This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert. Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer. Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.
Fermonster PET Fermentor
With all of the fermentor choices out on the market, there are plenty of good reasons to not be fermenting in that plastic bucket that came with your starter homebrew kit. Most of us make that realization when we can no longer fool ourselves into calling it “white”, and it carries the aroma of all the previous hop varieties it’s seen. PET Plastic fermentors are the logical next step up from the HDPE plastic buckets.
PET Is far less porous than HDPE. Because of that, it makes for a great oxygen barrier. As a material, HDPE passes through 50x the amount of oxygen over a given time than PET. So PET makes for better long ferments like if you’re lagering (or are just the forgetful type). Glass is an even better oxygen barrier, not allowing any oxygen to permeate it. But from a practical perspective, just like Coca-Cola figured out, glass is heavy and creates a nasty mess when you drop it. PET Is also cooler than that plastic bucket because the fermentor is clear, which allows you to view the exciting chemistry going on inside your brew.
The Fermonster comes in different sizes and options. They come as big as 7 gallons or as small as 1 gallon. And also intermediary sizes of 6 gallons and 3 gallons. You can get it without a spigot or with one if you want to do gravity beer transfers instead of using a siphon.
Get the Gear: FerMonster Fermentors and Accessories at MoreBeer – 1 to 7 gallon, Ported and Unported
Hands on Review
The Fermonster has a great name. But it’s got more going for it than just that. Most notably is its large opening. PET Carboys give you all the advantages of PET (oxygen, weight, durability), but they can be a pain to clean fermentation residue out of. The Fermonster decided to deal with that constraint by putting a large 4” diameter screw-on lid that’s sealed by an o-ring captured in the lid. This large opening allows you to get inside easily and clean. It’s easily big enough to get your hand and forearm into, but I did find that reaching all the way to the bottom of the 7 gallon fermentor I was at my limit as it was a tight fit for my upper arm.
For cleaning, not being able to get to the very bottom doesn’t really matter, since all the crusties gather up top where yeast and dry hop residue dry out in the air. Also for ease of cleaning, the walls are smooth. This eliminates nooks and crannies to clean out after fermentation. And the smooth walls cleaned up easily with water and a sponge after fermenting.
Lifting Ledge for Moving the Fermentor
The smooth walls don’t allow a good grip on the outside when trying to lift or move your full fermentor. But at the top there is a beefy ledge that sticks out far enough that you can get a good grip with your fingers to move it around. Now this might sound insufficient, but I found it very easy to pull the fermentor up out of my fermentation insulating bag and carry it around using this ledge. Not as easy as a handle of course, but far better than any carboy I’ve had to move around (plastic or glass).
Fermonster Leak Free Spigot
I got the fermentor with the spigot because the convenience of not having to clean and use my auto siphon sounded nice. I was concerned this would be a high likelihood source of leaks or weeping, but I had zero issues. I did have to experiment with where to put the rubber washer and in what orientation, but luckily I remembered that it’s best to figure that stuff out with 6 gallons of water rather than 6 gallons of wort! And although the spigot does stick out some, it’s relatively low profile. I was able to fit the fermentor and spigot into my BrewJacket insulated fermenting bag without issues. And the seal was so good that even after I accidentally rotated the spigot counterclockwise, loosening the nut on the inside, it didn’t leak a drop. I was quite impressed with how something that seemed so simple was somehow so robust.
Overall, the Fermonster worked well and did its job. Although there’s not a lot of exciting things you can say about a plastic jug, the small features show that it was designed with purposeful thought. And the leak-free spigot was a great option for gravity-fed transfers that kept the siphon tucked away in my cabinet.
Get the Gear
FerMonster Fermentors and Accessories at MoreBeer – 1 to 7 gallon, Ported and Unported – Free Shipping to most US addresses with qualifying order
Clear walls allow observation of fermentation and cold crash progress
Siphonless gravity transfer from the Fermonster
Fermonster spigot and seal
Special Thanks to MoreBeer for providing the unit used for evaluation in this review.
By Brad Probert. Check out Brad’s website – beersnobby.com
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