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Fermenter geometry?

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dean:
I've read that the shape of fermentation vessels has a lot to do with yeast performance, ester production, phenols etc.  It would seem to me that a shallow vessel with a larger surface area would grow yeast at a faster rate due to the increased exposure and absorption of oxygen?  Would it cause the wort to ferment faster also, and what effect would it produce as far as esters and phenols?  Does a shallow vessel produce more either, or does the deeper vessel?  Look at the open fermenters used by SN for making Big Foot, considering its volume, it appears shallow with a very large surface area.

a10t2:

--- Quote from: dean on January 26, 2010, 11:27:52 AM ---It would seem to me that a shallow vessel with a larger surface area would grow yeast at a faster rate due to the increased exposure and absorption of oxygen?
--- End quote ---

Only if you're doing open fermentation. I really don't think the pressure effects due to the fermenter depth can be a factor (at homebrew scales) either.

hamiltont:

--- Quote from: a10t2 on January 26, 2010, 11:33:59 AM ---
--- Quote from: dean on January 26, 2010, 11:27:52 AM ---It would seem to me that a shallow vessel with a larger surface area would grow yeast at a faster rate due to the increased exposure and absorption of oxygen?
--- End quote ---

Only if you're doing open fermentation. I really don't think the pressure effects due to the fermenter depth can be a factor (at homebrew scales) either.

--- End quote ---
  Shallow, open fermentation would be handy if you were top skimming the yeast.  This study might help shed some light as well?  http://www.scientificsocieties.org/jib/papers/2009/G-2009-0730-597.pdf

yeastmaster:

--- Quote from: dean on January 26, 2010, 11:27:52 AM ---I've read that the shape of fermentation vessels has a lot to do with yeast performance, ester production, phenols etc.  It would seem to me that a shallow vessel with a larger surface area would grow yeast at a faster rate due to the increased exposure and absorption of oxygen?  Would it cause the wort to ferment faster also, and what effect would it produce as far as esters and phenols?  Does a shallow vessel produce more either, or does the deeper vessel?  Look at the open fermenters used by SN for making Big Foot, considering its volume, it appears shallow with a very large surface area.

--- End quote ---

I've been wondering about fermenter geometry lately myself.  I know for commercial production it can make a big difference but at the homebrew scale I wonder how much impact it would have? 

dean:
I'm thinking about buying another picnic cooler ( blue  ;) )and using it for fermentation. 

HamiltonT, I printed that article and read it, are they saying that ale yeast (top cropping) ferments or behaves like lager (bottom cropping) yeast in shallow vessels?  If they are I have to wonder if that is necessarily a bad thing or not?  Also I noted all the vessels were still cylindrical so I'm not sure what they consider shallow?  The article didn't show a value for the diameter of any of the vessels but there was maximum height recommended as I recall.  I wish it would have considered other types and designs.

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