Fermenting and serving from the same keg vs a separate fermenter - Considering FermZilla Tri-Conical + Hop Bong

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RyPA

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For the past 2 years or so I've fermented and served from the same keg for 95% of my batches; I use a floating dip tube to make this work. The beers taste good, but I am always looking for ways to improve and am considering switching to a fermenter, specifically the FermZilla Tri-Conical with hop bong add on. This setup looks great for the price.

I mostly brew NEIPA's and follow the below process:
1. Transfer from kettle to keg, pitch, seal, and use a blow off tube
2. When fermentation completes, I pop the keg lid and immediately start flowing CO2 through the liquid out, and then add the dry hop, commando.
3. I then put the lid back on and purge the keg 10 or so times
4. I put the keg in my kegerator fridge and put it on 10psi of CO2.
5. After 4-5 days, it's drinking time.

For yeast, I use Voss Kveik, Verdant, SO4/SO5. I've never used a liquid yeast.

My kegs typically last 45-60 days, and I do not notice any off flavors and the beers remain looking like orange juice until I pour the final glass. Though, my beers do not taste as good as some that I've tried from my local brewery, I get some astringency/hop bite throughout the kegs when I am aiming for more of a juicy/smooth character. I am wondering if either my dry hop process (DH in the keg commando and the hops remaining in the keg, likely resting on the yeast cake) or the yeast cake at the bottom is affecting my beer. Or are the dry hops remaining in suspension with yeast and causing an issue?

Any input on my process or keg fermenting versus stand-alone fermenter is appreciated.
 
Have you tried transferring to a second keg to test the result? You can simulate prior to buying a dedicated fermenter.

(Make sure not to have a screen on the serving keg dip tube or it may catch inbound material.)

Also, they make a corny lid with a 1.5" tc if you want to use a hop bong on a keg. (Check keg+ lid + valve height vs ferm chamber.)

edit: These are just ideas. The fermzilla stuff is nice.
 
Yeah, i have in the past and do not recall a difference..but i did add dry hops commando after transferring. So i dont think the yeast is affecting anything, but maybe my dry hops are.

Good to know about the corny lid with 1.5” TC
 
Also worth mentioning that i do not have a means of cold crashing the fermzilla, so when i transfer to a keg, the yeast and hops may be in suspension.

Edit: Nevermind, i think i can cold crash if i remove the bottom container and do not use the stand, I’d need to rest the fermenter on the bottom butterfly valve or sealed TC port
 
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It might be fine, but I'd worry about that much weight on something that wasn't designed to hold it. Maybe you could get a local welding shop to make a custom stand for the no-bottom-container setup? Or make your own? Or since you're in NJ, talk to Bobby lol

edit: could the all rounder base be the right size?
 
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It might be fine, but I'd worry about that much weight on something that wasn't designed to hold it. Maybe you could get a local welding shop to make a custom stand for the no-bottom-container setup? Or make your own? Or since you're in NJ, talk to Bobby lol

edit: could the all rounder base be the right size?

For the height issue, have you considered using a sanke? ,,either full sized or squat depending on your batch size. You can just get a flat gasket and cap with posts and diptube;
https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/tc2gksingle.htm
https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/sankeball.htm
or fit the hop-bong on top, or DIY with a sight-glass.
:mug:

I realized I probably do not need the tri-conical and can instead go with the all rounder. If the only use of the bottom collection container is harvesting yeast, then it would be useless to me as I am in the camp that buys new yeast for each batch. So the all rounder coupled with the hop bong should provide what I was looking for with the tri-conical + hop bong combo, at a much cheaper price. The all rounder is much shorter and would fit in my fridge. I would just need to pull out whatever keg is in there and let it sit at room temp while the fermenter is crashing.
 
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