I own 4 different stainless steel homebrewing conical fermenters at this time. 2 Stainless steeel brew buckets, a 7 gallon SS BrewTech stainless steel conical fermenter and a 14 gallon stainless steel conical fermenter. Previous to purchasing these homebrew fermenters I tended to use glass carboys but would also use a plastic carboy on occasion. Often times I get asked if they are worth the money? For me I can quickly and honestly answer yes! The main reason is they are more durable and I do not have to worry about dropping one of my glass carboys anymore and having it send me to the hospital. I also got them for a great deal, or at least what I consider a great deal. I picked the stainless steel brew buckets up for $195 each, the 7 gallon for $395 and the 14 gallon for $495. There are a few more reasons why I like them so much.
They are stainless steel, so if I care for them they will last a life time. It also means that I do not need to worry about light oxidization while the wort or beer is in it. They are incredible easy to clean. If I want to I can transfer via CO2 pressure. My 14 gallon unit has a temperature control unit which makes fermenting an ale or a lager a breeze regardless of the time of year. My stainless brew buckets and 7 gallon conical fermenter all fit in my fermentation fridge and allow me to ferment about 18 gallons of beer as opposed to 10 gallons if I was still using my glass carboys! Dry hopping these are a snap since their lids come off, which make they a snap to clean as well. The conicals come with a thermowell built in and the stainless brewbuckets have a add-on kit for them as well.
As you can see, filling the conical is as easy as it gets. It even has easy to read gallon markers etched into the inside wall of the fermenter. As you can see there are two ports on it. One for dumping large volumes from the base of the conical or harvesting yeast (which is simple and can save you some money) and a second transfer and tracking arm port for siphoning beer above the sediment and or yeast bed.
As you can see in the above photo, transferring beer from the stainless steel brew bucket is about as easy as it gets. It has a single port and rotating internal racking arm that makes transferring clear beer to the keg as easy as turning a valve. No more sanitizing siphons with these fermenters.
As I had mentioned earlier, cleaning these fermenters in very easy. I simply use some PBW, warm water and a nylon scrub sponge. The lid comes off so it is easy to reach everything and the conical fermenters come with sanitary clamps so they break down and reassemble effortlessly. I have used these fermenters for over 3 years now and still do not have one complaint about them!
If you are interested in picking one up, here are the links and best of all, they are shipped free!
Video of the stainless steel 7 gallon homebrewing conical fermenter in action. Transferring a batch of Pliny the Elder to the keg.