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Used 7 gallon conical, what to check out before purchase?


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#1 strangebrewer

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 04:58 AM

Found someone selling a used 7 gallon SS brew tech Chronical for a good price.  Always wanted one but never could justify the cost so this has my attention.  Obviously I've never owned one so what should I check out on this unit before handing over the cash?  Any deal killers?



#2 HVB

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 06:01 AM

Is it the basic model?  The only think I did not like about them when I looked was the small, 3/4, dump valve.  Other than that if the price is right go for it.

 

I recently picked up a Spike Flex + and I love it.  The racking arm alone is worth it IMO.


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#3 strangebrewer

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 06:28 AM

Yup it's the basic model.  What's the deal with the 3/4 dump valve?  Clog easily?  I could see that with some yeasts that really compact.



#4 HVB

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 06:41 AM

Yup it's the basic model.  What's the deal with the 3/4 dump valve?  Clog easily?  I could see that with some yeasts that really compact.

 

Yes, Clogging is the reason.  For some beers it would be fine but if you have a lot of yeast and hops mixed together it may clog easier.  I think you would also have to weigh how often you would use the dump vale.

 

Again,  with a good price I would not think twice about it.


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#5 strangebrewer

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 08:19 AM

Price is half off retail. With the savings I can figure out how to deal with the dump valve. Thanks for the insight!

#6 HVB

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 09:52 AM

Price is half off retail. With the savings I can figure out how to deal with the dump valve. Thanks for the insight!

I would take it for that.  Good deal!


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#7 djinkc

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 01:16 PM

How are you going to control temperature?

 

I put extension legs on my Blichmann and replaced the elbow dump valve with a straight valve.  Works much better


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#8 strangebrewer

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 04:25 PM

Just picked it up.  From the selling price I figured it was a 7 gallon.  Turns out it's a 14  :o .  Really wasn't planning on doing a lot of 10+ gallon brewing but now that I have it.....

 

So back story on this thing is the seller wasn't a brewer, he's a scrapper.  He had a 3 BBL conical as well in the shop.  He got it all at an IRS seizure auction.  He put in a bid for 'everything stainless' and he got these fermenters as well as the stainless stock material which is what he really wanted.  Definitely needs a good cleaning, the ball valves torn down, and replace all the gaskets.

 

How are you going to control temperature?

 

I put extension legs on my Blichmann and replaced the elbow dump valve with a straight valve.  Works much better

 

 

No plan for temp control yet but definitely going to have to figure something out now.  What are all the cool kids using these days for temp controlling their conicals?



#9 djinkc

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 04:57 PM

I built an enclosed cabinet that has an AC cooling it.  Not super efficient but with the legs on it it's easy to fill kegs from it.  Mine's the 15 gallon Blichmann.  


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#10 HVB

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 05:27 PM

I plan on going glycol soon. I was using a wine fridge but the flex will not fit inside. SS coils in the beer.

Eta: should have grabbed the 3bbl as well :)

Edited by HVB, 16 March 2020 - 05:27 PM.

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#11 strangebrewer

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Posted 16 March 2020 - 07:05 PM

I plan on going glycol soon. I was using a wine fridge but the flex will not fit inside. SS coils in the beer.

Eta: should have grabbed the 3bbl as well :)

 

 

That 3bbl sure was pretty but then I'd need a new boil kettle, mash tun, plate chiller, grain mill,..... not that I didn't think about it.

 

I was going to ask why the preference for external cooling vs coils but sounds like you're moving that direction.  No way will this thing fit in any refrigerator I have so glycol chilling is going to be the ticket. 



#12 strangebrewer

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Posted 19 March 2020 - 05:57 AM

Started the tear down and cleaning of this thing and finding it's got an oil-like residue that doesn't want to come off easily.  Not sure how long this thing was in a repo warehouse so who knows what it might be.  Doing some reading it sounds like TSP is the ticket but brew tech specifically calls out 'non-chlorinated' TSP.

 

Is all TSP non-chlorinated unless it's called out?  Reading the box of Savogran TSP found at the local hardware store I don't see anything about it being chlorinated but figured I'd check with the brain trust here in case I'm missing something or there is a better option.



#13 jimdkc

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Posted 19 March 2020 - 07:16 AM

Maybe TSP/90? (Technically TSP substitute). Should be pure sodium metasilicate.

 

It's one of the ingredients in PBW.


Edited by jimdkc, 19 March 2020 - 07:21 AM.

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#14 strangebrewer

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Posted 19 March 2020 - 05:13 PM

Phosphate free TSP. Interesting concept. Reading the brewtech FAQ's the big concern is it sounds like the chlorinated stuff will affect the etching inside.

#15 SnowMan

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Posted 19 March 2020 - 05:49 PM

Look into acid cleaning and re-passivization.  IIRC you can do it with high strength citric acid for food application, but it's been a while since I had to look into it. 


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#16 Stout_fan

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 03:49 PM

That 3bbl sure was pretty but then I'd need a new boil kettle, mash tun, plate chiller, grain mill,.....

Multiple batches like the pros do it. Keggles and uh.. 6 batches. OR High gravity with dilution additions. That's how I do 1 BBL batches.

Three episodes will do it. The first batch is a starter for the second, the second for the third.


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#17 zymot

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 12:19 AM

PBW is the best stuff that I have ever used. Hot water seems to make it better.

Denny raves about Craftmeister products that fit the same category as PBW. I believe they make an alkaline based and an oxygen based cleaner.

I have used Oxyclean and had problems so bad that my cheap ass pays for PBW. Maybe it is just me, but I rather spend a little more. I do not use enough PBW to damage my budget.
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#18 HVB

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 05:09 AM

I agree with Denny on Craftmeister, l gave up PBW for it. For me it is a much better cleaner.
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#19 zymot

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 07:32 AM

I agree with Denny on Craftmeister, l gave up PBW for it. For me it is a much better cleaner.


When my current inventory of PBW is exhausted, I will give it a try. The Denny Conn and Drew Beechum endorsement means it is worth checking out. It is roughly the same price as PBW, hard to see no I can go wrong.
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#20 Stout_fan

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 07:48 AM

I found that if I used PBW with hot water it did seem to clean better. Chemical reactions double fir 10 deg C increase IIRC

But I found it tends to leave a deposit of some sort. Jamil once commented he found the same thing.

YMMV


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