Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Sabco Select Sankey 7.75 Fermenter Review
At first I really gravitated to conicals they are stainless and just so damn cool. In particular I was very interested in a 7 gallon conical from Stout Tanks and Kettles. If anyone is interested in a conical I would recommend giving them a look. Their lead times on some items can be long but prices are great and I only hear good things about quality. The main problem I had with most conicals, in the size and price range I was comfortable with, is that they were not rated to hold pressure.
While investigating other options I looked at Sabco, also Kegs.com, as they are both owned by the same parent company. They have been making full 15.5 gallon keg fermenters and serving vessels for some time and I was pleased to find that they had just started to make 7.75, pony keg, versions of each. I first looked at their 7.75 gallon fermenter it looks really nice but was a bit more than I really wanted to spend. I also had some concerns about the racking arm. I am at some point planning to pressure ferment and loosing the tri-clamp to rotate the racking arm at 15-20 psi seemed very likely to spray beer all over the place. I settled on the 7.75 gallon Select Sankey serving vessel. It is designed to hold up to 30psi and was able to cut out a fair amount of cost by contacting Sabco and ordering it without the valve assembly. I picked up a 4" tri-clamp gasket, clamp and cover from Brewers Hardware and a hose barb adapter at Lowes. I am not ready to pressure ferment yet so I have currently replaced the pressure safety release with the hose barb to connect my blow off tube. I managed to get all of this put together for slightly over $200 with shipping.
Reasons for my Decision
1. Very durable, it should last a lifetime
2. Rated to hold up to 30psi
3. Flexible. If at some point I get a conical I can order a valve assembly and use as a serving vessel
4. Stainless should dissipate more heat from fermentation than plastic or glass
5. Integrated easy carry handles
6. 4" tri-clamp port for fairly easy cleaning
7. Can be put directly on a burner with some water to sanitize
I plan to use this to pressure ferment in the future. I will be designing and building a custom 4" tri-clamp cap to achieve this. I am sure that I will have more posts on that progress in the future.
I have had a few requests for some more pictures on how I currently have this setup. As I stated before, this is a fairly simple setup and I will be designing a new cap when I am ready to start pressure fermenting. This new cap will include a pressure gauge, gas in valve and a dip tube. Here are a couple pictures of how it is now.