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What are Fermentors?

Sauerkraut is a type of fermented dish.
Wine fermenting in a vat.
A wine barrel.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2014
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Fermentors are defined as a medium that encourages the fermentation process. Acting as the impetus for creating fermented substances such as wine and beer, fermentors help to establish the perfect balance of bacteria to create the desired effect. Here are some basics of how fermentors function in the creation of viticulture that helps to produce some of the beverages many of us enjoy regularly.

Winemaking begins with the selection of grapes that have the right color, texture, and taste for the creation of wine. Grapes possess a natural sweetness, which forms the basis for the creation of fermentors. During the winemaking process, the crushed grapes are placed in large vats, often oak barrels. The temperature in the vats is maintained at a constant temperature. This allows the natural bacteria found in the atmosphere to interact with the sugar content of the grapes. As the bacterium begins to absorb the sweet liquid from the grapes, it excretes carbon dioxide and alcohol.

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Along with the change in the grape juice itself, the bacteria also develop fungi that attaches to the sides of the vat and helps to hasten the fermentation process. Knowing when to remove the fermenting wine so that the desired alcohol content is obtained can be tricky. However, professional wine producers monitor the process of the fermentation process closely, taking into consideration the quality of the grapes, the temperature and whether the process is proceeding on schedule or not. Understanding and applying the necessary process to create wine is usually referred to as enology or oenology.

Fermentors can also be created synthetically as well. Modern science is able to harness bacteria and combine it with glucose and sucrose to create fermentors that allow the manufacturing of many important medicines and other agents that help in the practice of modern medicine. For example, a number of antibiotics are created using fermentors, as well as synthetic hormones that are used for replacement therapy.

Whatever the application, there are certain characteristics required in the creation of all fermentors. Beginning with a medium such as citrus fruits, special attention must be paid to the pH balance, amount of light exposure, barometric pressure and the nutrient level of the medium. The substance created with the use of fermentors may be strained or filtered in some way after completing the process, so the desired strength is ensured. In some instances the fermentors may be used a second time; often these are referred to as growth mediums or fermentors and are used to jump-start the process with a fresh medium.

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