Fermenator G4

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Joe.Conley

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This thing looks like a really big improvement on the past models.


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$600 is a much lower starting price than an SS brewtech unitank ($950). The ss brewtech one has more stuff standard, and the prices seem similar when similarly equipped, but it is nice to have the option to get started at lower price and then add extras later.

Also the blichmann has the optional external level gauge for $35 which I’d love to have since I never open the fermentor lid when there’s beer in there.

I can’t tell if the valve is butterfly or ball valve. Would definitely prefer butterfly since it just seems more sanitary and easy to clean. Not seeing a link to a manual yet, but it looks like a really solid option.

I have a ss brewtech conical bme currently, but if this was available at the time I would have gotten it instead just to have the ability to pressurize high enough to filter between the fermentor and the keg.

Hope to see some videos on it soon, seems promising.
 

Tom R

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Glad to see they've adopted using welded fittings on the the new fermenters.
That's got to help sales.
 

K4Brewing

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Seems like a pretty strong addition to our choices out there. I really like the feature spreadsheet they have on their website - saved me the work to do it prior to my own consideration. It isn't 100% accurate (4" TC top ports on spike and BB) but is close. Fermenator™ G4 (scroll down to "Competative Comparison" tab.)
 
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Glad to see they've adopted using welded fittings on the the new fermenters.
That's got to help sales.
But but but they’ve said welded fittings like ours are worse than their weld-less fittings for years! 😉

Glad they finally came around to welding the fittings on. Much stronger and more sanitary! We’ll be interested to see what those welds look like...
 

highland_brewer

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While I have not used it yet, I don't think it will be difficult at all. Not any more of a pain than having a butterfly valve on a racking arm for the sample. Blichmann makes a MFL quick connect that will screw right on.
 

madscientist451

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I've just converted an old corny keg for fermenting IPAs and doing closed transfers.
The G4 looks pretty cool, but for $600, will the beer that comes out of it be any better than what comes out of my cheap keg fermenter?
It also looks like it will take some time to take it apart and clean it.
Sorry if I'm a cheap-ass lazy brewer.
 

highland_brewer

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Yep your point is valid. The only downside to using a corny is you can't really dump any trub or harvest the yeast while the beer is still in the keg. Of course if that doesn't matter then who cares. Use your corny and brew on!!

How much yield are you getting?
 

Vale71

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Oh look, they've finally managed to turn their fermenter into a Spike fermenter! :p

The "exterior level gauge" is an abomination. Besides the issue with light I also see a lot of potential for oxygen ingress through the plastic parts.
 

Bago-0

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Great videos Brian. Looks like a great option for a fermenter at a good price. I wouldn't use the sight gauge but the rest looks good.
 

Craiginthecorn

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While I have not used it yet, I don't think it will be difficult at all. Not any more of a pain than having a butterfly valve on a racking arm for the sample. Blichmann makes a MFL quick connect that will screw right on.
I really like this idea. While my Spike sampling valves are called “sanitary”, I don’t feel like spraying StarSan into the hose barb before and after pulling samples seems all that sanitary. Maybe the part that stays in contact with the beer stays sanitary. The valve itself looks like their linear flow valve, so it should provide a more controlled flow than cracking a ball or butterfly valve.

Blichmann is now selling them separately from the fermenter, which wasn’t the case when you first published the video. I ordered one this morning.

Will it protect my beer better? Don’t know for certain, but it will relieve a bit of anxiety, so it should be worth it to me.
 

Toadies

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did you purchased any quick connect accessories? I bought the 1/4” flare to attach a balllock to it. Debating if I should get a barb fitting as well. Not sure if I need 3/8 or 1/2.
 

Craiginthecorn

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did you purchased any quick connect accessories? I bought the 1/4” flare to attach a balllock to it. Debating if I should get a barb fitting as well. Not sure if I need 3/8 or 1/2.
I already had a couple of the 1/4" flare quick connectors. My transfer hose has a 1/4" flare swivel connector.
 

Golddiggie

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Is it just me or does it look like they took a lot of design ideas directly from Spike (and/or others)?? Also, what's up with their chill trombone?? Less chill tubing length than the ones like Spike offers (from what I can see) which would equate to less chilling capability (IMO at least).
No way would I ever look at having an external level gauge on a fermenter. That just sounds like a very bad idea. Unless you're going to keep it in a pitch black room while it has something in it. Or cover it up and only peek at it from time to time. Personally, I'd rather just put the wort in and not even look inside until it's been cleaned after being emptied.
Having everything coming out of a single port at the top also seems like a poor choice. I like how the Spike fermenters have the large (4") port for the chill coil setup, but then three more for other items. Also makes for a lower overall height when fitted out fully.
While I have had Blichmann items in the past, I can't see getting anything of theirs moving forward. The only thing of theirs I have left is the original beer gun. Even that's being replaced with another item (Tapcooler setup). With how many options there are out there, it makes more sense to get what works better for you.
 

Bago-0

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You make a lot of assumptions on a fermenter you have never used. They may be valid but Ill wait until more reviews are out from actual users before I form an opinion. The first look by Short Circuited Brewers seemed positive.
 

Toadies

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How many possible designs can there be of a fermenter? Post like this and the one by Spike is why I don’t buy Spike. They didn’t invent the fermenter. Not everything after Spike is a direct rip off.

Blichmann’s aseptic valve and racking arm looks a lot better. Also why do I need a blow off valve and spunding valve hooked up at same time? Seems silly. How many tri clamps in the lid do we really need.
 

Golddiggie

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I have no plans to use the blowoff TC fitting on mine, at least not for that. I might run PBW through it into a CIP ball.
I have one port with the gas manifold assembly (gas in ball lock fitting, gauge and PRV), one with spunding valve, and the other is free for dropping hops in (CO2 purged). When I plan to dry hop in fermenter I'll put the entire assembly on after pitching the yeast in (or before depending on which port I use for the yeast). I won't need to change fittings, at all, once the yeast goes in.

IMO, NOT needing to change out fittings post yeast pitch is well worth having the additional ports. Plus, they can easily be capped when not needed. Better to have and not need after all.

BTW, I've noticed (as have the HBS I visit) that Blichmann is horrible for actually shipping items either on time, or giving any real lead times. They had placed a small order from them, got charged, and never saw the items on the order. Never got told about any supply issue or anything until MONTHS later when they finally called them up. IMO, that's a crappy way to do business. I'd not trust any lead times, or projected ship times, from Blichmann at this point.
 
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Blichmann’s aseptic valve and racking arm looks a lot better. Also why do I need a blow off valve and spunding valve hooked up at same time? Seems silly. How many tri clamps in the lid do we really need.
Because some people want to use the blow off during primary and then close the valve and switch over to spunding to naturally carbonate their beer. The additional ports allow this to be done without opening the fermenter and exposing to oxygen.

We didn't invent the fermenter however when companies like Brew Built and Blichmann pretty much directly knock off our removable lid design which we designed over 4 years ago it's a little frustrating. Also if you look at the Ss and Spike fermenter designs they are different. You look at Spike vs Blichmann and Brew Built they are prettyyyy close copies. Spend your money as you see fit. However spending it on knockoffs takes money away from the companies that are innovating for the space....
 

Toadies

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Because some people want to use the blow off during primary and then close the valve and switch over to spunding to naturally carbonate their beer. The additional ports allow this to be done without opening the fermenter and exposing to oxygen.

We didn't invent the fermenter however when companies like Brew Built and Blichmann pretty much directly knock off our removable lid design which we designed over 4 years ago it's a little frustrating. Also if you look at the Ss and Spike fermenter designs they are different. You look at Spike vs Blichmann and Brew Built they are prettyyyy close copies. Spend your money as you see fit. However spending it on knockoffs takes money away from the companies that are innovating for the space....
Removable lid that can handle 15 PSI pretty impressive.
 

eric19312

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I don't get the hate for the level gauge. I've been wishing I had something similar to my Spike for some time. Trying to make sure I get 15 gallons out of my CF15 is my challenge for every heavily dry hopped beer I brew. Knowing whether or not I've got beer available to dump seems like it would be useful information.

I agree with @Vale71's concern about oxygen permeable plastic parts but how about making it with EVA barrier and duotight? Just add some level marks on the outside of the fermentor with a Sharpie...
 

eric19312

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Because some people want to use the blow off during primary and then close the valve and switch over to spunding to naturally carbonate their beer. The additional ports allow this to be done without opening the fermenter and exposing to oxygen.

We didn't invent the fermenter however when companies like Brew Built and Blichmann pretty much directly knock off our removable lid design which we designed over 4 years ago it's a little frustrating. Also if you look at the Ss and Spike fermenter designs they are different. You look at Spike vs Blichmann and Brew Built they are prettyyyy close copies. Spend your money as you see fit. However spending it on knockoffs takes money away from the companies that are innovating for the space....
honestly when the CF series first came out there was a lot of skepticism about the Spike lid design. It was big topic of conversation here on HBT in that other thread for a long long time. It still gets brought up as a design flaw in comparison to SS Brewtech and similar designs occasionally but the decisions of Brew Built and Blichmann to follow along ought be gratifying acknowledgement of Spike's leadership not an aggravation.
 

day_trippr

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Oh, wah. Design ripoffs are rampant in every facet of commerce and home brewing equipment is hardly immune.
Along with Spike, how many companies ripped off @Bobby_M's Steam Slayer?

Cheers! ("Cry me some beer" ;))
 
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Oh, wah. Design ripoffs are rampant in every facet of commerce and home brewing equipment is hardly immune.
Along with Spike, how many companies ripped off @Bobby_M's Steam Slayer?

Cheers! ("Cry me some beer" ;))
Vs.png


The resemblance is uncanny!

The reason Bobby (A Spike Dealer BTW and an awesome one at that!) and us come up with similar products is because we are both so in tune with the market. I'm sure he'll see this thread and chime in as well. The steam condenser was not invented by our engineering team nor Bobby. However we both adapted the design in different ways and delivered it to our audiences.
 
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day_trippr

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Taking the smart-ass approach is unbecoming. Take away the lid with all it's irrelevant ports and what's left?

Cheers!
 
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Taking the smart-ass approach is unbecoming. Take away the lid with all it's irrelevant ports and what's left?

Cheers!
Take away the $10,000's of dollars in tooling costs for the lid and piping? So we're talking about a nozzle in a pipe? This ain't gunna go anywhere productive ha ha

Cheers!
 

day_trippr

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The Steam Slayer isn't viable without including a lid festooned with unrelated ports?

Cheers! (boggled)
 

Toadies

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Has anyone received their G4? Mine came in and is an absolute beast. I am missing a couple of accessories though. I haven’t been able to get ahold of Blichmann and been over a week. Frustrating.
 
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