Login / Register

Catalyst Semi-conical Fermentor

As I may have mentioned before, I’m a dedicated gadget geek. I love trying out new things and ideas and am quick to seek out the latest new thing.

So it was with Craftabrews Catalyst Fermentor.

I normally do my fermentation in either my DIY Tri-Clamp Carboy, or in a sanke keg. Stainless steel is easy to clean, impervious to light and oxygen, can handle boiling wort and is sturdy. The downside is that you can’t visually monitor the fermentation process.

The Catalyst is made of Tritan, a crystal clear plastic that’s sturdier and more scratch resistant than PET. I ordered two when they were still in the Kickstarter phase and eagerly awaited their arrival.

Once they arrived, I immediately set about trying it out.

I made an IPA using Maris Otter LME and some Centennial hops for a simple SMASH beer.

Since I had my in-ground spa removed and filled in, and could no longer direct my plate chiller water into it, I’ve been using a modified no-chill method, where I would add a small amount of bittering hops at the start of the boil, and reserve the majority of my hops for a hop-burst / whirlpool session. Normally I used one of my stainless steel fermentors, but since the Catalyst material was touted to handle boiling wort, I simply dumped my wort into the Catalyst, placed it into my fermentation chamber, set the pitching temp on my temp controller, and let it sit overnight while I made a yeast starter. The next day I would oxygenate the wort, pitch the yeast, and let it take its course.

One of the features of the Catalyst is the massive three-inch valve at the bottom of the Catalyst, which accepts standard wide-mouth canning jars for accumulating trub and flocculating yeast. The Catalyst comes standard with a one-pint jar. This was not nearly enough to catch all of the trub and yeast that accumulated in my brew. I laid down some towels, a catch tray, removed the one-pint jar and replaced it with a one-quart wide mouth jar. It was a little messy, but not excessively so. The only downside was that wen I re-opened the valve, a large bubble of air made its way through my beer on its way to the top of the Catalyst, which is never a good thing.

I cold-crashed the beer, moved the Catalyst to a table, and replaced the canning jar with the bottling attachment. I keg my beer, so the bottling attachment tubing was inserted into a cleaned, sanitized keg. When I opened the valve, another large bubble of air coursed through the beer (sigh). A large amount of yeast that had settled onto the sides of the Catalyst also made it into my keg (double sigh).

I carbonated the keg, and after dumping a couple of glasses of truby/yeasty beer, the result was actually quite good.

While I was impressed with the ability of the Catalyst to withstand the hot wort, and the fact that I could watch the progress of the fermentation, I wasn’t crazy about the introduction of air when removing trub and kegging, nor did I care for the amount of crud that entered my keg.

I thought I’d give it one more try.

Since hazy New England-style IPAs are all the rage, I decided to make a Heady Topper clone.

I mashed the grains, boiled the wort, added the hops, and after whirlpooling, dumped the wort into the Catalyst. Into my fermentation chamber it went.

The next day, after the wort had cooled, I started to remove the lid in order to oxygenate the wort and pitch the yeast starter. To my dismay, the silicone seal that sits in the lid separated from the lid and dropped into my wort!!! I used a sanitized rod to retrieve the seal, re-sanitized the lid and seal, reassembled the lid and seal, carefully sanitized and wiped down the lip of the catalyst to clean off any possible sticky wort, oxygenated, pitched the yeast, and replaced the lid.

The fermentation proceeded uneventfully, and then it came time to dry-hop. I carefully released the lid and lifted up one side of the lid. It was obvious that the seal was once again going to separate from the lid and drop into my BEER. I carefully removed the seal from the lid, added my dry hops, and place the lid loosely back onto the Catalyst.

The oxygen and seal problems are deal breakers for me, as far as using the Catalyst as a fermentor. I am inclined to use the Catalyst as a cooling/trub collector for my wort, but in the future, I’ll be going back to stainless steel for fermentation.

Leave a Reply



Charlotte Crosby pulls a series of animated facial expressions in Sydney She complained of a problem with her eyesight earlier in the week. And on Friday Charlotte Crosby was seen pulling a range of facial expressions as she made her way through the Sydney's CBD. The 26-year-old was dressed for comfort in a pair of skinny jeans and a white top, and at one point pulled her long tresses across her face as she made her way through the streets. Scroll down for video Funny girl! Charlotte Crosby has put on an animated display while out in Sydney on Friday pre bonded hairDespite the winter chill, Charlotte completed her casual summery look with black sandals and a grey fringed bag slung over her shoulder. She kept her brunette locks out and straightened with a pair of dark shades on top of her head. The former Geordie Shore starlet previously revealed she was suffering an eyesight problem, earlier in the week. Taking to Instagram on Thursday, Charlotte complained that her eyes were sore after falling asleep in her contact lenses and that she was forced to cancel a trip to the Sydney Opera House. Covering up: The 26-year-old was dressed for comfort in a pair of skinny jeans and a white top, and at one point pulled her long tresses across her face as she made her way through the streets

Ouch: The outing comes after Charlotte was forced to cancel a public appearance because she hurt one of her eyes However she later shared a selfie that showed off the windows to her soul adorned in sparkly gold makeup. The reality TV star told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday that her eye felt painful on a flight from Melbourne, earlier that day and she was worried she had scratched her cornea. remy hair extensionsShe was spotted arriving at Sydney Airport concealing her eyes behind sunglasses. Sore? At one during point during her stroll, the former Geordie Shore starlet looked to be trying to cover her eye Enjoying Australia: Since landing Down Under last weekend Charlotte has been busy enjoying the sights of Sydney and Melbourne She previously tweeted: 'I'm going to the OPERA! How sophisticated! And not just anywhere, (the) SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE'. But Charlotte confirmed she wouldn't be watching the performance of French opera Carmen because she could barely keep her lids open. The Ex On The Beach star also said she was disappointed because she'd picked out 'such a nice dress' for the occasion. Recovered? Taking to Instagram on Thursday, Charlotte complained that her eyes were sore after falling asleep wearing her contact lenses ‘I can’t put makeup on this eye because it’s hurting so much and that would irritate it,' Charlotte said. 'So then what am I meant to do when I’ve got to wear my lovely dress and there will be 5,000 people taking photos? I’m just going to feel awful all night. 'It’s also hurting so I don’t think I could sit and watch the opera for that long because I’m in pain and it’s hard to open my eyes.' ‘I can’t put makeup on this eye because it’s hurting so much and that would irritate it,' Charlotte said of her injured eye Change of plan? Charlotte previously tweeted: 'Tonight I'm going to the OPERA! How sophisticated! And not just anywhere, (the) SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE' Charlotte was also forced to close the curtain in her hotel room because the natural light was hurting it. She added: 'It’s a lot of problems and I don’t feel I can get over any of them in time. I’m really sad about it because I have such a nice dress for it. I hope it will be better in the morning.’ Meanwhile, Charlotte announced her departure from MTV's Geordie Shore earlier this month amid clashes with her ex-boyfriend Gary Beadle. Moving on: Charlotte announced her departure from MTV's Geordie Shore earlier this month amid clashes with her ex-boyfriend Gary 'Gaz' Beadle (right). Pictured during a night out in London last year

She impressed audiences with her gorgeous legs as she flirted with Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street. And Margot Robbie’s pins were on display as she strolled around New York City in a short black slip dress paired with a long pink Kimono, on Wednesday. The 26-year-old showed why she is tipped to be the next Bond girl, showing off her slender physique in the eye-catching number from Spell & The Gypsy Collective. Scroll down for video perruques cheveux naturelsStepping out: Margot Robbie’s trim pins were on display as she wafted around New York City in a short black slip dress paired with a long pink Kimono on Wednesday The oriental-inspired garment featured broderie anglaise in elaborate flower patterns on the sleeves, shoulders and back, and flowed behind her as she strolled around downtown NYC. Leaving a Tribeca hotel, the Australian actress smiled behind oversized round metallic sunglasses with her blonde locks tied back in a bun. The Hollywood starlet’s complexion was characteristically flawless all over, but years in the Northern Hemisphere appeared to have erased her Australian tan. All smiles: Leaving a Tribeca hotel, the Australian actress smiled behind oversized round metallic sunglasses with her blonde locks tied back in a bun High fashion: The 26-year-old showed why she is tipped to be the next Bond girl, showing off her slender physique in the eye-catching number from Spell & The Gypsy Collective Good taste: The oriental-inspired garment featured broderie anglaise in elaborate flower patterns on the sleeves, shoulders and back, and flowed behind her as she strolled around downtown NYC She enhanced her look with natural-look makeup and subtle pink lipstick and carried a small black leather handbag to run her errands.

Margot had been at a fitting for the upcoming NYC premiere of her new film Suicide Squad on Monday night. Tinseltown is abuzz with rumours that the blonde beauty will appear in the next James Bond film as a Bond girl, following a long line of glamorous actresses. Flawles: The Hollywood starlet’s complexion was characteristically flawless all over, but years in the Northern Hemisphere appeared to have erased her Australian tan Going natural: She enhanced her look with natural-look makeup and subtle pink lipstick and carried a small black leather handbag to run her errands Looking her best: Margot had been at a fitting for the upcoming NYC premiere of her new film Suicide Squad on Monday night Online polls have revealed the 26-year-old stunner is at the strongest odds to fill the role, sitting at 12/1, while Emily Blunt sits at 16/1, according to Paddy Power. Others sitting at promising odds to star as the much-desired female character are American model and actress Emily Ratajkowski, who sits at 22/1, with Brit Emma Watson further down the line at 40/1. The Gold Coast girl found her big break in 2013 opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street as the feisty and seductive, Naomi. Plenty to smile about: Tinseltown is abuzz with rumours that the blonde beauty will appear in the next James Bond film as a Bond girl, following a long line of glamorous actresses Adoring fans: Margot caused a stir with passersby as she stepped out in NYC Well made: The beautiful garment had an elaborate rose pattern on its back perruques cheveuxMore recently, she starred alongside Alexander Skarsgård in The Legend Of Tarzan as Jane. As well as the blockbuster, Margot has various other projects in the pipeline, including Suicide Squad, in which she plays Harley Quinn. Other females who have starred as the prestigious Bond girl include talented beauties Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike and Eva Green. Next big thing: Online polls have revealed the 26-year-old stunner is at the strongest odds to fill the Bond role, sitting at 12/1, while Emily Blunt sits at 16/1, according to Paddy Power . In demand actress: As well as the blockbuster, Margot has various other projects in the pipeline, including Suicide Squad, in which she plays Harley Quinn Following in footsteps: Other females who have starred as the prestigious Bond girl include talented beauties Halle Berry, Rosamund Pike and Eva Green Although the buzz around who will land the role of Bond girl is growing, the film is not expected to be released until at least 2018. Producer Barbara Broccoli has two other projects firmly underway and is said to be keen to tempt Daniel Craig into reprising his role as the titular character for the fifth time. Holding her own: Her breakout role was as DiCaprio's feisty wife, Naomi, on Wolf of Wall Street, which her portrayal earned her international acclaim - and showed off her gorgeous legs to the world

Next week will see the conclusion of the 12th season of The Bachelorette, as Joelle 'JoJo' Fletcher gets engaged to either Jordan Rodgers or Robby Hayes. And according to a new report, there's set to be a dramatic break-up ahead of the romantic proposal. Us Weekly claims that JoJo comes to the difficult decision of choosing between the two suitors after one of them makes a big mistake with her parents Joseph and Soraya. lace front wigsFamily matters: Joelle 'JoJo' Fletcher apparently picks her fiance in next week's Bachelorette finale after one of the men makes a big mistake with her parents Who will it be?: Jordan Rodgers (L) and Robby Hayes are the two men left in the competition, and one of them allegedly gets sent packing after failing to ask JoJo's parents for her hand in marriage The runner-up gets dumped after failing to ask the 25-year-old's parents' for her hand in marriage, and during the emotional rejection, JoJo confesses that she wanted things to turn out differently. 'JoJo was sobbing,' a source told Us Weekly. 'She told him, “I wanted it to be you.”' The insider added: 'It was important to JoJo that the guys get her parents’ permission before proposing. JoJo viewed it as disrespectful that he didn’t.' Us Weekly claims that JoJo's family liked both of the finalists, but thought that the man she eventually picks was better suited to her. Favourite from the start: Jordan received the First Impression Rose and his relationship with JoJo has gone from strength to strength ever since

Not true: The 27-year-old former quarterback has denied that he cheated on his last girlfriend 'Everyone thought he was husband material,' a source said. 'Later, they told JoJo that they liked the other man too, but they thought the second would be more loyal and a better fit.' And speaking about the family's meeting with the runner-up, the insider revealed: 'After he left, Soraya said she thought he was a player.' It seems that JoJo did make the right decision however, as she is apparently still very happily engaged to the winner. She likes what she sees: JoJo has also fallen in love with former competitive swimmer Robby, 27 cosplay wigsDenying the rumours: Robby has refuted claims that he dumped his girlfriend to appear on the show Former quarterback Jordan, 27, has been a favourite to win the show from night one, when JoJo presented him with the First Impression Rose. Show secrets: Us Weekly revealed details of the dramatic finale And while on Monday's episode of the show he was seen telling the real estate developer that asking her father's permission to propose would be very important to him, a clip for the finale showed JoJo asking if he is ready to get down on one knee. Both of the finalists have faced rumours about past relationships, with Jordan's ex Brittany Farrar claiming that they broke up because she cheated on him. He denied this to JoJo on the show. The footballer is estranged from his famous NFL star brother Aaron, whose girlfriend Olivia Munn is close pals with Jordan's ex-girlfriend. Aaron finally addressed his younger brother speaking about their fraught relationship on the show during an interview with WISN on Tuesday. 'As far as those kinds of things go, I've always found that it's a little inappropriate to talk publicly about some family matters, so I'm not going to speak on those things,' he said. 'But I wish him well in the competition.' Meanwhile a friend of Robby's ex-girlfriend Hope Higginbotham has claimed that he dumped her in order to go on The Bachelorette, something which he denied during last week's hometown dates. The Bachelorette finale followed by the After The Final Rose special will air on ABC on Monday. She made the right choice: JoJo is apparently still happily engaged to the winner, who popped the question in May. The finale airs on ABC on Monday