Conical fermenters used to be a luxury only a professional brewery or dedicated homebrewer could afford. Not any more.
Like many people, I fermented my first brews in a traditional demijohn or plastic 20L bucket. The results were okay but I did get a lot of issues with contamination, mainly with the seals. I’m not pointing fingers, but once I upgraded to a small 17L plastic conical fermenter not only did my results improve but so did the whole brewing experience.
Conical fermenters come in all sizes. I use the 27L FermZilla which is perfect for my 35L BrewZilla brew kettle. I generally brew 20L batches to give me enough wiggle room in both devices. Once your mash is done and chilled, you can syphon it off into the fermenter. This is where the fun starts.
With the introduction of FermZilla, FastFerment and Fermentasaurus, conical fermenters are now widely available at an affordable price. Once you do the maths, the extra pound coins over the demijohn or bucket are more than worth it for the results and the level of control they bring to your brewing.
We sell FermZilla on our website and I have hands on experience with them, but many of the conical fermenters function in the same way. They have loads of benefits, and larger, stainless steel versions are widely used by pro brewers because they’re such a game changer.
Here’s an overview of why we love conical fermenters so much.
- Acts as a “uni-tank”- for both the primary fermentation as well as aging/storing in the same vessel. Simply open the valve at the bottom to release the sediment, leaving your lovely beer to age in the fermenter. This saves you from having to transfer the beer to a second vessel to separate the sediment. Less effort, less mess and less risk of infection ruining your beer!
- The ability to remove the yeast and sediment at any point in the fermentation means you can reuse the yeast for other batches – saving you lots of money over the years!
- If, like the FermZilla, your fermenter has a closed top you can add CO2 pressure to force the beer out while transferring it to your keg.
- Transfer your wort without siphoning – as long as you place your fermenter higher than your bottling/kegging vessel, gravity will do its thing!
- Easy to use and clean.
- Airlock to relieve pressure during fermentation.
The Fermzilla has been updated recently with the following benefits:
- Larger Dump Valve – 3″ butterfly dump valve is more resistant to clogging from large amounts of trub
- Larger Opening – 4.75″ top port opening allows for easier cleaning
Higher Temperature Rating – improved plastic resin allows for hot filling and heat sanitizing
- Less Headspace – more appropriately sized for 20 L batches. Purging the headspace of oxygen is easier and more effective.
7.1G/27L total volume
Clear and easy to see through
500 ml collection vessel
Pressure rated to 2.4 Bar (34.8 psi)
Total height – 32.75 in.
Total diameter – 15.5 in.