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Turning your Fermonster into a complete closed transfer system for cheap!

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Dgallo

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I’ve posted this in a few thread and I get quite a bit of messages regarding my process of doing this so I figured I would create a thread on the process. This is by far the cheapest closed fermenting/ transferring system.


So what you will be doing is modifying a fermonter’s solid lid and fitting it with both liquid and gas keg posts and a floating dip tube.Here is the easiest/cheapest way to go;

1) 7 Gallon Fermonster with spigots (makes hydro samples easy) with solid cap $33.99
FerMonster Carboy With Spigot - 7 gal. | MoreBeer

2) Fermontisourus pressure kit $29.99 - you’re buying this to take the parts, the liquid and gas posts and the floating dip tube to use for your solid lid.
Fermentasaurus Pressure Kit | MoreBeer
Optional pressure kit for the Fermentasaurus Concial Fermenter allows you to ferment under pressure, carbonate, and serve all in one vessel!
www.morebeer.com
www.morebeer.com

3) 7/16” or 1/2” drill bit so you can drill out the solid cap for the posts. Make sure you measure so that have them far enough a part so both ball lock fittings can go on at the same time but close enough when you maintain the stability of the lid. $2.
drillsandcutters.com

7/16" HSS Black Oxide Jobber Length Drill Bit, Qualtech
7/16" HSS Black Oxide Jobber Length Drill Bit, Qualtech. Find this item and other cutting tools on DrillsandCutters.com.
drillsandcutters.com
drillsandcutters.com

4) then you just needs some hose, clamps, and balllock fittings for your transfer lines.

all together you’re looking at just below $70 for a fermenter with closed transfer and pressure dryhoping capabilities. It’s also light weight and incredibly easy and quick to clean


30FEFF3A-3AB0-4993-BAE5-F262FCF3B52B.jpeg




Benefits of doing this verses fermenting in the keg;
1) You will yield a full 5 gallons of trub free beer from each of your recipes helping you become more consistent
2) You now can use all your kegs for serving purposes.
3)You can see fermentation take place which for me is almost as good as watching a fire lol
 
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Dgallo

Dgallo

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Nice. I saw you mention this recently and was incredibly curious about the whole thing. Thanks for posting.
It’s extremely simple and makes a huge difference in beer quality. I’m not very mechanically incline but this is literally just drilling a hole and being able to tighten screws and nuts
 

S-Met

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Have you considered spunding too? Not sure on psi and I might be concerned with a ported fermenter. But id guess it can take 8-10psi.
 
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Dgallo

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Have you considered spunding too? Not sure on psi and I might be concerned with a ported fermenter. But id guess it can take 8-10psi.
It held water at 15 but I when dryhoping I’m around 4/5psi and transfer at just around 10psi

you can certainly get the nonported fermonster and it will save you about 5 dollars but then when you’ll have difficulties taking gravity samples and keeping o2 out.

spunding would work too as long as you are experience transferring carbonated beer.
 
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Dgallo

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Yep, seems that way. If I ever move into the keg world, it may be something to look into. Love fermonsters.
Well you can eliminate a lot of oxidation woes for bottling by connecting your bottling wand to the spigot. Then you can T split the co2 line, one to the fermenter and one to a hose so you can purge the neck of the bottles before you cap them.
 

wsmith1625

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I’ve posted this in a few thread and I get quite a bit of messages regarding my process of doing this so I figured I would create a thread on the process. This is by far the cheapest closed fermenting/ transferring system.


So what you will be doing is modifying a fermonter’s solid lid and fitting it with both liquid and gas keg posts and a floating dip tube.Here is the easiest/cheapest way to go;

1) 7 Gallon Fermonster with spigots (makes hydro samples easy) with solid cap $33.99
FerMonster Carboy With Spigot - 7 gal. | MoreBeer

2) Fermontisourus pressure kit $29.99 - you’re buying this to take the parts, the liquid and gas posts and the floating dip tube to use for your solid lid.
Fermentasaurus Pressure Kit | MoreBeer
Optional pressure kit for the Fermentasaurus Concial Fermenter allows you to ferment under pressure, carbonate, and serve all in one vessel!
www.morebeer.com
www.morebeer.com

3) 7/16” or 1/2” drill bit so you can drill out the solid cap for the posts. Make sure you measure so that have them far enough a part so both ball lock fittings can go on at the same time but close enough when you maintain the stability of the lid. $2.
drillsandcutters.com

7/16" HSS Black Oxide Jobber Length Drill Bit, Qualtech
7/16" HSS Black Oxide Jobber Length Drill Bit, Qualtech. Find this item and other cutting tools on DrillsandCutters.com.
drillsandcutters.com
drillsandcutters.com

4) then you just needs some hose, clamps, and balllock fittings for your transfer lines.

all together you’re looking at just below $70 for a fermenter with closed transfer and pressure dryhoping capabilities. It’s also light weight and incredibly easy and quick to clean


30FEFF3A-3AB0-4993-BAE5-F262FCF3B52B.jpeg




Benefits of doing this verses fermenting in the keg;
1) You will yield a full 5 gallons of trub free beer from each of your recipes helping you become more consistent
2) You now can use all your kegs for serving purposes.
3)You can see fermentation take place which for me is almost as good as watching a fire lol
If you're not spunding, how are you dealing with co2 during fermentation?
 
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Dgallo

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If you're not spunding, how are you dealing with co2 during fermentation?
I fill a keg to the brim with starsan solution and have 7 gallon bucket. I connect the co2 post of the fv to the co2 post of the keg and then connect the kegs liquid post to a 3ft hose at the bottom of the bucket.

the co2 from fermentation will push all the Solution from the keg to the bucket which completely purges the keg of oxygen and then the bucket becomes an airlock.
 

Elric

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I put up a thread in the diy section about how I have done something similarly cheap and dirty with my anvil kettle, their ferment in a kettle kit and a few other bits and bobs. FIAK closed transfer hacks Took a bunch of my inspiration from this thread so thanks guys!
 
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Dgallo

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How do you add the dry hops?
I’ll run the gas through the liquid post and cbds as I’m removing the cap to slightly pressurize and keep it flowing as I drop them in then I close the cap and pressurize. This is the only opportunity for any o2 pick up. I’m sure a minimal amount does get in but This is exactly what breweries such as OH are doing when they open their ports to dryhop.
 

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Before I forget, you started a very good thread!
I've seen you mentioning these methods in various forums, but nothing beats having it all in one place. Easy to find and discuss.

???

So, to add the dry hops, you lift the cap while gas is streaming in, then close it. No purging?
I drilled stoppered 1" holes in my bucket lids as access ports while streaming in gas through the airlock stem. That way I can dry hop and/or stir counter-current, and purge a few times for good measure.

Would you see adding an access port to the "solid lid" as something useful? It could probably be as narrow as 3/4".
 

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you lift the cap while gas is streaming in, then close it. No purging?
I have the same setup as I modeled it after what @Dgallo and a couple others here on HBT have. After I close the lid after dry hopping, I 1) add a little CO2 through the floating dip tube to ensure it holds about 1-2PSI and hence telling me the lid has a good seal again. I then 2) hookup the gas post to an airlock going to a mason jar with star san and purge for a couple of seconds by forcing CO2 through the floating dip tube. This also rouses the freshly dropped hops.

I drop them in then I close the cap and pressurize.
@Dgallo do you leave pressure on the fermonster after dry hopping? Im wondering that by putting the airlock back onto the fermonster as I just stated to relieve the pressure, this may be why my aroma isn't as good as I want. I do have good aroma with my processes - but wondering if by keeping nominal pressure on the hops after dry hopping until you keg would enhance the aroma.
 
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Dgallo

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Before I forget, you started a very good thread!
I've seen you mentioning these methods in various forums, but nothing beats having it all in one place. Easy to find and discuss.


???

So, to add the dry hops, you lift the cap while gas is streaming in, then close it. No purging?
I drilled stoppered 1" holes in my bucket lids as access ports while streaming in gas through the airlock stem. That way I can dry hop and/or stir counter-current, and purge a few times for good measure.

Would you see adding an access port to the "solid lid" as something useful? It could probably be as narrow as 3/4".
Since the gas in running, a constant flow of co2 should be pushing through the opening and should help keep much of the air from entering. I dont repurge the headspace honestly because I'm not concerned with the amount of o2 that is getting in.
 
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Dgallo

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I have the same setup as I modeled it after what @Dgallo and a couple others here on HBT have. After I close the lid after dry hopping, I 1) add a little CO2 through the floating dip tube to ensure it holds about 1-2PSI and hence telling me the lid has a good seal again. I then 2) hookup the gas post to an airlock going to a mason jar with star san and purge for a couple of seconds by forcing CO2 through the floating dip tube. This also rouses the freshly dropped hops.


@Dgallo do you leave pressure on the fermonster after dry hopping? Im wondering that by putting the airlock back onto the fermonster as I just stated to relieve the pressure, this may be why my aroma isn't as good as I want. I do have good aroma with my processes - but wondering if by keeping nominal pressure on the hops after dry hopping until you keg would enhance the aroma.
You don't need much pressure, just a little head pressure. I keep the FV connected to the keg and take remove the hose connected to the kegs out post. This way I can use the PRV on the keg if needed, so that co2 created by hop creep doesn't bring the FV into unsafe pressure.
 

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I’ll run the gas through the liquid post and cbds as I’m removing the cap to slightly pressurize and keep it flowing as I drop them in then I close the cap and pressurize. This is the only opportunity for any o2 pick up. I’m sure a minimal amount does get in but This is exactly what breweries such as OH are doing when they open their ports to dryhop.
I've thought about measuring out the hops into a container of some sort and then purging it with CO2 before carefully dumping into the fermenter. This might be more important with whole cone hops than with pellets.
 

VikeMan

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Would you see adding an access port to the "solid lid" as something useful? It could probably be as narrow as 3/4".
This thing screams out for a purgeable hop caddy, if there's enough real estate on that lid. And a thermowell.
 
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Dgallo

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This thing screams out for a purgeable hop caddy, if there's enough real estate on that lid. And a thermowell.
Real estate is limited, only 4in diameter but if you can think of a way to make it work I’m totally down to be the test subject
 

VikeMan

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Real estate is limited, only 4in diameter but if you can think of a way to make it work I’m totally down to be the test subject
Maybe too tight for a hop caddy, but a thermowell isn't out of the question. Here's an old thread about a semi-DIY thermowell for a Speidel, but the same concept could work for your lid.
 
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Dgallo

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Maybe too tight for a hop caddy, but a thermowell isn't out of the question. Here's an old thread about a semi-DIY thermowell for a Speidel, but the same concept could work for your lid.
That could certainly work. My only question would be at what psi can the thermal well bung hold. I used to do my current process with a hose connect to the bung to a keg but above 5 psi on transfers the bung would lift
 

VikeMan

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That could certainly work. My only question would be at what psi can the thermal well bung hold. I used to do my current process with a hose connect to the bung to a keg but above 5 psi on transfers the bung would lift
The example in that thread (post #1) doesn't use a bung. It's sealed with a nut and gasket.

Another option would be to install another gas or liquid post (either one), remove the poppet, and convert a corny keg liquid dip tube into a thermowell. There was an article describing the conversion in the October 2019 BYO (in the context of a thermowell for a souring keg, using the gas post to hold it).
 

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The example in that thread (post #1) doesn't use a bung. It's sealed with a nut and gasket.

Another option would be to install another gas or liquid post (either one), remove the poppet, and convert a corny keg liquid dip tube into a thermowell. There was an article describing the conversion in the October 2019 BYO (in the context of a thermowell for a souring keg, using the gas post to hold it).
When I was planning/chatting with others/and buying parts for my fermentation setup I was convinced I “needed” a thermowell through the lid. Brewhardware.com sells the weldless thermowell that I was going to use and I’m certain someone else here on HBT did add the third hole in the lid for this thermowell. In the end, I went with with an inkbird probe attached to the outside and encased in dense foam. I tested the accuracy myself with this in water at low temps (38degrees) and at ferm temps 60-72 degrees. I did not test it at “kviek” temps though but every time I put my thermapen in the water to measure the water, the temp was always within a degree of the external probe. In this testing I always let the temps stabilize for about an hour after the inkbird reaches the set temp so I didn’t evaluate temps during ramping up or down. So now I just think to myself that the temps in the wort are within a degree of the external probe and has been working well
 

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So I bought all the parts for this (I think), though I’m not going as full-tilt as some. I wonder if someone can help me with a sanity check that this will work:

I’ve got the fermonster with spigot, two kegs posts drilled into the solid lid, and a floating dip tube connected to the underside of the liquid keg post. I plan to put just enough star-San in the empty keg to be able to sanitize the dip tube when I purge it out. I’ll pressurize the keg with 10lbs or so, then bring down the regulator to 1-2lbs and connect to the fermonster gas-in. I’ll connect the liquid-out from the fermonster to the liquid out of the keg.

Here’s the question: if I purge the keg while also having the 1-2lbs pressure in the fermonster, will that start a siphon? My fv will be on top of the chest freezer and keg on the ground. I’ll need to keep the PRV open throughout the process, I presume.

What am I missing here? I’m just not sure if the siphon will start and don’t want to be bummed come tomorrow when I give it a shot.

TIA!
 
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Dgallo

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@Amadeo38 The only way for beer to come out of the fv is if you have the liquid post of it connected to a line that’s open or connected to the keg.

That being said, Once a liquid line gets connected it will always transfer from higher to lower pressure. So if the fv has higher psi it will go to the keg. If the keg gas higher pressure you’ll blow back to the keg


I am confused though exactly why your asking this regarding purging. Your going to purge that keg during fermentation and use the gas created to run from the gas post of you fv to the gas post of your keg and then the liquid post of the keg will be connected to a hose into a bucket so that the liquid leaves the keg and then turns the bucket into an airlock
 
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Amadeo38

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@Amadeo38 The only way for beer to come out of the fv is if you have the liquid post of it connected to a line that’s open or connected to the keg.

That being said, Once a liquid line gets connected it will always transfer from higher to lower pressure. So if the fv has higher psi it will go to the keg. If the keg gas higher pressure you’ll blow back to the keg


I am confused though exactly why your asking this regarding purging. Your going to purge that keg during fermentation and use the gas created to run from the gas post of you fv to the gas post of your keg and then the liquid post of the keg will be connected to a hose into a bucket so that the liquid leaves the keg and then turns the bucket into an airlock
Thanks for the reply. This is where I’m not going full-tilt like others. I’m just fermenting like normal with my regular fermonster lid and a airlock (I only got the new lid built while fermentation was already underway). I connected a Mylar balloon to the airlock at the end of ferm so I could cold crash without o2. Now I plan to quickly swap the lids and transfer. Not as ideal as fermenting while connected to the keg, which I’ll do next time.
 

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So I bought all the parts for this (I think), though I’m not going as full-tilt as some. I wonder if someone can help me with a sanity check that this will work:

I’ve got the fermonster with spigot, two kegs posts drilled into the solid lid, and a floating dip tube connected to the underside of the liquid keg post. I plan to put just enough star-San in the empty keg to be able to sanitize the dip tube when I purge it out. I’ll pressurize the keg with 10lbs or so, then bring down the regulator to 1-2lbs and connect to the fermonster gas-in. I’ll connect the liquid-out from the fermonster to the liquid out of the keg.

Here’s the question: if I purge the keg while also having the 1-2lbs pressure in the fermonster, will that start a siphon? My fv will be on top of the chest freezer and keg on the ground. I’ll need to keep the PRV open throughout the process, I presume.

What am I missing here? I’m just not sure if the siphon will start and don’t want to be bummed come tomorrow when I give it a shot.

TIA!
Im not sure I completely follow this. First - I always start the transfer with the keg completely purged of star san and (hopefully) no oxygen. So it was not stated if you were purging the star san out of the keg first. Then with an empty/purged keg, the way I see it you have two options: gravity transfer from FV to keg OR pressure transfer from FV to keg using your CO2 tank. The way you have written this, it sounds like you are using gravity transfer which is what I do. Gas post of FV connected to gas post to keg, then liquid post of FV connected to liquid post to keg.

So heres what I do: use your CO2 tank to pressurize the FV to ~5-6 PSI and then do the same to the serving keg so they are at equal pressure. Then as long as the FV is higher than the keg, this will start a siphon to the keg. As you can see in the picture, my height differential isn't as much as Id like as the bottom of the FV is at the same level as the top of the keg but it works. FWIW, gravity transfers work well and you can still suck every last bit of wort out of the FV into the keg, but using gravity it will take longer. From my experience, the length of time using gravity transfer method with this setup is dependent on two main things assuming both vessels are pressurized initially to the same psi: 1) the height differential - the higher the differential, the faster the transfer would be and 2) the position of the floating dip tube - sometimes the open end sticks to the sides of the FV and this will slow the flow somewhat. With this gravity transfer method AND my height differential, the transfer DOES take longer i.e. upwards of 90 minutes or so BUT in the end all the beer gets into the keg without an adverse event. With this gravity transfer setup - I leave the PRV in place because the gas out of the keg connection continues to push into the FV. Think of it as a "loop".

Lastly - these closed methods (gravity transfer OR using CO2 to push it out to keg) work best if you've properly cold crashed the beer in the FV prior to transferring.

Good Luck!
 

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Amadeo38

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Im not sure I completely follow this. First - I always start the transfer with the keg completely purged of star san and (hopefully) no oxygen. So it was not stated if you were purging the star san out of the keg first. Then with an empty/purged keg, the way I see it you have two options: gravity transfer from FV to keg OR pressure transfer from FV to keg using your CO2 tank. The way you have written this, it sounds like you are using gravity transfer which is what I do. Gas post of FV connected to gas post to keg, then liquid post of FV connected to liquid post to keg.

So heres what I do: use your CO2 tank to pressurize the FV to ~5-6 PSI and then do the same to the serving keg so they are at equal pressure. Then as long as the FV is higher than the keg, this will start a siphon to the keg. As you can see in the picture, my height differential isn't as much as Id like as the bottom of the FV is at the same level as the top of the keg but it works. FWIW, gravity transfers work well and you can still suck every last bit of wort out of the FV into the keg, but using gravity it will take longer. From my experience, the length of time using gravity transfer method with this setup is dependent on two main things assuming both vessels are pressurized initially to the same psi: 1) the height differential - the higher the differential, the faster the transfer would be and 2) the position of the floating dip tube - sometimes the open end sticks to the sides of the FV and this will slow the flow somewhat. With this gravity transfer method AND my height differential, the transfer DOES take longer i.e. upwards of 90 minutes or so BUT in the end all the beer gets into the keg without an adverse event. With this gravity transfer setup - I leave the PRV in place because the gas out of the keg connection continues to push into the FV. Think of it as a "loop".

Lastly - these closed methods (gravity transfer OR using CO2 to push it out to keg) work best if you've properly cold crashed the beer in the FV prior to transferring.

Good Luck!
Interesting! I would have never thought a transfer could take 90 minutes. Nor would I ever wait that long. I’ve done something similar in the past to what I plan to do tomorrow, but using tubing connected to the spigot and pressurizing the FV to ~3psi. This pushed the beer out and into the keg, but got clogged several times from hop debris and trub. I’m hoping to do something similar now but the upgrade being the floating dip tube.

In your setup you have a three way thingy with a pressure valve on your fv gas out. Is this something I’ll need to build if I plan to ferment with the gas out connected to the keg to prevent bombs? Or is this just a spunding setup that is extra and not necessary?
 

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Interesting! I would have never thought a transfer could take 90 minutes. Nor would I ever wait that long. I’ve done something similar in the past to what I plan to do tomorrow, but using tubing connected to the spigot and pressurizing the FV to ~3psi. This pushed the beer out and into the keg, but got clogged several times from hop debris and trub. I’m hoping to do something similar now but the upgrade being the floating dip tube.

In your setup you have a three way thingy with a pressure valve on your fv gas out. Is this something I’ll need to build if I plan to ferment with the gas out connected to the keg to prevent bombs? Or is this just a spunding setup that is extra and not necessary?
The "cross" type sounding valve isn't necessary for the transfer. I set the keg to 5 psi first and then the FV and just use the spending valve to monitor the pressure and since it has a gas port on it, i just leave it on.
 

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Interesting! I would have never thought a transfer could take 90 minutes. Nor would I ever wait that long. I’ve done something similar in the past to what I plan to do tomorrow, but using tubing connected to the spigot and pressurizing the FV to ~3psi. This pushed the beer out and into the keg, but got clogged several times from hop debris and trub. I’m hoping to do something similar now but the upgrade being the floating dip tube.
another thought....if you are planning on swapping the lids tomorrow for this transfer, you are essentially/potentially exposing oxygen to the beer in the FV and potentially defeating the purpose of the "closed" transfer. So perhaps transfer this beer through your spigot as you have in the past for this beer and then use the floating dip tube with ball locks for your next beer when you can start fermentation with the new lid...just a thought.
 

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another thought....if you are planning on swapping the lids tomorrow for this transfer, you are essentially/potentially exposing oxygen to the beer in the FV and potentially defeating the purpose of the "closed" transfer. So perhaps transfer this beer through your spigot as you have in the past for this beer and then use the floating dip tube with ball locks for your next beer when you can start fermentation with the new lid...just a thought.
Appreciate it. With the spigot clogging several times, I think I end up exposing the beer to o2 anyway. With a fair mix of co2 in the headspace of the fv when it comes time to swap the lid (inside my ferm chamber which is also going to be filled with a good amount of co2), I’m thinking the exposure will be minimal. Getting a little crazy to worry about that degree of oxygen actually affecting anything. I’ve done regular-a$$ auto-siphon transfers of NEIPA to an open-lid keg with some co2 in it, and that beer stayed fresh and straw colored until it was gone.
 

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Appreciate it. With the spigot clogging several times, I think I end up exposing the beer to o2 anyway. With a fair mix of co2 in the headspace of the fv when it comes time to swap the lid (inside my ferm chamber which is also going to be filled with a good amount of co2), I’m thinking the exposure will be minimal. Getting a little crazy to worry about that degree of oxygen actually affecting anything. I’ve done regular-a$$ auto-siphon transfers of NEIPA to an open-lid keg with some co2 in it, and that beer stayed fresh and straw colored until it was gone.
No problem. FWIW, I am indebted to both @Dgallo @Loud Brewing and a couple others for sharing their processes with this system using the fermonster with modified lid to allow me to start my home brewing adventures using a closed cold-side system. The downside, is now I am an absolute oxygen freak and prob need to relax a little lol.
 
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Dgallo

Dgallo

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@Amadeo38 Im just lost as to why you wouldnt just use that lid during fermentation. If yeast and krausen gets into the dip tube, just connect your gas to that post and blow it out.

Your process isn’t utilizing the lid to the best of its abilities and all your doing is making more hassle for your self and exposing your ipas to oxygen. Just seems like much more trouble than it’s worth the way you’re thinking of doing it
 

Amadeo38

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Didn’t get the lid until after fermentation started. Will do the whole shebang next time, but this plan is still better than a clogging spigot (my hops/trub are above the spigot level so it wouldn’t be ideal). Just gonna put the co2 tank on the fv gas-in at 3psi as my makeshift closed loop.
 

BUCKNUTS

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I tried this method with my fermonsters and it didn’t work very well but this little easy set up works like a charm to go from fermonster to keg. It’s not oxygen free but certainly greatly reduces exposure. I attach a liquid post to the tubing and push it into a keg with a couple psi of pressure. Full disclosure I don’t use this for ipa because I have a snub nosed Fermentasaurus and fermzilla all rounder but I use it for any other beer style that I ferment in fermonsters.
 

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Amadeo38

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Went really well, other than being slower to transfer than I could have imagined. Took about 15 minutes to transfer 4.75gal once the siphon started. My big diameter auto-siphon takes about 4 minutes or less, but I guess that’s unrealistic.

I was able to get the regulator to pump just enough co2 to keep the FV pressurized (about 0.5psi, it seemed). Going higher didn’t increase the transfer speed, so I figured save the $ on co2.

Thanks for all of your help peeps!
 

Amadeo38

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Alright so I am attempting the full blown system with fermonster lid connected to a keg filled with star san emptying into a bucket. I cannot seem to find a leak anywhere with a star-San spray test on all connections, yet I’m not generating enough pressure to push the starsan from the keg to my bucket. Has anyone else had this problem? I started a siphon at the final endpoint and that drained a gallon or so rather quickly but then stopped. Ferm is going full tilt.
 
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