Conical fermenters are a popular choice for home brewers who want to take their beer-making to the next level.
These specialized containers are designed to create a more controlled fermentation process, avoiding some of the racking and oxygen exposure usually associated with it. Not only do you avoid racking, but you can also do secondary and aging in the same vessel.
Conical fermenters are also easier to clean and sanitize compared to traditional fermenting vessels, making them a great investment for any home brewer.
When looking for the best conical fermenter for your needs, there are several factors to consider. The first is size – you’ll want to choose a fermenter that is the right size for the amount of beer or cider you plan to brew.
Other important considerations include the material the fermenter is made from, the quality of the valves and fittings, and the ease of use and cleaning.
We spent hours researching and testing several conical fermenters to identify the best options for home brewers. In this article, we’ll share our top picks and provide a detailed breakdown of each one.
Whether you’re a seasoned brewer or just starting out, our guide will help you choose the perfect conical fermenter for your needs.
Best Conical Fermenters
We know that finding the best conical fermenter can be a daunting task for home brewers.
Our list includes fermenters that are suitable for both beginners and experienced brewers, so you can find the right one for your needs. Check out our picks below and start fermenting like a pro!
1. The Most Popular: FastFerment Conical Fermenter
Probably the most highly praised conical fermenter on the market for home brewers right now, is the FastFerment Conical Fermenter.
So if you’re looking for a reliable and easy-to-use conical fermenter that has been tested by literally THOUSANDS of people, the FastFerment Conical Fermenter is a great choice.
- The conical design eliminates sediment and exposure to oxygen, resulting in high-quality batches of beer, wine, or cider.
- The FastFerment Conical Fermenter has won a gold medal at the largest homebrew competition, HomebrewCon 2016 in Baltimore, MD.
- The FastFerment Conical Fermenter has delighted over 60,000 customers and has been used by amateur beer and wine makers to win multiple medals at the world’s largest home brewing and wine fermenting competitions.
- Some customers have reported issues with leaking at the valve connection and collection ball.
- The mold on the plastic threads can cause parting lines and flashing, making it difficult to avoid cross-threading.
- The valve assembly can be challenging to take apart and reassemble, especially for those new to home brewing.
We recently got our hands on the FASTFERMENT Conical Fermenter and were impressed with how easy and efficient it was to use. The conical design allowed for easy yeast harvesting and eliminated the need for racking and transferring, saving us a lot of time and effort. The quality of our beer was consistent and high, and we appreciated the Gold Medal win at HomebrewCon 2016.
While some brewers may prefer glass or stainless steel fermenters, we found the HDPE food-grade plastic to be sturdy and reliable. The 7.9-gallon capacity was perfect for our needs, but larger batches may require a bigger fermenter. Overall, we would recommend the FASTFERMENT Conical Fermenter to any home brewer looking for a reliable and efficient brewing system.
Overall, we highly recommend the FastFerment Conical Fermenter for home brewers who want a consistent, high-quality batch of beer, wine, or cider.
While there are some reported issues with leaking and assembly, these can be overcome with careful attention to detail and proper maintenance. With its gold medal-winning pedigree and proven track record, the FastFerment Conical Fermenter is a reliable choice for any home brewer.
2. King of Convenience: The 6.5 gal Catalyst Fermentation System
Craft A Brew – The Catalyst Fermentation System is a great option for home brewers looking for an easy-to-use conical fermenter that does not break the bank.
Its on the more affordable end and the material and stand included makes it extremely practical for home brewers.
I’ve used it for beer and cider, where it worked really well. My only issues is the transparency (which is good and bad…) and that the stand is not as stable as I would like to see.
- The 6.5-gallon capacity is perfect for small to medium-sized batches.
- The Tritan tank is durable and shatter-resistant, making it a safer option than glass.
- The 3” Trub Trap Butterfly Valve is the largest in the industry, making it easy to catch and store viable yeasts or separate sediment.
- The transparent material allows easy tracking of the fermentation process.
- The stand could be more stable.
- Brew is exposed to light (transparent material).
- The bottling attachment can be tricky to use.
- The price point is higher than some other options on the market.
Craft A Brew – The Catalyst Fermentation System is a great option for home brewers who want a conical fermenter that is easy to use and produces great results.
The 6.5-gallon capacity is perfect for small to medium-sized batches, and the Tritan tank is durable and shatter-resistant, making it a safer option than glass. The 3” Trub Trap Butterfly Valve is the largest in the industry, making it easy to catch and store viable yeasts or separate sediment.
One downside is that the stand could be more stable. Additionally, the bottling attachment can be tricky to use, which may be frustrating for some users. Finally, the price point is higher than some other options on the market, which may make it less accessible for some home brewers.
We recently also tried out the complete Starter Kit from Craft A Brew that includes the Catalyst conical fermenter.
The conical fermenter is a game-changer, making it easy to remove trub and ensuring that your beer stays fresh and tasty.
The kit includes everything you need to get started, including a 5-gallon recipe kit, thermometer, and brewing guide. We also appreciated the deluxe capping kit, which ensures that your beer stays fresh and carbonated.
One potential downside of the kit is the price point, which is higher than some other home brewing kits on the market. Additionally, the fermenter is made of plastic, which may be a turnoff for some users who prefer glass.
Finally, the kit is designed for beginners, so experienced brewers may find it too basic. However, for those looking to get started with home brewing or upgrade their equipment, the Craft A Brew Premium Homebrew Starter Kit is a great choice.
Overall, we recommend Craft A Brew – The Catalyst Fermentation System for home brewers who want an easy-to-use conical fermenter that produces great results.
3. Most Advanced: FermZilla 27L – The Future of Homebrewing!
If you’re a homebrew enthusiast familiar with the Fermentasaurus, prepare to be amazed with its newest sibling – the FermZilla 27L.
Birthed from the feedback and the innovative minds behind the original Fermentasaurus Gen 1, the FermZilla is a testament to the saying, “good things can always get better”.
- Revolutionary Conical Design: With its unique design, sediment and exposure to oxygen are minimized, ensuring that every batch retains its quality and freshness.
- All-in-one Vessel: Dump trub, harvest yeast, carbonate, and serve! The addition of the 27L FermZilla Pressure Kit takes brewing to the next level.
- Visually Monitor Your Brew: The clear PET tank not only lets you watch the magic happen, but also is pressure rated to 2.4 Bar (34.8 psi). This means you can ferment under pressure, cutting down esters and fusel alcohols in your beer.
- Safety is a Priority: Performing a water pressure check is emphasized to ensure all connections are leak-proof.
- Larger & Improved Features: From its 3″ butterfly dump valve to the 4.75″ top port opening, every feature enhancement brings efficiency and ease to your brewing experience.
- Perfectly Sized for 5-Gallon Batches: Reduced headspace means purging oxygen has never been easier and more effective.
- Learning Curve: For those transitioning from traditional fermenters, there might be a bit of a learning curve.
- Pressure Testing Required: Although a safety feature, the necessary water pressure checks can be seen as an added step.
How Does it Compere to the FASTFERMENT Conical 7.9 Gallon Fermenter?
While the FASTFERMENT has its merits and has been tried by thousands, the FermZilla 27L clearly stands out. Both designs prioritize sediment elimination and minimal oxygen exposure.
However, FermZilla’s ability to serve multiple functions in one vessel and its pressure-rated design arguably push it a notch above. Additionally, the larger valve and opening on the FermZilla make it more user-friendly and efficient.
Having tested the FermZilla 27L, we found it to be an exhilarating experience. The multiple functionalities, combined with the improved features, make it a top pick for modern homebrewers.
The clear PET tank is not just a showpiece but also a functional element, allowing brewers to visually monitor fermentation and make timely interventions.
Though HDPE food-grade plastic is reliable, the allure of the clear PET tank of FermZilla cannot be ignored. Plus, with FermZilla’s improved features based on community feedback, it’s evident that the brand listens and evolves.
To sum up:
For those in the homebrew community seeking to elevate their brewing experience, the FermZilla 27L is a clear winner. Its myriad of functionalities, coupled with the clear PET tank design and safety features, make it a must-have. While the FASTFERMENT has its place in the homebrewing world, the FermZilla 27L sets a new standard for what’s possible in homebrew technology.
4. FF3G 3 Gallon Conical Fermenter – The Perfect Small Scale Option!
If you’re a brewing enthusiast, whether a beginner or an experienced one, and you’re searching for a trusted, tried, and tested fermenter, then the FastFerment Conical Fermenter is an excellent pick.
- Its conical design is its prime asset. It effectively eliminates sediment and exposure to oxygen, ensuring that you get high-quality batches of beer, wine, cider, or even kombucha every time.
- The size, particularly the 3-gallon variant, is perfect for those handling 1 or 2-gallon batches. It also allows for versatility if one is keen on splitting larger batches into 2 or 2.5-gallon subdivisions.
- It boasts a Gold Medal win at HomebrewCon 2016 in Baltimore, MD. This isn’t just a testament to the fermenter’s quality but also an assurance to the user of its capability.
- With over 60,000 satisfied customers, the FastFerment Conical Fermenter has proven its reliability. Numerous amateur beer and wine makers have even clinched multiple awards using this fermenter at significant brewing competitions.
- The one-stage system of the FastFerment simplifies the entire brewing process, making it 80% more efficient than traditional methods.
- Some users have flagged issues related to leaking at the valve connection and the collection ball, which can be a tad frustrating.
- The mold design for the plastic threads might lead to parting lines and flashing, complicating the task of avoiding cross-threading.
- For beginners, the valve assembly might pose a challenge both in terms of disassembling and reassembling.
Having tested the FASTFERMENT Conical Fermenter, we can vouch for its ease of use and efficiency. The results were commendable – consistent beer quality with time-saving benefits, thanks to its innovative conical design. Its Gold Medal win at HomebrewCon 2016 adds a feather to its cap.
While some purists may advocate for glass or stainless steel fermenters, we found the HDPE food-grade plastic material used for the FastFerment to be robust and trustworthy. Though its 7.9-gallon capacity met our requirements aptly, those who brew in larger quantities might need a fermenter with a bigger volume.
How does it compare to the 7.9 gallon sibling?
In comparing with the FASTFERMENT – FFT FastFerment Conical 7.9 Gallon Fermenter, the primary difference lies in the size and the specific awards mentioned.
However, the essence of consistent high quality, ease, and efficiency remains parallel and only the size differs!
We wholeheartedly endorse the FastFerment Conical Fermenter for all home brewers aiming for consistent and high-grade beer, wine, or cider.
While there are minor hitches like leaks and assembly challenges, meticulous handling and regular maintenance can circumvent these issues. Given its prestigious accolades and verified success, the FastFerment Conical Fermenter emerges as a dependable ally for every home brewer.
5. BrewDemon Hard Cider Kit: Conical on a budget!
If you’re in the market for a cutting-edge hard cider brewing system that combines efficiency with remarkable flavor, then the BrewDemon Hard Cider Kit by Demon Brewing Company is a must-consider.
- The conical fermenter design is revolutionary, eliminating sediment and providing the optimal environment for brewing high-quality hard cider.
- Consistency is key! The 2-gallon recipes are simple and quick, guaranteeing an exceptional result every time.
- BrewDemon uses a premium New Zealand recipe. Sourced from the finest orchards, the Forbidden Fruit Hard Cider recipe delivers a dry, crisp, and refreshing taste.
- Time is precious, and this kit understands that. Brew your cider in as little as 15 minutes on the stove, allowing you to experiment and personalize with your unique ingredients.
- Some customers have noted the fermenter’s susceptibility to scratches.
- Limited choice of sanitizers can be used with this fermenter, which may not be suitable for all users.
From our experience, the BrewDemon Hard Cider Kit offered an unparalleled ease of use. The conical fermenter was a game-changer, ensuring sediment-free cider every time. The standout feature was undoubtedly the New Zealand recipe.
The taste was authentic, capturing the essence of ripe apples from fertile orchards. Furthermore, the quick brewing time meant more freedom to play around and personalize our brew.
While the fermenter’s material might be a concern for some due to scratching and sanitizer restrictions, the overall quality of the cider produced outweighs these minor drawbacks. BrewDemon’s promise of the best tasting homemade hard cider was indeed delivered.
For cider enthusiasts and brewing novices alike, the BrewDemon Hard Cider Kit offers an unbeatable combination of efficiency and flavor. With its professional-grade results and time-saving design, it’s a solid investment for those looking to elevate their home brewing game.
A few concerns aside, we wholeheartedly recommend the BrewDemon Kit for a wicked-good cider experience right from your kitchen. Cheers!
When looking for the best conical fermenter for home brewing, there are several factors to consider.
Here are some key features to look at when choosing a conical fermenter:
The size of the fermenter is an important consideration. It should be large enough to accommodate the batch size of beer you plan to brew. A larger fermenter can also be useful if you plan to brew larger batches in the future. However, a smaller fermenter may be more manageable for a beginner or someone with limited space.
Conical fermenters can be made from a variety of materials, including stainless steel, plastic, and glass. Stainless steel is the most common material and is durable and easy to clean. Plastic fermenters are lightweight and less expensive, but may not be as durable as stainless steel. Glass fermenters are fragile but allow you to see the fermentation process.
There are several features to look for in a conical fermenter. Some models include a temperature control system, which can be useful for maintaining a consistent temperature during fermentation. Others include a spigot for easy transfer of the beer to secondary fermentation or bottling. Some fermenters also include a pressure relief valve, which can prevent explosions during fermentation.
Conical fermenters can range in price from less than $100 to several hundred dollars. Consider your budget and the features you need when choosing a fermenter. It’s important to remember that a higher price does not always guarantee a better product.
Consider the ease of cleaning and maintenance when choosing a fermenter. Stainless steel and plastic fermenters are generally easy to clean, but glass fermenters may require more care. Look for a fermenter with removable parts for easy cleaning.
In summary, when choosing a conical fermenter for home brewing, consider the size, material, features, price, and maintenance requirements. By taking these factors into account, you can find the best fermenter for your brewing needs.
More About Conical Fermenters
It’s always great to chat about the tools and tricks that make our brewing experiences better. Today, I’m diving deep into the world of conical fermenters.
Are conical fermenters really that beneficial for home brewing? The answer is, absolutely, they offer several advantages over traditional fermentation vessels. However, they’re not without their cons.Andy P. – professional brewer
From my experience, shifting to a conical fermenter took my home brewing to the next level, but let’s start at the beginning.
Traditionally, home brewers, including myself, started off with bucket fermenters or carboys. Then, along came the conical fermenter. Resembling a cone, these fermenters are wide at the top and taper down to a point at the bottom.
The design isn’t just for aesthetics. The shape allows yeast and sediment to settle at the bottom, making the racking process smoother. They were primarily used in professional breweries before trickling down to homebrew setups.
History: The Evolution of the Fermenter
Centuries ago, fermentation was done in open vessels, which, thinking back, seems wild to us modern brewers. But as time went on and technology improved, brewing shifted from open vats to closed systems.
The conical fermenter itself was a design brought from the commercial brewing world. They became popular due to their efficiency and space-saving benefits. It’s fascinating to see how far we’ve come, and it’s a testament to the continuous evolution of brewing.
Pros of Conical Fermenters
- Efficiency: The most prominent advantage is its efficient design. The cone-shaped bottom ensures yeast and sediments collect away from the beer or cider, reducing the need to transfer between vessels.
- Harvesting Yeast: This is a biggie. With a conical fermenter, you can harvest yeast for reuse, saving you money and allowing consistency in batches.
- Reduction in Oxidation: Less transferring means less exposure to oxygen. This is vital as oxygen can spoil your brew.
- Easy Sampling: It’s a breeze to take samples without disturbing the sediment.
- Durability: Many conical fermenters are made from stainless steel, making them durable and easy to clean.
Cons of Conical Fermenters
- Cost: They are typically more expensive than traditional fermenters. Investing in one means you’re in it for the long haul.
- Size: They can be bulky. While they’re space-efficient inside, you need to have ample space in your brewing area.
- Maintenance: While easy to clean, the many parts can be a hassle to maintain.
Diving into my journey, I’ve brewed both cider and beer with conical fermenters. I remember my first batch of apple cider; the clarity was impeccable, something I struggled with when using traditional carboys. As for beer, the ease of dry hopping and yeast harvesting has been revolutionary.
The initial investment was hefty, but the consistent quality of my brews and the convenience factor made it well worth it.
In the grand tapestry of home brewing, conical fermenters have woven themselves a significant place. They provide efficiency, ease, and precision that traditional fermenters might lack. But, as with anything, they come with challenges.
The decision rests on your brewing goals, budget, and space.
To wrap up, here are 9 facts about conical fermenters:
- Derived from professional brewing.
- They allow for efficient yeast harvesting.
- Oxidation is reduced due to less transferring.
- They’ve been around since the mid-20th century.
- They can be used for both beer and cider brewing.
- The conical shape ensures better clarity in the final product.
- They come in varying sizes to suit different batch volumes.
- Some advanced models have temperature control features.
- They’re a testament to brewing evolution, reflecting our thirst for better brewing techniques.
1. What is the ideal size for a homebrewing conical fermenter?
The ideal size largely depends on the batch volume you generally produce. For most home brewers brewing 5-gallon batches, a 6 or 7-gallon conical fermenter is sufficient and for smaller test batches 2-3 gallons are fine. It’s always a good idea to have a little extra space to account for foam during fermentation.
2. Can I control fermentation temperatures with a conical fermenter?
Absolutely. Some high-end conical fermenters come with built-in temperature control systems. For others, you can immerse them in a temperature-controlled water bath or use external temperature control wraps to maintain the desired fermentation temperature.
3. How do I clean and sanitize a conical fermenter?
Cleaning a conical fermenter is similar to other brewing equipment. First, rinse out any residue. Then, use a brewing-specific cleanser, ensuring all parts are cleaned. Finally, thoroughly rinse and use a no-rinse sanitizer. The stainless steel models are particularly easy to sanitize due to their non-porous nature.
4. Are plastic conical fermenters any good?
Yes! They tend to be more affordable than stainless steel ones. Plastic fermenters are more sturdy, cheaper and lightweight, which is why we recommend them for home brewers. While they can work well for fermentation, be cautious of potential scratches inside, as these can harbor bacteria and contaminate your brews.
5. Can I use conical fermenters for secondary fermentation or lagering?
Certainly! The design of conical fermenters makes them excellent for secondary fermentation or lagering. The ability to remove sediment without transferring the brew is particularly advantageous during these stages.