> I have the Blichman Engineering "Ferminator" stainless steel conical
> fermentor, and so far I've used to to make four good, if cloudy, pale
> ales. I make 10 gallon batches, Gold DME plus a couple of pounds of
> character grains.
> Stainless steel is great. But since my superpowers do not extend to
> beeing able to see through stainless steel, I don't know how much trub
> to dump.
> Unlike racking to a secondary, when dropping trub out of the
> Ferminator I can't see where the goop stops and the clear beer starts.
> The transition is not obvious: the trub starts out thick and gets
> progressively lighter the more I dump, seemingly without an end of the
> solid stuff.
> I don't want to lose too much beer, so I tend to stop dumping it after
> about two quarts. But the beer coming out of the bottom of the cone
> after two quarts is definitely not clear. Should I keep dumping?
> The other contributing factor to the problem is that I use the
> Therminator heat exchanger to rapidly take the boil down to 68F. This
> means the cold break happens in the heat exchanger, not the kettle,
> and all that junk ends up in the fermentor. I usually aerate this,
> pitch the yeast, button up the fermentor, wait an hour, then dump a
> quart or so of the heavy stuff that fell to the bottom. Is that
> Does anyone with a conical fermentor have recommendations on how much
> I should be dumping?
How much you dump in volume is going to vary from batch to batch,
depending on how much stuff (yeast, hops, break, etc.) there is in
there, which is also going to vary. I've used a stainless conical from
morebeer.com for probably five or six years. I drop the yeast after 5-7
days, and once more a a couple of days later into a clear plastic cup.
By two weeks, if I'm not kegging it right then, I'll dump one more time.
Typically the first dump starts out very slow & thick, and I'll let it
go until it starts to really run loose. There will always be some trub
collecting on the slopes of the cone, and each time you drop some out,
the motion will cause a little more of that sludge to slide down the
slope into the bottom of the cone, in addition to what is still settling
out of the beer on its own. That's why I'll dump again a couple of days
later, but use a clear plastic cup to monitor what's coming out.
I keg it after 2-3 weeks using the side racking port. The curved arm
inside the conical is set to horizontal prior to filling the fermenter.
Then when I start to fill the keg from the port, I slowly rotate the
arm downward and if I start picking up sludge in the bottom of the cone,
I can see it through the clear transfer tubing, and back it off just
enough to leave the sludge behind.
Homebrewer extraordinaire, banjo player mediocaire
Visit the Midnight Homebrewers' League on the web at: