Sunday 23 January 2022

Cheeky Peak Brewery - Nano X Fermenter Range - Rundown

In late 2021, Cheeky Peak Brewery (Albury, NSW) released a new range of stainless steel fermenters called "Nano - X". We were particularly interested in these fermenters as the pricing of them was really sharp, especially compared to other stainless offerings on the market current, however, upon diving down the rabbit hole of looking at the different options available, we were quickly overwhelmed and somewhat confused by the different options available, so we wanted to break it down for our own understanding, and yours.

We're going to focus on the 30L versions, but we suspect these differences/options will apply to the 50L and 70L versions as well, though the prices will obviously vary.

Entry Level Option - Nano - X 30L Flexi Bucket Fermenter

Although it is called a "bucket" - it is still a conical style fermenter!  

What you get in the kit;
  • Flexi Bucket Fermenter
  • 2 x 1.5" welded ports on the fermenter body (1 on middle right, the other at very bottom where the dump valve would attach).
  • 1 x 1.5" tri clover end & 1/2" valve assembly racking port (middle of conical part of fermenter)
  • 1 x 2" welded port on the fermenter body (middle left)
  • 1 x 22mm laser cut hole on the fermenter body (for thermowell/temperature probe)
  • Flat lid with 1.5" welded port on top
  • 1 x thermowell (assuming this is what is in the 22mm laser cut hole previously mentioned?)
  • 1 x 2" tri clover clamp, end cap and seal
  • 4 x 1.5" tri clover clamps (why 4?)
  • 2 x 1.5" tri clover end caps (one for each of the 2 x 1.5" ports on the fermenter  body)
  • 4 x 1.5" seal
  • 1 x 1/2" tubing racking cane
  • 1 x 1.5" tri clover fitting with 1/2" elbow barb for fermenter blow off tubing (this attaches to the 1.5" tri clover port on the lid)
  • 4 x adjustable feet
  • Price - AU$410

Middle Level Option - Nano -X Flexi Unibucket 30L 

What you get in the kit

  • Everything in the Flexi Bucket kit EXCEPT for the 1 x 1.5" tri clover end & 1/2" valve assembly racking port (middle of conical part of fermenter)
  • 1/2" sight glass ball valve instead of the above (AU$37.95)
  • Flexi bucket pressure lid (AU$210)
  • Price AU$640 (AU$17.95 cheaper than buying the Flexibucket then buying the additional parts listed above)

Top Level Option - Nano - X Flexi Conical Unitank 30L

What you get in the kit

  • Everything in the Flexi Unibucket kit, plus
  • 1.5" dump valve assembly (AU$139.95)
  • Price AU$810 - this makes no sense to us as the price difference for the whole kit is AU$170, but the only difference is a single part that is worth AU$139.95?

We like the way Cheeky Peak have approached this, by trying to make the range completely modular, so brewers can start and upgrade their fermenter in stages to avoid a large initial financial outlay, because let's face it, stainless steel equipment is expensive and the additional components can begin to add up very quickly.

If you're going for the middle or top-tier option, you'll at least need a couple of extra bits and pieces to be able to do pressure fermentations and transfers.

  • 1.5" tri clover PRV 15psi (AU$41.95) - this is a must have, as the pressure lid is rated to 15psi so a PRV is essential to ensure that the pressure inside the fermenter never exceeds 15psi to avoid damaging the fermenter. This will attach to one of the 1.5" tri clover ports on the pressure lid.
  • 3" tri clover gas & liquid ball lock male head (AU$48.95) - another must have. Attach a spunding valve to one of the ball lock heads (for pressure fermenting) and a liquid dip tube to the other (so you can get your beer out of the fermenter!) OR
  • 2 x 1.5" tri clover single ball lock male head (AU$22.95 each) - these will attach to 2 of the 1.5" tri clover ports on the lid. Use these is if you want to keep the 3" port unused for dry hopping etc.
  • Floating dip tube (to attach to one of the ball lock heads as mentioned above (AU$8.50)
  • Blow-tie spunding valve (to attach to one of the ball lock heads as mentioned above (AU$45.10)

There are of course loads of other things you may want, to be able to do oxygen free dry hopping for example. but the above is the minimum to get going with pressure fermentations and transfers.

Check out our Unboxing of the 30L Flexi Unibucket Fermenter post.

You can also see the full range for yourself at the Cheeky Peak Brewery website

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