Tuesday 29 August 2023

Keg King - Apollo Titan 30L - Guest Review

The following review was forwarded to us from Kenneth, so we've decided to publish it here in addition to our own review of the same Keg King Apollo Titan 30L stainless steel conical fermenter.

Keg King Titan 30L

After looking at several stainless steel unitanks on the market I finally settled on the Keg King
Titan. I would recommend this unit to ANYONE wanting to upgrade to a stainless fermenter. Don’t
bother with the stainless bucket types. You will eventually want to either spund at the end of
fermentation or close transfer to a keg. Anything that can’t easily handle 10-15 PSI at a minimum
is a waste of money in my opinion. The more expensive bucket versions aren’t much different in
price and the Titan has a more versatile and better design.

I had my reservations about the plastic lid but after seeing other reviews for much pricier
fermenters and problems with lids sealing I decided best to go with what I know works. Good time
to mention I previously was using the Keg King 30L Apollo PET fermenter. The price of the Titan
was very attractive and the gift card I got for Father’s Day last year was a bonus. Out of the box I
could do everything I was doing with my PET Apollo with but with piece of mind I would only need
to buy once. No more worrying about possibly scratching the PET, no more worrying about if my
cleaning water is too hot, no more worrying about pressure testing at expiry date or buying a
replacement tank, and no more worrying about how I can reuse another plastic tank (my old 35L
Fermentasaurus tank makes for a great grain hopper extension). I rinse and clean with 68C water
because that’s what my kettle defaults to for mash in and I am too lazy to adjust it. I have run up to
95C water through my CIP set up with no issues. I didn’t push beyond that because I didn’t want to
cavitate the pump.

As a closed bottom fermenter as it is out of the box, 4.5 stars easy. Only drawback is the damn dry
hop port! I think most users of the Apollo are like me and only use this to fill their vessel. 12.5mm
silicon hose fits great here but more than a few hop pellets at a time not so much. Easier to just
open the lid and chuck them in. It’s a first world problem, but if you’ve designed it one way it should
work that way. More on possible improvements coming below.

As a unitank I really went back and forth on the rating here. Mostly because I was a bit annoyed
that I couldn’t get all the accessories from Keg King at the same time I purchased the fermenter.
When I purchased they did not have the 1.5 inch 90° TC elbow and to this day still do not have a
carbonation stone. Luckily, Cheeky Peak did have both at the time. I’ll settle on 4+ stars for not
having all the accessories and still no solution for that damn dry hop port.

In the end I bought the following accessories:

  • 1.5 inch TC sight glass - Don’t bother buying this. I got caught up in the moment of having something new and shiny and saw other people using sight glasses and thought I needed one too. YOU DON’T. When dumping your trub/yeast simply attach a barbed TC fitting with a small amount of clear hose to help direct where you’re dumping. You will see in the hose when the trub/yeast has gone to beer. If you wait for the sight glass to fill you are simply wasting beer you don’t need to.
  • 1.5 inch TC to 13mm barb. As stated above I use this dumping trub/yeast and also when I set up my CIP loop.
  • 1.5 inch TC to male cam lock. This is to connect to the line from my chiller and fill the vessel. Could probably also be used for dumping trub/yeast and has a slightly wider opening than the 13mm barbed fitting.
  • 1.5 inch TC butterfly valve. Handle fits well between the body of fermenter and legs keeping it easy to use.
  • 1.5 inch 90° elbow - Works perfect and with the butterfly attached the butterfly valve sits perfectly square to the edge of the fermenter.
  • 1.5 inch 45° elbow - another thing I bought and did not need. I thought it would maybe help with trub blocking but I have had no problems with the 90 and it just feels awkward when you attach it.
  • Extra 1.5 inch TC clamps and seals. I would recommend having at least two more clamps than what you need. Seals I think I got an extra 5 or 6. They are both cheap so better to have extras than not.
  • 1.5 inch TC carbonation stone - works great. Use it for both aerating wort and carbonating. I was concerned with it possibly blocking being in the fermenter during fermentation and after cold crash but have not run into any problems yet. If it does become blocked I am not too worried about it. It’s not a required piece for this to operate as a unitank as you can still carbonate through the gas disconnect in the lid. Just won't be as efficient. A non-return valve would be nice (looking at you Cheeky Peak if you happen to read this).
Just a few additional observations and recommendations for use or if a V2 is ever made.

  • Need a bigger version for double batchers. I have several mates that want one of these but they only double batch.
  • The TC port on the body of the fermenter I haven’t quite found a need for. This would be much better on the top of the fermenter for easier dry hopping. Did I mention I hate the dry hop port on the lid? Bottom port I have 90 elbow to butterfly clamp to cap. The cone TC port is where I opted to put the carbonation/aeration stone. Everything else you need/want is in the lid, except a bigger dry hop port of course.
    If you are looking to harvest yeast you will find the fewer the side ports the better. Why you ask? When you break down your fermenter you’re going to find that each of these ports has a shadow to them and a lot of that great clean yeast is sitting in that shadow and never made it’s way to the bottom of the fermenter to be collected.
  • I love the simplicity and affordability for such a versatile product. When looking at other stainless fermenters it was crazy to me how many of them out of the box you couldn’t carbonate in or do a closed transfer without buying an accessory kit or pack first because it won’t work at even 10-15 PSI out of the box. Many of these were more expensive and less functional out of the box than after I bought the accessories to complete my unitank and that includes the pieces I didn’t need and don’t use.. This has three TC ports and one sits unused. I think I saw one other fermenter that had three TC ports just in the lid! Why? So I can buy more stuff I won’t use. I also watched a Youtube review of another and there was talk of people making sculptures and putting 4-way TC pieces on top. Again, Why?
  • The legs and extensions need two things. One, more holes for adjusting the rough height of the extensions and adjustable feet for finer adjustments.
    Two other things to consider. A fourth leg and welding to the outside of the body rather than the cone. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with the stability but more stability would be better than more TC ports I won’t use.
  • I mentioned my CIP set up a couple of times. I used the lid from my Apollo fermenter and attached a sprayball to the inside of the lid where the thermowell was. The top of the lid I attached a cam lock and run the CIP with a 25 watt mag drive pump. I have also run foaming sanitser through this set up for up to 10 minutes without the foaming becoming a problem.
Hope you find this review helpful. It was a lot for me and probably for a lot of others to invest in a
stainless steel fermenter, but I would highly recommend the Titan for any brewer looking to
purchase a stainless steel fermenter. Best combination of value and function that I found by far.

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