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