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Brewers Cannot Spell – Fermentor or Fermenter?

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

How do you spell fermenter, fermentor? According to my text editor both are spelled wrong! It is the big tub we put the wort in, add the yeast to, and watch bubble. It can also be called a fermentation vessel, carboy, or simply the primary.



According to google, fermentor gives 266,000 results, fermenter gives 725,000 results. Hmmm….

In product search, fermentor gives 689 results, fermenter gives 45,300 results. According to the market, the correct spelling must be with an ‘e’, fermenter.

It turns out yeast are also a fermenter, because of the ‘er’, in other words they do the fermentation.

This is giving me a headache. I’m ready for a beer. Here’s how my latest pale ale turned out:

good beer

Ahh that’s nice.

  1. 4 Responses to “Brewers Cannot Spell – Fermentor or Fermenter?”

  2. Let’s leave the spelling to the authers and editers. Brewors have more importent things to think about.

    By jeff on Feb 26, 2011

  3. Jamil Zainasheff and Chris White in their book Yeast say the fermentor is a fermentation vessel and the fermenter is yeast.

    By Jim on Feb 26, 2011

  4. Both fermenter and fermentor are proper words, but technically they mean different things.

    Fermentor refers to a fermentation vessel. (I just got a new conical fermentor.)

    Fermenter refers to the fermentation process. (My yeast is a strong fermenter.)

    Hope that helps in your quest for proper brewery spelling!

    By Eric on Feb 27, 2011

  5. Interesting thread here and thanks for the comments.

    I notice ‘fermenter’ comes up with way more product results on Google Shopping and Amazon. Amazon actually says did you mean ‘fermenter’ when I type in ‘fermentor’. So, are the masses right?

    I wonder if the terminology varies between beer and wine makers too?

    Language evolves slowly over time. Mistakes become widely used, accepted, then considered the correct way of saying or spelling something. I think we are seeing that here. It is not easy to recognize the subtle shifts in day to day language use. Think of things we don’t say anymore like ‘groovy’ or ‘far out’. Sometimes I wonder what texting is going to do to our written language – omg, brb, ttyl! 😉

    By Larry on Feb 27, 2011

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