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Fermonster vs bucket for primary fermentation

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David219

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I make mostly red kit wines with skins. I often will ferment to dry in my bucket, keeping the lid loose until the SG gets to around 1.010, then snapping it down under air lock to let fermentation finish.

The only slight drawback for me is that I can't see the bottom of the bucket well when I rack out. Is that enough a reason to consider getting a Fermonster (with a recently received gift certificate to an LHBS that I don't frequent out of loyalty and complete satisfaction with my "go to" LHBS)? I'm looking to get something I probably would not otherwise buy from my preferred local supplier.

For those with experience with one, are there other benefits or drawbacks? Other suggestions? Thanks.
 

AZMDTed

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I recently got the 7.5 gallon fermonster for an experiment. Here are my impressions, in no particular order:

The fermonster is just a hair too small and in primary it will foam over if you're not careful when stirring your wine. This is its major drawback over a bucket.

The fermonster is very clear plastic and it's fun to watch the wine ferment.

You get to see all the leees build up and realize how much stuff falls out.

If you buy an extra lid for the fermonster you also have to separately buy the o ring for it.

Since it doesn't have rigid sides every time you move it you will squish the wine and disturb the sediment and push air out of the airlock.

The lid can sometimes be a big pain to get off. There's not much to hold onto so you end up squeezing the sides if the lid is tight. This will then disturb the sediment. Not much of an issue if you rack to secondary, but if you want to clear the wine in the fermonster it's something to consider.

You may want to get the long stirring spoon. The standard size one is just a hair too short for it.

You won't want to use a whip in it as you can scratch or mar the insides.

Don't use very hot water, like with the bentonite addition as it can deform the plastic.

http://www.winemakingtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55098

That's the link to my experiment if you want to see a fermonster in action.
 
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David219

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Thanks! I was wondering about each of the issues you raised...how easy is it to move, will the plastic scratch with whipping, is the lid/opening functional for skins kits...

Is the 7.5G the largest, do you know? I thought I had seen a thread recently where the Fermonster was mentioned. In fact, that is what got me thinking of it. I searched only this section and didn't see it. I'll check it out right now.
 

bstnh1

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Fermonster.jpg Love the Fermonster. But this is what happens when you forget and use 175° water in it to dissolve bentonite! Still useable, but capacity is reduced by 1/2 gallon.
 

pillswoj

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I am doing Extended Maceration pretty much exclusively on my skin kits now using the 7.5g fermonsters. I have not yet had one foam over (7 batches total). My latest one is a mosti mondial all juice to which I added their 4 kg all grape pack, It go close to the top but did not go over. One thing that may make a difference is I never use the 1118 yeast supplied, always swap it for RC212 or BM4x4.
 

Boatboy24

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@pillswoj : Interesting to see you mention BM4X4. One of my favorite yeasts, but it foams a fair amount. Glad to hear it doesn't overflow the Fermonster. I have a kit I want to start, but think I'll order a Fermonster and try EM.
 

CK55

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@pillswoj : Interesting to see you mention BM4X4. One of my favorite yeasts, but it foams a fair amount. Glad to hear it doesn't overflow the Fermonster. I have a kit I want to start, but think I'll order a Fermonster and try EM.
4x4 and 212 are my favorites.
 
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