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I've seen conical fermenters in catalogs and on the web, but I've never heard why they are better than fermenting in a glass carboy.

Why would I want to use a conical instead of a carboy?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The cone shape and valve on the bottom lets you remove the trub without transferring containers, so you can do your primary and secondary ferment in the same vessel, or bottle without worrying about the trub.

The bottom valve also makes it easy to remove your beer for bottling and such, so there's no need for siphoning. I think this is mainly advantageous when you get into batches that are a lot bigger than 5 gallons

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Well, that and your brewing coolness factor goes up 20 points. Nice answer – brewchez Jun 30 '10 at 16:41
lol - for extra brew cool points, make sure to get a glycol chilled one - or even better, make your own glycol jacket! – Jim Jul 1 '10 at 20:21
I'll also add that a pressure-capable conical (that lets you push 5-7psi of CO2) allows you to rack right from fermentor to keg without the beer ever touching oxygen. Very sanitary, very good for the beer. Also, being able to dump the yeast/trub early in the ferment is essential for making good lagers - conicals make it simple without having to rack to other fermentors multiple times. – Jim Jul 1 '10 at 20:23

Easier to capture the yeast and store in several sterile containers for re use later on, I use liquid yeast up tp 3 times each container

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Well, I already do all my fermentation in a single container and capture the yeast for reuse and I don't use a conical...I use buckets. Other than the cool factor, I really don't see any advantages to using a conical.

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