Stainless Steel Conical Fermentation Tank
The fermenter I use for my homebrew beer brewing system is a stainless steel conical variety called the Fermenator and is produced by Blichmann Engineering and can be purchased through MoreBeer.com. It is a very nice time-saver and a great piece of brewing equipment. After the primary fermentation has completed, the dead yeast cells can be dumped from the bottom valve and secondary fermentation can occur in the same container. When it comes time to bottle or keg, I can simply use the top ball valve to send beer to the containers without sediment. This type of fermentation vessel will allow for yeast harvesting as well if I desire to add another aspect to my hobby. This fermenter is now available in a format that allows it to be pressurized for easier transfers from the fermenter to kegs. I don’t believe an upgrade is available for older units, although I am very happy with the performance of this older version. If you are looking for a very high quality fermenter that can make your brewing life easier and a little more flexible, a conical fermenter is a great option. There are many styles available these days and an industrious home-brewer can even make one from food-grade components that are readily available.
I have recently added this self-adhesive reptile tank heater to the cone section of the homebrewing fermentation tank. It is 8″ by 12″ in size and is controlled by one of my mash system’s Ranco ETC controllers. After the mash is complete, I can use the controller to monitor the temperature of the fermentation through a thermowell that is inserted through a two hole stopper in the fermentation tank’s lid. This stopper also has a hole for the airlock. I can maintain temperature to within a degree even when the temperature in my basement reaches 54 degrees. I should mention that the manufacturer does not recommend attaching this to a metal surface so I have cut the wire, attached a ground to the fermenter’s leg, and run a three conductor wire through a rubber-grommeted hole to a 3-prong plug. This grounds the heater and makes the system safe.
Glass Carboy Homebrew Fermenter
This is my trusty old glass home beer brewing fermenter. It works like a champ and has not been replaced by the above Conical Tank. I still use this glass fermenter for simultaneous second batches and also for beers that require a long lagering period. The carboy carrier that surrounds it was obtained from William’s Brewing and makes it much easier to transport while it is full. While it does not have the durability of stainless steel, it still does a fine job of keeping the beer isolated from the airborne particulate. I have been using the same carboy cap for the last three years without any problems. Some people claim that a stopper works better but I can’t bring myself to change my procedure when it comes to using this glass fermenter and it produces a mighty fine glass of home brew.