Using this for conical fermenter?

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mendozer

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I've seen the FastFerment, Fermzilla, etc and I'm actually going to get two FastFerments for beer, But for wine, I want something larger that's more portable. I was thinking this:


It has legs built in, I can put it on a round plywood with casters. I open ferment in a big Rubbermaid Brute then after pressing it could go into this conical, then open the port to drain sludge every so often. I could add a spigot for sampling little bits at a time. It says "Meets FDA Standards"...but for what? It's medium density PE so that tells me it should be food safe but I'm not sure.
 

stickman

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The vessel is probably ok for fermentation and short term storage. The vessel wall is .13" which is too thin, given PE's oxygen permeability, for long duration storage.
 

crushday

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Why don’t you just get a 14 gallon FF? I have two of them. Like you, I open ferment and then transfer to the conical for MLF. From there I age in carboys and gallon demijohns and then barrels before finally getting to a bottle.

The cost of a 14 gallon is about the price of the solution you provided.
 

mendozer

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True, I just liked the potability of that one. Is the FF thick enough for long term aging? My plan was to do MLF then oaking all in the same vessel. And if I leave it there for say 3 months before bottling, I want to know the plastic is safe for that, FF or the other one. IOW...what type of plastic or thickness is safe for AGING? That would have been a better start off question.
 

crushday

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I don’t think you’ll want to use any conical for long term aging for the amount of time. Depending on your wine quantity, you’d likely have a bunch of headspace to contend with. Oxygen is your wine’s friend during fermentation but its mortal enemy after that if left uncontrolled.

The longest I’ve left wine in the conical is three months, including fermentation and time to degas. I would error on the side of norms as it pertains to wine making processes found on this site. In other words, transfer to a carboy for your oaking and short term storage. You want to limit oxygen by controlling headspace.
 
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stickman

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You are probably fine if aging for only 3 months. For comparison, the inductor tank thickness is around 3mm, the 15gal flextank is 8mm.
 

mendozer

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wouldn't the conical not have oxygen in it if you're only ever draining from the bottom to get rid of lees?
 

stickman

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The problem is that the plastic is oxygen permeable, so oxygen goes straight through to the wine, a little bit is beneficial especially for a red wine, but too much will cause problems, white wine would be more sensitive to this process. Every plastic formulation is different, some transfer more oxygen than others, even the plastic density matters as medium density polyethylene allows a higher transfer rate than the high density resin. Here's some published gas transfer coefficient data that gives an idea of the magnitude difference between types of plastic.

Permeation Coeff.png
 
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I wonder why the manufacturers don't use an EVOH coating on the outside of the fermentation vessels? It's commonly done as an oxygen barrier coating for pex tubing. It adds about $30 to a 300' roll. Looking at the chart, it seems very effective
 
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