Conical plastic fermenter with collection ball
This is your best bet to ferment your beer
It allows to conduct primary and secondary fermentations, as well as bottling without racking and, hence, with less risk of contamination or oxidation
Less work for better beer, you can’t ask for more
The collection ball is unique in that it allows to conduct a primary and secondary fermentations without racking and to easily recover the fine yeast upon bottling to use for your next batch
The conical shape reduces the surface of contact between the trub and the beer, which reduces the risk of astringency in the finished beer
The wall mount makes bottling a bliss
The general build quality is not exceptional, though, but it’s OK
The only actual downside of this fermenter is that it’s relatively pricey: $100 for the fermenter + $50 for the stand that you basically need
That’s a total of $150, whereas a $20 6.5 Gal (30L) bucket does the job just as fine
Speidel 30L plastic fermenter
The second best option (many brewers would tell you this is their first choice) it the Speidel 7.9 Gal (30L) plastic fermenter
The build quality is superb, the handles are very sturdy and convenient, it’s easy to clean and will last you a long time
Make sure to get the 7.9 Gal (30L) version, even for 5 Gal (20L) batches to allow even the wildest fermentations to be comfortable
The only downside of this fermenter is that the opening is not as large as on a standard bucket and may require a funnel if you don’t want your wort to splash outside of it
At $50 with its accessories, it’s a catch
6.5 Gal (30L) plastic bucket
These buckets have proven great for generations and you can’t go wrong with them
They are easy to clean and, at less than $20, you won’t hesitate to get a new one every couple of years if it gets too scratched from cleaning
Feel free to drill a second hole for a second spigot with a bottle filler to fill two bottles at the same time
Another major advantage of these buckets is that their opening is so wide, you can just open the spigot of the Braumeister and switch to other chores while the wort is flowing, like measuring Original Gravity or pitching yeast, and it won’t splash around
Stainless Steel conical fermenter
That’s the Rolls-Royce of fermenters
For those who have some extra cash to spend and want to offer the best fermenting conditions to their beer, nothing compares to stainless steel
No light, no scratches, no permeability, super durable, it’s no surprise professionals favor this material every time they can
On top of that, prices have significantly dropped recently, especially thanks to BrewTech who now offers a 7 Gal (30L) version for $200, which makes SS tanks finally affordable to the homebrewer
If you clean it properly, it will never get scratches that can host bacterias like plastic fermenters (although, if you use a non-scratch brush/sponge with plastic, it won’t get scratches either)
If you have the bucks or simply if you are feeling fancy, stainless steel is your number one choice
Keep in mind, though, that a stainless steel fermenter with 5 gallons (20L) of beer in it will not be as easy to move around or lift for bottling as a plastic bucket
Although the quality of the FastFerment conical fermenter definitely leaves to be desired, its features make it the most convenient fermenter out there
Being able to get rid of the trub, collect yeast, and bottle without racking is a major plus and reduces the risk of contamination
Just make sure you prim directly in the fermenter by carefully stirring the mix with a long plastic paddle (after you closed the valve and removed the collection ball) and you will get evenly carbonated bottles
It also costs about 10 times more than a standard plastic fermenter, so feel free to go for a bucket if you are short on cash, they work just as fine
5 thoughts on “Fermenters”
Very helpful article. Congratulations!
I have two FastFerment conicals and stopped using them because I could not get clean beer. The trub sticks to the sides and no matter what you do, it then releases as the liquid is drained. Yes, it catches yeast but also trub, so the yeast has to be washed a few times.
I had big hopes for these but found their design just didn’t work as advertised. I wish there was a design that funneled all the trub into the catch bowl in the bottom and didn’t let it sit on the slopes sides. Still on the search for one.
Until I find one, the Speidel and SS Brew fermenters are my choice for primary and glass carboys for secondary.
A few years after having written this page, I can only agree with you.
I sold my 3 FastFerment, because they were very inconvenient to put on the ground or to lift and I never found any taste issue with buckets, which are much more convenient to handle around.
Buckets are cheap, easy to clean, I can fit two of them in a fridge to control the fermentation temperature.
The build quality of FastFerment also leaves a lot to be desired.
I had a stainless conical fermenter for a while and found the same disadvantages as with the FastFerment and no real plus compared to buckets, so I also sold it.
Looking for a distributor in BC Canada for the Speidel 30l fermenter for cider
You can find it on Amazon.ca