stainless steel fermenter

Stainless Steel Fermenters

Stainless steel fermenters are specially designed vessels used for fermenting beers, wines, ciders, and other fermented beverages. They allow efficient temperature control and cleaning while resisting corrosion.


  • Made of stainless steel for corrosion resistance, durability, easy cleaning
  • Available in different sizes from 5 gallons to larger commercial volumes
  • Provide temperature control for optimum fermentation
  • Some models have accessories like thermometers, airlocks, valves, stands
  • More expensive than plastic fermenters but longer-lasting

Types of Stainless Steel Fermenters

ConicalCone-shaped bottom allows sediment collection, ideal for ales, has racking arm5-15 gallons for homebrew, up to 120 gallons commercial
CylindricalStraight sides, uniform shape, often has cooling jacket, good for lagers, pressure fermentation3-30 gallons
Uni-tankAll-in-one fermenting, conditioning, serving, vertical design, customizable features5-30 gallons
stainless steel fermenter

Design and Customization

Stainless steel fermenters have different design elements that can be customized:

FeatureDescriptionCustomization Options
MaterialCommon grades: 304, 316L stainless steelChoose grade based on price, durability needs
SizeDepends on batch sizeFrom 5 to 500 gallons usually
ShapeConical or cylindrical are commonConical better for ales, cylinder better for lagers
LidSecures top openingChoose latched, screwed, pressure-sealed
ThermometerMonitors interior tempAnalog or digital options
Cooling systemControls fermentation tempIntegrated cooling jacket, glycol chiller, cooling band
Racking armSiphons clear beer from cone bottomRotating, telescoping, height-adjustable
StandHolds fermenter in placeCasters, adjustable legs, drip tray addon
ValvesControls liquid outflowSample valve, bottom valve, pressure relief valve
Sight glassShows activity/sediment levelPlastic, glass or stainless

Many accessories and valves can be added like airlocks, sampling thieves, cleaning adapters etc. Complete brewery control systems allow customization and automation.

Stainless Steel Fermenter Suppliers and Pricing

SupplierPrice Range
Ss Brewtech$500-$4000
Spike Brewing$450-$2000
Blichmann Engineering$350-$1500
Keg King$300-$900

Prices vary widely based on size, features, quality and brand. Commercial 120 gallon stainless conicals can cost over $5000. Small 5-10 gallon homebrew fermenters range from $300-$600 typically.

Choosing a Supplier

Consider the following when selecting a stainless fermenter supplier:

  • Quality of stainless steel
  • Ease of cleaning and maintenance
  • Types of lids, valves, accessories available
  • Temperature control features
  • Customization and sizing options
  • Cost for required capacity
  • Warranties and customer service reputation
  • Expert recommendations for application (homebrew vs pro)

Installation, Operation and Maintenance

Proper use and care ensures efficient fermentation and long equipment life:

InstallationAssemble stand, fittings, thermometer, accessories per instructionsOnce
CleaningHot PBW solution soak then rinseEach use
SanitizingChemical sanitizer as per manufacturerBefore each use
OperationSet temp controller, ensure valves closed, monitor fermentationPer batch
MaintenanceInspect fittings, gaskets, seals, ensure cleaningPeriodic
SafetyUse caution handling hot liquids, ensure pressure relief worksAlways

Pros and Cons of Stainless Fermenters

Durable, long-lastingExpensive compared to plastic
Resists corrosion and stainingHeavy, not portable when full
Better temperature controlOverkill small homebrew batches
No transfer needed to secondaryRequires cleaning equipment
Easy to sanitizePossible off-flavors from poor sanitation
Professional quality beerCondensation causing rust risks


Stainless steel fermenters are an excellent choice for homebrewers looking to make the jump to more advanced all-grain brewing as well as commercial breweries. Their durability and temperature control capabilities make them ideal primary fermenters. With proper cleaning and sanitation, stainless fermenters can help brew fantastically clear and clean-flavored beers. Their modular nature allows customization and scaling up system sizes as needed. Despite the higher cost, stainless fermenters are worth considering for their quality construction.


Q: What size stainless steel fermenter should I get?

A: For homebrewing, 5-7 gallon fermenters are common. Get a larger 10-15 gallon fermenter if you brew high gravity beers needing more headspace or want to scale up. Commercial sizes range from 30 gallon uni-tanks to 120+ gallon conicals.

Q: How often should stainless steel fermenters be cleaned?

A: Clean thoroughly with PBW or alkaline cleaner after every use to prevent residue buildup. Also clean all valves, fittings, gaskets periodically.

Q: What temperature is best for fermenting with a stainless fermenter?

A: Optimum ale fermentation temperature is 68°F while lagers ferment best at 50°F. Quality stainless fermenters allow precise temp control for ideal fermentation with accessories like cooling jackets or chilling systems.

Q: Can stainless steel fermenters be used for sour beers?

A: Yes, but some choose dedicated stainless or plastic fermenters for sours to prevent beneficial microbes from contaminating other beers. Be extra diligent about cleaning and sanitizing before non-sour use.

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