Is It Necessary The Beer Fermentation Tanks Have Volume Markings?

September 26, 2023

Volume markings on fermentation tanks (fermenters) in a brewery are generally not necessary and are less common compared to brite tanks. Fermentation tanks are used primarily for the fermentation and conditioning of beer, and their main purpose is to provide the right environment for yeast to convert sugars into alcohol and other desirable compounds. Here are a few reasons why volume markings on fermentation tanks are less common and typically not necessary:

1.Fermentation Process Monitoring: During the fermentation process, the primary concern is monitoring variables such as temperature, pH, and specific gravity (density), which are more critical for assessing the progress and completion of fermentation. Brewers typically use separate instruments like hydrometers or refractometers to measure these variables.

2.Variable Liquid Levels: Unlike brite tanks, where the liquid level remains relatively constant once the beer is conditioned and ready for packaging, fermentation tanks have highly variable liquid levels. The liquid volume in a fermentation tank can change significantly due to the production of carbon dioxide (CO2) and the formation of yeast and sediment during fermentation. This makes it challenging to maintain accurate volume markings.

3.Yeast Management: Fermentation tanks often require yeast harvesting or removal of trub (sediment) at the end of fermentation. These processes can further complicate volume measurements and make permanent volume markings less practical.

4.Cleaning and Sanitation: Fermentation tanks need to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between batches. Volume markings can make the cleaning process more difficult by providing additional crevices for residue to accumulate.

5.Primary Function: Fermentation tanks primarily serve as vessels for the fermentation process and are not typically used for packaging or direct measurements. Brewers rely on other methods and equipment, such as sight glasses, level sensors, or simply monitoring the progress of fermentation, to determine when it is complete.

6.Batches May Vary: Fermentation tank batches can vary in size due to factors like yeast health, wort composition, and fermentation kinetics. Therefore, precise volume markings may not always be applicable.

 While volume markings are not common on fermentation tanks, breweries often use other methods and equipment to monitor and manage the fermentation process effectively. Hydrometers, sight glasses, and electronic monitoring systems are commonly used to track variables such as specific gravity and liquid level during fermentation. These tools provide brewers with the necessary information to assess the progress and quality of fermentation without the need for volume markings.

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