One thing I’ve wanted to do with this blog has been to shed a little light on some of the equipment used in the brewing process. With this post I’m going to start right at the top of the list. The most beloved piece of brewing equipment that I own is my 7 Gallon Chronical Conical Fermenter from SS Brewing Technologies.
Very early in my brewing adventure I realized that someday I would want a conical. Being able to transfer from primary to secondary without changing vessels and being able to keg without using a siphon were two huge reasons for wanting to add one to my brewery. When I started looking around there really weren’t any conicals on the market that fit into my budget. Blichmann had their Fermenators, More Beer had their own conicals(some of which were temperature controlled), but for the level I was at, and am still at, they were just at a price point I couldn’t justify. Another company, Minibrew, makes a plastic conical and even though that fits in the budget I wanted something made out of stainless steel. I began to think that a conical was something that I would probably never acquire. However, that changed early last year.
SS Brewing Technologies began offering a couple budget friendly stainless steel fermenting options. One was their Brew Bucket, which is basically a conical without the bottom port. It still has the racking port and is also stackable. If you don’t think a conical is for you, but you still want to be able to take samples during fermentation and have very easy clean up this little guy is for you.
Another product they began to offer was the 7 gallon conical. At a price of roughly $400 they were a couple hundred dollars less than their closest competitor. As you might guess demand was high, supply was low, and pre-sales sold out in a matter of minutes. I didn’t get in on the first pre-sale, but I managed to get in line on the second go round.
I’ll never forget that day. Kerry and I were in Philadelphia taking a tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary, which is pretty cool by the way. Our tour was the last tour of the day and the pre-sale was set to begin minutes after the tour ended. I knew we couldn’t get back to the hotel in time and we were getting kicked out of the gift shop. To make matters worse it was cold and beginning to snow. Luckily a few blocks away we found a bar and had a beer while I sat there constantly refreshing the SS Brew Tech website’s pre-sale page like I was trying to get tickets to the hottest concert of the season. It seemed like forever, but I got through and ordered my conical.
Even with the pre-sale set up it was still a couple months before they were able to ship them. That just goes to show that they hit the nail on the head with their price point.
When the conical arrived it was packaged very well and the craftsmanship was top notch. These conicals come with Tri-clamp fittings for some of the best sanitation you can get in the brewing process and replacements for all of the gaskets are available.
I didn’t waste any time in putting it to work. In fact, to this day there haven’t been many times that it has sat empty after a brew day. I probably have around 10 brews on it and I couldn’t be happier with it.
Now I’m off to clean it and get it ready for the next brew.