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The Catalyst Fermenter

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The Catalyst Fermenter

SKU: 43166

If you could eliminate one chronic homebrewing time-suck, what would it be? How about the Transfer Trap…You know, where you endlessly shift your homebrewed beer from fermenter, to secondary to bottling bucket, to bottles, risking contamination and messy spills at every step.

The great news is, you can. There’s a better, simpler way: The Catalyst – an ingeniously designed fermentation system from Craft-A-Brew that separates sediment, eliminates transfers and allows you to bottle straight from your fermenter.

The Catalyst’s tank is made from Tritan™, a food-safe, BPA-free polymer. This revolutionary material retains the same clarity and smoothness of glass, but is resistant to shattering. It is more durable and outlasts the other types plastic typically used in homebrewing. You can even put it and the removable silicone gasket in your dishwasher for easy cleanup. Properly cared for, the tank will last for years to come.

With The Catalyst Fermentation System, it’s easier than ever to make great beer at home…and look good, AND save time, AND…what are you waiting for? Escape the Transfer Trap and learn some better brewing moves today.

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$211.99
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Description

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Smiley faceAs if that time-and-space-saving solution weren’t enough, here are the three things that put The Catalyst over the top as absolutely best-in-class:

The Materials:The Catalyst’s tank is made from Tritan™, a food-safe, BPA-free polymer. This revolutionary material retains the same clarity and smoothness of glass, but is resistant to shattering. It is more durable and outlasts the other types plastic typically used in homebrewing. You can even put it and the removable silicone gasket in your dishwasher for easy cleanup. Properly cared for, the tank will last for years to come.
The Design: The Catalyst is engineered to optimize every cubic inch of space, resulting in an incredibly sturdy stand with I-beam and honeycomb construction, squat 6.5 Gallon tank and 3” Trub Trap™ Butterfly Valve – the largest in the industry. The result is an efficient, practically indestructible system that fits easily under a table or on a countertop.
The Details: No specialized equipment required. The Trub Trap™ on The Catalyst is designed to work with any large-mouthed mason jar, which makes catching and storing viable yeasts or separating sediment super simple.
With The Catalyst Fermentation System, it’s easier than ever to make great beer at home…and look good, AND save time, AND…what are you waiting for? Shake off the Transfer Shuffle and learn some better brewing moves today.

The Catalyst Fermenter Includes:
  • 6.5 Gallon Tank with Lid
  • Stand (Base, 2 Legs, 2 Support Beams, 8 Screws)
  • 3” Proprietary Butterfly Valve
  • Bottling Attachment
  • Transfer Tubing
  • Tubing Clamp
  • Rubber Stopper
  • 16 Oz. Wide Mouth Mason Jar
  • Allen Wrench
Dimensions:
  • The Stand: Height: 14.75" Width: 17" Depth: 13.75"
  • Unit Size: Total Height (does not include airlock): 26.25" Total Width: 17"

Make the Catalyst Fermentation System even better! Add the Catalyst Tank Cover for maximum functionality and ease.

Details & Instructions

Additional Information


Reviews
3.6 / 5.0
29 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
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10
6
2
3
Supremely Dissapointed
This year's big investment was a pair of Catalyst Fermenters. I really liked what the product promised. The general concept of conical fermentation was very motivating, because the thing I hate most is the time and labor wasted with the constant racking. This type of system seemed to eliminate that concern, because you remove the sediment from the product, instead of taking the product away from the sediment. No more siphoning after the primary or secondary steps. No more siphoning into a bottling container. Just add your ingredients, one time and carry out your process. When it is time, remove the bad stuff out the bottom, and at the end, you bottle right out the bottom. You have one mess to clean up at the end, and that is it. Such an exciting concept.

In addition, I really liked the appearance of this product. Part of the fun of home vinting is being able to see your product undergoing the process. Yes, we keep it in a dark, climate controlled area. But every once in a while, you like to take a peak. This also is valuable when you are showing off the product and process on social media. And for these reasons, I went with this option over other similar setups that are available on the web.

To be fair, this system does deliver on most of the process promises. You will not need to primary or secondary rack; this works as the concepts suggests it should. And it is a sturdy, attractive setup. These are all real positives.

But the negatives are many. You quite simply will NOT be able to bottle directly out the bottom of this container. The sediment that gathers near the bottom opening will be carried out with the flow of the good product. Instead, you will continue to use a bottling bucket or similar container, or rack from the top.

This can and has been corrected by the optional addition of a racking arm, or at least so I have read. The problem here is that this option is that it is an additional $25+ product, over and above the rather steep initial investment. Moreover, it has not been in stock for months, and no one seems to have an answer on when that will change. In a similar manner, you will find that the gasket included with this lid works well, but always comes off. And it is a hell of a booger to get back on, unless you know "the trick." End of the world? No. But plenty annoying. And this too can be corrected by an upgrade, but only after you cough up some more money.

The end result is that I can not recommend this system. The practical fact is that you will spend $200+ for a system that does not really save you any labor. It just creates a different set of challenges. You will be disappointed. The plain fact is that there are other products that do a better job, and at a more affordable price.

My recommendation would be a new version with the new gasket, and a steeper angle of attack and/or an included racking arm. And some sort of process to help the owners of the current, flawed system come up to speed without having to invest an additional 20% over their original, already steep cost.
November 11, 2018
Purchased
5 months ago
Must have product!
Excellent fermenter! If you add the small ball valve, you bottle directly from the Catalyst. My first batch of beer made with this was excellent!
September 30, 2018
Purchased
2 months ago
Very Good, but could be better.
I normally don't make reviews, but thought I would give my two cents worth on this fermenter. After reading all of the current reviews, I was somewhat hesitant on purchasing this unit, but decided I would try it.
I ordered in early July and received it in good shape. Excellent packing, plus it was shipped in an additional larger box. Upon opening the box, I was impressed by the over all quality. The tank is heavy duty and well molded. The stand is plastic, and was easily assembled, but could be heavier. With the full weight of 5 gallons of liquid, it did flex a little from front to back. It is probably ok, if not bumped or moved round with the tank full. The butterfly valve is well made, and has very positive action when opening and closing. It did not leak when I changed the trub jar or when adding the bottling attachment. The lid and gasket fit the tank well (I think I received the new gasket, as it was not too difficult to re-seat in the lid once removed for cleaning). The bottling attachment is simple and fit well. I used a standard spring tip bottle filler instead of the hose clamp supplied. A 12"-14" piece of the supplied tubing was about right with the fermenter sitting on a table.

Related to some of the other critical reviews:
- There is a "sweet spot" when tightening both the butterfly valve to the tank and the trub jar to the valve. Under-tightening will leak (my first try), and over-tightening does make removal difficult (also experienced a little bit). Be sure to hold the butterfly valve in place with one hand when changing the trub jar or adding the bottling attachment.
- As mentioned, I believe I received the new version of lid gasket. No issues with the lid hold down flaps or the lid sealing.
- If the maker had beefed up the stand a little more, I would have given 5 stars.

A couple of additional comments:
- Trub accumulation on the tank cone was minimal. Not enough to be a problem in my view.
- I added a self-adhesive thermometer strip to the side of the tank. It worked similarly as if on a regular pail fermenter.
- Definitely worth the investment, if used with a little patience.

Over all, I am pleased with my purchase. Good product!
.
August 6, 2018
Purchased
4 months ago
My impression after use.
Can be used for beer or wine. Easily move from primary to secondary just by shutting trap and removing mason jar. Only draw back that I have seen is you need to have something to catch excess wort due to mason jar being full. Screw in new jar for secondary and good to go.

Seal is a bit flimsy and does not like to stay on top, so if you remove it to degass wine you may need to stick seal back on top.

Easy to wash. Just take apart and throw in dish washer.
June 30, 2018
Purchased
1 year ago
Lid seal is needing work.
Bottled my first batch today and when cleaning the equipment the silicone seal won't go back on the lid. I noticed that a new improved seal is available for $9.99 from Midwest. Why is Midwest selling equipment with outdated seals?
February 9, 2018
Purchased
10 months ago
Great idea but sadly inefficient!
I have only used my catalyst fermenter once because I was disappointed at how much beer that I lost. I pride myself in being able to reduce the sediment in my bottling process and this method just isn't conducive for that. You lose some when you take the jar off of the bottom to waste the trub and there will alway be quite a bit in the bottom when you try to bottle. I also noticed that there was some trub stuck to the inside where the cone starts to funnel down which can loosen and fall down while bottling. I may use it again but will auto siphon like my carboys.
January 12, 2018
Almost Perfect
I bought this in April of 2017 and have brewed a 5 gallon batch a month in since. I have used buckets, carboys, and a friend has the fast ferment system and this is far superior to all the "entry" level brewing fermenters. It's a nice design, very well built with a sturdy frame and I really enjoy the food grade plastic chamber with its completely open top for easy cleaning and beer filling. The trub trap is great and really helps with making clear beer by removing everything you don't want going into your keg or bottles. It's also fantastic for dry hopping or adding fruit, coffee, or whatever else you enjoy in your brews.
However there are three things that I would like to see changed to make this fermenter perfect.

First - It needs to be increased from 5.5 gal to 6 gal capacity. I brew 5 gal batches and there isn't enough head room for fermentation to use standard airlocks. It will blow them out guaranteed! You must use an overflow, not a big deal but it would be nice to just use an airlock.
Second - The funnel for the bottom could use a bigger hole for draining beer into kegs. It takes forever! It would be fine if there was just an option to purchase one with a bigger hole so you could have a bottling and a kegging funnel that would be great.
Lastly - This is the biggest issue. The rubber gasket/seal around the top falls out of the rim every time you take the lid off and it is a B***H to get back in place. I actually superglued mine in place after the 3rd time this happened.

Overall this is still hands down the best fermenter I own/have used and will buy another couple in the future but those few changes sure would be nice.Write your review here. It must be at least 50 characters long. Consider whether you would recommend this product and what you like or dislike about it.
December 7, 2017
Purchased
1 year ago
Very efficient at fermenting. Make sure the butterfly valve is open when it is full or you could blow the jar.
December 6, 2017
Purchased
1 year ago
Love My Catalysts!
I have 2 Catalysts and I highly recommend them! They are easy and convenient to use. No messy transfer from vessel to vessel. Straight to the bottle or keg.
November 27, 2017
Purchased
1 year ago
Concept is good, design needs some improvement.
It definitely could use some tweaks. It is not big enough for a vigorous ferment so you have to use blow off tube and put a weight on lid as we were worried is going to come off. The lid is difficult to take off and put back on. If you take the lid off too fast the rubber seal comes off and it is a pain to put back on. Yeast and sedimemt gets stuck on side of cone going into mason jar. We ended up having to rack it to get it off what was left behind. The concept of not having to rack beer is awesome but the design needs a little tweaking. Going to try a larger mason jar for next batch. If that doesn't help with yeast and sedimemt being left behind we will not use this again.
July 22, 2017
Purchased
1 year ago
Customer Q&A
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 10 questions Browse 10 questions and 26 answers
When going to bottle from the catalyst does there seem to be problems with getting the priming solution to mix evenly? Best way to go about adding the priming solution without additional oxidation?
A shopper on Nov 10, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Great question! You could make add the priming solution as normal and add it directly to the beer in the Catalyst Fermenter. It should be very lightly stirred with a sanitized to provide proper mixture.
Another option would be to use our Fermenter's Favorites Fizz Drops (SKU: 40928).
Cheers, Todd J
Watching the video, each time the valve is opened a plume of air bubbles up through the fermenter contents. Wouldn't this introduce oxygen to and risk oxidizing the finished or nearly finished beer after all the care we've taken to protect our beer from O2?
Keith G on Jan 6, 2017
BEST ANSWER: fill the empty jar with C02 before you screw it back on.
C02 is heaver than air and will stay in the jar till the valve is opened.
Is this able to do wine as well?
A shopper on Nov 28, 2016
BEST ANSWER: You could use it for wine, however it may not be big enough for most of our 6 gallon wine kits as you need a little more headspace for wine.
It says you could use it for wine- but has anyone actually tried it with wine? If so, how did it turn out?
A shopper on Feb 14, 2017
BEST ANSWER: This is a really nice fermenter for beer or wine. Very well made and easy to clean.
The valve and collection jar saves you some time and work while protecting the ferment from oxygen.
Can this be used for wine?
Michael L on Jun 30, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Haven’t tried it for wine. Probably won’t have enough headspace for a 6 gallon batch. Also might have problems with degassing, etc. if this product were made in a 7 or 8 gallon size, it would be a winner. Love it for beer, tho!
Can this be used for wine ?
A shopper on Jun 30, 2018
BEST ANSWER: My son has one of these for beer and I'm thinking of getting one for my wine making. I have a fast ferment, and I'm very disappointed in it, and my son's Catalyst seems so much better. My son would recommend this for wine too.
Does the wart need to be cooled prior transfer or can it be hot with out fermenter damage?
A shopper on Mar 3, 2017
BEST ANSWER: You should cool the wort before transferring it to the Catalyst, that would be the best practice. That said, the vessel is said to be able to withstand temps up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit, according to their website. I think I'd cool first anyway, as it would not cool very quickly once placed in the fermenter. -Mike W, Midwest Supplies
one ear on lid has broken and I need a new lid. How do I order one?
A shopper on Aug 20, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Feel free to reach out to customer service! We'll see what we can do for you.
Is there a version for 10 gal batches?
A shopper on Feb 22, 2017
BEST ANSWER: HI there,
The Catalyst currently only comes in this size. Cheers!
Is it possible to add a blow off tube to this? I see nothing about an airlock at all.
A shopper on Nov 9, 2016

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