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What are the pros and cons of a conical fermentor compared to buckets or carboys?

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Assuming you're talking about a stainless steel conical, off the top of my head...


  • Technically easier to collect and harvest yeast
  • Can be more hygenic (less chance of scratches that can harbour yeast/bacteria)
  • Less fragile than glass carboy (but possibly more than buckets)
  • If it's pressure rated, you can cap it towards end of fermentation for natural carbonation
  • Looks fancier
  • Can dump trub and cold break prior to pitching


  • Cost
  • If not jacketed and in a warmer climate, need a bigger fridge to house in for temp control
  • Presumably heavier, so not as easy to move around for cleaning, etc
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I'm now fermenting in 10 gallon Cornelius kegs. All the pros (except looking fancy) and none of the cons. I can harvest yeast through the "out" port, and use a spunding value on the gas port to cap the fermentation and carbonate. – Tobias Patton Apr 3 '13 at 0:55
Yep, fermenting in a keg would be very similar. Just added another pro of being able to dump trub & break material before pitching. You could probably do that in a keg too. I'd argue you could get a cleaner harvest from the conical, but at a home brewing level, it's probably not that big a deal. – tallie Apr 3 '13 at 1:32

Stainless conical fermentors don't let in light or UV rays and unlike plastic, it's impermeable to oxygen.

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