After the wort is cooled and aerated – usually with sterile air – yeast is added to it, and it begins to ferment. It is during this stage that sugars won from the malt are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide, and the product can be called beer for the first time.
Most breweries today use vessels with a conical bottom and a cylindrical top. The cone's aperture is typically around 60°, an angle that will allow the yeast to flow towards the cone's apex, but is not so steep as to take up too much vertical space. CCVs can handle both fermenting and conditioning in the same tank. At the end of fermentation, the yeast and other solids which have fallen to the cone's apex can be simply flushed out of a port at the apex.
Open fermentation vessels are also used, often for show in brewpubs, and in Europe in wheat beer fermentation. These vessels have no tops, which makes harvesting top-fermenting yeasts very easy. The open tops of the vessels make the risk of infection greater, but with proper cleaning procedures and careful protocol about who enters fermentation chambers, the risk can be well controlled.
• Sprinkman can design and manufacture tanks up to 500-BBLs in size.