Just a tank?

A tank is just a tank, right?

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We started selling Speidel stainless steel tanks 27 years ago (1996) for the simple reason that we learned by experience back then that there are tanks and there are Tanks. You can purchase stainless steel tanks which appear to be good value and on the face of it look pretty good but, as with anything else on the market, quality isn't always immediate at first glance or discussion so it isn't always apparent where that tank falls on the quality scale. Over the years we've heard the misconception that "a tank is a tank, right?" and we'll be addressing this in this blog. The answer is that a tank is not just a tank. To fulfil its purpose for drink production it has be stable, sturdy and strong; in addition, in order to stand the test of time, durability is key.

Tank Design & the Speidel Effect

Designing a tank is not about reinventing the wheel, as it were, but it is about observing the laws of physics in order to ensure the tanks is sturdy, stable, strong, safe and durable. We've seen a number of sub-standard tanks on the market at competitive prices which have either collapsed or bulged, weren't completely round, leaked and/or developed rust-spots. Producing a high quality tank is about expertise, innovative design, using the best raw materials and advanced manufacturing processes. We chose to supply Speidel tanks all those years ago because they fulfil this criteria. With Speidel there is no substitute for quality and this remains the case. Speidel tanks are built to last a lifetime and are extremely easy to clean for many of the reasons listed below - this is not something that will be appreciated until you have actually worked with a Speidel tank.

  • Made in Germany: Speidel tanks are made in Germany by Speidel (established in 1910) for Speidel - they have 100% control of the manufacturing process
  • Raw material quality: Speidel tanks are manufactured from high performance stainless steel, from global leader Outokumpu. The stainless steel plates are of certificate 3.1 and of uniform thickness throughout the whole plate. They have a llld (2R) grade surface* which means they are highly smooth and polished with an extremely low surface texture (guaranteed less than 0.2 um Ra) to ensure tanks can be hygienically cleaned with mimimal effort.


  • Stainless steel grade: Speidel tanks have 1.4301 (AISI 304) grade walls and base and the enclosed tanks have an 1.4401 (AISI 316) grade top as standard. The latter is essential because it is much more resistant to acidic chemical processes, e.g., taking wine as an example, sulphur oxide compounds are produced with wine which has been sulphurised. Speidel can manufactured tanks entirely in AISI 316 if necessary and this option is often recommended for drinks such as kombucha due to more acidic chemical processes; also, some cidermakers request that their tanks to be made of AISI 316 because it is more resistant.
  • Roundness: Speidel's technologically advanced manufacturing practice ensure perfect roundness
  • Unique weld seams: Automated laser welding is used for the welded seams, ensuring high precision welds, which are consistent along the whole seam, smooth and easy to clean. This method eliminates the kind of weld defects which can be caused by hand welding - such defects would then need grinding off, creating dirt traps on the inside of the tank which are difficult to clean.
  • One piece wherever possible: The manways (doors) are moulded from the tank wall and the drain outlets and vent channels are moulded from the tank bottom or top, as opposed to raw stainless steel plates welded together. This minimises dirt traps.
  • Passivation: Passivation is a process which maximises the natural corrosion resistance of stainless steel and removes any surface contamination. Speidel tanks are 'passivated' on the outside of the welds and the outside surface is treated with a special cleaner for additional protection.
  • Perfect seal: Manway doors on Speidel tanks fit perfectly and reliably in the manway mold and the seal is alcohol resistant up to 98% ABV, tasteless, and laboratory tested to the latest regulations.
  • Higher strength: Standard enclosed tanks are manufactured with a vaulted base, which offers high strength.
  • Feet: The feet on Speidel enclosed tanks offer high stability due to their wide wrap and ideal force transmission.
  • Certified standard: Speidel tanks are manufactured in accordance with DIN EN 1935/2004 Food Commodities Regulation. Speidel tanks are certified to welding quality requirement DIN EN ISO 3834-2. Individual accessories and components are subject to extensive laboratory and sensory tests.
  • Post manufacture checks: To ensure quality and warranty all tanks are tested ex-works with a water filling test and checked for leaks.
  • Speidel Guarantee: The Speidel Guarantee** is 25 years for applications under the terms of the Speidel certificate of guarantee
  • Pressure certifications: Speidel pressure tanks comply with the stringent guidelines for pressure devices [2014/68/EU] and the design of pressure vessel standard, AD 2000 HPO. Each pressure tanks is tested and approved by the TÜV, Germany's Technical Inspection Association for safety and compliance.

(*) Tanks with walls thicker than 3mm have a surface 2B (lllc) (**) Excludes tanks over 2000mm diameter, pressure tanks (due to the statutory requirements of the Pressure Equipment & Systems Regulations) & tanks stored outside

Download our Speidel flier for main reasons why Speidel tanks are so widely respected .


Speidel are very committed to the environment and have been for many years. Speidel tanks are manufactured with electricity from CO² neutral energy sources. Speidel generate 25% of their energy needs on-site via their solar photovoltaic system, which enables them to avoid approximately 270 tons of CO₂ annually. The remaining 75% is powered by 100% CO₂-free green electricity. As a result, the production of a Speidel tank is net zero CO₂. Rainwater is used for quality control checks. In addition, the construction of Speidel vessels avoids unnecessary welding seams, which in turn minimises the necessity of welding, grinding, polishing and pickling, all of which impact on the environment. Speidel's 'perfect clean' tank design mean not only that less water is required to clean them, it is possible to clean them without the use of chemicals, thereby helping to protect the environment.

Outokumpu are leading the steel industry with the world's most sustainable stainless steel:

  • Outokump stainless steel has the lowest carbon footprint in the industry (70% lower than the global industry average)
  • They are the industry leader with over 90% recycled materials in their stainless steel
  • Their stainless steel is 100% recyclable at the end of its lifecycle

Which Tank?

Non-pressure or pressure

Speidel's tank portfolio consists of 26 tanks for cider, spirits and mixed beverage production, 25 of which are classed as 'pressureless', i.e., for non-pressurised use, which includes general fermentation and storage applications; the pressure tank are designed for holding carbonated beverages (to 8 bar) and can also be used for secondary fermentation of cider in tank. [For Wine tanks, please see our Wine blog].

Variable capacity & enclosed capacity - fermentation & storage


Variable capacity tanks are also called 'open top' and allow for fermentation capacities which vary from year to year. They are cylindrical and come equipped with a moveable inner (sealing) lid, suspended by rope or crane which can be dropped to the appropriate liquid height and sealed to provide an air-tight environment with minimal air space above the liquid level. A 650 litre tank could therefore can be used for 600 litres of cider for example or much, much lower capacities, depending on the yield. These tanks can be used for both fermentation and storage and those with varying yields or capacity requirements. Speidel variable capacity tanks have a really solid construction; they are perfectly round and this in addition to the strengthening rim and airseal band on the inner float lid ensures the tank is kept airtight. They come in flat bottom (BO type - smaller capacities) or mounted on legs (FO type). The FO type tanks can be customised to include heat exchange jackets for temperature control, sight glasses for level visibility, manway doors for ease of inspection and cleaning, and mash doors for ease of emptying fruit mash.


Enclosed tanks, in contrast to the variable capacity tanks, are a tank of one unit (base, walls and lid). We also call them 'fixed capacity'. They are intended for those who have a specific volume of cider, spirit, or beverage for fermentation or storage. The application range includes fermentation, maturation and storage. The popular FS-MO type is upright and cylindrical and can be combined with the AS-MO range (a separate tank which is mounted on top) to provide space saving stacking tank solutions for those looking to minimise the tank's footprint whilst utilising the head space within the winery. These tanks can be customised to include heat exchange jacket, thermometer, sample tap, sight glass, flap valve or butterfly/ball valve racking points (rotational racking available), filler necks, 'clean-in-place' spray balls for cleaning the inside, adjustable feet and more. If space is very much a constraint, or an essential future-proofing consideration in order to maximise the space available and allow for some growth, Speidel's 'rectangular' (actually cuboid) upright tanks, type RS-MO are the ideal solution. RS-MO tanks share the same concept as FS-MO (being enclosed with stacking potential), but their square base, roof and straight walls utilise the corner space which cylindrical tanks cannot provide maximise litreage potential by cubic meter. For smaller capacity tanks for storage, Speidel's robust flat bottomed BD tank, and FD type tank on legs, both with standard lids and vaulted tops, are idea for mature spirits and fully fermented beverages.

Egg shaped Tanks - fermentation

The benefits of egg-shaped fermentation vessels are fairly widely known. They are believed to create a convection-type current, which enables a homogenous and uniform fermentation. This current also extends to maturation, increasing lees contact and enhancing the texture of the wine. It is not surprising that the shape is becoming popular throughout the wine world. In response to requests, Speidel designed and developed a stainless steel fermenter called 'The Black Eye' which combines the advantages of the egg shape with the advantages of stainless steel. Its shape facilitates a gentle and well controlled fermentation as the yeast circulates smoothly during the fermentation phase. The science proports that this brings advantages not only to the process itself but for the entire aroma spectrum. Stainless steel, as opposed to concrete eggs, is easy clean for optimal hygiene. The Black Eye can be used for fermentation, maturation, storage, mixing and other processes and is ideal for wine, juice, must and spirits. It comes complete with a laser-welded double jacket for cooling.

Pressure Tanks - secondary fermentation / storage

Speidel's range includes:

  • FS-MO-8B pressure tank: The FS-MO-8B is specifically designed for in-tank secondary fermentation, and holding carbonated liquids up to 8 bar. They comply with the stringent guidelines for pressure devices [2014/68/EU], and the design of pressure vessel standard AD 2000 HPO. As an extra security measure, before despatch from the Speidel factory, each tank is individually tested and approved by the TÜV, Germany's Technical Inspection Association for safety and compliance. These tanks can also be used for standard (non-pressure) applications.
  • FS0-MO-KZE conentrate storage tank: These tanks are designed for storing cooled down (flash pasteurised) concentrated fruit/vegetable juices. Storage is enabled through blanketing with sterile air or nitrogen. KZE tanks are suited for storing concentrated juices with a maximum density of 1.1kg/dm3 at an operating pressure of up to 0.5 bar for the blanketing of the air and nitrogen.


Tanks for mixing, transportation, distilling mash & storage

The Speidel range includes tanks for mixing, transport and storage. These include:

  • SOZ sugar dissolving & mixing tank: An open topped tank designed to facilitate easy mixing, blending or stirring. The S0Z has a molded PE base designed for moving the tank via pallet truck or forklift (accessible from 4 sides), while also serving as a buffer or bumper. The tank includes an angled port on which a rouser (stirrer) can be mounted, and a stabled vaulted tank bottom with integrally molded forward down-slope for complete draining
  • RO-Z mixing & transport tank: The RO-Z is designed for the same purpose as the SOZ, but is completely made of stainless steel and is mounted on robust polyamide guide rollers (with brake) specifically designed for heavy loads
  • KO transport & tipping tank: This tank allows for contents to be tipped from the tank, via its profile mounts for forklift. Some customers order this tank with a double jacket and bottom door so that they can use it also to ferment small batches of fruit mash
  • SD-T transport tank: This enclosed tank is designed specifically for on-site and off-site transportation. It has the same molded base and vaulted bottom as the SOZ so can be lifted via forklift or pallet trucks, and completely drained; it also includes lifting lugs on the tank top to allow for the most reliable form of loading. Depending on the capacity, the SD-T is manufactured with a lid, or a filler neck with lockable safety lid .
  • LD-T horizontal transport tank: The LD-T is a horizontal enclosed cylinder tank on the same molded base as the SD-T and includes a lockable safety lid with vent neck, and a discharge outlet at front bottom.
  • ST-T storage, transport & stacking tank: These tanks are very versatile. The sturdy stainless steel framework allows them to be stacked to up to 3 tanks, even when filled. The forklift profile mounts enable access from 4 sides. There are also fork lift slots for higher safety during lifting, accessible from 2 saides. The tank top is made from AISI 316 stainless steel, includes lifting lugs for alternative lifting, filler neck, and a lockable safety lid. It has a vaulted bottom and outlet for complete draining. These tanks can also be fitted with a bottom door and double jacket for the processing of fruit mash.
  • FD-B distilling mash tank: The FD-B tank is designed for distilling mash. It features the molded base for moving via pallet or forklift and transportation, the vaulted bottom and outlet for complete draining, and a lockable safety lid with vent for holding an airlock and bung.


For access to the Speidel brochures, please see either of the following:

Considerations when choosing a tank

Here are some factors we will need to take into account when discussing the right tanks for you:

  1. What process do you need the tanks for?
  2. What is the overall capacity of tanks required (total capacity)?
  3. What space do you have available and are there any height restrictions?
  4. Do you require temperature control and/or chilling? As mentioned above tanks can be fitted with heat exchange/cooling jackets. As agents for Quantor/Kreyer, temperature control equipment manufacturers, we can supply complete temperature control systems, with bespoke ringmains constructed by our team of engineers.
  5. What fittings would you prefer?
  6. Which additional accessories are you interested in?
  7. Any access restrictions to your site or building?
  8. Do you have any gantry requirements? As in for multi-storey tanks which are really high.
  9. When do you need the tanks by?

Time is of the essence

Due to international demand of Speidel tanks prior to the majority of fruit harvests throughout Europe, ordering early is essential in order to avoid disappointment. While there are some common sizes held in stock at Speidel, the majority are manufactured to order due to bespoke requirements. For customised (manufactured-to-order) tanks we recommend you place your order by mid-March to ensure the tanks arrive in time for harvest.

Give us a call to discuss your tank requirements

We would really like to hear from you about your tank requirements. Please call us on 01404 892 100.

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