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

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NSMikeD

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I’m pulling the trigger tonight on the 3 gal system. I’m not seeking to pressurize ferment now. I do plan to dry hop and also do clued transfer to a keg.
I can’t fit a keg in my mini fridge, so am I correct .....

1) connect an open ended line to the gas side and put said open end into a jar of star San to serve a# my bow off tube
2) connect to CO2 and dry hop as per @Dgallo
3) cold crash low CO2 level (I have a cartridge CO2 with regulator I use on my kegs while aging and cold crashing)
4) on keg day, fill keg with star San. Purge with CO2 then put CO2 on the FV, jump FV liquid to liquid (dip tube) side keg and pressure transfer with pressure release valve on keg loosened.

Comments?
 

Tallgrass

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Thought I would put this here since we are modifying and perhaps pushing the limits of these fermenters.
I had 2 fermonsters fail within days of each other a couple weeks back. Neither failure was catastrophic but could have been if I didn't notice the wet towel under one or that the other had less PBW mix then it did the day before. Both were about a year old and developed cracks along the bottom. Each maybe 15 batches.
It might be a good idea to inspect closely after each batch.

What might have caused this?

After pitching yeast I routinely tilt the bottle back and give it a good swirl/shake.
They routinely saw a pound or two of pressure pushing starsan out of a 5 gallon corny.
I cold crash to 40f in the fermonster
During the cold crash I add a bit of co2 pressure to make up for the negative pressure created. Once mistakenly enough pressure to blow the bung out but just in one of them.

This didn't stop me from buying a new one. In fact the new one is next to me bubbling away but with a seltzer and a standard airlock.
20210318_082811.jpg
 
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Dgallo

Dgallo

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What psi do you typically allow it to get to? That a strange place for them to crack, curves take psi much better than flat surfaces, typically the cap will crack first being a less flexible plastic and flat. That said it happened to two of them, so definitely something to look out for
 

IslandLizard

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Both were about a year old and developed cracks along the bottom. Each maybe 15 batches.
That's pretty darn alarming. Glad you noticed.

In the picture I see some deeper scuff marks on the right one, lighter marks on the left one. Are they used and moved on a hard rough (cement) floor? Could that have something to do with it? Are you tilting them to pick them up or agitate?

A few years ago, at the very end of Big Brew Day, one guy in a group of brewers did an overhead Hulk-move in the parking lot with a Fermonster, halfway filled with Starsan. He lost grip and the thing landed on the tarmac, bounced a few times, then rolled. There was no visible damage, cracks, dents, just some scratches. The lid didn't even come off or cracked. Lucky for them.
 

Tallgrass

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I have lost a couple lids to those cracks. They are difficult to see.
I don't know how much pressure it takes to push starsan out of the keg. Can't be more than a few pounds. I get some negative pressure during cold crash. Not enough to pull the sanitizer back out of the bucket into the keg.
Intially I thought the act of tipping it back to get a swirl going caused the damage but the cracks are not opposite the spigot. That was always on a folded towel on my cooler top. Looking again... One has a crack at about 4:30(upside down spigot facing me) the other is cracked at 1 and 6. It would never had seen the full weight at the spigot side.
I brew in my basement and yes it is a cement floor. Never slide on the floor when full. The scratches are likely from the cement and moving around empty though.
I'm sure I'm 50/50 picking it up by both hands on the lip near the lid and tilting it back to get a hand under it.

I probably should have started a new thread instead of derailing yours. Just a friendly reminder to check once in a while for any damage.
 
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Dgallo

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I have lost a couple lids to those cracks. They are difficult to see.
I don't know how much pressure it takes to push starsan out of the keg. Can't be more than a few pounds. I get some negative pressure during cold crash. Not enough to pull the sanitizer back out of the bucket into the keg.
Intially I thought the act of tipping it back to get a swirl going caused the damage but the cracks are not opposite the spigot. That was always on a folded towel on my cooler top. Looking again... One has a crack at about 4:30(upside down spigot facing me) the other is cracked at 1 and 6. It would never had seen the full weight at the spigot side.
I brew in my basement and yes it is a cement floor. Never slide on the floor when full. The scratches are likely from the cement and moving around empty though.
I'm sure I'm 50/50 picking it up by both hands on the lip near the lid and tilting it back to get a hand under it.

I probably should have started a new thread instead of derailing yours. Just a friendly reminder to check once in a while for any damage.
I don’t consider this derailing, your sharing your experience. It’s definitely something to look out for.
 

IslandLizard

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I'm sure I'm 50/50 picking it up by both hands on the lip near the lid and tilting it back to get a hand under it.
That could be one of the causes forming those cracks, compressing the flat, non-recessed part of the bottom.

I have some old, 6 gallon Better Bottles. They've not been abused, but have had many years of good use on them, also on a cement floor. They have no signs of cracking anywhere. Maybe it's a tougher, not as brittle form of PET. Definitely a bit thicker than Fermonsters, if I had to guess.
 

NSMikeD

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Just checked, my order should arrive Friday. I’m kegging the Pilsner tomorrow to continue aging in the mini fridge but I believe my basement is 60~65 which I think will be good for a NEIPA not under pressure. So I’m planning on a Monday NEIPA brew and taking a shot at low O2 closed transfer after the primary fermentation and dry hopping schedule.
 
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Dgallo

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Is that the 3 gallon version? I have a pair of the 3 gallon and one of the 7 gallon. (though I have not added the ball lock posts)
My 3 gallons are for my Brett’s and wild beers!
 

tealsmoke

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I'm going to try this concept and have everything on the way. I'm a total newbie and have been absorbing all I can and have built a keezer with eva barrier tubing which I'm out of. I have some 1/4 inch vinyl tubing that is new and wanted to know if it can be used to transfer the beer from FV to the keg. TIA.
 

NSMikeD

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Thanks @Dgallo for the thread.

so two things. The ball lock connections that came are a problem. I have to go through them when I’m done to mix and match to make sure I have connections than go on and off properly. I’m pretty sure the regular one is off sized.

secondly what ever hop debris that was floating at the last two inches above the trub clogged the connection to 5be point I had to take it apart. Or it could have also been the bad connection. I never had to struggle with content keg connections like this before (I have 4 kegs).

I have the keg in the mini fridge and the FerMonster is resting as I hope to be able to transfer that final 2 inches of beer. I’m also considering calling it a day with the maybe 2 gallons in the keg and then focusing on making sure I have good connections, as I dint know how much oxygen got into the fermentor.
on any case. I wasted a lot of CO2 and will need to refill soon.
 

wsmith1625

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I've done several closed transfers and haven't had any issues with hop debris clogging the lines. I usually wait for 3 weeks before I keg which allows a lot of time for the yeast to drop out. If you're dry hopping, try using a mesh bag to contain the hops. I've used this method and it works well. If you prefer to dry hop loose, then cold crash for a few days to get the hop debris to settle. If you still have trouble, use a fining agent such as gelatin to aid in clearing things up before you keg.
 
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Dgallo

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I've done several closed transfers and haven't had any issues with hop debris clogging the lines. I usually wait for 3 weeks before I keg which allows a lot of time for the yeast to drop out. If you're dry hopping, try using a mesh bag to contain the hops. I've used this method and it works well. If you prefer to dry hop loose, then cold crash for a few days to get the hop debris to settle. If you still have trouble, use a fining agent such as gelatin to aid in clearing things up before you keg.
I agree. I wonder what caused the hop debris to not settle. I usually do large 8-10 oz dryhops in my NEIPAS and after cold crashing, I never have clogged it. The only time I transfer any hop debris is if I accidentally rock the fermenter to hard and the hops re suspend when I get close to the bottom. I will say that I do purposely leave 1.5 - 2 inches of beer in the fv to only transfer clean beer. I plan for this in my recipe
 

NSMikeD

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It could be the connecting posts. 85% of the transfer went fine. It/was that last 2” above the trub. The clogs didn’t occurs in the flex tube.

I do prefer using a hop spider and mesh bags. For this brew I went bare back. I did cold crash before doing the transfer.
 

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