Building a SS Conical FV

Ever wanted to make your own stainless steel fermenter, exactly the way you want it? Then check out this guide from Martin!

When I started homebrewing 8 years ago I started on a 3 vessel system, all converted from Burco boilers. As a steel fabricator , I’ve had the advantage of being able to adapt most things in brewing to something usable.
All this time however, I’ve been using plastic buckets for fermenting, and thought it time I moved to a stainless conical. Partly due to no need to transfer to a secondary vessel for settling, so less chance of oxidation, and also a good time to increase my capacity.
I started off with the purchase of an upright fridge, then looked to find a stainless lid that would fit inside. With the purchase of a 500mm lid for about £33, and a 2500mm x 1250mm x 1mm grade 304 sheet of stainless for £145, that got me started.

With the sheet being 1250mm, cutting to 625mm along the middle would give me enough to make two. With the cone at 60 degrees, that would give me approx 100 ltr capacity.
First with a template for half of the cone.
This is then creased in the hand bender to the correct shape. More luck than judgement!

The Cone

Once both parts put through the folder, welded from the inside into one piece.
Note. All welds TIG welded from the inside, with a flux to the outer face, rather than shielding gas.

Bottom TC dump valve welded in.
Draw off TC port fitted and inside welds polished out.
Final water test before assembly.

The Main Body

Main body rolled…
…and welded

The attach the cone to the body, tacked and then fully welded

Final polish inside
Legs welded on
Checking for leaks

The Result

Phew, after all that, it fits!

All of the stainless valves and fittings came from either Ebay, or Ali Express, and both gave quality items at delivery times quicker than stated at time of buying.

Overall cost of each fermenter came to about £200, inc lid with 100mm tri clamp fitting, 38mm butterfly valve, viewing glass and elbow. 19mm lever valve to outlet port.

Still yet to use it, but don’t foresee any major problems. Fingers crossed!

3 thoughts on “Building a SS Conical FV”

  1. It looks great Mart. Awesome job! Now we just need to convince you to build some for the rest of us 😉

  2. Richard Swindells

    That looks like a retirement business idea, providing you can get the raw materials. Looks amazing. You may need a bigger boat, though… fridge looks a bit tight 🙂

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