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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: lazydog79 on August 24, 2016, 08:04:39 PM

Title: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: lazydog79 on August 24, 2016, 08:04:39 PM
I discovered the other night that my veteran BetterBottle 6 gallon primary fermenter has developed some sort of stress crack/dimple on the inside. Don't know how that happened but doesn't really matter - it's done.

So, I am in the market for a new fermenter.  While I liked the BetterBottle, I think I want to go back to a more durable material.  Actually thought about going old school with a 6.5 gallon glass carboy.  I would love to get a stainless steel conical, but my dogs blatantly refuse to crap gold nuggets to fund my brewery upgrades  ;D

Does anyone have any experience with these? NB has a promo on them through today. I like the idea of going back to glass but with a wide opening. What does the group think of them?
http://www.northernbrewer.com/big-mouth-bubbler-evo-2-6-5-gallon (http://www.northernbrewer.com/big-mouth-bubbler-evo-2-6-5-gallon)
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: denny on August 24, 2016, 08:08:44 PM
IMO, for small scale fermentation, buckets win.  Unless you want to go for a conical, I find them a far better solution than carboys.  Not only do I hate glass, but I find the carboy form factor impractical.  Buckets are easier to clean and take up less room to store.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: kramerog on August 24, 2016, 08:15:14 PM
Buckets ... take up less room to store.

Denny, I assume that you nest your buckets for storage.  Do you do anything to prevent a nested bucket from scratching the interior of the other bucket  I try to avoid nesting to avoid scratches which give a place for bacteria to hide.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: denny on August 24, 2016, 08:18:45 PM
Buckets ... take up less room to store.

Denny, I assume that you nest your buckets for storage.  Do you do anything to prevent a nested bucket from scratching the interior of the other bucket  I try to avoid nesting to avoid scratches which give a place for bacteria to hide.

Nope, I do nothing and it's not a problem.  I don't think the idea of scratches harboring bacteria that can ruin your beer has ever been tested.  I've certainly never found it to be a problem.  I have buckets that have been in use for a couple hundred batches and have minor scratches...no problem.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Bob357 on August 24, 2016, 08:51:35 PM
I use the Fermonster 7 gallon and 6 1/2 gallon Bigmouth Bubblers. I like the large openings in both when it comes time to clean or remove hop bags. 

The Bigmouth Bubbler has some dimpled areas which make it a little harder to clean, but a microfiber cloth helps. It also has a 2 piece lid, which some have problems with.

I like the fact that the Fermonster is much smoother and has a single piece closure. Personally, I prefer both to BetterBottles, if for nothing else the larger capacity. I find no need to use a blowoff on the Fermonster and seldom on the Bigmouth Bubblers. I ferment 5.5 gallons.

I'm with Denny on  minor scratches in plastic fermenters. Good cleaning and sanitizing practices all but assure no problems.

I used glass until hearing some horror stories about injuries. I also am getting to an age where every pound counts when lifting.

Hope this helps,

Bob
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Philbrew on August 24, 2016, 09:18:26 PM
I've used the 6.5 gal. plastic Bigmouth Bubblers for two years now and 30 batches.  I'd buy again but they look like they will last a good deal longer.  They have improved the lid design.  Get the valve option.
I know that lots of folks like buckets but I enjoy seeing the beer churning away while the little yeast beasties make alcohol and bubbles.  It's part of the fun of home brewing.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 24, 2016, 09:46:25 PM
Another vote for buckets. I have tons of these 7.9 gallon wine fermenter buckets. Plenty of headspace for 5.5 gallon batches. I rarely if ever need to use a blowoff hose using these.

http://shop.greatfermentations.com/product/7-9-gallon-fermenting-bucket/plastic-fermenters
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: denny on August 24, 2016, 09:48:21 PM
I guess I'm missing out on the fun...I don't have the time or inclination to watch fermentation!
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 24, 2016, 09:53:52 PM
I guess I'm missing out on the fun...I don't have the time or inclination to watch fermentation!


I loved it when I started! But that was a lot of batches in the rearview. I couldn't care less now.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: denny on August 24, 2016, 10:17:46 PM
I guess I'm missing out on the fun...I don't have the time or inclination to watch fermentation!


I loved it when I started! But that was a lot of batches in the rearview. I couldn't care less now.

Exactly.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Philbrew on August 24, 2016, 10:46:20 PM
I guess I'm missing out on the fun...I don't have the time or inclination to watch fermentation!


I loved it when I started! But that was a lot of batches in the rearview. I couldn't care less now.

Exactly.
Well, it's not like I sit and look at it all day like I was a stoner staring at a Lava Lamp.  ;D   It's more like checking your tropical fish twice a day.  Maybe someday I'll be tired of it, but not yet.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 24, 2016, 10:50:56 PM
I guess I'm missing out on the fun...I don't have the time or inclination to watch fermentation!


I loved it when I started! But that was a lot of batches in the rearview. I couldn't care less now.

Exactly.

I find it nice to see how well the beer is clearing.  I don't check much and keep my BBs covered while they're fermenting.

If I buy any new ones I'd consider the Big Mouth or buckets.  No glass in this house thanks.

Stainless conical sounds nice, or one of those stainless bucket deals, but I really don't need that.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 24, 2016, 10:54:40 PM
  No glass in this house thanks.


Yep, been there, suffered the consequences. Over the broken glass.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Stevie on August 24, 2016, 11:26:34 PM
I'm going with fermonsters soon. I would opt for the plastic BMB, but they are too tall for my ferm freezer when an airlock is added.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Visor on August 25, 2016, 12:06:54 AM
  I used buckets 30 some years ago when I first got into this addiction, when I got back into it this spring I upgraded most of my equipment and that included switching to plastic conicals. At this point you couldn't force me to go back to buckets. I would prefer to have stainless conicals but like you I haven't found any gold turds in my yard lately, and haven't yet seen any significant downside to plastic ones, except that the 1st one does have sealing problems. I think a new gasket will cure that, and even at it's worst it seals many times better than my best bucket ever did.
   Stevie's point is very valid if you need to fit your fermenter into a fridge, the Fast Ferment conicals are 32 1/2" high from the base of the stand to the top of the lid, not including ferm loc or blowoff tube. I had to put a 90 degree barbed close nipple in the loc-hole to get it to just barely squeeze into my keg old fridge.
   One of the many advantages to using conicals is the elimination of racking from your fermenter, simply dump your trub ball when primary fermentation is done [or whenever you get around to it] and then bottle or keg right from the fermenter. I still bottle and it is a cake walk from a conical compared to goofing around with siphoning from a carboy or a bucket.
   These other guys all have much more experience and knowledge than me, but you might at least give a thought to conicals.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: natebrews on August 25, 2016, 12:59:51 AM
I also have a fast ferment conical and I actually stopped using it and went back to carboys.  I wasn't really very happy with it and I had problems with it getting clogged on the main port on the bottom.  On a few occasions I ended up racking out of the top of it because the bottom was just a brick and wouldn't flow out.  I did make some fine beer in it, but the valve situation was annoying and the fact that it is so big made it hard to move, and I had to build a new chamber for it. 

I had some sealing issue with it, but I didn't care much about that.  Half the time I just put some foil over my carboy openings anyway, just don't let dust and bugs get in and it will be fine.

All that said, lot of people like it and I think some people are adding a racking port near the bottom to get around the plugging issue. 

There is a new one out there called the catalyst.  I think it is a kickstarter thing at this point.  It is similar in concept to the fast ferment but a little different in implementation.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: jpeets on August 25, 2016, 01:33:32 AM
I made the switch today I picked up a FastFerment conical brewing on Friday can't wait to try
Title: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: tommymorris on August 25, 2016, 01:56:54 AM
I have a ported plastic Big Mouth Bubbler. I like it.  But, the lid doesn't seal very well which is annoying.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Philbrew on August 25, 2016, 02:17:01 AM
I have a ported plastic Big Mouth Bubbler. I like it.  But, the lid doesn't seal very well which is annoying.
Get the new design lid for $5.99.  Seals good.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: lazydog79 on August 25, 2016, 01:58:53 PM

Well, it's not like I sit and look at it all day like I was a stoner staring at a Lava Lamp.  ;D 
[/quote]
Now I don't care who you are - that's funny!  ;D
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: lazydog79 on August 25, 2016, 02:12:10 PM
I use the Fermonster 7 gallon and 6 1/2 gallon Bigmouth Bubblers. I like the large openings in both when it comes time to clean or remove hop bags. 

The Bigmouth Bubbler has some dimpled areas which make it a little harder to clean, but a microfiber cloth helps. It also has a 2 piece lid, which some have problems with.

I like the fact that the Fermonster is much smoother and has a single piece closure. Personally, I prefer both to BetterBottles, if for nothing else the larger capacity. I find no need to use a blowoff on the Fermonster and seldom on the Bigmouth Bubblers. I ferment 5.5 gallons.
Bob - You reminded me about the Fermonster, Thanks.  I had forgotten about them - don't shop on MoreBeer all that much anymore.  I like the Fermonster - you summed up the benefits well.  I also like that they use #10 stoppers since I have a bunch from my BetterBottles.  I need to order some keezer parts from MoreBeer anyway.  Now to decide on the 6 or 7 gallon.  I'll probably go with the 7 gallon - space is nice and it's only a dollar more.

Thanks all for the input!!
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: denny on August 25, 2016, 04:29:23 PM
I have 2 problems with conicals, both related to cost.  I frequently have 3-5 batches fermenting at a time and that many conicals would be expensive.  As would a way to control fermemtation temp.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 25, 2016, 04:31:47 PM
I have 2 problems with conicals, both related to cost.  I frequently have 3-5 batches fermenting at a time and that many conicals would be expensive.  As would a way to control fermemtation temp.

I understand that.  The only time (maybe twice) that I ever used a bucket to ferment was when I ran out of carboys and better bottles.

Unfortunately these days I don't brew as often, so I've rarely got more than two batches going at once.

But I still think the stainless brew buckets look pretty cool.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: denny on August 25, 2016, 04:32:37 PM
I have 2 problems with conicals, both related to cost.  I frequently have 3-5 batches fermenting at a time and that many conicals would be expensive.  As would a way to control fermemtation temp.

I understand that.  The only time (maybe twice) that I ever used a bucket to ferment was when I ran out of carboys and better bottles.

Unfortunately these days I don't brew as often, so I've rarely got more than two batches going at once.

But I still think the stainless brew buckets look pretty cool.

They do, but $$$
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Slowbrew on August 25, 2016, 07:40:36 PM
I have 2 problems with conicals, both related to cost.  I frequently have 3-5 batches fermenting at a time and that many conicals would be expensive.  As would a way to control fermemtation temp.

I understand that.  The only time (maybe twice) that I ever used a bucket to ferment was when I ran out of carboys and better bottles.

Unfortunately these days I don't brew as often, so I've rarely got more than two batches going at once.

But I still think the stainless brew buckets look pretty cool.

They do, but $$$

For the first time ever this past Spring I had 4 beers in fermenters at one time.  Two 6.5 gallon glass carboys and 2 buckets.  I've always liked the glass but am very, very, careful with them. 

The buckets work well but I always feel like I'm fighting the lids when I have open them.  I know that is a kind of whiny reason but it's mine.   ;)

I also admit to enjoying lifting the covers on my glass carboys and being able to see the activity.  It's easy and convenient to see how the process is going without have to fight to get the lid off.  I'm apparently too cheap (or forgetful) to buy the lid removal tool.  I don't dry hop very often so the narrow neck isn't much of a problem for me.

Paul
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: denny on August 25, 2016, 08:02:00 PM
That's weird...I don't have any trouble wiht the lids on mine.  Must be a different brand.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 25, 2016, 08:06:16 PM
That's weird...I don't have any trouble wiht the lids on mine.  Must be a different brand.

Or you've just got powerful hands...
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: denny on August 25, 2016, 08:09:02 PM
That's weird...I don't have any trouble wiht the lids on mine.  Must be a different brand.

Or you've just got powerful hands...

Maybe, but I doubt it!
Title: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Stevie on August 25, 2016, 08:11:25 PM
That's weird...I don't have any trouble wiht the lids on mine.  Must be a different brand.
Certainly does. The bucket I use for sanitizer takes a good pry to pull off using my knee as a leverage point as well as to hold it down. Others are much easier to pull off little by little or in one go.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 25, 2016, 09:29:10 PM
The bucket/lid combos I use fit super tight like Steve mentioned. It's tough to get the lid on or off. Seals well every time.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Ellismr on August 26, 2016, 12:59:55 AM
I still like the better bottle knock-off made by northern brewer.  They fit a#10 bung and are $25.  I swap them out every 2-3 yrs when I see them looking suspect or when they are BOGO. 

I have a couple bigmouth bubblers first gen. but not happy with their seal.  I hear the the EVO 2 are pretty nice. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Indy574 on August 26, 2016, 01:04:27 AM
I have only used buckets for primary fermentation, and then go to either my glass carboy or Better Bottle for secondary. The glass is such a PIA I'm thinking about ditching it and it sure doesn't help my back much.

I also wonder if secondary is really worth the hassle?  I typically brew IPA's the most. What's the consensus on transferring?
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 26, 2016, 01:32:17 AM
What's the consensus on transferring?


If you're not adding fruit or bulk aging, secondary just serves no purpose. It's outdated advice that still persists in brew shops and in ingredient kits. And racking to secondary also gives you another opportunity to introduce infection into your beer. Autolysis from leaving the beer on the yeast too long isn't a concern for over 6 weeks, so I say leave it in primary until you keg/bottle.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 26, 2016, 01:52:38 AM
I haven't done a secondary in years.  I was relieved years ago when I came to this forum that I was not the only one.

I still like the better bottle knock-off made by northern brewer.  They fit a#10 bung and are $25.  I swap them out every 2-3 yrs when I see them looking suspect or when they are BOGO. 

I've got BBs that are at least 10 years old.  Treat them right and you won't need to replace them for a long time.  No bottle brushes, only a good soak and a rag when needed.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Visor on August 26, 2016, 02:53:07 AM
The last several posts seem to be arguing for a conical, without realizing that they are. You can in essence do a primary and secondary fermentation without racking to a second vessel, which was always a concern for me in the past. The "neck" opening is about 6" which is plenty for anything short of a football which you might desire to stuff in there. And even the faulty ones seal up better than a bucket. I don't think that the cost is all that significant compared to a bucket which is specifically sold as a fermenter, but we all have different financial situations.
   The only serious downside I have encountered is the vertical dimension, a carboy or bucket will fit into a much shorter space than one of those damned tall conicals. Also you can't see what's going on inside the fermenter as well as you could with glass [yes, I too enjoyed the lava lamp comment]. Just so you don't get the impression I'm on the payroll of the manufacturer, there are a number of things I would very much like to see them spend a few bucks improving. A clear viewport in the lid to monitor the process, better seals at the lid to body and the ferm-loc hole, altering the casting mold so the thermometer shaft is parallel to the ground rather than perpendicular to the angle of the fermenter wall, clear trub balls, and an option for a smaller trub ball are the ones I'd most like to see. I'm not holding my breath while waiting for the manufacturer to do the right thing and improve their product. Sooner or later though, if they don't someone else will. 
   One of the other posters mentioned that he had problems with the conical plugging up. I haven't encountered that problem - yet. This morning I finally remembered to dump the trub ball on a batch of stout - about 3 days late. The ball was completely full of yeast sediment [a first] and there was about 3 1/2 " of additional sediment in the bottom of the cone. I removed, dumped, sanitized, and replaced the trub ball, opened the valve at the bottom of the cone, and after a few healthy "glugs" all the yeast sediment in the bottom of the cone moved into it's new quarters in the junk ball.
   I have minor issues with the Fast Ferment units and would go with another brand in a hot second if a better option becomes available, because I think FF has gone low budget on a few things, but at the moment you couldn't pay me enough to go back to buckets or switch to carboys.
   FWIW.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: narcout on August 26, 2016, 04:19:28 PM
But I still think the stainless brew buckets look pretty cool.

They're great.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Slowbrew on August 26, 2016, 05:38:24 PM
That's weird...I don't have any trouble wiht the lids on mine.  Must be a different brand.

Or you've just got powerful hands...

Or I've broken too many parts of my hands over the years and/or I'm doing it wrong.  8^(

The buckets I currently have use lids that look like paint bucket or 5 gallon drywall mud buckets.  They seal well but are a bear to remove.

Paul
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: JJeffers09 on August 26, 2016, 05:50:20 PM
Speidel buckets seem to be holding up better than my regular plastic buckets so far.  The sturdy paint bucket style plastic fermentation vessels seem to get stress cracks.  At my house they do anyway.  The handles are very sturdy, but they are VERY tall
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: stevecrawshaw on August 27, 2016, 10:28:12 AM
I use a plastic jerrycan (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-x-20L-Not-25-Litre-New-Rigid-Plastic-Water-Container-Drum-Gerry-Can-Jar-Bottle-/371603693515?hash=item56854e5fcb:g:EsAAAOxyOalTYVQG)
I "no chill" so hot wort goes straight from the kettle into this. I then leave it in a bin full of cold water until its cold and then pitch yeast directly into it.

I leave headspace which i fill with O2 and shake like it owes me money.  Cap with a 45mm silicone bung and airlock. ferment, crash, rack with a syphon and clean with hot PBW soak. I store them with a little peracetic acid to keep them bug - free.
Works a treat and costs about 10 bucks in your money.
cheers
steve
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: reverseapachemaster on August 28, 2016, 04:43:31 PM
I still like the better bottle knock-off made by northern brewer.  They fit a#10 bung and are $25.  I swap them out every 2-3 yrs when I see them looking suspect or when they are BOGO. 

I have both Better Bottles and the knockoffs from NB. Both make good beer--I would not hesitate to recommend buying whichever is easiest to acquire.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: beersk on August 28, 2016, 06:49:36 PM
That's weird...I don't have any trouble wiht the lids on mine.  Must be a different brand.

Or you've just got powerful hands...

Or I've broken too many parts of my hands over the years and/or I'm doing it wrong.  8^(

The buckets I currently have use lids that look like paint bucket or 5 gallon drywall mud buckets.  They seal well but are a bear to remove.

Paul
You guys just need to get a bucket lid opener to pry it open with. I like buckets as well. I frequently ferment with the lid sitting on top, not closed down all the way, and top crop yeast in the first 48-72 hours, skimming the braunhefe starting around 24 hours post pitch (for yeasts that are top cropping strains).
Lately I've been transferring when there's about 2-4 gravity points left (about 7-8 days post pitch) and letting it finish the rest of the way in the keg. Seems to work great and the beer stays fresher longer it seems. And no worries about the permeability of plastic.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: majorvices on August 30, 2016, 01:54:17 AM
Glycol jacketed stainless conical. ;)
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: erockrph on August 30, 2016, 09:51:26 AM
I've started fermenting in kegs and I'm quite happy with the results. I really like being able to do a closed transfer to a purged serving keg, and you can easily start the carbonation process by setting your PRV to about 15 PSI at the tail end of primary. I've even rigged up an oxygen tank to a liquid disconnect to be able to oxygenate in the keg.

All that said, this works for me because I brew 3 gallon batches, so I can use cheap 5 gallon kegs as fermenters. And I still use buckets if I don't have a keg available for a batch. But for my purposes, kegs give me pretty much everything I want in a conical (closed transfers, and I can blow out the spent yeast through the liquid out), at a much more attractive price point. Plus, I can still use them as kegs if needed.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Visor on August 30, 2016, 04:06:25 PM
Glycol jacketed stainless conical. ;)
  You must be the with the dog that poops golden turds ;)!
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: noiz2 on September 07, 2016, 08:18:56 PM
Well I used buckets for years and like Denny have never had a problem.  But I use them a bit differently than most.  I don't use the lids.  What I do is put a few sheets of cling wrap over the top and use the rubber O Ring (that is in the bucket lid) as a big rubber band to hold the plastic in place and generously spray the exterior with StarSan.

It seals very well and you can watch if you like or just take a peak at how much the top as puffed up.  You basically end up fermenting under pressure (not much but a bit).

Because of durability questions and worries because the buckets never seem to loose a slight smell of prior batches, I have switched to 8 gal brew kettles with the same cling wrap and rubber band top.  Works really well and you can get them for a small fraction of any other stainless fermentor.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: reverseapachemaster on September 09, 2016, 02:36:46 PM
the buckets never seem to loose a slight smell of prior batches

Oxyclean will cure that problem.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: denny on September 09, 2016, 03:48:27 PM
the buckets never seem to loose a slight smell of prior batches

Oxyclean will cure that problem.

And even it if doesn't, it doesn't matter.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Rhoobarb on September 09, 2016, 03:59:09 PM
I heard about the Catalyst on one of the homewbrewing podcasts and checked it out on a whim.  That was a mistake - now I want one.

http://www.homebrewing.com/equipment/catalyst-beer-fermenter/

I have no need for it, I just think it would be cool to have one - or two.  Not as pricey as SS and a couple would fit into my retrofitted chest freezer/fermentation chamber. They are in their Kickstarter phase. And no, I have no affilation.

I have one Better Bottle, which I really like, and all the rest (5) are glass.  I am trying to get rid of all my glass and transition over to plastic.  After 19 years of homebrewing I'm tired of the heavy lifting and potential for injury from breakage. Not to mention the lost beer. I've been lucky all of these years.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Slowbrew on September 09, 2016, 07:06:56 PM
Interesting idea. 

A conical that you can see into might ease the fears of some on how to dump the trub and yeast off without losing too much beer.  I admit it's one of questions I've always had (more of a "Hmmm" than a fear for me).

I'm still not in the market but I kind of like the idea.

Paul
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Visor on September 10, 2016, 04:43:27 PM
I'm with Slowbrew on liking the ability to see what's going on, both in the fermenter and in the sump. Using wide mouth mason jars allows flexibility with regards to jar size, something the FF's lack. Most of the beers I've brewed only filled the sump ball of my FF's about 1/3 with yeast sediment/trub, the other 2/3 was wasted. Granted it's not a huge amount of waste, but it is still BEER. I might have to consider one of these someday.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: natebrews on September 10, 2016, 04:54:56 PM
That catalyst seems pretty cool.  One of the things that many had concern with using the fast ferment conical was the air that you release into the beer when you swap out the container on the bottom.  I don't think that is a big deal, but it seems like the same thing would apply with the catalyst.  The other thing that people often have commented on is the lack of a sample port on the fast ferment, and the catalyst seems to be in the same boat.  I wonder if those concerns/feedback will come up with this one too.

In other news, I just ordered a couple Big Mouth Bubblers (6.5G plastic) since NB was having a sale that covered shipping.  I have been using glass carboys for 6 years, but there are some mineral deposits I can't get off of them and I always think about the images of people sliced up from them breaking.  I'll report back what I think of them after a couple batches.

Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Stevie on September 10, 2016, 06:33:36 PM
The catalyst is just too big. Nearly 30" with an airlock. Won't fit in my freezer without a custom stand. Cool idea, just not practical for me.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: natebrews on September 10, 2016, 07:19:23 PM
That was a big problem with the Fast Ferment as well.  I think that one was even taller than the catalyst.  I ended up rebuilding my ferment chamber to hold it and building a stand for it, which now that I don't use it anymore was kind of a waste.  At least now I can fit 2 carboys vertically in it (though probably not 2 big mouth bubblers).
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Steve Ruch on September 11, 2016, 04:04:02 PM
That's weird...I don't have any trouble wiht the lids on mine.  Must be a different brand.

Or you've just got powerful hands...

Maybe, but I doubt it!

It's a well known fact that ukulele plucking is great exercise for powerful hand development.  ;) 
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Ellismr on September 16, 2016, 08:06:03 PM
I use PET big mouth and more traditional #10 size bubblers from Northern Brewer.  I use them with BrewJacket gear to control the fermentation temp.  2 easy and real aid in beer flavor characteristics that are yeast driven


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Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: denny on September 16, 2016, 08:10:29 PM
It's a well known fact that ukulele plucking is great exercise for powerful hand development.  ;)

 ;D
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: kgs on September 17, 2016, 01:38:54 AM
That's weird...I don't have any trouble wiht the lids on mine.  Must be a different brand.

Or you've just got powerful hands...

Or I've broken too many parts of my hands over the years and/or I'm doing it wrong.  8^(

The buckets I currently have use lids that look like paint bucket or 5 gallon drywall mud buckets.  They seal well but are a bear to remove.

Paul

I wouldn't be able to open my buckets without my bucket-opener. I firmly pry, pry, pry for at least half the lid. then I gently lift off. I am drilling my buckets for spigots because that "pry, pry, pry" sloshes things around just enough that I get too much trub when siphoning. But otherwise: buckets. Cheap, functional, versatile.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: el_capitan on September 21, 2016, 02:11:02 AM
I've gone back and forth and still use both.  I bought a couple of the glass Big Mouth Bubblers, evo 1 and 2.  Both of mine seal well and are solid.  It's great being able to ferment in glass but also clean them well.  I also have four 6.5 gal plastic fermenters and I'll use those on the rare occasion when I have more than 2 batches going. 

The glass is heavier, but I sewed my own Brew-haulers with a padded foam bottom and lots of solid straps with hand-holds.  I like that they don't carry an odor from the previous batch, I get a solid window into the fermentation, and I just trust the glass more over plastic in terms of food safety/preference. 

I'm not going to get rid of my plastic anytime soon, but for now I prefer to be using glass and the Big Mouth Bubblers are working well for my needs. 

PS - That said, I think the Catalyst looks pretty sweet and I'd love to get my hands on one.  Hard to justify that expense though. 
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: Visor on September 22, 2016, 04:31:44 PM
That catalyst seems pretty cool.  One of the things that many had concern with using the fast ferment conical was the air that you release into the beer when you swap out the container on the bottom.  I don't think that is a big deal, but it seems like the same thing would apply with the catalyst.  The other thing that people often have commented on is the lack of a sample port on the fast ferment, and the catalyst seems to be in the same boat.  I wonder if those concerns/feedback will come up with this one too.

In other news, I just ordered a couple Big Mouth Bubblers (6.5G plastic) since NB was having a sale that covered shipping.  I have been using glass carboys for 6 years, but there are some mineral deposits I can't get off of them and I always think about the images of people sliced up from them breaking.  I'll report back what I think of them after a couple batches.
   I did see the other day - I think on More Beer - a retrofit kit for about $12 to install a sample port on the Fast Ferment conicals. The valve looked pretty cheesy though, considering the kit includes the Unibit for drilling the hole, and Unibits usually sell for about 8 or 10 bucks themselves, there probably wans't a lot of expense lavished on the valve.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: martylap on October 03, 2016, 01:11:07 AM
Hi,

I did my second beer (all grain) yesterday and i use for my second time the bucket from the popular Alfred's Beer Equipment Kit. This morning, nothing was happen, no sign of fermentation, no bubbling. The problem was the seal because i put books on the lid of the bucket to make a pression and i have now a lot of activities in the airlock.

Next time, i will use carboy, no chance to take.

Question: In the book "How to brew" of John Palmer, he say "this is no a real problem; it probably won't affect the batch. Fix the seal, or get new lid next time" . What he try to say? If the seal is not good, the batch can do a good fermentation? The Co2 go out by the airlock or the seal doesn't matter?

Thanks for the answers.

Martin

Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: tommymorris on October 03, 2016, 02:03:03 AM
Hi,

I did my second beer (all grain) yesterday and i use for my second time the bucket from the popular Alfred's Beer Equipment Kit. This morning, nothing was happen, no sign of fermentation, no bubbling. The problem was the seal because i put books on the lid of the bucket to make a pression and i have now a lot of activities in the airlock.

Next time, i will use carboy, no chance to take.

Question: In the book "How to brew" of John Palmer, he say "this is no a real problem; it probably won't affect the batch. Fix the seal, or get new lid next time" . What he try to say? If the seal is not good, the batch can do a good fermentation? The Co2 go out by the airlock or the seal doesn't matter?

Thanks for the answers.

Martin
The seal doesn't matter during fermentation. You want to cover the fermenter during fermentation so wild yeast and other airborne bugs cannot drop from the air onto your fermenting wort. You also want to make sure there is no way for fruit flies to enter (if these exist in your area). After fermentation it is good to have a tight seal so that the beer stays under a blanket of co2 until bottling or kegging.
Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: martylap on October 03, 2016, 02:12:41 AM
Tx  alestateyall, this is a good explanation.

Title: Re: Fermenter Recommendations
Post by: denny on October 03, 2016, 04:01:28 PM
Hi,

I did my second beer (all grain) yesterday and i use for my second time the bucket from the popular Alfred's Beer Equipment Kit. This morning, nothing was happen, no sign of fermentation, no bubbling. The problem was the seal because i put books on the lid of the bucket to make a pression and i have now a lot of activities in the airlock.

Next time, i will use carboy, no chance to take.

Question: In the book "How to brew" of John Palmer, he say "this is no a real problem; it probably won't affect the batch. Fix the seal, or get new lid next time" . What he try to say? If the seal is not good, the batch can do a good fermentation? The Co2 go out by the airlock or the seal doesn't matter?

Thanks for the answers.

Martin

You are correct.  The batch can ferment perfectly well even if the lid doesn't seal.