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Characteristics of different wine fermenter types

Views: 2     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-03-01      Origin: Site


  • Glass Carboys and Demijohns

    simple and inexpensive

    small batches of white or rosé wine

    great for beginner winemakers

  • Plastic Buckets and Bins

    versatile and inexpensive

    open top for red wine punch down

    great for beginner winemakers

  • Wood Barrels

    trongly affects the flavor of grape juice stored inside

    great for aging and malolactic fermentation

    used for fermenting Chardonnay and similar grape sorts

    difficult to maintain


    not suitable for red wine fermentation

  • Stainless Steel Tanks

    very versatile; can be used for fermentation, aging, and storage

    chemically inert, flavorless, and odorless (best representation of the fruit)

    offers a high level of temperature control (glycol jacket, insulation)

    very easy to maintain and sanitize

    extremely durable

    cost-effective (low cost per gallon and keeps resell value for decades)

    great choice for both red and white wine fermentation


DEGONG stainless steel fermentation tanks

  • Wood Tanks

    similar characteristics to a wood barrel (oxygenation, character, concentration), but has a larger surface area

    also difficult to maintain

    more economical than oak barrels

    can be used for either red or white wine fermentation, but not both (color carry-over due to pigment retention)

  • Concrete Tanks

    can be cast into almost any shape imaginable

    acts as a temperature stabilizer (cool during hot days, and warm during cold nights)

    micro-oxygenation and concentration

    have to be cleaned regularly

    can last for decades before cracking


    good option for experienced winemakers

  • Clay Pots

    oldest wine fermenter type (used for over 8000 years)

    great insulation (low-temperature fermentations)

    naturally stable

    micro-oxygenation and concentration

    difficult to procure

    labor-intensive wine production

    small volume

    hard to sanitize (can crack under hot water)

    recommended for organic and natural winemakers

There are a couple of major points to consider before choosing a wine fermenter. The most important one is the sort of wine you'll be making - white, red or rose. This will steer you either toward open top fermenters for red wine, or closed top (sealed) fermenters for white wine and rose.

Another is how much of the grape character and aroma you want to keep. If you want to preserve the fruity flavor, you should look towards inert fermenters.


As it is with every decision in the winemaking process, picking the right fermenter is not an easy choice.

While there are plenty of fermentation vessels to choose from, there is no single best option. Each of these wine fermenter types has its advantages and disadvantages. You will have to find your own mix of versatility, durability, and fermentation control.

In the end, the decision comes down to the wine flavors you wish to accentuate.

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