What Is A Fermenter?

Fermenters are enormous fermentation vessels that can hold a lot of bacteria and fungi.

This includes the penicillin-producing Penicillium mould (an antibiotic). Fermenters are available in a variety of sizes, including glass and stainless steel. Each has a distinct capacity for volume:

What Is A Fermenter?

Fermenters with a volume of 1–2 litres, 12–15 litres in Medium size, and 100,000 gallon capacity in Large-scale production fermenters.

Fermenters can be used to create a variety of goods. Those found in dairy, food, and alcoholic beverages, as well as medications. This article will discuss fermenters and how they are used for home brewing.

What Is A Fermenter?

A fermenter is a piece of equipment used in commercial fermentation on a huge scale. This maintains ideal conditions for microbial development. Others refer to it as a fermentation-causing creature, such as yeast.

Fermenters are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Stirred tank fermenters are ideal for batch processing.

Enzymes, antibiotics, and proteins are all created in bubble column fermenters, which are pneumatic reactors that airlift fermenters.

For laboratory-scale fermenters, batch operation is the most typical method of operation. The continuous or fed-batch mode is highly recommended.

 This is due to the fact that this strategy inhibits growth and production. When product development is linked to rapid biomass growth, the fed-batch method is appropriate.

Fermenters with conical bodies as well as square bodies are also popular. Conical fermenters cost more than cylindrical fermenters, but they have various advantages.

Conical fermenters can benefit from whirlpools to assist in isolating the wort from the trub.

Cylindrical and conical fermenters are more expensive than square-bodied fermenters. However, they are incapable of handling high-pressure drops.

The History Of The Fermenter

In 2018, consumption of fermented products surged by 149%. This demonstrates the ancient diet’s durability. This also explains how fermented foods have reached other civilizations as a result of globalisation.

The origins of fermented products are difficult to pinpoint throughout human history. However, in 7000 BC, historians uncovered signs of fermentation. It can be found in food and beverage preparation.

Fermentation is derived from a Latin word ‘fervere,’ which literally means “to boil.” This also refers to the fermentation of  malted barley or juices to alcohol by yeast. 

Fermentation is used in almost every culture. Natural microorganisms have been interacting with humans for far longer than we believe.

According to studies, from as early as 4000 BC different societies used fermentation to make various grain-based beverages, and yeast has been around for at minimum 80 million years.

Furthermore, natural fermentation predates human history. Fermentation has been employed by humans from the beginning of time. 

Beer dregs found 13,000 years ago in a cave in Haifa, Israel, are the earliest indication of fermentation. It was gruel-like in consistency.

Many living creatures today create ATP from glucose using oxygen. Despite this, numerous organisms can make ATP without oxygen.

Many plants, fungi, and microbes fall within this category. These species perform aerobic respiration when oxygen is available.

Even yet, they adopt anaerobic respiration when oxygen is low. Some bacteria can only survive under anaerobic conditions. They might not even be capable of surviving in aerobic conditions.

Fermentation is a common way for creating ATP without using oxygen. Glycolysis is included, but the other two phases of aerobic respiration are not. Fermentation is carried out by a range of bacteria and yeasts.

You can manufacture yoghurt, breads, wine, and biofuels using these microbes. Human muscle cells also use fermentation.

How Does Fermentation Work?

Fermentation is the process by which yeast converts glucose in wort to CO2 and ethyl alcohol. This determines the alcohol content and carbonation of the beer. 

Once there is enough ‘food’ in the wort, the fermenting process can start. After that, after the initial flavour development is over. When yeast is added to a liquid, it consumes glucose.

Follow the steps below to begin the fermentation process:

  1. Put the chilled wort in a yeast-inoculated fermentation vessel. Keep the wort at a constant temperature of 68 °F for two weeks if the brew is an ale. If the beverage is lager, keep it at 48 degrees Fahrenheit for six weeks. Chill the tank to maintain conditions since fermentation produces a lot of heat.
  1. Retain the outside oxygen out the fermenter since there is a continuous supply of Carbon dioxide through the hose. These guard against stray yeast contamination. Fermentation does not start immediately. If oxygen is present, yeast can breathe instead of ferment. Because yeast needs oxygen to break down the glucose, no ethanol is produced. Instead of glucose, glucose is converted to water and CO2. This should harvest as much energy from the molecule of glucose as possible. The fermenter is sealed off from the rest of the world. Except for a lengthy, thin vent pipe that allows CO2 to escape. 
  1. Chill the beer to around 32°F when fermentation has finished. It’s all about consistency in commercial manufacturing and brewing. This allows the leftover yeast to settle to the bottom at this lower temperature.
  1. Filter any residual sediments after pumping the beer out of the fermenter. The sediments have mostly settled to the bottom. Move the alcohol to a light beer tank after it has passed through the filter. This is the last step before bottling or kegging. Through bubbling some extra CO2 into the beer through a porous stone, it controls the CO2 levels in the beer.


The goal of fermentation is to create the ideal conditions for the glucose in the wort to be converted

Alcohol, CO2, and the aromas and scents you desire are among the transformations. Homebrewers’ most important features are disintegrated oxygen concentration and fermented temperature.

If you’re new to producing beer at home,  Understanding how the system works and what measures to take to produce the perfect pint is critical.

 For some beer kinds, secondary fermentation may be appropriate. Hopefully this article has helped you learn how to get started with home brewing!

Robert Kaser
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