A conical fermenter will make brewing beer a lot easier.
The biggest advantage is that racking becomes a very easy task. Once your beer recipe is done fermenting, the conical has a valve at the bottom that allows you to transfer the beer to the secondary using gravity. You simply place your carboy under the valve, connect the valve to some siphon tubing, and open the valve. The valve sits above the point where all of the trub settles, so that none of it makes its way into the secondary.
This means that your beer will not take nearly as long to clear. When you’re done, you simply use the bottom dump mechanism to get all that gunk out of there, then clean your fermenter.
The conical also makes it easy to draw samples for hydrometer readings without opening the fermenter.
Summary of Conical Advantages
- One vessel for primary & secondary
- Never siphon again
- Better quality beer
- Save & reuse yeast
- Less cleaning & sanitation
- Minimize risk of oxidation
Tri-clamp fittings are definitely the best kind of fittings you can have; if you go to any commercial brewery or dairy and take a look at what they're using for their connections, more than likely it will be tri-clamp, or "Sanitary" fittings. The reason for this is that you can easily see (and this means easily clean and sanitize) every surface that comes in contact with your beer. In addition they are easy to use, very sturdy and they form an excellent seal which means they never leak.
Check out the Grainfather Conical Fermenter - Pro Edition. Complete with the Grainfather Digital Temperature Controller and Dual Valve Tap, the functionality of a commercial brewery is now at the homebrewer's fingertips.
You can also check out our entire lineup of Conical Fermenters.
If you're just getting started we also carry a complete line of Home Brew Supplies