• Welcome to Minibrew
  • HDPE Plastic VS Stainless Steel a Comparison

Welcome to Minibrew, we are excited about our products!  We hope you are also.   


                                       Benefits of minibrew                                                                                                                                         

1.  Bottom Valve 
There are two reasons for the bottom valve. The Bottom valve is for unrestricted removal of dead yeast and loading the wort from the kettle after cooling. For best results, the dead yeast must flow into a detached container that has capacity greater than expected dead yeast. This method has been proven over the years by brewers world wide. The restricted flow into a smaller attached container presents an unnecessary risk of contamination and extra work. When the attached container method is used, two things can happened. There may be greater dead yeast than container capacity. This step must be repeated twice to remove all dead yeast.  When the container, is replaced, any bacteria in the container will flow up into the fermenter contaminating your wort.

2.  Racking Port
Racking port is for filling bottles and kegs, specific gravity testing and tasting. The port is above the dead yeast.

3.  60 Degree Conical Bottom
Mike Lewes Professor at the University of California Davis  brewing school told me, “A 60 degree conical bottom is essential for a more complete fermentation.”

4.  Cylindrical Conical Fermenter
The cylindrical conical fermenter is a design proven over the years, to be the best shape for the most complete fermentation.  The cylinder is the top half of our fermenters.

5.  Convection Currents
As the yeast starts to eat the sugar in the wort, it becomes warm and rises to the top.  As it hits the top, it moves to the side.  The sides are cool and it starts to slide down the sides.  As it bumps into the conical, it is pushed toward the middle and starts to rise again.  Along the way, the yeast dies and settles to the bottom.  These convections are what allows a more thorough ferment.  The cylindrical conical shape has been proven over time by breweries throughout the world.

6.  Thick Plastic Threads
Our threads are injected molded, then spin welded in place.  The thread walls are 1/4 inch thick.  Compare our threads with threads molded as part of the tank.  Theirs are very thin and will break or strip easily.  Speaking of thick–compare our tank walls with our competitors.  You will be pleasantly surprised.

7.  “Leak Free” Removable SS Threads – COMING SOON
Our new “leak free” (TM) threads made from stainless steel, will be in our warehouse by April 2016.  They can be easily removed for cleaning and sterilization.  Compare our leak free bulk head fittings with what is now available.  Our bulk head fittings are not meant to replace our plastic threads

8.  Commercial Grade Stand
Our new four leg stand is very stable, our tank will not wobble.  Plus, brewers can lift the tank out of the stand without removing the valves.

9.  No Secondary Transfer – Remove Dead Yeast Cels, Not the Wort.
Most brew kits include a food grade plastic bucket.  There is no opportunity to rid the wort of the dead yeast. Some brewers may prefer syphoning off the wort on top of the dead yeast into another container.  Every time one moves the wort, the risk of contamination is inevitable.

10. Lid – Easy To Remove and Easy To Seal
Our medical grade flexible plastic lid is easy to remove.  One or two finger nails under the edge and it pulls off.  To replace, place one edge on the top side of the fermenter opening, then run your fingers around the top edge until on.  A rubber band around the edge of the lid may be used if necessary.

11. Stainless Steel Valves
All our tanks now include stainless steel ball valves.  These valves replace the lead free brass valves we have used for 18 years.  You asked, and we got them for you and we didn’t raise the price.

12. Air Lock
Included With The 6.5 Gallon (f6.5ssd) Fermenter.

13. Stainless Steel Verses Plastic
High Density Polyethylene Plastic (HDPE) is superior to stainless and much less costly.  Ou tanks are easy to clean and easy to sterilize.  HDPE is the material of the future.


We believe our equipment is unique and the best on the market.  We are breaking tradition in the home beer and home wine making industry.  We like to call our customers the small batch gang.  This way brewpubs, wineries, distillers and micro breweries are included.  We were first to manufacture a small (6.5 gallon) affordable 60 degree cylindrical conical fermenter made from high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic. Our products are affordable, easy to use, and user friendly. The plastic is completely inert and easy to clean and sterilize.  Besides all that we are less expensive than stainless steel which means good quality for less money.  This is a win win for everyone.  Industries concerned about sterilization, unwanted bacteria, and price use HDPE.   We see HDPE products in medical companies, hospitals and bio-research companies’ worldwide, plus the USGS.  We also see it used in breweries and wineries.  Sanitation and sterilization is extremely important to all these companies.  One major medical company uses our conical fermenters for a blood plasma separation device to help people with dialysis.  A research company uses our conical fermenter trying to locate blood specs in the human system.  A major Brewing Company uses our conicals for their classroom studies.   A major award winning winery uses our conical fermenters in their research laboratory with a view to developing new tastes.  The industries mentioned here are major companies that can afford the best stainless steel on the market.  However, they buy HDPE.  If it works for them why won’t it work for you?

We have broken all barriers. In the beginning, beer was made by Egyptians in stone crocks. The Belgium’s made improvements using wood sealed with pitch.  Then copper was used in the big beer producing countries.  In the 30’s stainless steel was developed, and became the standard in the ‘60s.  Today, high density polyethylene plastic is used worldwide and is the new standard.

They say when the copy cats come along it is the sincerest form of flattery.  They are out there and you need to check them out.  Our tanks walls are a full 5/16 inch thick compared to their 1/8 inch wall thickness.  We provide a racking port they do not.  Our standard equipment includes a commercially designed stand.  One competitor hangs their tank on the wall so you can’t move it to a more covenant location as needed.   An option is a stand that sits on the ground that costs extra and does not hold the tank steady.  We say it wobbles.  One provides a cup for dead yeast collection that screws onto the bottom valve.  This idea sound inviting but when one thinks about the details is may cause more harm then good.   The bottom valve is open and the dead yeast fills the cup unless there is m0re dead yeast than cup capacity.  The cup is them removed, cleaned and replaced to repeat the process.  It can pick up bacteria from any source before being replaced.  When the valve is opened again the air including unwanted bacteria will bubble up infecting your wort.  I have studied breweries for many years and have not found anyone using a cup.

We shipped our first conical fermenter in 1997.  It has been a fun challenge and we are winning, as the business is growing.  We now ship worldwide.
If you have any inquiries, please visit FAQ or send me a note.

John S. Thomas
Hobby Beverage Equipment Co
Box 1387 Temecula CA 92593
951 676 2337

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There are many reasons why Minibrew Conicals are easier to use and even better for your beer than our Stainless competitors, not the least of which is cost! Check the chart above, We are 1/3 to 1/2 the equivalent equipped stainless version. Don’t forget, our exclusive Pressure Free Labyrinth Seal & Lip design allows maximum CO2 expulsion from your fermenter. The results are a happier and healthier yeast due to ZERO additional osmotic pressure and reduced yeast waste in solution. Also scratching, scouring or even dirt films on stainless can mean iron oxide exposure and metallic flavors in your beer, unless they are properly re-passivated using nasty chemicals or prolonged oxygen contact.

Please give us a call if you have any questions.


Just wanted you to know that I brewed my first beer in your 6.5 conical fermenter. All I can say is Thank you. I wish I had bought one years ago. The quality of workmanship, the thickness of the plastic body, and the ease of using it puts all your competitors to shame. I always felt my beers had a certain off taste common to all. Using your conical go rid of that. Removing the trub was simple and easy. Much better, more efficient than the collection ball your competitors use. I made a simple Winter Spiced Ale, next will be a more complex Black IPA. Will let you know how that turns out!
Again, Thank you – Pete

Pete Pete

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