Wednesday 2 March 2022

KegLand Tri-Conical FermZilla Release & First Impressions

KegLand recently announced the release of a new FermZilla model to supersede the current FermZilla Conical. The replacement has been dubbed the "Tri-Conical" FermZilla and features new tri clover connections on the base of the unit where the collection unit attaches.

The previous "Conical" model featured a threaded nut assembly to attach the butterfly valve and collection container assembly to the PET plastic body of the fermenter - and it was problematic to say the least. KegLand/FermZilla user groups on Facebook and other internet forums were frequented with posts from users complaining of being unable to unscrew the collection container, or being unable to unscrew the nut assembly. The nut featured a double thread that meant to unscrew one of the threads, it had to be turned in the opposite direction - leading people to overtighten it when they were trying to unscrew it. 

Needless to say, it quickly developed a pretty poor reputation amongst the homebrewing community, which no doubt would have affected sales of the unit and grabbed KegLand's attention. Users who were weighing up whether to go with the FermZilla Conical model or the simpler All Rounder model were almost always swayed in the direction of the All Rounder, simply because it doesn't have the butterfly valve assembly at the bottom to contend with - it's just simpler and much less problematic, and unless you plan on harvesting yeast, there wasn't really a compelling reason to go for it. This is certainly the reason we opted for the All Rounder model ourselves when faced with the same decision some time ago.

Now, KegLand have released the "Tri-Conical" which features a redesigned bottom end. The thread and nut assembly at the base of the FermZilla has now been replaced with an opening that allows the provided butterfly valve and collection container assembly to be attached to the fermenter body using a 3" tri clover fitting. Tri clover fittings provide a much simpler and more reliable connection method and is the standard connection fitting on the majority of stainless steel kettles and fermenters on the market currently.

After the 3" tri clover fitting is a butterfly valve that can be opened or closed to fully seal off the fermenter from the collection container assembly. On the under side of this butterfly valve is a 2" tri clover connection that the collection container connects to. Sounds complicated but it really isn't when you look at the picture below.

FermZilla Tri Conical dump valve assembly

This change will no doubt prove a total game changer for the FermZilla's reputation and ease of use for those wanting a cheaper (plastic) fermenter with all the features and functionality you can get with stainless - think pressure fermenting, yeast collection and completely oxygen free dry hopping using the collection container at the bottom.

For those that are brave enough, the previous FermZilla Conical model has now had it's price slashed from AU$139.95 to AU$95 (27L model) which is great value, but still carries the inherent risks outlined previously in this article with the dump valve assembly.

The Tri-Conical is available in 27L and 55L versions and is selling for AU$165 and AU$244.95 respectively. The pressure brewing kit adds some more cost but we'd highly recommend it to ensure you're getting the most out of the product.

The rebirth of the FermZilla Conical with tri clover clamps is definitely a step in the right direction and really separates it from other plastic fermenters currently available on the market. We're hoping to get our hands on one soon for a review/testing and will post further updates once we do.

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