Can you really pay for a stainless steel conical fermenter by reusing yeast?
Okay, we admit that this might be a little bit of a stretch, but one of the biggest benefits of using a conical fermenter is the ability to collect and reuse yeast from prior batches. Those savings can certainly add up if you’re accustomed to buying a vial (or smack pack) of yeast each time you brew.
Collecting yeast from prior batches is easy with a conical fermenter. Simply open the dump valve and collect the yeast into a sanitized container. From there, you can wash the yeast, or just pitch your used yeast slurry into your next batch. Either way, you’ve saved money.
True, it would take upwards of 50 batches of beer with reused yeast to get to the point where the stainless steel fermenter would have paid for itself, but that’s the other nice thing about stainless – it will last forever if its taken care of!
Advantages of stainless steel conical fermenters:
- Reusing yeast is easy by collecting it from the dump valve
- Beer can be aged in a conical without having to rack into a secondary vessel – just dump the yeast and trub.
- Gravity and pressure transfers
- Racking arm for transferring beer into kegs, as well as taking samples during fermentation
- Beer never comes into contact with light
- Long life – easy to clean and maintain
If you’ve ever been to a brewery, you’ve certainly seen a professional grade stainless steel fermenter. They’re usually cone-shaped at the bottom, connected to a tall cylinder at top.
Professional brewers use conical fermenters for their durability as well as overall practicality.
The cone shape at the bottom allows yeast and other sediment to fall to the bottom of the fermenter where it can then be removed using the lower dump valve. Conical fermenters also make racking beer easier as they can be gravity fed or pressurized with CO2 to force beer out.
With conical fermenters, there is no longer a need for a racking cane with so many homebrewers are used to using with buckets and carboys. Conical fermenters have a build in racking arm built into the middle to upper portion of the cone. This racking arm reaches into the center of the fermenter above the level of the trub and sediment and allows clean beer to be pulled and sampled.
Overall, stainless steel conical fermenters are very easy to use and are a great upgrade to any homebrewery. There can be a bit of sticker shock when pricing out stainless fermenters, but they really can pay for themselves over time through their overall utility and ease of use. Collecting and reusing yeast being one area where you can start getting your investment back immediately.