3" 120 volt A.C. fan is mounted at the same level as the element of the bulb to circulate the heat throughout the refrigerator while the bulb is on.

[light bulb/fan assembly picture]