Author Topic: Level Up Time for Fermentation  (Read 1475 times)

Offline Scottsvegas

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Level Up Time for Fermentation
« on: November 27, 2016, 08:12:49 PM »
I won a $1000 Kamado Joe grill that I have now use for. I have $5 invested in it, and I want to sell it and upgrade my fermentation gear from buckets and Big Mouth bubblers.

I'm looking into the SS Brewtech BrewBucket and the Catalyst. Both are roughly the same price and I like features on both of them.

I'm also looking into the Brewtech with the thermometer for a few bucks more.

What would you choose and why?

Offline natebrews

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 08:33:56 PM »
I would just go for the Big Mouth Bubblers, or the Morebeer Fermonster if NothernBrewer turns you off now.  I tried a few different things and I tried one of those plastic conicals (the FastFerment, not the Catalyst which has come out since).

My main problem with the plastic conicals (I don't know about the brewtech stuff) was that everything had to drain out the bottom.  If it had a racking port a little up on the thing, then I might have liked it but the "only out the bottom" method didn't work well.  The big problem I had was clogging, so maybe the catalyst is better for that. 

After using glass for a long time, then the fast ferment for a dozen batches, I went back to Big Mouth Bubblers and have been very happy.  Fairly cheap, easy to clean and work with, and hard to break.  I'm sure the Fermonsters are just as good.
Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.

Offline Peculiar Thomas

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 11:13:50 PM »
I just got the Ss Brewtech Brewbucket, the one with the thermowell and digital thermometer. I was using Big Mouth Bubblers previously. I had no end of trouble with my BMBs, both with the original threaded lids and the new, bung style lids. Also the 6.5 gallon glass ones are hefty, even when empty. The stainless steel Brewbucket is much lighter on its own. The gasket and four spring clips make for a simple, effective seal. The Brewbucket has a rotating racking arm that is positioned a bit up from the very bottom of the cone. You lose the ability to assess your beer visually without expose it but I've found the ability to pull samples without opening the FV makes up for it. The racking arm has a standard 3/8" barb so I have added a liquid disconnect to a bit of tubing and am looking forward to kegging with less exposure to air during the process. I opted to get the FTSs and can strongly recommend that if you are interested in temperature control during your fermentation. Last positive, Ss Brewtech's support has been pretty great, answering questions of mine not covered by the manual or the online FAQ.

Offline Scottsvegas

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 11:23:06 PM »
That's what I was looking for. I literally have to duct tape big mouth lids on during primary, and I'm looking to streamline my brewing. SS BrewTech communicated well with me today, which impresses me. No such from the Catalyst folks.

Explain the liquid tubing, please?

Offline natebrews

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2016, 12:12:17 AM »
I keep hearing about all these people having problems with the lids of their BMBs popping off, and somehow I haven't ever had a problem with it (mine are plastic).  I guess the fermentor gods are smiling at me.
Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.

Offline Scottsvegas

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2016, 01:44:25 AM »
Mine are plastic and came with sealing issues each time. The convenience of eliminating siphoning and clearer beer are worth the $$ to me now.

Offline pete b

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 02:00:59 AM »
Honestly if I had x amount of money to spend on brewing equipment I wouldn't go with fermenters. I just don't think anything is THAT much better than a plastic bucket. I just have no problems with them whatsoever and what other fermenters offer isn't enough to make me change.
Do you have temp control? Are you kegging? A good grain mill?
I would put those and a few other things ahead of fermenters. But of course if you have all that and are not happy with your fermenters go for it.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Online bboy9000

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2016, 05:47:40 AM »
^This.  I agree with Pete.  I'd invest in deep freezers or fridges and some temp controllers and some kegs.  Conicals are a luxury not a necessity. Kegs are a luxury too but I believe will have more impact on your brewing experience.  That's assuming you already  have a good burner and mash tun.
Brian
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Offline natebrews

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016, 12:24:39 PM »
For me anyway, kegs are not just a luxury.  If I were still bottling, I would have dropped the hobby a long time ago.
Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016, 01:00:41 PM »
For me anyway, kegs are not just a luxury.  If I were still bottling, I would have dropped the hobby a long time ago.


Same here. Or very least wouldn't brew very often.
Jon H.

Offline Scottsvegas

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 02:23:45 PM »
Thanks for all of the replies! I've slowed my roll and did some thinking about bottling. It does indeed suck and is the worst part of brewing. A Kegerator would be nice.

Would you DIY one or buy one?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 02:51:02 PM by Scottsvegas »

Offline natebrews

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 11:05:20 PM »
I made mine out of a chest freezer, it is fine however I did find if you are using picnic taps and have to keep opening it you will have condensation problems.

I got my kegs in the late fall, so I just left them at basement temps until spring and dealt with the kegerator then...so many moons ago.
Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.

Online bboy9000

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2016, 04:45:56 AM »
I made mine out of a chest freezer, it is fine however I did find if you are using picnic taps and have to keep opening it you will have condensation .
Damp Rid, Arm and Hammer, mini dehumidifier and bar towels.  The worst part about kegging IME is getting picnic  tap wedged between keg and freezer and reconditioned kegs with universal poppet valves.   Both result with 2.5 gallons of beer in the bottom of the deep freezer.   Not good anytime especially 2 days before competition.  Reconditioned kegs were good for two years but I also got them when they were under $50.  Now used corny kegs are so expensive I'd go with the new Italian kegs.  I just got two for our wedding reception and love the quality and function.

Now that I'm out if the apartment I hope my next investment to be a grain mill.  I also want a beer gun but that doesn't seem as important.  A pH meter would be nice too.

Also,  consider a good digital scale as it makes hop measurements easy.  As Jamil said,  "If is good enough for measuring cocaine..."  LOL.   Seriously though, there are some good scales that are cheap and can measure to 0.1 of a gram which is good for measuring mineral additions.

As much as I'd like a conical I'll be purchasing the other items first.
Brian
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Offline chinaski

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2016, 03:07:17 AM »
If you make the move to kegging (which I heartily recommend) you can then look into using cornies as fermentors as well.  I keep thinking I might move toward fermenting in cornies but have stuck with carboys for now; just don't want to purchase more kegs at the moment.  The advantages that attract me to fermenting in kegs are durability, reasonable cost so you still can ferment more than one batch at a time, transfers via CO2 (no oxidation), and relatively easy to clean.  One downside is the lack of head space for a 5 gallon batch.

Brew on-

Offline Scottsvegas

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Re: Level Up Time for Fermentation
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2016, 04:11:04 PM »
Leveled up with a couple of Corning kegs, CO2 tank, regulator, lines, party tap and extra o-rings and seals yesterday. Not it's on to a vessel to keep them in!