There are three reasons why small batch brewers and wine makers buy the MINIBREW Fermenters. Less Work, Less Expensive and More Fun. There is more, now you can make your favorite beverage with professionally designed small batch equipment. Beer, wine, mead, teas, you name it. You’ll be happy you joined the “Small Batch Gang.” The flavor is up to you. Our high density thick wall polyethylene equipment is completely inert. It will not change the taste. If fermentation is called for in the recipe, try our professionally designed fermenters that fits the recipe size.
Easy to clean and sterilize.
All popular cleaning and sterilizing agents can be used on our plastic (HDPE) fermenters. They will not harm the inert plastic material. Water at 180 degrees is also an excellent sterilizing agent. Pour it down the sides of the fermenter. The heat will sink into the plastic and all the parts, killing any bacteria.
One need not worry about tiny scratches in plastic. There are two answers to the problem and both are easy. First do nothing, ignore the scratch, clean it with a soft brush and sterilize with hot water. The second answer is to remove the scratch by cutting down the sides. Use a dull knife drawing it toward you scraping away the plastic. Grinding and buffing scratches in stainless steel is not an easy process.
No secondary transfers.
When brewing beer there is no need to transfer to a secondary fermentation vessel. It is less work and safer to transfer the dead yeast cells from the bottom while you leave the fermenting process above untouched. Think about it! Many small batch brewers go to great effort to transfer almost finished beer or wine from one carboy to another so the finish product is not sitting on dead yeast cells or lees. It takes less effort and is less risky from an infection point of view, to drain the small volume of junk that has settled to the bottom than it is to siphon the whole batch to another vessel. We recommend removing the trub daily to prevent off flavors and to use the extra liquid to measure specific gravity. You may even sneak a taste. Eliminating the secondary transfer is only one of the reasons for the conical design. Wine makers will need another tank for the initial crush and punch down. Grape skins, leaves and sticks may plug the bottom valve.
Fermenter design shape.
The precise shape of the 60 degree cone and top cylinder (one unit wide by one unit high) are fermenter design perfections developed over many, many years by dedicated brewers looking to improve taste, consistency and ease of use. The shape positions the yeast and the convection currents do the rest. The mixing motion of the currents assures complete yeast wort/wine contact. The yeast near the cool sides will sink and upon hitting the conical bottom are forced into the center where it is warmer. Active yeast tend to give off heat. The hard working warmer cells rise to the top and spread to the sides to complete the cycle. Dead yeast cells will drop to the bottom for removal.
Thermometer threads on all the MiniBrew fermenters (not available on the 6.5xe) are located near the middle of the liquid for precise temperature monitoring. A screw-in plug is included with the purchase. The HBE thermometer is available and sold separately.
Lid Sealing Gasket
Lid Sealing Gaskets, for our Older Models, are available if you need. If your Fermenter has a groove at the top, the Blue Sealing Gasket will do the trick!
The 1/2 inch racking port threads are located on the side of the cone just above the settled yeast level. The racking port valve is for sampling, specific gravity reading and of course racking to bottles and kegs. The valve at the apex of the cone is for filling the fermenter and draining dead yeast. The thickest of yeast will flow through this large one inch valve. All of our valves are food grade Stainless Steel.
The Evolution of Fermenters
We have heard the original fermenters were stone. Later on they were built from wood, with pitch, from trees to seal the holes. Then copper became the metal of choice. Stainless Steel was developed in the 30’s but didn’t catch on for fermentation vessels until the 60’s. Now the material of choice is plastic. HDPE (high density polyethylene) is the desired material for food grade products. There may have been a few steps we missed in the 5000 year history of material used for fermentation. However, the change is what is important. Plastic is the material now favored because of it Durability, Ease of Use and Price.
A billion dollar medical company buys our conical tanks for use in a blood plasma separation process. They tell us our plastic tanks are superior to stainless steel, sterilize without pitting and are more cost effective. The USGS uses our tanks when investigating for illegal activities. Plastic is also the material of choice at modern research laboratories, including a Cancer Research Facility. Another lab, in the Marine Biology field desalinates Sea Water. These labs handle every kind of bacteria imaginable and can afford the best Stainless Steel available, but instead they choose HDPE and MINIBREW. Plastic is safe and it works.