What are the key points to consider when using a conical fermenter to drain the yeast and leave only clean beer? My goal is: removing yeast, with (a) few loss of beer, (b) have beer not remain with yeast particles (potentially caused from the turbolences of the yeast removal process itself)?


Just some short time ago I bought a 115 liters conical bottom fermenter in stainless steel. A main intention of this purchase was to reduce both workload and losses of beer when it comes to separate the fermeted beer from the remaining yeast cake, before botteling.

Ideally there is a valve at the very bottom of the cone, which when opening should help to drain the yeast, leaving only beer (at best without causing any sort of "cloudiness" or "haze" from turbolences). Unfortunately it does never seem to be the moment, that all the yeast was removed. The liquid drained from the bottom valve, after being initially thick, quickly turns liquid, yet is still of a "dirty with yeast" color and NOT clear beer.

I guess something I do is not ideal.

Maybe it is crucial (cannot be done elsewise) to have the fermenter being chilled down to a certain temperature? (yet I would think that the yeast should always be at the bottom, from my experiences with other fermenters, even at not extra cold temps.)

Maybe to open the it lower "yeast drainage valve" to be opened, it is indispensable, to have the airlock of the fermeter removed, so that no pressure build up or air enters through the lower valve?

2 Answers 2


The only bad part about stainless fermentors, is your blind at this stage of the brew process.

Ideally the fermenter will have a drain on the very bottom. Use this port to dump the trub after primary fermentation. This makes room for the yeast to settle during secondary and fining stage.

There should be a second port about 1/3rd up the cone bottom. Ideally with a Triclover racking arm. A sight glass on the line will allow you to rotate the arm down to just above the yeast cake. Rotate down until you see haze in the glass then back up to a clean level.

Generally everything below the racking arm is considered a brewhouse volume loss, but it can be collected and fined in a glass container via cold crash and added to your keg or bottled.


I second everything EZ has said.

I don't have a rotating racking arm so here is what I do and it works well for me.

In addition to this - I try to dump the yeast the day before I want to rack, some of the yest still clings to the sides and drops down over night then in the morning I drop the extra bit of the yeast. Leave it about 30 mim to settle then rack off the beer.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.