A fermenter is one of the most important pieces of equipment required in the distillingmoonshine process. It is one of the equipments without which one is totally not able to get exactly the kind of drink that they require. It is thus wise that one ensures they choose wisely the kind of fermenter they should use in any moonshine making process. It ensures that there is no contamination occurring in the system such that the process takes place well without any problems involved.
In the fermentation o0f the various types of drinks such as alcohol, spirits, beer or wine there are two types of fermentation processes that can be undertaken to obtain different types of drinks in terms of their superior taste and quality. There is the open fermentation process which takes place as the fermenter is open. In this process the fermenter is only partially closed with a table cloth with the sole intention of ensuring that foreign substances do not get into the system thus contaminating the reaction but air is allowed to enter. There also is the closed fermentation process which takes place as the fermenter is closed tightly such that even the air outside the system cannot enter into the system.
The closed fermentation process is widely preferred all over the world due to its many advantages over the open fermentation process. These advantages include its ability to easily ferment the starch in the grain to pure and high level of an alcoholic drink which is very superior as compared to that obtained from the closed fermentation process. It is very hard for one to control the kind of substances that get into the open fermentation process some of which work to give the drink obtained afterwards a very strong repulsive smell and a very low alcohol percentage. It is thus wise for me also to talk of a fermenter for the closed fermentation process since it is the most widely used equipment.
There are a number of choices as far as buying a fermenter is concerned, both of the fermenters pictured on the left of this page are commercially manufactured and they can be purchased from as little as $AU30 or so. Pictured at the top is a 12 litre glass fermenter fitted with a plastic airlock to a hole drilled in the cork. As some air space is needed to accommodate foam this fermenter can comfortably ferment a wash of 10 litres making it ideal for trying new recipes or making small batches.
The one at the bottom is typical of a store bought high density fermenter that holds a maximum of 23 litres of any liquid. It is thus not wise to put any more than 23 litres of any substances in the fermenter since this would have adverse effects on the reaction. Under normal circumstances the reactions that take place in the fermenter usually have two by products. These are the drink wash one is preparing which later is distilled to obtain the drink one was preparing and the carbon IV oxide gas. This gas is produced in low rates at first but as the reaction proceeds it is produced in more quantities. It is thus important to ensure that it is removed from the system failure to which it could easily blow off the lid after reaching a certain point where it has to be removed from the system. This is the reason also why one should ensure that they do not put much more than 23 litres of water into the system.
They are fitted with different types of lids such as the screw one with and O-ring screw at the top and the snap on lid. Either of the lids is very effective and can be comfortably be used for any of the processes one is undertaking. Most of the fermenters also are fitted with a flat bottom which works to ensure that the yeast which is used in the system settles quietly at the bottom after the reaction is over such that it is very easy to transfer the wash into the still for distilling after the fermentation process is over. Some however have a tap below which works for the same purpose such that as one is transferring the wash from the fermenter they do not disturb the yeast as this would result in it moving over with the wash into the distillate which is not advocated for.
Airlocks are another very important part of every closed fermenter. They are very vital due to their function which is to ensure that the carbon IV oxide gas produced in the reaction is easily removed from the system to prevent any undesired activities taking place. They are usually s-shape bends that are fitted at the top of the fermenter and filled with water. This is so that as the gas is produced in the reaction it is able to easily bubble out through the s-band. It is filled with water so as to prevent any air from the outside from entering in the system and as such they are very great innovations that work to make the reaction very easier and manageable.
One can easily know the rate of the reaction until its end point. This is by the use of the airlocks such as the s-bend. During the first few hours of the reaction the rate at which the gas bubbles out through the airlock is very low but as the reaction continues it increases. During the last few hours of the reaction one will notice that the rate of the gas bubbling has decreased drastically until it gets to a point where it no longer is being bubbled out or if it does it does so in a very low rate. This signifies the end of the reaction and at this time one can comfortably take the wash to the still for distillation.