Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stainless steel conical beer fermenter Pt.8

The beer fermenter project is finally ready for its first batch of beer. I bought a soft silicone strip from McMaster and cut a scarf joint in it. The diameter of the finished ring matches the lid on the fermenter.

I did some testing and verified that standard silicone adhesive would bond the red silicone rubber strip very well. I am pretty sure that if tested to destruction, the glue joint would break before the rubber itself would, but it still seems tough enough for this application.

I also welded my stainless cooling coil into the lid.

I made some Delrin clamps to keep the lid held tightly onto the tank. The silicone rubber is very soft which helps easily make a seal with minimal clamping pressure. I clamped it all up, shut both valves, and sucked some air out with my lungs. I could feel the vessel holding the vacuum that I created, so I assume the setup is essentially air-tight.

OK, so now it's time to brew some beer! Any recipe suggestions?


  1. Since you have the temperature control, and it's winter, why not a lager? It's kind of a pain in a plastic bucket but with the temperature regulation (and lagering friendly outdoor temperature) maybe it'll turn out?

  2. do you have the part/item number for the silicone from mcmaster?


  3. Andrew, the McMaster part number for the silicone seal is 2614T565. Are you trying to copy my design exactly? I would definitely recommend getting a better-fitting lid that I had. I only used this silicone to make the lid work with the conical tank. It can and should be a bit thinner. Good luck

  4. Has this project progressed any further? I'd love to see how it works to go through a batch brew. I think I saw it in your argonation experiment. I follow you on Google+ and really love your posts! Thanks!

  5. Jon, I've used the conical to make about half a dozen batches of beer. It works really well, and I should make a video of it in operation. Stay tuned!

  6. A vid would be awesome. I really dig the single vessel approach, including fermentation. I've got my minimalist single-vessel all-grain brewery about how I like it, but there's joy in engineering, eh? Cheers!

  7. did you ever make a video? any idea on how this could be adapted for all grain?