Fermenting in a Short, Fat Pot

You can ferment beer in a short, fat pot. It doesn’t have to be tall and skinny.

Where does this question even come from? One of the early questions I had about One Pot Brewing was whether head space in a fermentation vessel mattered. I wondered because most glass carboys and plastic fermentation buckets that we buy don’t allow for much space between the fermenting beer and the top of the vessel. Which leads to blow off tubes and other nonsense. My pot, on the other hand, is big and allows for a lot of head space. After making 12 beers, I don’t see any issues, even with dry hopped IPAs. I would venture to guess that commercial breweries have a ton of head space too. So that’s that.

Another thing I noticed about carboys and fermentation buckets: they are tall and thin. And commercial breweries seem to have tall, thin, tanks too.


Does that matter? Do pot dimensions matter? I didn’t think so, but then a person commented on one of my blog posts that it did matter. I cannot find the quote for the life of me (it may have been a comment on brulosophy.com), but he said something like this: “as long as your pot is taller than it is wide, you shouldn’t have to worry.”

Well, my pot isn’t taller than it is wide.

It’s 17 inches wide, only 16 inches tall. It’s short and fat. Worry about what? – I can’t even remember what the issue was, to be honest.  All I can say is that I have made 4 batches of beer with this pot, and they have came out just fine. I love this pot. It’s light, conducts heat fast, has a fat bottom which heats the water fast, comes with a nice lid, and is affordable.

3 thoughts on “Fermenting in a Short, Fat Pot

  1. Does it matter? Real world home brewing, not really. Ideally taller than wide is better (1.2:1 is the ideal ratio but where that came from I do not know) as it reduces the surface area thus reducing the boil off…saving your wonderful beer from turning into vapor. Something to be concerned about? I wouldn’t sweat it. If you like it and it works for you then you have a great kettle.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We, as home brewers, tend to look at what commercial brewers do and there is nothing wrong with that since brewing beer is basically the same procedure at home as it is in a 100 bbl brewery. We can learn from them but one thing to remember though, is commercial brewers use equipment and procedures that are designed for the larger batches as well as their crucial need for consistency and efficiency. They have to produce a very consistent product to market and they have to be efficient since their ingredient bills and operation costs for a single batch can be in the thousands of dollars and lower efficiency means lower profits. Also, some of what they do is just not feasible for the home brewer.

    Liked by 1 person

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