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Horizontal Fermentation


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So, the distillery I am currently working for is looking to expand and wanted to to explore all options when it comes to the tanks we potentially buy. Money is always an issue, so I figured why not go with used SS dairy tanks for the fermenters with a few modifications done to them if needed.

My questions are:

Has anybody used done this before? I know its pretty common in the beer industry, but I was wondering about distilling.

From my understanding, the lower pressure allows the yeast to produce more esters, is this accurate?

Outside of the size foot print, why is this not a viable option?



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G'DAY GMDINY ,,,,,,,excellent idea , been using secondhand MILK VATS for some 30 years for receivers , wash backs and mash tuns , very economical re capital outlay

and if you plan to have paying visitors and want to "flash up" the equipment a single skin of copper is a good look

re the pressure / ester question , the type of yeast has a bearing on this too , but do you mean does a shallow / wide washback assist in creating more esters as opposed to

a tall / deep washback ????????

attenuation rate and wort temp. have a minor "hand" in this as well I believe

we used to give priority in purchase to double skinned milk vats so that we could have cooling or heating as required especially to wash backs  

regards ,,,,,,,,,,brian 73



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  • 2 weeks later...

I wouldn't necessarily say that lower pressure produces "more esters."  Obviously there will be some difference in character, but I would guess that all else held equal, the reduced pressure would cause a cleaner fermentation.

I would think that the hydrostatic pressure of a more vertical or cylindroconical tank would produce more esters due to physical stress on the yeast cell walls.

If you're looking for yeast stress though, I'm sure you can think of lots of other ways to introduce it.


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