Fermentasaurus, Fermzilla or Fast Ferment. Which to buy?

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phildo79

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Y’all

I have been using corny kegs for about 18 months now and love ‘em. However, I would like to advance my fermenting and transferring process. What I would really like to do is be able to do a closed transfer to eliminate oxygen contact. I have concerns about the Fermentasaurus and Fermzilla as I do not have a brewing fridge to keep it away from light. And while the Fast ferment is opaque, I don’t think you can transfer under pressure from it (or can you?).

Are there any other option out there? ATM, all I am thinking is either the Fermentasaurus or Fermzilla with a jacket around it to keep out the light.

Thanks in advance, guys
 

Session

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If you have corny kegs already, why not simply ferment in one of those? All the benefits of being able to pressure ferment and do oxygen-free transfers, they are opaque, and most importantly you have them already so don’t need to buy anything!
 

phildo79

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I have considered this but have come across some conflicting info. Ultimately, l thought it best to go with something that was designed specifically for the job. Do you ferment in kegs?
 

foxy

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Don't buy Chinese, buy Australian, I have 6 of these and I believe some will be finding their way to the UK very soon.
 

Matt_W

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I have a fermzilla and jacket and have produced some cracking beers.

like you I don’t have a fridge big enough at accommodate the fermzilla.

I ferment everything under pressure because of this and haven’t had any off flavour.

BrewKegTap did have them on offer a while ago and I was tempted to buy another but didn’t think I could hide it from the wife.
 

foxy

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I think most folk are aware of the problems with the FermZilla either it doesn't hold pressure, the main body splits, or the collection bottle explodes. Just Chinese rubbish.
The old fermentasaurus has never had these problems neither the Snubnose or the Fermenter king. Plus the added value of the Thermentor King a 12 volt cooling system, no fridge needed.
Also the Snubnose will now be released shortly with the thermowell included.
 

Neil Whittaker

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I have the FermZilla and if I was to turn back time, I think I'd buy an "All rounder". Harvesting your yeast and zero oxygen dry hopping is great, but the messing about with the endless seals, take away from the brewing experience. Plus, an "All rounder" would fit into a smaller fridge.

Have a look on facebook for a fridge, people are asking very low prices / Free. Well worth the money for stable temp control.
 

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I have the FermZilla and if I was to turn back time, I think I'd buy an "All rounder". Harvesting your yeast and zero oxygen dry hopping is great, but the messing about with the endless seals, take away from the brewing experience. Plus, an "All rounder" would fit into a smaller fridge.

Have a look on facebook for a fridge, people are asking very low prices / Free. Well worth the money for stable temp control.
The Snubnose also fits into a small fridge, lower yeast contact surface, as mentioned now coming with a thermowell better fermentation control, buy Aussie forget the Chinese crap.
 

phildo79

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Don't buy Chinese, buy Australian, I have 6 of these and I believe some will be finding their way to the UK very soon.
Isn't already available in the UK? Or does this differ from the ones you have? Don't really want to buy Chinese shyte.

 

Session

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I have considered this but have come across some conflicting info. Ultimately, l thought it best to go with something that was designed specifically for the job. Do you ferment in kegs?
I do ferment in kegs and it works perfectly for me.

Corny kegs are sturdier than plastic, are pressure rated to over 100psi, have easily serviceable and replaceable parts and can be used as a keg again in future if you decide at a later date you want to ferment in something different.

The only downside is you’re limited to batch sizes of 15L or so, but as I no-chill and store my wort in 5L cubes it doesn’t really affect me. I tend to ferment 10L at a time and serve from a 10L minikeg which fits in my fridge.
 
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phildo79

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I do ferment in kegs and it works perfectly for me.

Corny kegs are sturdier than plastic, are pressure rated to over 100psi, have easily serviceable and replaceable parts and can be used as a keg again in future if you decide at a later date you want to ferment in something different.

The only downside is you’re limited to batch sizes of 15L or so, but as I no-chill and store my wort in 5L cubes it doesn’t really affect me. I tend to ferment 10L at a time and serve from a 10L minikeg which fits in my fridge.
What issues do you have with the transfer of trub? Have you cut an inch off the bottom of the dip tube or can you force all the trub out before the actual transfer of beer?
 

Neil Whittaker

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If you buy one of the "Stainless Steel Float and Silicon dip tubes", then you could take the beer from the top of the keg, whilst still maintaining a closed loop transfer.
 

phildo79

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If you buy one of the "Stainless Steel Float and Silicon dip tubes", then you could take the beer from the top of the keg, whilst still maintaining a closed loop transfer.
And these have the ability to replace the dip tube and sit under the liquid out post with no issues?
 

phildo79

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I do ferment in kegs and it works perfectly for me.

Corny kegs are sturdier than plastic, are pressure rated to over 100psi, have easily serviceable and replaceable parts and can be used as a keg again in future if you decide at a later date you want to ferment in something different.

The only downside is you’re limited to batch sizes of 15L or so, but as I no-chill and store my wort in 5L cubes it doesn’t really affect me. I tend to ferment 10L at a time and serve from a 10L minikeg which fits in my fridge.
And these have the ability to replace the dip tube and sit under the liquid out post with no issues?
So if I replace the liquid dip tube for a gas dip tube and connect a floating dip tube to it, I should have no issues with trub or hop debris? And I don't need a spunding valve as the keg can withstand far greater psi. I just make sure both kegs are at the same psi before transfer, hook up both liquid out posts with disconnects and burp the empty keg to get things going. So really all I need is a spare gas dip tube, a floating dip tube and 2 black disconnects that are joined by a length of tubing? Is there anything I have missed?
 

foxy

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Isn't already available in the UK? Or does this differ from the ones you have? Don't really want to buy Chinese shyte.

They will be leaving Australia for the UK in the next few weeks.
So if I replace the liquid dip tube for a gas dip tube and connect a floating dip tube to it, I should have no issues with trub or hop debris? And I don't need a spunding valve as the keg can withstand far greater psi. I just make sure both kegs are at the same psi before transfer, hook up both liquid out posts with disconnects and burp the empty keg to get things going. So really all I need is a spare gas dip tube, a floating dip tube and 2 black disconnects that are joined by a length of tubing? Is there anything I have missed?
You will still need a spunding valve, if you are brewing ales the CO2 has to vent, and don't apply any pressure until the last couple of points. If you are making a pseudo lager ferment at 15 PSI.
Better off with a purpose fermenter which allows room for the krausen, and they all come with a floating dip tube in the pressure kits. I am not a fan of the diaphragm spunding valves, they really need cleaning after every ferment.
1590079469068.png
 

Session

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So if I replace the liquid dip tube for a gas dip tube and connect a floating dip tube to it, I should have no issues with trub or hop debris? And I don't need a spunding valve as the keg can withstand far greater psi. I just make sure both kegs are at the same psi before transfer, hook up both liquid out posts with disconnects and burp the empty keg to get things going. So really all I need is a spare gas dip tube, a floating dip tube and 2 black disconnects that are joined by a length of tubing? Is there anything I have missed?
Here’s how I have my fermentation side set up.

I ferment 12L in a corny keg, which allows me to have 2L for trub before packaging 10L into my 10L keg and 7L of headspace for krausen.

Replacing the liquid dip tube for a gas one is very easy, and as Neil mentioned means you can attach a floating dip tube.
I used to use the ones with a stainless ball but have switched to CaskWidge as they have an integrated mesh filter and in my opinion (having used both) are much better than the ones bundled with the fermentasaurus or similar as they reduce hop debris in your packaged beer, and are only slightly more expensive.

You will need to spund to regulate pressure if you want to naturally carb, or you could run a blow-off tube from the gas disconnect.

I have never had a problem with my BlowTie needing to be cleaned between batches. I daisy chain my two serving kegs from the gas out of my fermenting keg, and attach the spunding valve to the gas post of the final (third) keg. There’s no way for trub or hop matter to get anywhere near the BlowTie as it has two kegs in the way. I would also strongly recommend a diaphragm spunding valve as they have a far more sensitive and reliable closing pressure than standard poppet spunding valved which are notoriously unreliable. The diaphragm spunding valve itself is not any more likely to need cleaning compared to a poppet spunding valve. Whichever you use (and I would strongly suggest the BlowTie) you just need to set them up in a way that considers the possibility of a blowoff/lots of krausen.

You don’t need a ‘purpose-built’ fermenter to make good beer. As foxy said just make sure whatever you are using is big enough to contain the krausen. Kegs may not be right for you if you brew large batch sizes but for me they are the perfect volume.

Once I have fermented and spunded my beer - usually at 2.3-2.4 volumes of CO2, which as I am fermenting under pressure at room temperature means setting the spunding valve to around 30psi - I transfer under pressure to my serving keg.

As the serving kegs were purged with CO2 from fermentation and held at the same pressure (as the spunding valve is on the final keg), all I need to do to minimise foaming is to put the fermenting keg on a chair, connect the gas posts together and the liquid posts together, then start a siphon by slightly reducing the pressure in the serving keg by opening the PRV so beer starts transferring.

Hope that’s helpful!
 
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foxy

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FermZilla, usual problems, doesn't seal well, lid gets stuck awkward to open, splits open, collection bottles tend to explode.
1590129103364.png
23 ferm.png

Fermzilla 1.jpg
Fermzilla 3.jpg

Not seen any yet of the Fermentasaurus, Fermenter King etc
Buying Chinese get what you pay for.
 

phildo79

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Thanks @foxy and @Session . Certainly food for thought. I nearly always brew to a final target of 19L. It's just easier as most recipes are set up that way. Although I did just brew a 14L imp stout which I suppose I could have done in the keg, had I those extra bits of kit. It's looking like the snub nose is the best option for me but I might have a go with a small batch in a keg first, since I will need to buy a spunding valve anyway.

How do you take your gravity readings? Do you just pour a bit out with a picnic tap into test vial?
 

Session

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Thanks @foxy and @Session . Certainly food for thought. I nearly always brew to a final target of 19L. It's just easier as most recipes are set up that way. Although I did just brew a 14L imp stout which I suppose I could have done in the keg, had I those extra bits of kit. It's looking like the snub nose is the best option for me but I might have a go with a small batch in a keg first, since I will need to buy a spunding valve anyway.

How do you take your gravity readings? Do you just pour a bit out with a picnic tap into test vial?
I find it’s very straightforward to scale batches to whatever volume you like with software like BrewFather or BeerSmith.

Gravity reading are as you said just poured with a picnic tap.
 
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