I want to tell you about some of the pros and cons things that I’ve found with the Catalyst Fermentation System.
Starting with the construction of the catalyst, I’m a huge fan of the plastic – here the actual fermentation vessel is made out of Titan plastic – which I don’t know what that means; however, I know that it held up in the dishwasher and it came out spotless.
It was an easy clean not only because of the dishwasher but because of the straight walled sides with nothing pressed into it – so there’s nowhere for the hops or anything else to hide in here. Its straight wall, so if anything does stick you can easily get a sponge in there so a pro is this is easy to
Pro number two of the Catalyst fermentation system – I like that this has a bucket sized opening even larger than a bucket up on top, it makes it easier to get your hand in there to clean also it makes it easier to dump things in. The lid itself has an O-ring, so that when it goes on top it creates a firm seal -it is difficult to get pressed down for the seal and there were times that I was worried that I was going to put too much pressure on the stand. But I didn’t hear any problems, I didn’t see any problems I’m just letting you know that when I was pushing it down, it takes a little bit of pressure to close each side
Another pro then is I feel confident when I do get the lid down that they’re going to stay. I like this bucket type lid – I like that it creates a solid seal. It also has a hole so you can throw a bung (pro – uses standard bung) in there, which they provide you with.
(Con #1 – no thermometer)
The problem that I had with this is that I could not get my thermocouple down there and I thought maybe I’ll put another hole in the lid. But instead, I just used my six-and-a-half thermocouple bung to make it work. It did work well.
Plus, as opposed to other fermenters I have had – the height of this is much closer to a standard carboy or a standard bucket.
There is blow-off tube and the blow-off tube is provided with the kit (Con #2 needs blow-off) so I appreciate that. They included this because of the shape, both brews that I went through here did end up meeting the blow-off tube as the Krausen started to come up to the top, both brews hit right dead center at the top and sent some down into my growler down at the bottom filled with sanitizer.
Not sure if I can call that a con because they did provide a blow-off tube they sent that with it knowing that that would happen. So, everything in the box here worked exactly how they planned.
Everything is included.
Another pro accessories are included – the stand the stand comes with it and it’s fairly nice. It is plastic, it does feel sturdy and it gives you something to carry when you’re trying to lift this. You can get your fingers underneath, there’s no sharp edges making it easy to carry. As easy as carrying any carboy or any bucket. As opposed to other conical fermenters that I’ve had that didn’t include a stand where you need to hold the sides of the fermenter and they’re sloped inward. This one comes with the stand so you can use it.
The valve assembly has some nice things going for it. It has some pros it has some cons – let’s talk about the pros first.
I like that it can use any standard wide mouth jar, like a mason jar or ball jar (they include one) that you can put on and use it right out of the box. I like that so you can use any wide mouth jar to either reuse yeast or to empty the beer trub.
It has O-rings inside that keep everything tight and I never had any leaking.
Another pro is you can add the yeast from a starter that you’ve made, directly into a mason jar. Opening the valve and letting the wort flow onto the yeast. It’s going to send a bubble up through the wort; however, I haven’t noticed any problems with that I haven’t noticed any off flavors or premature oxidation. As soon as it gets up to the top, the co2 is heavier and falls to the bottom -the oxygen gets pushed out quick.
Then we have the bottling or the kegging attachment which is just a tube attachment. Now what is nice is the nipple was able to accept a 5/16 inner diameter tube which I already had on hand, so that was easy to add and throw it right into my keg and to drain. Also, the 5/16 inner diameter fits the bottling wand, which I already had so I didn’t have to buy anything to make this work right out of the box. Although it
was because I happen to have some extra run of 5/16 inner diameter because otherwise, you would have to use the tubing that they gave you.
One time when I did find some leaking, was when I was getting the bottling attachment on to the bottom. One time it leaked and one time it didn’t so I’m going to assume that it was my fault. The valve assembly itself seems sturdy I didn’t get any leaking when it was closed. It opened easily – it closed very easily – it clicks into place so you can hear it and you can feel it.
The whole thing feels heavy-duty like it’s going to last a long time, so as an all-around review I was really impressed with the catalyst. I liked that everything came with it – there was no extra accessories that were needed to make this work.
They do include the tubing and it could be as simple as reusing the tubing to go to the bottling attachment. It was just nice that I happened they have the extra 5/16 inner diameter tubing with me and the thermocouple because if you want to use it in a fermentation chamber – you’re going to want to make sure that you get the thermometer directly into your wort.
Ease of Use
For ease of use for out-of-the-box usability and for cleanability I’m a huge fan of the catalyst, so at this price point at about a hundred and ninety-nine dollars, you’re about thirty dollars short of just getting a stainless steel conical. So why do this instead? Well, this includes more accessories and I really enjoy that you can put this in a dishwasher to clean it. I like that the trub traps are a simple wide mouth jars, so you can keep reusing the jars or if something breaks you just go get a new ball jar, new mason jar instead of getting something proprietary. Or to simply keep the yeast in your fridge (just don’t completely clamp it down because you don’t want any fermentation exploding jars in your fridge!)
What is beer trub? Trub is a term used to describe the layer of sediment that forms at the bottom of the fermentation vessel. The sediment is made up of proteins, yeast malts and grains.
What do breweries do with trub? Trub, regardless of whether it is warm or cold, is a waste product that is discarded with the brewery by-products.
Can you reuse trub?
Can you reuse this yeast? Yes you can! With just a few extra steps you can save money and pitch a healthy second generation of yeast into your next batch of wort. During fermentation the yeast will split 4 to 6 times, meaning if you pitched 200 billion cells you will now have 3-4 trillion cells of yeast in your trub.