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

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GoodTruble

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I assumed it was only a matter of time until fermentasaurus parts were no longer available because it had been replaced by fermzilla (which uses different posts).

This was a fun modification. But with fermzilla all-rounders only costing $55, I think that is a better option. No spigot, but there are other ways to deal with that.

I'm currently using the fermzilla and the modified fermonster. And if I had to choose one, I'd go with fermzilla (though others' preferences may differ).
26A32452-3D23-4087-9AEC-6A20C1524C39.jpeg
 
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Dgallo

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I wonder if they saw this thread ever and thought “look at how many folks are looking for a mor affordable wide mouth clear fermenter with pressure transfer capabilities” lol
 

GoodTruble

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I wonder if they saw this thread ever and though look at how many folks are looking for a mor affordable wide mouth clear fermenter with pressure transfer capabilities lol

Not unheard of. KegLand openly seeks user input on Australian homebrew sites.


(Off Topic - I am genuinely excited about their $5 2-gallon plastic kegs getting released in the states (discussed in that thread)).
 

CascadesBrewer

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BTW, I did my first ferment with the Fermonster with one disconnect post. I was very happy with how well it worked and the extra convenience over something similar using a stopper.

During fermentation, I ran a line from the fermenter post to a keg liquid post (with a mylar balloon to avoid suckback when cold crashing). I purged out the keg with the CO2 from fermentation. Then when it came time to keg, I swapped the black disconnect over for a grey one, and use that line as the CO2 return from the purged keg. Since the fermenter is sealed up, I used the "dry hop with magnets" approach, which seemed to work well.

The pressure kit was $25.49 after 15% off discount. A pretty good deal for a pair of posts (can mod 2 lids...I have 4 Fermonsters), a PRV (rated at 35 PSI), and a floating dip tube that I can put to use in a keg.

Picture during keg transfer:
IMG_3412.JPG
 

GoodTruble

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BTW, I did my first ferment with the Fermonster with one disconnect post. I was very happy with how well it worked and the extra convenience over something similar using a stopper.

During fermentation, I ran a line from the fermenter post to a keg liquid post (with a mylar balloon to avoid suckback when cold crashing). I purged out the keg with the CO2 from fermentation. Then when it came time to keg, I swapped the black disconnect over for a grey one, and use that line as the CO2 return from the purged keg. Since the fermenter is sealed up, I used the "dry hop with magnets" approach, which seemed to work well.

The pressure kit was $25.49 after 15% off discount. A pretty good deal for a pair of posts (can mod 2 lids...I have 4 Fermonsters), a PRV (rated at 35 PSI), and a floating dip tube that I can put to use in a keg.

Picture during keg transfer:
View attachment 739478

Nice. What is the canister attached along the liquid line?
 

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Dgallo

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It is an inline filter that helps to filter out hop particles. It is not a Bouncer brand, but a cheaper version I got off Amazon.
3/8" Hose Barb in-Line Strainer with 20 mesh Stainless Steel Filter Screen 3/8" Hose Barb in-Line Strainer with 20 mesh Stainless Steel Filter Screen: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
my first concerned with that is oxidation while passing through the filter. Are you experiencing any? Can you remove air or purge the filter?
 

ihavenonickname

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I assumed it was only a matter of time until fermentasaurus parts were no longer available because it had been replaced by fermzilla (which uses different posts).

This was a fun modification. But with fermzilla all-rounders only costing $55, I think that is a better option. No spigot, but there are other ways to deal with that.

I'm currently using the fermzilla and the modified fermonster. And if I had to choose one, I'd go with fermzilla (though others' preferences may differ).

Fermzilla's biggest limitation in my mind is it doesn't fit in my mini fridge for temp control. Like many others, I only have 12 inches diameter - perfect for 5g or 10g corny kegs and the fermonster (12 in diameters). Fermonster sets itself apart with an easier lid to get in and out of quickly for dry hopping.
 

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When I built my fermentation setup, the all rounder just came out afterwards lol. Its pretty much the exact setup as here with a few exceptions: 1) As @ihavenonickname stated, the all rounder doesn't fit into a 4.4cf standard mini fridge without having to add a collar on the front end. I wasn't really interested in doing that myself although Ive seen people do it successfully. 2) the all rounder allows for a bigger head space (7.9gal) which is a nice plus, 3) the all rounder is pressure rated, and 4) I like being able to use the standard Fermonster lid with a big blow off tube to start fermentation for yeasts that are super active like the Belgian strains or Juice. I am not sure the all rounder setup allows for a nice blowoff tube that is wide enough to accommodate those top cropping yeast strains. After high Krausen but when the primary fermentation is still going crazy, I'll switch to the modified lid.

My setup doesn't have a spigot at the bottom and I exclusively use the floating dip tube for pulling hydro samples and kegging. The biggest learning curve is knowing how tight you can go with the lid without cracking it which Ive done a couple of times lol.

In the end, Im happy with the longevity with my beers using this modified fermonster setup so I figured Im doing something right in terms of minimizing O2 on the cold side.
 

CascadesBrewer

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my first concerned with that is oxidation while passing through the filter. Are you experiencing any? Can you remove air or purge the filter?

I run CO2 up through the line and filter that I hope purges it down to an acceptable level. The one time I had to recover from a clogged poppet during a transfer, I am sure I introduced much more oxygen that this filter risks.

I would recommend such a filter. The potential downsides are 1) potential source of oxidation and 2) another item to clean and sanitize. The cap does have some gaps that are hard to reach even with a small brush, though I have not experienced any issues in the 2 years I have been using this. On the other hand, I get almost zero hop particles into my keg.
 

CascadesBrewer

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A benefit of the Fermonster line are the smaller sized fermenters. I have the 7-gallon, a pair of 3-gallon and one of the 1-gallon fermenters. On the other hand, the Kegland lines scale up in size. Also, my local shops sell the Fermonster.

That (non-pressure rated) Flat Bottom Fermzilla looks quite nice and is just about the same price as the Fermonster. FermZilla Flat Bottom Fermenter - 7.9 gal. / 30 L | MoreBeer
 

secretlevel

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I'm finally planning to join the hacked Fermonster community :) Just a couple of questions for you kind folks:

1) Does anyone see the need to add a filter to their floating dip tube? I've had some clogging issues with the floating dip tube in my dry hop keg before, so I had to add a stainless nut to weigh things down and a filter/screen to prevent all of the hops from clogging my liquid post.

2) Following up on @eugles comments, the original Pressure Fermenting kit is no longer being carried by MoreBeer. Does anyone see any issues using this stainless kit instead? Stainless Steel Pressure Kit for FermZilla

Or am I better off going with the plastic? Plastic Pressure Kit for FermZilla
 

Noob_Brewer

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I'm finally planning to join the hacked Fermonster community :) Just a couple of questions for you kind folks:

1) Does anyone see the need to add a filter to their floating dip tube? I've had some clogging issues with the floating dip tube in my dry hop keg before, so I had to add a stainless nut to weigh things down and a filter/screen to prevent all of the hops from clogging my liquid post.

2) Following up on @eugles comments, the original Pressure Fermenting kit is no longer being carried by MoreBeer. Does anyone see any issues using this stainless kit instead? Stainless Steel Pressure Kit for FermZilla

Or am I better off going with the plastic? Plastic Pressure Kit for FermZilla

If you are drilling through a solid lid with a 7/16" or 1/2" spade bit (that's what I did), you are going to need ball lock bulkheads for gas and liquid posts. The links you provided show carbonation caps that the fermzilla uses but you still need the ball lock bulkheads. Perhaps moreover or someone else sells the bulkheads, not sure. If anyone does, you might wanna check brewhardware.com.

I think the filter screen could work well potentially. Occasionally during a transfer, my floating dip tube gets almost stuck to the sides when near empty and it slows the transfer. That filter should stop that as well. I haven't used one of these myself though. As long as you get a solid hard cold crash to drop all the hops to the bottom, the transfer should still go smoothly.

IMG_0685.jpg

IMG_0684.jpg
 

GoodTruble

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I don't use a filter & have not had a clogging issue yet (just wait for it all to settle out). But I definitely had issues with floating dip tube sticking to the sides of fermenter and kegs. Total PITA. I attached stainless steel washers, but it's still a problem.
 

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I don't use a filter & have not had a clogging issue yet (just wait for it all to settle out). But I definitely had issues with floating dip tube sticking to the sides of fermenter and kegs. Total PITA. I attached stainless steel washers, but it's still a problem.

I had that issue, too, and my plan is to buy one of those filters designed for the floating dip tube that has adjustable attachment points, like this one, and attach on the far end - that should keep the intake hanging low:
 
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Dgallo

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very curious, what is causing people’s hoses to clog? The reason I ask is I’ve never had a clogging issue and I dry hop 8 to 10 oz of pellets. After cold crashing they all drop to the bottom and then I leave about a 1/2 inch of beer on top of them.

Is it because of not cold crashing? Maybe due to trying to get the very last bit of beer into a keg?
 
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Deric

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I've had my transfer slow way down towards the end a couple of times. I assumed I had a clogged poppet. Took it apart and was clean inside. I leave my Fermonster in the chest freezer ferm chamber while transferring to a keg. Hard to see inside towards the bottom.

After reading the last few posts I totally think it might just be the end of the dip tube getting too close to the side of the fermentor. I know that looking from the top the dip tube was right up against the side. May give a filter of some sort a try. If nothing else, just to keep the pickup away from the side of the fermentor.
 
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Dgallo

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I've had my transfer slow way down towards the end a couple of times. I assumed I had a clogged poppet. Took it apart and was clean inside. I leave my Fermonster in the chest freezer ferm chamber while transferring to a keg. Hard to see inside towards the bottom.

After reading the last few posts I totally think it might just be the end of the dip tube getting too close to the side of the fermentor. I know that looking from the top the dip tube was right up against the side. May give a filter of some sort a try. If nothing else, just to keep the pickup away from the side of the fermentor.
It slowing down is actually Bernoulli's principle of fluid dynamics. If you’re interested in the long explanation, search it, but in a nut shell, when the keg is empty and the fermenter is full, the beer will transfer the fastest. As the keg begins to fill it will decrease in speed. when the keg is close to being filled and the fv is almost empty, it will be the slowest. You can increase it by increasing the psi, but that’s potentially dangerous
 

Deric

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Thanks for the reply! I will check it out. I've only pressure transferred 5 times. The first time was a disaster of my making. 2 other transfers went great. Slowed down near the end but not much. 2 slowed WAY down to the point I assumed they had stopped.

Edit: Just curious... For reference, how long does your typical 5 gallon transfer take?
 

GoodTruble

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@Deric - what was the cause of the disaster? (Could be a learning experience for others).

I transfer from fermentor to keg under about 3-4 psi, and takes 5-10 minutes. But I also have the fermenter up higher so not fighting gravity the whole way.
 

DarrellQ

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I'm finally planning to join the hacked Fermonster community :) Just a couple of questions for you kind folks:

1) Does anyone see the need to add a filter to their floating dip tube?
No, I always cold crash and have never had a problem. I have even done a couple Pliny clones with about 7 ounces dry hopped. I regularly purge the keg and set the psi into the fermonster to about 6 lbs.
 

Knightshade

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I don't use a filter & have not had a clogging issue yet (just wait for it all to settle out). But I definitely had issues with floating dip tube sticking to the sides of fermenter and kegs. Total PITA. I attached stainless steel washers, but it's still a problem.

Exactly...I have a cider in my kegerator that was having this exact problem. Easily 25% left and just getting air. Couldn't remember if this was a dip tube that I had just put stainless nuts on, or if it was one of the ones I had placed more beer filter on. Said the hell w/it last week and decided to just drop in a regular dip tube. Sure enough...I was replacing a dip tube w/a stainless nut vs. the dedicated filter.

Not saying that the more beer filter won't do the same thing, just hasn't happened to me...yet.
 

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Does anyone know if the bulkheads come apart to be able to change the poppets or the diptube?

Diptube: Yes.

Poppet: Depends on the Post:
- Some have poppets that are essentially permanent, since the "feet" sit on a little bumped out shelf. You can break them out, but it will bend them, and it's hard (almost impossible) to replace properly them IMO. I clean and sanitize that post type by depressing the poppet and "swishing" cleaner/sanitizer through them. Maybe someone has a better way.
- Some have "universal" poppets consisting of a poppet head and a separate spring. Dead easy to take apart and clean/sanitize.
- I haven't seen anything sold as a "bulkhead" assembly that comes with a traditional post with an old old style one-piece, easily removable poppet.
 

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PXL_20210919_204107051_2.jpg
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I tested the setup with 12 PSI and while 5 PSI was holding well, at 12 psi there's a low hissing noise out of the bottom of the lid. It'll probably be ok for transfers, but has anyone else had this issue? I'm wondering if I should order a new lid.
 

GoodTruble

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Personally, I wouldn't trust it at more than 5 PSI anyway. And the lid is preferable leak point than around the spigot if too much pressure builds up.

Are those posts far enough apart for both attachments to be connected?
 

secretlevel

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Personally, I wouldn't trust it at more than 5 PSI anyway. And the lid is preferable leak point than around the spigot if too much pressure builds up.

Are those posts far enough apart for both attachments to be connected?

Ah, I think I can live with that. My posts are just far enough to both be connected :)
 

DarrellQ

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View attachment 743010
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I tested the setup with 12 PSI and while 5 PSI was holding well, at 12 psi there's a low hissing noise out of the bottom of the lid. It'll probably be ok for transfers, but has anyone else had this issue? I'm wondering if I should order a new lid.
I don't think you should hear hissing noise. I have tested mine up to 12 psi also, it holds well. Since you apparently placed the posts fairly close together (like I did) there were some slight ridges on the bottom of the lid that I had to smooth-out in order to get "flat" seal. Are these affecting your seal?
 

secretlevel

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I don't think you should hear hissing noise. I have tested mine up to 12 psi also, it holds well. Since you apparently placed the posts fairly close together (like I did) there were some slight ridges on the bottom of the lid that I had to smooth-out in order to get "flat" seal. Are these affecting your seal?

I know what you mean, I was a little worried about those edges, but the hissing appears to be coming from the bottom and starsan didn't really show any leaks on top. I'll just get another lid from Amazon and see how it goes.

Question - how did you smooth the ridges out at the bottom of the lid?
 
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secretlevel

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Put some keg lube on the oring, it should fix that hiss you are hearing

Dude, YES!! Lube did it. I can't believe I didn't think to put any lube on it. The o-ring didn't quite fall into place until well lubed up, it looked like it was too big for the hole, but damn, lube is like magic!

Edit: That's what he said.
 
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secretlevel

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How does one unscrew both sides of the bulkhead? My keg post keeps unscrewing freely, but the bottom nut won't come off.

PXL_20210923_000424336~2.jpg
 

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After 120 batches in glass carboys, I can no longer bear to watch the oxygen exposure as I rack into my kegs. I need to join the closed transfer team! My problem is that my fridge is slightly too small to fit the Fermonster. Its just under 11 inches deep, and barely fits the standard 6.5 gal glass carboy. A couple of question for you all...
  • Would a Big Mouth Bubbler work similarly with this set up?
  • Anyone have other workarounds for a fridge that won't fit the Fermonster?
Edit: I figured out that the Big Mouth Bubbler lid does not screw on like the Fermonster, so it would pop off under pressure. I suppose you could tape it down, but I'm not sure I want to deal with that every time.

I like the @CascadesBrewer brewer set up, it looks like a lot of people do that with the BMB. Maybe that method in combination with the in line filter and depth charge dry hop filter (to not block the spigot) would work...
 
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Noob_Brewer

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After 120 batches in glass carboys, I can no longer bear to watch the oxygen exposure as I rack into my kegs. I need to join the closed transfer team! My problem is that my fridge is slightly too small to fit the Fermonster. Its just under 11 inches deep, and barely fits the standard 6.5 gal glass carboy. A couple of question for you all...
  • Would a Big Mouth Bubbler work similarly with this set up?
  • Anyone have other workarounds for a fridge that won't fit the Fermonster?
Edit: I figured out that the Big Mouth Bubbler lid does not screw on like the Fermonster, so it would pop off under pressure. I suppose you could tape it down, but I'm not sure I want to deal with that every time.

I like the @CascadesBrewer brewer set up, it looks like a lot of people do that with the BMB. Maybe that method in combination with the in line filter and depth charge dry hop filter (to not block the spigot) would work...
Does your measurements take into account the door? I have a 4.4cf Frigidaire mini fridge and it fits the fermonster but only after a little shaving of the vertical slit from the door to give it a little more.
 

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