FastFerment. A First Brew Review.

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Zuljin

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FastFerment. A First Brew Review.

My wife bought a FastFerment for me this Christmas. Yeah. She’s cool like that. I just bottled my first brew fermented in it.

Pros:

1. It’s the least expensive way to buy a new conical. Mine came with the main vessel, two collection bowls, one valve, one thermometer, one metal stand, one strap, the wall mounts, a bottling hose, nipple, clamp, and a few other misc. pieces. I think she paid around $160 with shipping.

2. The food grade plastic seems durable.

3. Light weight.

4. Large top opening for easy pouring, addition of ingredients, inspection, and cleaning.

5. It cleaned up easy-peasy.

6. The thermometer inserts around the five-gallon mark. It’s nice to have a thermometer monitoring the temperature of the wort. It appears accurate.

7. The collection bowl did collect some trub.

8. I go to secondary. I felt good using the bowl instead of racking to a secondary vessel.

9. Holds seven gallons with some headspace left over.

10. I did wind up having to transfer to a bottling bucket, but I didn’t have to use a syphon to do it.

11. No leaks.

Cons:

1. It’s too tall to fit in my fermentation fridge. I’ll need to get the jacket or build a fermentation box for this if I want to use it in the summer or for temperature picky beers. It’s much easier to use buckets and carboys with my present setup.

2. The collection bowl left a lot of trub behind. Even after a total of three collections, I had to transfer to a bottling bucket. This is kind of a big deal since this is a conical and advertises itself as a one vessel fermentation system. I had to use two vessels.

3. I’m not a fan of large diameter bottling hoses and clamps. Bottling wands are better.

4. They recommend using Teflon tape (included) on all the connections. I did, and it did not leak one drop, but to clean it, I had to scrub the tape out of the threads.

Indifferences:

1. I’ve no use for the wall mounts. It’s cool it can do that, just I don’t have a need for it.

2. Opening the collecting bowl valve lets in a little air from the bottom.

Ideas:

1. If I can make the collection bowl work to remove enough trub, I can fit my existing bottling hose and wand to the FastFerment and bottle from it. We shall see.

2. The FastFerment would be great for mead or other low trub producing fermentations.

Conclusion:

I am glad to have received this as a gift. It’s a good piece of gear. It’s worth using again. Some folks may not like that opening the collection bowl valve lets in a little air, but I think minor aeration worries are overstated. My sample did not taste like cardboard. My next brew in this will likely be a mead, and I think that will go very well. FastFerment touts the collection bowl as a good way to collect yeast. It probably is, and I’ve been meaning to try that.

I'll update upon next use. Any questions, ask away.

http://www.fastbrewing.com/products/fastferment
 

Bombardier

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Hi Zuljin.
Wondering how the Fastferment has handled the test of time?
Do you recommend as a good option for the budget minded brewer?
Have you successfully harvested yeast?
Have you tried the Mason jar attachment fitting? Any additional information you think would be helpful?
Thanks for your time.
 

Snuffy

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I bought the 3 gal version of it a couple of years ago, but mine didn't come with a nipple clamp.:confused:
 

PberBob

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I’ve made nine batches in my 7 gal one and I’m a believer. I have a reducer to get from the 1/2” connector to 3/8 tube for my bottling wand. In nearly all cases all the traub drops into the bulb, which holds 1.5 pints. I purge the emptied bulb with CO2 before I put it back on.

I was a little leery bottling directly from it at first, because of the bathtub ring at the liquid line, but it drops below that after fishing out my dry hop bag. I have harvested four batches yeast from the bulb - you get more than a pint each time. I also like the big opening,which makes it easy to dry hop and clean.
 

Jag75

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I've had my 7.9 gallon one for 3 yrs and no issues . If you add a spigot it's a game changer .
 

jerrylotto

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Wanted to post a caution... I got the Mason jar adapter for my 7.9g and brewed a yummy Pilsner to try it out. I cooled the wort externally after boiling to about 100F and then transferred to the FastFerment and put it in my Inkbird ITC-308-controlled freezer set to 55F for the final stage of cooling before pitching my yeast slurry which I did the following morning. Everything seemed fine but the keezer had been running all night to get the liquid down to temperature and I only had a computer fan as a heater inside, so the wort temp kept dropping even after the controller powered the freezer off. When it hit 51F, I got concerned because that was the low end of my yeast so I opened the lid to warm up the freezer and found the FastFerment was empty? The mason jar had frozen solid and cracked! Since I control the keezer temp from a thermowell, the freezer air cooled down a lot faster than the wort and the glass Mason jar was so much more heat conductive than the plastic collection ball, it tracked the air temperature, not the wort temperature. That was how I found out (thankfully) that chest freezers are liquid tight!
 

PberBob

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I sense a theme getting traub down into the collection bulb. Most of the time this is a non-issue. In fact, I dump all the cooled wort into the fermenter and let it settle for a couple of hours, then dump the bulb before pitching the yeast. I lose less than trying to vortex and siphon.

I found that Wyeast 1318 traub and hop fines are stickier than 1056. I now gyrate the whole fermenter in the stand to vortex the stuff at the water line and below into the bulb. I hold my cellphone light at the neck above the valve to watch the flock drop through. YMMV
 
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