So I bought the fermentasaurus from NB a while ago, tried it once and basically misused it immediately. I didn't open the butterfly valve immediately upon pouring in my wort, for some reason I waited to open the valve until a LOT of trub had formed. Then, I had to drain at least once or twice more (probably should have filtered the wort a little better before transferring to the conical). On top of that, the valve leaked, which also probably let in O2 (NB sent me a replacement valve, haven't tested it yet, still hesitant). The end result, as I posted here on this forum, was a very oxidized beer that tasted like cardboard, and dumped down the drain. I then remade the same beer going back to bucket primary and carboy secondary, turned out to be my best recipe/brew yet.
So here I am with an expensive toy, and I'm not even using it due to fear. Assuming I can stop the leaks, here are my thoughts and questions:
1) all the videos online show people using this fermenter (9+ gallons) with a 5 gallon brew. BUT they ferment under pressure... Seems like the only way to make that much headspace be OK. Sounds like I just need to buy the pressure kit, and don't need to hook up to a CO2 canister, just basically lock the CO2 produced by fermentation inside the vessel. Thoughts?
2) I'm thinking about using a bigger collection bottle. It comes with a 500ml collection bottle, but the butterfly valve happens to have the same size/threads as a soda stream. If I sanitized a soda stream bottle, made sure there were no leaks, then I could definitely collect 1L of trub, which would reduce my amount of trub drainings. Does this sound ok?
3) assuming the above all works, if I need to do a second draining before moving onto secondary, I would have to purge the collection bottle with CO2 (probably with the soda stream) , try to cap it as quickly as possible, then bring it over to the conical. That, along with keeping the tank pressurized during fermentation, should prevent oxidation, IMO. Does this sound right?
I guess I just never really learned how to use this toy before I tried to use it, and now I'm just gun-shy. Any help would be appreciated!