How Does A Beer Fermentation Tank Work?

June 14, 2024

Fermentation is the magical step in brewing where the wort is transformed into beer by yeast and this process takes place in a specialized container called a fermentation tank or fermenter. It is a vessel where the yeast carries out its magic work of converting sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide. The primary function of the fermentation tank is to offer an optimal environment for the fermentation microbes to convert sugars to beer. In this article, we will discuss how a fermentation tank works and the pivotal roles it plays in the brewing process

Types of Beer Fermentation Tank

Fermentation tanks come in different ranges of designs made for specific needs and preferences. Let's explore the four basic types of fermentation tanks that we have:

1. Open-top fermentation tanks:  these are tanks that are open at the top allowing for easy access as the name implies. They are basically used in the winemaking process to manually punch down the grape cap.

2. Conical fermenters: Tanks are built with cone-shaped bottoms. They are designed to collect yeast after the fermentation process. This attribute makes it the most popular among brewers.

3. Flat-bottomed tanks: these are traditional fermentation tanks with a flat base as the name implies. These fermentation tanks are not only used in the brewing industry but are use across various industries for different purposes.

4. Cylindroconical fermenting tanks: these are tanks that have both cylindrical and conical designs and are versatile in brewing. They can handle both the primary and secondary fermentation processes.


The choice of any of these tanks for beer production depends on the specific requirements of the Fermentation process and the budget available.

 NFE Machinery Beer Fermentation Tank Supplier

The Function of Beer Fermenting Tanks

While the primary function of the fermenter is to house the brewing process, there are other benefits it offers which include

1. It controls the Fermentation environment because of it sealed nature. This is crucial in preventing contaminants like wild yeast and bacteria from the process

2. It helps to regulate the temperature in the tank to allow the yeast to act optimally at its favorable temperature range

3. Some of the fermenters like the conical designed type helped in years of collection after the Fermentation process that can later be discarded.

4. Fermentation tanks can be used for secondary fermentation in the cad of larger beer production..this helps in enhancing the flavours and characteristics of the brew.

5. Specific fermenting tanks come with equipped features that allow carbonation ( introduction and regulation of CO2 levels)

6. These tanks can serve as storage vessels after fermentation allowing the brew to age and develop further.


Step-by-Step Guide On How a Beer Fermentation Tank Works?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on working of beer fermenting tank.


Wort Preparation: Once the fermentation process is ready, the wort is created in the mash tun and undergoes boiling and hoping additions in the boiled kettle. It will then be cooled and transferred to the fermentation tank where the main fermentation takes place

Yeast inoculation: once the wort is in the fermentation tank, the worth (cooled) is then inoculated with the brewer's “magic” ingredient, the yeast. This yeast is responsible for converting the sugars to beer and carbon dioxide. The type of yeast used greatly impact the flavour of the beer product produced.

Primary fermentation: once the yeast has been inoculated into the wort, it goes to work immediately, the yeast breaks the sugars in the worth through the process of fermentation to by-products like alcohol and carbon dioxide. This primary fermentation stage usually lasts for one to two weeks depending on the beer style and the type of yeast strain used.

Temperature control: temperature control is very crucial to fermentation, different yeasts have different temperature preferences. Brewers must carefully control the temperature range during the fermentation to achieve the desired flavor and aroma characteristics in the beer to be produced. Cooling jackets, glycol systems, or heating elements all help in the control of temperature

Release of pressure: the bye products, the carbon dioxide released during the process of fermentation can cause overpressure in the tank and can be controlled by releasing the excess pressure through the pressure release valve. This valve allows excess gas to escape while maintaining the normal pressure needed within the tank

Beer monitoring and sampling: brewers must sample the beer to monitor its fermentation progress, factors like gravity, pH, and flavour development can be checked to ensure everything is on track

Secondary fermentation (optional): in some cases like in larger beer production, the beer undergoes a secondary fermentation or conditioning phase in the tank or in a different tank entirely. This secondary fermentation stage usually enhances the clarity and flavor of the beer.

Beer maturation: once the fermentation process I complete, the beer may undergo a maturation period in the fermentation tank which allows the flavor to meld unwanted toxic compounds to settle out resulting in a more clear and refined beer product

Beer packaging: once the brewer is satisfied with the flavored profile and clarity of the beer, it can then be transferred to bright tanks for final conditioning, carbonation, and filtration before being bottled, canned, or kegged


Choosing The Right Fermenting Tank

In choosing the right fermenter for your brewing, let's discuss 3 major considerations:

1. Size: The size of your equipment and the size of the batches you plan to brew will greatly determine the size of the fermenter to use. Larger fermenters are better for brewing lather batches of beer and vice versa

2. Materials: Beer fermentation tanks are made of glass, plastic, or stainless steel. Although plastic fermenters are cheap and affordable, they are not advised for use. Glass fermenters are a good choice for monitoring your fermentation process because of their transparency nature.

3. Price: Beer farmers varies according to their sizes, quality, and manufacturing companies. It's important to choose a fermenter that fits your budget but also meets your brewing needs



A beer fermentation tank is a controlled environment where temperature, pressure, and timing are managed to achieve the desired beer style. It's a vessel where yeast performs it magic of transforming the sugars in wort into beer by breaking them down in a process called fermentation. The brewer's expertise and the fermentation tank are the two combos that result in beer products.







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