The Cat­a­lyst

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Gear Guide -

The first foray into hard­ware from this brewing-kit maker is unique and use­ful for the right brewer

Test lab notes

The first hard­ware re­lease from long-time kit builder Craft-a-brew is a well-built, well backed (Kick­starter) fer­men­tor. The Cat­a­lyst steps up your fer­men­ta­tion with no-trans­fer pri­mary fer­men­taiton, yeast har­vest­ing, se­condary fer­men­ta­tion, and ad­junct additions.

With its clever “trub trap” de­sign, you can add stan­dard ma­son jars to the bot­tom of the fer­men­tor to catch what­ever may be set­tling out of your beer. We were able to suc­cess­fully cap­ture and re-pitch yeast into our next brew, sav­ing us a few bucks on yeast. The open­ing at the top of the fer­men­tor is huge, mak­ing it very easy to add ad­juncts when the time is right. There have been rum­blings about the seal on the lid be­ing an is­sue, but we did not ex­pe­ri­ence that.

Com­pared to en­try-level stain­less-steel, we like the thick, clear plas­tic that al­lows us to eas­ily see what’s go­ing on with our brew, and we were able to dump near-boil­ing water into the plas­tic with­out melt­ing it. The main draw­back is that we can’t taste what we see—no sam­pling port on The Cat­a­lyst means you have to drain out of the “trub trap” and sam­ple from there.

Price: $199 Man­u­fac­turer: Craft A Brew Avail­able from: craftabrew.com

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