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

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Dgallo

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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.
Spots And things to check;
-Are you sure your lids oring was properly in place?
-Make sure all your ball lock fittings are fully pushed down.
-make sure your prv is not stuck open at all.
-make sure the keg is properly closed and your keg posts are fully tightened.
- if you have any adapter to change size of your barb, make sure those gave been screwed on tightly.

since you’re not moving any water that means it’s most likely your at the Fermonster lid. Also cCheck to see if it has cracked on you.
 
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Amadeo38

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Spots And things to check;
-Are you sure your lids oring was properly in place?
-Make sure all your ball lock fittings are fully pushed down.
-make sure your prv is not stuck open at all.
-make sure the keg is properly closed and your keg posts are fully tightened.
- if you have any adapter to change size of your barb, make sure those gave been screwed on tightly.

The since you’re not moving any water that means it’s most likely your at the Fermonster lid. Also cCheck to see if it has cracked on you.
Funny - I just decided to add some keg lube to my keg lid and fermonster o-ring before your reply. In doing so, I discovered that brewhardware.com never included an o-ring inside my solid lid when I ordered it back in March. I just slapped in the o-ring from my other lid with the airlock hole (the one that came with the fermenter). It sure if it’s transferring yet, but will update if not.

Have confirmed all other spots you mentioned, thanks for listing them all as a sanity check.
 
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Dgallo

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Funny - I just decided to add some keg lube to my keg lid and fermonster o-ring before your reply. In doing so, I discovered that brewhardware.com never included an o-ring inside my solid lid when I ordered it back in March. I just slapped in the o-ring from my other lid with the airlock hole (the one that came with the fermenter). It sure if it’s transferring yet, but will update if not.

Have confirmed all other spots you mentioned, thanks for listing them all as a sanity check.
If you have a proper seal you should be moving water within minutes
 

Amadeo38

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Thanks. I guess this one will be chalked up to a loss since ~2 gallons of starsan appeared to have transferred to the bucket solely because of the siphon I started. Good thing it’s just a Pilsner as my test subject. Ready for a NEIPA next time.

edit: it has fully emptied the keg and is blubbing away now!
 
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Elric

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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.
i suspect your starsan spray test can't get the gasket on the lid, and I have seen it can be kind of finicky on being tight enough for withstanding pressure. Two things to try 1) if you try to put a good amount of pressure in it with your ear up close can you locate a hiss to indicate where the leak is? 2) try putting some keg lube on the oring to help get a tighter seal for the lid
 

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i suspect your starsan spray test can't get the gasket on the lid, and I have seen it can be kind of finicky on being tight enough for withstanding pressure. Two things to try 1) if you try to put a good amount of pressure in it with your ear up close can you locate a hiss to indicate where the leak is? 2) try putting some keg lube on the oring to help get a tighter seal for the lid
Forgot to mention in my edit above that it was definitely the missing o-ring on the Fermonster lid at fault. All is well - thanks!
 

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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.
Hey, one last question before I hit the buy button. How much loss do you have using the floating dip tube? It seems the ball needs to be floating on some beer to keep the tube off the trub. I watched some videos on the Fermentasaurus pressure kit and it works great in a conical, but not sure in the Fermonster.

BrewHardware also has a Fermonster pressure transfer kit which uses a racking cane instead of a floating dip tube. I'm on the fence.

Thanks for sharing!
:thumbsup:
 

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Hey, one last question before I hit the buy button. How much loss do you have using the floating dip tube? It seems the ball needs to be floating on some beer to keep the tube off the trub. I watched some videos on the Fermentasaurus pressure kit and it works great in a conical, but not sure in the Fermonster.

BrewHardware also has a Fermonster pressure transfer kit which uses a racking cane instead of a floating dip tube. I'm on the fence.

Thanks for sharing!
:thumbsup:
No loss. The draw tube continues to go down and WILL collect trub at the end if you don't stop the flow when you get there. I love the floating dip tube and recommend it, but don't have experience with the racking cane option.
 
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Hey, one last question before I hit the buy button. How much loss do you have using the floating dip tube? It seems the ball needs to be floating on some beer to keep the tube off the trub. I watched some videos on the Fermentasaurus pressure kit and it works great in a conical, but not sure in the Fermonster.

BrewHardware also has a Fermonster pressure transfer kit which uses a racking cane instead of a floating dip tube. I'm on the fence.

Thanks for sharing!
:thumbsup:
I do get loss but I plan for it. I specifically built this originally for brewing NEIPAS. With a heavy dryhop I need to get 6-6.25 gallons in the fermenter to yield a full 5 gallon keg ensuring no trub makes it in to the serving keg. I could probably get away with 5.75-6 gallons but i don’t want to risk it. That being said, recently brewed two lagers using it abs 5.5 into the FV was perfect 5 gallons in the keg.

The racking cane lid will work fine but it does more chances for o2 pick up then a fixed keg post. I personally would used the CBDS over the cane, but I also brew a lot of Increased o2 sensitive styles
 

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I do get loss but I plan for it. I specifically built this originally for brewing NEIPAS. With a heavy dryhop I need to get 6-6.25 gallons in the fermenter to yield a full 5 gallon keg ensuring no trub makes it in to the serving keg. I could probably get away with 5.75-6 gallons but i don’t want to risk it. I recently breweries two lagers using it abs 5.5 into the FV was perfect 5 gallons in the keg
That’s loss expected no matter what method you use for racking. There’s no additional loss due to the use of the floating dip tube, IME.
 
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That’s loss expected no matter what method you use for racking. There’s no additional loss due to the use of the floating dip tube, IME.
Agree 100% but I was just being specific to leave out any and all assumptions
 

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It seems the ball needs to be floating on some beer to keep the tube off the trub.
I agree with the other replies in simply accounting for losses due to trub/yeast/dry hops. But if you do it right, the floating dip tube will actually suck every bit of beer out of the fermenter. Its also extremely helpful to get a good hard cold crash with lots of dry hops so that they settle and pancake down at the bottom prior to kegging. I thought I had some better pics of this but int he pics you can see that even when the ball is actually sitting on the DH/trub/yeast, the dip tube is actually laying horizontally and still siphoning beer out the dip tube. I did not cut my dip tube length at all. If you've cold crashed well, very little hops get into the keg. Final picture shows a kicked keg that was dry hopped with 8oz total in the fermenter. The procedure works very well once you get the hang of it.
 

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One thing to mention is that some trub and yeast will get into the floating dip tube during fermentation. I simply connected low pressure co2 to that post prior to cold crashing so that junk got blown out and didn’t get slurped into the keg.
 

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I have 2 questions regarding this.
  • How are heavy krausen loads addressed w/this solution?
    • Fermcap?
    • Regular blow off tube setup, then replace lid w/this setup?

  • What if you don't have the space to hook up a keg to purge Star San etc., etc.? Assuming this setup has a secondary goal of ensuring that the Femonster doesn't explode, correct?
    • Would this be when you might hook up a tube to the gas ball lock and push that tube into Star San like a regular blow off?
    • Or....would it be better to setup a spunding valve...and then connect the releasing side to an airlock?
      • Does this not need an airlock?
 

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I've been looking at the whole concept of pressure fermentation and closed transfers, and it's definitely piqued my interest. Would this set up be safe to use for actual pressure fermentation?
 
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I've been looking at the whole concept of pressure fermentation and closed transfers, and it's definitely piqued my interest. Would this set up be safe to use for actual pressure fermentation?
Depends on the psi. You can def use a spunding valve and do it. I wouldn’t go over 10 psi though personally
 

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I have 2 questions regarding this.
  • How are heavy krausen loads addressed w/this solution?
    • Fermcap?
    • Regular blow off tube setup, then replace lid w/this setup?

  • What if you don't have the space to hook up a keg to purge Star San etc., etc.? Assuming this setup has a secondary goal of ensuring that the Femonster doesn't explode, correct?
    • Would this be when you might hook up a tube to the gas ball lock and push that tube into Star San like a regular blow off?
    • Or....would it be better to setup a spunding valve...and then connect the releasing side to an airlock?
      • Does this not need an airlock?
I’ll address a couple of these...if you blow out the floating tube with co2 before racking, no worries about heavy Krausen loads.

I actually had a gas QD with a regular airlock connected to it with some tubing for the first 24h of fermentation so that when I swap to the line connecting to the starsan filled keg, it’s almost pure co2 rather than part o2.

You do need an airlock of some type if you want to stay sanitized like any other fermentation, at least once it starts to slow down. Connecting a tube to a cup of starsan would be fine if you don’t want to do what I described above with a QD>1” piece of silicon tubing>airlock setup.

As for the other poster, I wouldnt push the fermonster much past 3-5psi. Pressure fermentation is typically done around 15psi, I think.
 

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I’ll address a couple of these...if you blow out the floating tube with co2 before racking, no worries about heavy Krausen loads.

I actually had a gas QD with a regular airlock connected to it with some tubing for the first 24h of fermentation so that when I swap to the line connecting to the starsan filled keg, it’s almost pure co2 rather than part o2.

You do need an airlock of some type if you want to stay sanitized like any other fermentation, at least once it starts to slow down. Connecting a tube to a cup of starsan would be fine if you don’t want to do what I described above with a QD>1” piece of silicon tubing>airlock setup.

As for the other poster, I wouldnt push the fermonster much past 3-5psi. Pressure fermentation is typically done around 15psi, I think.
Any chance you could post a picture of this? I was kinda..hoping that I might be able to figure out how to use this a Blowtie Spunding valve, connect an elbow duotight connector, and pop the airlock right into the elbow...but...I don't think that is going to fit as the largest their lines get is 3/8"
 

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Any chance you could post a picture of this? I was kinda..hoping that I might be able to figure out how to use this a Blowtie Spunding valve, connect an elbow duotight connector, and pop the airlock right into the elbow...but...I don't think that is going to fit as the largest their lines get is 3/8"
Why not just run your line from the spunding valve into a cup of sanitizer? That's what I do with my Spike Flex+ fermenters.
 

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Any chance you could post a picture of this? I was kinda..hoping that I might be able to figure out how to use this a Blowtie Spunding valve, connect an elbow duotight connector, and pop the airlock right into the elbow...but...I don't think that is going to fit as the largest their lines get is 3/8"
when Im not using fermentation CO2 to purge a keg of star san (because I don't have a keg ready if they are all in use) this is my air-lock setup. Pretty simple. When I am purging a keg of star san, I have a different tube with gas QDs on each end and then a liquid QD from the keg to a bucket which receives the star san. After all star san is purged from the keg, the bucket essentially becomes the "airlock" as it just bubbles the same way the mason jar in the picture does.
 

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Just trying to make things more complicated than I have to..seems to be my MO. Thanks for highlighting there is indeed an easier way.
 

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Just trying to make things more complicated than I have to..seems to be my MO. Thanks for highlighting there is indeed an easier way.
thats par for the course lol. When you are the one trying to figure something out, its always more complicated than the eventual solution Ive found out myself. lol.
 

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When I still had my Fermonsters, I did this a lot but with a stainless racking can vs the floating dip tube. I drilled two holes, one for a gas post and another big enough for a #2 stopper and the cane. Worked perfect.

An idea I had was using a 1.5" TC bulkhead to add some sort of dryhopping port to the lid. You could fit a TC gas post on top of the port for your gas side and just use a run of the mill post for the liquid side and floating diptube to save on the lid's limited amount of space. I'm sure adding that would run up the total cost you'd have in it, but if you are already using those connections elsewhere in the brewery, why not?

I had planned on modifying the solid lid a bit more so I could run one of those "twister" temp coils Kegland sells for their Fermzilla vessels. After getting my Flex+ and conical, I decided against that and sold all my Fermonsters to a friend of mine who's started back up in the hobby.

I kinda regret it now.
 

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After getting my Flex+ and conical, I decided against that and sold all my Fermonsters to a friend of mine who's started back up in the hobby.

I kinda regret it now.
As someone with a Fermonster saving up for the Flex+ with pressure transfer accessory, why do you regret not keeping your fermonster? Just want to know what I’m getting myself into when/if I pull the Flex+ trigger.
 

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As someone with a Fermonster saving up for the Flex+ with pressure transfer accessory, why do you regret not keeping your fermonster? Just want to know what I’m getting myself into when/if I pull the Flex+ trigger.
The flex+ does look sexy for sure, but Ive certainly enjoyed my fermonster setup. AFTER I built my fermentation systems with the fermonster with modified lid, I saw the fermzilla all-rounder. The all-rounder is essentially the exact same setup that we have here with the fermonster with modified lid and floating dip tube. The BIG two advantages of the all-rounder over the fermonster that I see are: 1) the all rounder is pressure rated up to ~30PSI? and 2) the all-rounder is 7.9gallons. So its a commercial version of what peeps here made with the fermonster. Its only about ~$85 too for the all-rounder with pressure kit. The catch for me? The allrounder is 13.9" in diameter so it won't fit into my minifridge like the fermonster does as its only ~11.5" diameter. So "upgrading" to the all rounder would cause a rabbit hole for me to then go and figure out either how to add a collar to my mini fridge to make it bigger (which I really don't want to do) or seek and spend more $$$ on a chest freezer or bigger fridge to house the all-rounder. So for now, because I get most of the functions out of the fermonster setup that I want, I won't change the fermenter I am using due to the inevitable "rabbit hole" of other expenses that comes with changing the fermenter Im using.
 

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As someone with a Fermonster saving up for the Flex+ with pressure transfer accessory, why do you regret not keeping your fermonster? Just want to know what I’m getting myself into when/if I pull the Flex+ trigger.

Mainly because it was something I already had and paid for. It's apples to oranges comparing the Fermonsters to the Flex+. I don't regret buying the Flex+. At the time of purchase, I wasn't thinking about getting rid of my Fermonsters. I wanted more space in my garage and since I haven't been brewing as much as I would like (and doing more 10 gallon batches which take longer to drink), I figured I needed to start scaling back. So I sold them to a friend of mine at work who started making mead again and was needing some carboys.

Off topic.

I have both the Flex+ and Spike's 10 gallon conical. IMO, I would look and see how much more you're going to be out of pocket with the CF5 conical vs the Flex+. It's a $175 difference between the two, but once you start adding accessories, the gap closes fast. The CF5 gives you the ability to dump trub/harvest yeast plus gives you two additional ports for a sample valve and thermo. If I were buying today, I'd go with the CF5. The Black Friday sale last year was when I bought mine, so the difference in price was much greater so I went with the Flex+ Hope this helps.
 

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Mainly because it was something I already had and paid for. It's apples to oranges comparing the Fermonsters to the Flex+. I don't regret buying the Flex+. At the time of purchase, I wasn't thinking about getting rid of my Fermonsters. I wanted more space in my garage and since I haven't been brewing as much as I would like (and doing more 10 gallon batches which take longer to drink), I figured I needed to start scaling back. So I sold them to a friend of mine at work who started making mead again and was needing some carboys.

Off topic.

I have both the Flex+ and Spike's 10 gallon conical. IMO, I would look and see how much more you're going to be out of pocket with the CF5 conical vs the Flex+. It's a $175 difference between the two, but once you start adding accessories, the gap closes fast. The CF5 gives you the ability to dump trub/harvest yeast plus gives you two additional ports for a sample valve and thermo. If I were buying today, I'd go with the CF5. The Black Friday sale last year was when I bought mine, so the difference in price was much greater so I went with the Flex+ Hope this helps.
Thanks for the info! I live in Florida so I’m not really fermenting much at room/basement temp (since we don’t have basements) except when I use kveik. The CF5 is 29” tall, which doesn’t fit in any standard fridge or chest freezer (at least none of the ones I have). The Flex+ fits in all of them. My all-in price for the Flex+ with thermowell and pressure transfer kit is the same as the starting price of the CF5. I would love to be able to harvest yeast, though!
 

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Has anyone tried coldcrasing with this fermonster setup? I think I'm about to order everything I need and this seems to be my final hesitation. Cheers!
 

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Has anyone tried coldcrasing with this fermonster setup? I think I'm about to order everything I need and this seems to be my final hesitation. Cheers!
Yes - I have done it two ways.
1. Mylar ballon filled with co2 taped to a QD.
2. co2 tank connected directly to the lid at 2psi

#1 is much cheaper since the balloon is $1 and you can fill it for free if you connect it to the lid during fermentation. Reusable.
 

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Has anyone tried coldcrasing with this fermonster setup? I think I'm about to order everything I need and this seems to be my final hesitation. Cheers!
yes, as long as you have the proper setup to perform a closed transfer, you can certainly cold crash with this setup as well if you have a CO2 tank attached to the gas ball lock when cold crashing to prevent/minimize O2 sucking in when dropping temps. Its been working well for me
 

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so, when crashing you dont leave everything set up? Fermonster, to keg, to bucket of starsan? Or is the concern that you would end up sucking starsan back into the keg and kinda defeating the process of flushing the keg with fermentation CO2?
 

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so, when crashing you dont leave everything set up? Fermonster, to keg, to bucket of starsan? Or is the concern that you would end up sucking starsan back into the keg and kinda defeating the process of flushing the keg with fermentation CO2?
No, I don't leave the "airlock" (mason jar or purged keg) setup when cold crashing. I just hook up the CO2 tank (with regulator) to add CO2 to the fermonster so that when temps drop in the fermenter, CO2 will go into the fermenter as needed rather than sucking in air/oxygen.
 

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Brewed 5 gallons of Caray's Celebration Pale Ale this Sunday and got to put my new Fermonster to use. Thanks for all the help getting to this point. :mug:

I followed DGallo's suggestions and bought the Fermentasaurus pressure kit to get the parts for the build. He mentioned using 7/8" or 1/2" inch drill bits, so I tested both sizes on an old juice bottle lid. The 7/8" hole was too snug and stretched the plastic a bit. The 1/2" was perfect and matched the size in the Fermentasaurus lid. I used a paddle bit which created really clean holes. I started on the top of the lid and finished on the bottom for burr free holes. Assembly went as expected. Then I filled the Fermonster with hot tap water and Oxyclean to give it a good wash. This was also a good pressure test and it did fine.

Initially I wasn't sure why no one was adding the PRV to the Fermonster lid, but when I got the parts I could see there was no easy way to add it. I did a quick search and found a weldless bulkhead that could be used, but not worth the time or trouble. Also, don't use the PRV for your corny's since it's only rated to 35psi.

On brew day, I was concerned about sanitizing the floating dip tube as I didn't want to waste co2 pushing StarSan through it. Turns out it quite simple to take the hose off and soak it in a bucket of StarSan with the rest of my cold side equipment. Reattaching is no trouble at all.

This is my first batch in a clear fermenter and using a blow off tube. I love this setup. So wild to see the yeast in action and get a good look at the krausen. I can't wait to do a closed transfer to my corny and see how this improves the taste of my beer.

Thanks again!

IMG_20200803_141406649.jpg
 

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An idea I had was using a 1.5" TC bulkhead to add some sort of dryhopping port to the lid.
Has anyone tried this using the standard fermonster lid, which can take a #10 stopper? That hole is supposedly 43mm, and the hole requirement for this port is 41mm - is that 2mm difference enough to make this no longer air tight, or is there a way of gasketing the connection?
 

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Has anyone tried this using the standard fermonster lid, which can take a #10 stopper? That hole is supposedly 43mm, and the hole requirement for this port is 41mm - is that 2mm difference enough to make this no longer air tight, or is there a way of gasketing the connection?

Never would have thought about possibly using the standard lid. I would think 1mm wouldn't make that much of a difference. Cool part, if it works, you could use a 1.5" TC gas post to clamp to it so you'd only need to drill a second hole for the liquid post (if there's enough space for it).


The guy I sold my Fermonsters to, I may hit him up to see if he'll sell one of them back to me. LOL!
 

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Never would have thought about possibly using the standard lid. I would think 1mm wouldn't make that much of a difference. Cool part, if it works, you could use a 1.5" TC gas post to clamp to it so you'd only need to drill a second hole for the liquid post (if there's enough space for it).


The guy I sold my Fermonsters to, I may hit him up to see if he'll sell one of them back to me. LOL!
You could also put a TC tee on top and use one side for gas and one side for the liquid with floating diptube.
 

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Never would have thought about possibly using the standard lid. I would think 1mm wouldn't make that much of a difference. Cool part, if it works, you could use a 1.5" TC gas post to clamp to it so you'd only need to drill a second hole for the liquid post (if there's enough space for it).


The guy I sold my Fermonsters to, I may hit him up to see if he'll sell one of them back to me. LOL!
These are all pretty cool ideas for sure. I have the modified lid the way @Dgallo describes here. My thinking is that with any sort of TC fitting, T fitting, etc, if you can't configure some sort of dry hopper to add to it and you still need to unscrew the fermonster lid in order to dry hop, I don't think that setup would be any better from a minimizing oxygen point of view. Certainly curious to see what other setups peeps come up with though.
 

dawn_kiebawls

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I have all the items in my cart right now. 2 final questions before I complete my order:

i) Has fermonster redesigned the O-ring on the lid? I had a fermonster years ago and quit using it because that thing is such a POS...
ii) When buying the pressure kit - is the floating dip tube included/harvestable from it or does that need to be purchased separately?

I can't wait to get this going so I can try and get a NEIPA truly dialed in...Cheers!
 
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Dgallo

Dgallo

If you ain’t first, you’re last Ricky Bobby
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I have all the items in my cart right now. 2 final questions before I complete my order:

i) Has fermonster redesigned the O-ring on the lid? I had a fermonster years ago and quit using it because that thing is such a POS...
ii) When buying the pressure kit - is the floating dip tube included/harvestable from it or does that need to be purchased separately?

I can't wait to get this going so I can try and get a NEIPA truly dialed in...Cheers!
Yes the floating dip tube is harvestable. The oring isn’t the best by any means and can fall out of not properly installed. I actually put the oring in the freezer for about 10 mins before I insert it. That way it’s stiffer and can be pushed into the lid easier and tighter.

I modified the lid specifically to brew NEIPAS. if you haven’t had a way to close transfer or coldcrash without o2 pick up previously, than you Are going to see night and day improvements in your ipas
 
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