Where are my wall brackets?
Wall brackets are located in the bottom of the box of your FastFerment under the cardboard insert. They pack them there to protect the conical from scratches.
Does it need to be covered or can it be left under fluorescent lighting?
The vessel is made from White HDPE Plastic. It keeps 90% of all light out but in order to keep 100% of the light out, the vessel needs to be covered in a non-transparent sheet/cover. The 90% compared to the 100% will not result in much better quality product; only slightly better. The system works without covering it.
What are the dimensions?
On wall mounts from bottom of collection ball:
- To top of Airlock: 35.5", 90cm
- To top of Lid: 32", 81cm
In the Stand:
- To top of Airlock: 37", 94cm
- To top of Lid: 33.5", 85cm
- With Wall Mounting Bolts: 14.75", 37.5cm
- Without Wall Mounting Bolts: 14.25", 36cm
Bottom collection ball volume?
700mL or 23.7oz
Is the fluid volume on the side calculated with or without the valve open to the collection ball?
It is calculated with everything CLOSED
Can you provide me with more information about the Thermowell and Thermometer?
The outside thread diameter is 1/2" NPT.
The Interior width where the thermometer is inserted is 9mm wide and 3" deep.
It is not threaded on the inside.
Do you need to dump and clean the collection ball out multiple times?
This is can be pretty standard depending on what you are brewing and how heaving everything is. Some really heavy batches might need the ball to be purged 2, 3, or sometimes 4 times to get rid of sediment and trub. Make sure you have let the primary fermentation happen completely (7-12 days) before starting to purge the sediment and trub. It is best to let it sit overnight before you dump and clean the collection ball until all the sediment, trub, and yeast are cleared from the vessel. It takes time for everything to properly settle in the collection ball so letting it sit overnight is recommended.
When you reattach the collection ball and open the valve, will air be pulled back into the unit through the airlock?
No. When you are reattach the collection ball the air "O2” that is in the collection ball will rise up through the liquid while the liquid fills the collection ball. The air in the collection ball trades places with the liquid in the conical. There will be no disturbance in the airlock. If you really want to ensure absolutely no air touches what you are fermenting try these idea's
- Fill the collection ball with beer, wine, or whatever you are fermenting and then reattach
- Fill the collection ball with distilled water and then reattach
- Fill the collection ball with CO2 and then reattach
We do #1 in our office with 8 FastFerments doing Beer, Wine and Cider and it works really nice for us.
What will happen with the air "O2” when you reattach the collection ball?
The air will quickly pass through the beer or wine but will not affect the taste in the long run.
When the valve is opened 700ml of O2 rushes through the liquid as it rises. When it reaches the top of the liquid it hits the head space that is filled with CO2. With O2 being lighter than CO2, the O2 now also rises through the CO2 and rests in the top of the head space. As fermentation continues it pushes the O2 through the airlock. The only time the O2 is in contact with the liquid is for 1.5 second while it passes through. The layer of C02 protects the wart/juice from being in contact with the O2 until it is all pushed out.
The system is a little unconventional and if you are trying to follow every word in a beer or wine making book it will be hard to do with FastFerment. But it will make extremely good beer, wine, ciders, and meads.
Other idea’s/suggestions or thoughts on reattaching the collection ball?
Many forums online talk about purging the collection ball with either CO2 or distilled water before reattaching it. We think both of these choices are good. Sometime the CO2 is not readily available so distilled water is best. Simply filled the collection ball up with either of these when reattaching it. You might need to make adjustments to your batch size depending on how accurate you are keeping things. At our office we can not detect a taste difference.
Depending on what you are brewing in your FastFerment you might experience a clogged valve. This should only happen with very heavy brews that drop a lot of trub/sediment. Or if you put ingredients in that are larger than .75” in the diameter. Always use a Muslin Bag to add ingredients that are over .75” in diameter or that could expand to over .75” in diameter when placed in liquid. If you do experience a clog these two methods will easily help unclog your unit and have you back brewing in no time:
- The first way to deal with a clogged valve is to: Close the valve and unattached the collection ball. Dump and clean the Collection Ball out and reattach it. When you open the valve back up the air bubble that shoots up should dislodge the clog. To have the best results when doing this we suggest you find something fairly soft such as the palm of your hand or rubber spatula (do not use a hard object like a hammer) and knock the parts of the conical where the clog is at the same time the air bubble is passing through. Near the bottom of the conical or on the valve is best but be gentle to ensure you do not damage your unit. Once the clog is dislodged let sit overnight before you dump and clean the collection ball out. It takes time for everything to properly settle in the collection ball. If this does not work use #2.
- Stick something down into the clog like a plastic rod to push the clog through. Be careful to ensure you do not scratch the inside of the conical or valve if having to perform this.
Where are the quick disconnects?
After doing a lot of research into the cam lock fitting release system we decided the Union release system would be better for a number of reasons.
- Previous V Vessel customers said that the cam lock fittings and seals wear out over time. The Union design will hold up better with less seals and working parts to wear out.
- The cam lock system adds about 2" of height to the system. One of the biggest requests we have is to make it as compact as possible so the Union was the obvious choice.
- The cam lock system requires additional space left under the unit to un-attach and re-attach it. This adds 2" in total height plus another 1.5" of access room need to un-attach and re-attach it. This means a total of 3.5" extra height is needed to accommodate the cam lock system.
- The cost of the cam locks and all the components needed to make the cam locks work would increase the cost much more than any benefit.
- We also took into consideration the time difference in using the camlocks compared to the union system. Overall the Union system might take 2-5 second longer to attach and reattach than the camlocks which we felt was fairly even overall.
I was wondering if there is a way to clean behind the ball on the Union Valve? It appears that is would require some type of spanner wrench, but I wanted to confirm before I disassembled the valve.
We do not suggest and cannot warranty valves that are taken apart. If you soak the valve in sanitizer overnight and open and close the valve during the soaking process it will clean the valve. This method has proven to work well with the original valves on the V Vessel units (predecessor to FastFerment); and some of these valves have been in service for 10+ years. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DISASSEMBLE THE VALVE.
The valves can be disassembled very easily for cleaning. Simply pull off the red handle portion of the valve. Use the fittings on the top of the handle to undo the bottom portion of the Union Valve to open the inside up. Disassemble, clean and reassemble the valve as you see needed. But we do not think this is necessary due to the outstanding results of long term testing of NOT disassembling the valves for cleaning.
My FastFerment is leaking from the Thermowell or Collection Ball or Valve. What should I do?
The first thing to do is to ensure you have an adequate amount of Teak Tape on each threaded end. The Thermowell thread requires Teak Tape, the bottom thread on the large vessel requires Teak Tape and the thread on the collection ball requires Teak Tape. When putting on Teak Tape make sure to wrap the teak tape in a clockwise direction with 2-5 layers. Wrap the threads in 3-5 layers of teak tape and screw the adjoining parts together.
What temperatures can my FastFerment handle?
80 degrees celsius or 176 F
Should I follow the instructions on the Beer or Wine kit?
Yes - FastFerment is a vessel for making beer/wine/cider/mead so please always follow the directions for your beer/wine/cider/mead kit.
How do you stir the ingredients in FastFerment? What do you recommend using?
The best way to stir FastFerment is to use a long plastic rod or spoon that has been sanitized. Do not use metal as it will scrap the inside walls of the FastFerment. Always be gentle with the inside of your FastFerment.
How does the yeast harvesting work?
*These are just our suggestions. Not the Bible of yeast harvesting, please consult multiple sources*
- Keep valve closed and do not attach collection ball (do not pitch yeast immediately after adding wort/juice to FastFerment)
- Wait overnight or at least 5 hours
- Trub should have settled at the bottom of FastFerment
- Open ball valve and let trub fall out and discard it. Trub will be characterized by dark colour.
- Close ball valve once wort/juice starts to come out.
- Attach collection ball, open valve and pitch yeast.
- Wait 5-10 days for primary fermentation to be over. Collection ball should be filled with flocculated and dormant yeast ready to harvest.
- Close ball valve and disconnect collection ball.
- Pour contents of collection ball into a sanitized mason jar (or multiple jars depending on size).
- If there is trub at the bottom of collection ball do not add it to mason jar.
- Tightly seal mason jar closed and store in fridge as close to 32 F (0 C) as possible.
- Sanitize collection ball and reattach it to FastFerment.
- **optional: purge collection ball with C02 to minimize oxygen comes in contact with beer or wine.
- Open ball valve to start secondary fermentation.
- Small amount of yeast and trub will continue to collect in collection ball but this can all be discarded at the end of complete fermentation.
Using Harvested Yeast
- Use yeast within 2-3 weeks of harvesting
What type of yeast to harvest/do’s or don’ts/extra tips
- Try using reharvested yeast with a similar beer style to make consistent batches. Yeast will often contain a little flavour from previous batch.
- Always harvest from a low gravity and low hopped beer.
- Use pitching rate calculator for calculating viability of stored yeast
Have you thought about a warming/cooling blanket?
Yes - We just launched our Temperature Control Jacket presale! This jacket allows brewers and winemakers to control the temperature of FastFerment while it is on the wall mount or in the stand.
- The temperature control jacket will be available at a PRESALE rate of $55.00 USD shipped in Contiguous USA and Canada only.
How Does the Temperature Control Jacket Work?
1. The TCJ works great up to a 30 degree F drop below room
2. It is easy to control the desired temperature by using frozen 2-liter bottles as follows:
- One frozen 1-liter bottle will result in a 2.5 degree F drop below room temperature.
- One frozen 2-liter bottle will result in a 5 degree F drop over below temperature.
- Two frozen 2-liter bottles will result in a 10 degree F drop below room temperature.
- Three frozen 2-liter bottles will result in a 15 degree F drop below room temperature.
- This method is scalable all the way up to around a 30 degree F drop below room temperature.
3. A frozen 2-liter bottle typically does not thaw completely in 24 hours so it is easy to maintain temperature.
4. The following graph highlights a lager fermented at 53 degrees F in a 68 degree F room.
For this test, 3 frozen 2-liter bottles were cycled every 24-36 hours.