We got our hands on one of the new SsBrewTech BrewMaster Edition Chronical Fermenters and of course we had to show you guys! If you have been following our blog posts for a while, you know we did a review a while back of the original Chronical fermenter. Needless to say us and pretty much everyone else who has laid eyes on them know just how awesome they are. Ive visited breweries and have seen dozens of them being used for pilot batches. SsBrewTech set the standard pretty high with their Chronicals its hard to imagine it getting any better. Well it did!
Earlier this year they announced the BrewMaster Edition. Basically a Chronical on steroids loaded with every upgrade and feature you can think of (and some you havent). We were lucky enough to get our hands on one of the Beta Test units and we wanted to give you guys a First Look around what makes the BrewMaster edition, well, a BrewMaster Edition.
So here we go, right out of the box the BME looks the same as the original but with a couple more holes in it (we will discuss). The accessories on the other hand, well those are completely different. The BME comes with custom SsBrewTech 1.5″ TC squeeze trigger butterfly valves instead of the 3pc ball valves on the original. These babies are heavy duty so lift with your knees (joking but not really they are heavy). Two of these valves are included but one is special. If you remember on the Chronical the top 3pc ball valve had a racking arm installed on it. Well that feature carried over to the BME. One of the valves has a special flange on it where the racking arm connects to. The lid has also been upgraded to a 3″ TC from a 1.5″ TC. This is awesome for dry hopping and easy access to the beer. It also includes a 3″ TC cap that has a 1/2″ barb and a pressure release valve. This cap (in 1.5″ form) was an optional accessory on the original but it is included with the BME. You can now pressure transfer into a keg right out of the box, love it! One other little upgrade that goes a long way is the on the legs. The original had non slip pads attached to the bottom the legs, but the BME comes with screw in pads that are fully adjustable. So what about these extra holes? Well im glad you asked! (man am I corny today). So there are 3 extra holes in the fermenter. There still is a hole for the thermowell and digital thermometer, which is included, but what about the other 3. The first hole you notice is to the right of the thermowell and on the cone. This is a new feature for the BME, a sampling valve. For those of you who have (or seen) the Brew Bucket you will be familiar with it. The BME includes the 2pc sampling valve which is for, well, sampling. This just goes to show you have much thought that has gone into the design of these. If you have used butterfly valves in the past you know that controlling flow with them is a bit hard. Trying to pull a sample with them would most likely end up leading to a mess. So SsBrewTech included a sampling valve to fix that. SIDE NOTE: This valve does disassemble for cleaning around the ball, the barb end unscrews. Now that we covered all the exterior features, lets take a look inside.
The other 2 extra holes if for what you see here, a very exciting and awesome INCLUDED feature of the BME, a chiller coil! The chiller coil was part of the FTS which you had to buy as an addition for the original. But not with the BME, the BME includes a chiller coil that is mounted inside of the chronical and not to the lid like the FTS. Also, depending on which size unit you get (7, 14, 1/2 or 1) the coil will be sized accordingly. This allows for more accurate and faster chilling/heating. It also includes the Neoprene jacket. So there you have it. Some MAJOR upgrades that are all included in the BME. TC Butterfly Valves, 3″ TC lid with Pressure Transfer Cap, Chilling Coil and Neoprene jacket, Sampling Valve and Adjustable Feet.
But wait…. theres more! With all these upgrades that are included, that means there are a whole bunch of new optional accessories to really pimp this BME out. One of the optional features that we had to get was the casters for the legs. In the original version only the 14gal or above had the option to add casters. SsBrewTech now includes that option on the 7gal BME. Just be careful when rolling it around, the new butterfly valves make it a bit heavy in the front so its possibly that you could knock it over when rolling. Its not an issue but just be cognizant of it. One of my favorite optional features is the Stainless Steel blow off cane that attaches to the 3″ TC on the lid. This gives the BME a real “Commercial” look to it. There is also an optional 3″ TC CIP spray ball attachment. Check out the photos below (of the 1bbl BME) for some of the optional accessories. Find out more about the fermenters on www.ssbrewtech.com