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.
(*) 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
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:
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:
Tanks for mixing, transportation, distilling mash & storage
The Speidel range includes tanks for mixing, transport and storage. These include:
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:
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.