Stainless Fermenter - Benefits/drawbacks?

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TheSumOfAllBeers
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Re: Stainless Fermenter - Benefits/drawbacks?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:21 pm

Couldn't use a fridge in my situation. But theoretically it should stabilise temperature better than a fridge

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Kev888
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Re: Stainless Fermenter - Benefits/drawbacks?

Post by Kev888 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:57 pm

Ditto for me. It does take a little extra work to set up initially, but I'm really pleased with the result.

I could have gone with an immersion coil instead, of course, had my FV been plastic (a bit like an IC for the fermenter). So again, both materials would have worked, and in fact immersion coils are slightly simpler and somewhat easier to set up. However, for me, the extra effort of an external coil is paying off by not having more gubbins in the FV or poked through the lid.

Which reminds me of another issue in the stainless vs plastic argument, which is that costly stainless is a bit more nerve-racking to take drills and things to...
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Re: Stainless Fermenter - Benefits/drawbacks?

Post by dbambrick996 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:52 pm

If you are not looking to harvest yeast, transfer under pressure etc then a conical makes sense, if not go for a flat bottomed stainless fermenter, as others have said it's for life, easy to clean etc

Polsinelli have great fermenters

https://www.polsinelli.it/en/catalog.ht ... =Fermenter

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Re: Stainless Fermenter - Benefits/drawbacks?

Post by Hogarth » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:08 pm

Why shouldn't external coils work around a placcie FV? Bit less efficient, but still doable I'd have thought.

I do it the other way round and have plastic coils around a SS fermenter -- that works okay.

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Re: Stainless Fermenter - Benefits/drawbacks?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:25 pm

I think it would be doable but hard, especially if you are trying to bend a copper coil around it.

Plastic will deform when you are trying to get a snug fit between the coil and the vessel.

This is more of an issue than the insulating properties of the plastic.

An IC is a better solution for a plastic FV, where you can cut holes as you see fit, and you can use off the shelf cask cooler ICs

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Re: Stainless Fermenter - Benefits/drawbacks?

Post by IPA » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:55 pm

TheSumOfAllBeers wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:25 pm
I think it would be doable but hard, especially if you are trying to bend a copper coil around it.

Plastic will deform when you are trying to get a snug fit between the coil and the vessel.

This is more of an issue than the insulating properties of the plastic.

An IC is a better solution for a plastic FV, where you can cut holes as you see fit, and you can use off the shelf cask cooler ICs
As McMullen said a fridge is simpler and with a thermowell works much better. Keep it simple and save your money to buy a Braumeister.
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Re: Stainless Fermenter - Benefits/drawbacks?

Post by Kev888 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:40 pm

It depends on people's preferences and circumstances. Having tried recirculation through cooling coils, I would never choose to go back to a fridge for the large fermenter, enclosing it in a cramped fridge and relying on air to transfer the heat would be a step backwards. But I would like a fridge for smaller/test batches, where a few could economically fit in one chamber.

Plastic can be be used with external cooling coils. The heat transfer is less good than stainless obviously, but not as terrible as may be imagined because heat transfer to/from the wort inside is only so fast. This is fine for maintaining fermentation temperature at homebrew scale, but stainless or internal coils may be noticeably more efficient if you want to chill to very cool temperatures after fermentation.
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Re: Stainless Fermenter - Benefits/drawbacks?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:17 pm

What Kev888 said: air cooling starts to be an issue when your vessels increase in size and have a nice hot spot where the yeast is more active.

The problem gets bigger when you start to go for high gravity and the problem compounds.

It's a very niche problem, and I think boring fridges work better for holding crash cooling/lagering temps better.

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