Ss Brew Tech continues to impress me with the equipment they release. I was incredibly excited to ferment my first stainless beer in a brew bucket, and I then was again amazed when I upgraded to my conical style fermentor. Using a stainless conical is, hands down, the best way to ferment your beer, as it allows you to use one vessel for both primary and secondary fermentation. Many, like the Ss Brew Tech Chronical, also employ the use of tri-clamp/tri-clover fittings which are the most sanitary fittings being used in all commercial brewery operations.
Previously, I reviewed the Half Barrel Chronical, which has a 17 gallon capacity. Today, I wanted to go over the 7 gallon variation and how it differs. For the most part, the 7 gallon is identical to the Half Barrel, just at a smaller size. That being said, there are a couple changes that were made to improve the usability of this piece — namely the addition of the weld-less thermowell and the thicker lid.
To make this easier, I’m posting a video showing the new 7 Gallon Chronical and how I use it in my setup. It’s only 3 minutes long, and if you have any specific questions for me please feel free to reach out. I’m happy to help.
Assembly: Easy Tri-Clamp assembly. Lid is assembled with locking clamps and thermowell is easily assembled with a rubber seal and nut.
Packaging: All Ss Brew Tech boxes are safely packaged in a white Ss Brew Tech box which is packaged in a cardboard shipping box.
Volume Etchings: Volume etchings display 7+ gallons. Great for measuring the capacity of your yield.
Weight: Easily transportable without wort, not too difficult to transport when full. Handles on the sides allow for easy transport.
The Lid: Like the Half Barrel Chronical Lid, but does not include a PRV (Pressure Relief Valve). The lid on this model is thicker.
Thermowell: Weld-less Thermowell – designed to accept Ss Brew Tech Digital Temperature Display.
Cleaning: Locking lid can be fully removed as well as all tri-clamp fittings. Can be hand washed or CIP.
Price & Capacity: $395
FTSs Compatible: Yes
Customer Service: The team at Ss Brew Tech is incredibly responsive. If you have an issue or question, the solution is only an email away. Add in that these units ship for free and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Pressurization – Caution
This specific area needs to be called as it’s easy to mess up if you’ve never dealt with CO2 and pressurized vessels. Traditional corny kegs are rated pretty high — typically about 120-130psi, but fermentors are quite a bit lower in their threshold. It is for this reason that extreme caution must be exercised when pressurizing your conical or Chronical fermentor for keg transfer or head space purging. Each Chronical is rated up to 5psi, but that is the ultimate maximum threshold and realistically you shouldn’t ever hit it with more than 1-2psi.
In my video review, you’ll see a standard CO2 regulator attached to my CO2 tank and ultimately the chronical; this will not provide you with the most accurate reading. It’s recommended you get a low pressure guage and attach it to your fermentor if you would like to do keg transfer. Coincidentally, Ss Brew Tech has a really handy video on their FAQ that shows you how to do it. You’ll need to grab some hosing, a low pressure gauge, and some clamps, but these are easy to find. If you are having trouble finding Tri-Clamp/Tri-Clover gear – check out www.brewershardware.com – they have some of the best pricing around.
Leg Extensions: I would love to have the option to buy Ss Brew Tech leg extensions and casters for this fermentor so it can be more mobile. This isn’t a make or break for me, just nice to have.
Verdict & Experience
The 7 Gallon Chronical is not very different from the Half Barrel version, although the piece does look a bit more polished/finished. The Ss Brew Tech team is clearly listening and taking customer feedback to heart and this is shown in their regular updates and improvements to each piece. The lid is heavier in its construction and the welded thermowell has been replaced with a weld-less option. In addition, the team has put together a new help section on their website detailing best practices and FAQs for each piece of equipment. Definitely check this out if you have any questions when you get a new piece of Ss Brew Tech gear. Again, if you are in the market for a new fermentor or if you are ready to take the jump to stainless, make sure you check these guys out. It’s well worth it.