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fermentation tanks

Fermentation Machines

Fermentation machines are used to carry out the fermentation process on an industrial scale. They provide a controlled environment for the fermentation of various foods and beverages.

Types of Fermentation Machines

Machine TypeDescriptionProducts Fermented
Batch FermentersClosed tanks used for small-scale fermentation with manual handling of ingredientsBeers, wines, dairy products
Continuous FermentersAllows continuous feeding of raw materials and extraction of fermented productsYogurt, ethanol
Solid-State FermentersSupports growth of microbes on moist solid substrateSoy sauce, tempeh
fermentation machine

Key Components and Design

Fermentation machines include vessels, agitators, cooling systems, air pumps, sensors, valves, and control systems to monitor and regulate the process.

Key design considerations:

  • Capacity
  • Materials of construction
  • Sterilization systems
  • Agitation mechanisms
  • Temperature, pH and other sensors and probes
  • Aeration/Oxygenation systems
  • Ergonomics for loading/unloading
  • CIP (Cleaning-in-place)
  • Automation level

Vessels can be customized for capacity from 5 liters to 10000 liters. Materials include stainless steel and specialized steel alloys.

Fermentation Process

The typical steps in a fermentation process using these machines are:

  1. Prepare raw materials
  2. Load vessels
  3. Sterilize/sanitize
  4. Inoculate with starter culture
  5. Monitor parameters like temperature, pH, sugar levels
  6. Adjust parameters to enable optimal fermentation
  7. Unload fermented product
  8. Clean and sanitize

Process can take from hours to weeks depending on product.

Suppliers and Costs

SupplierLocationPrice Range
JV NorthwestUSA$5000 – $100,000
CrivellerItaly$8000 – $150,000
Ziemann HolvriekaGermany$10,000 – $200,000

Many customization options exist. Prices vary based on capacity, material, and features.

fermentation machine

Choosing a Supplier

Key factors in choosing a fermentation equipment supplier:

  • Reputation and experience
  • Customization capabilities
  • Quality of construction
  • Support for integration and controls
  • Compliance with regulations
  • Aftersales service and support

Get quotes from multiple vendors. Check references from existing customers.

Operation, Maintenance and Precautions

  • Strictly follow SOPs for each product being fermented
  • Monitor parameters to ensure consistency between batches
  • Take precautions against contamination – sanitize thoroughly
  • Establish cleaning and maintenance schedule
  • Check calibration of all sensors and probes periodically
  • Inspect vessels, valves, gaskets, and pipelines regularly for damage

Proper operation and maintenance practices are critical to avoid batch losses.

FAQs

Q: What size fermenter should I choose?

A: Size depends on your production needs and batch sizes. Scale up gradually from pilot batches to optimize the process before committing to a large-scale unit.

Q: What staff do I need to operate a fermentation machine?

A: You will need trained personnel for loading ingredients, operating the machine, monitoring the parameters, quality checks, maintenance, and cleaning. Some automation and remote monitoring can reduce direct staffing needs.

Q: What is the difference between batch and continuous fermentation?

A: Batch mode allows complete fermentation in a closed vessel before unloading. Continuous mode constantly feeds raw materials and extracts finished product allowing higher throughputs but needs precise monitoring.

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