The idea for this unique fermenter project started shortly after I began working for Fermentis yeast company. I had been researching the impact of fermenter shape/design on the yeast and I wanted a fermenter that would simulate the high hydrostatic pressure of a commercial brewery’s cylindroconical vessel (CCV). I remembered some fermenters that the Pilot Brewery at MillerCoors had (where I previously worked), that were shaped in a more pipe-like design and started to think up a way to do something similar at home, with food grade parts. I figured that PVC piping for home plumbing was food grade and already in the correct shape for this type of fermenter.
For those that can’t fit something this size you can keep the fermenter shorter, losing some volume, but allowing for it to be kept anywhere with normal ceiling heights, typically 8 feet (2.4 m). This would allow for a working volume of about 4 gal. (15 L).
Fermenter design/shape does alter the flavor profile of different strains in different ways. It’s interesting to play with the fermenter, like we do with malts, hops, and yeast. This pipe fermenter also saves space since it is only 4 inch (100 mm) in diameter and can fit in any garage, apartment, or small space you have, given the fermenter is short enough!