Fermentor vs Fermenter: What’s the Difference? [Quick Guide]

Preparing yourself for a homemade brew is always an interesting thing to do. 

Making beer in your own kitchen is a good hobby, especially if you’ve grown an interest in alcohol and its brewing process.

When it’s your first time learning about brewing, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the tools, ingredients, and jargon. 

Knowing the jargon, in particular, widens your perspective on brewing and will help you converse fluently with other people who brew as a pastime. 

One of the slang of home brewing is fermentor and fermenter. These words are interchangeably used and often cause confusion among home brewers. 

But do you also wonder about their differences aside from spelling? Find out more by reading this fermentor vs fermenter quick guide! 

What Is a Fermentor?

Fermentor often refers to the fermentation apparatus that promotes the growth of microorganisms in large-scale fermentation.

This is also commonly used for the commercial production of antibiotics and hormones.

For this to happen, the fermentor maintains optimal conditions to support its growth and production. 

You can use different fermentors in home brewing, like carboy, corny kegs, buckets, and conicals

What Is a Fermenter?

The term fermenter is usually used to refer to the apparatus. Yet, to set a distinction between these two words, their definition and proper usage should also differ.

In this sense, a fermenter refers to the agent or substance that triggers the fermentation process

For home brewing, the fermenter that’s customarily used is yeast. But, it can also be another bacterium, like mold or an enzyme. 

Yeast is commonly used for home brewing because it causes fermentation by promoting oxygen-free conversion of sugar into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. 

Simply put, the yeast cells eat the sugars in the wort to create alcohol and carbon dioxide. Here’s how to make your own yeast starter.

Summary: Fermentor vs Fermenter

Fermentor and fermenter are two words you’ll commonly hear when you engage with home brewing. They are both essential terms when learning about brewing and fermentation.

While there are people who use these terms interchangeably, it’s still important that you know and understand the EXACT definition. 

Here are quick summaries of the two terms:


Fermentor refers to the apparatus that maintains optimal conditions in a large-scale fermentation to promote the growth of microorganisms

Additionally, it’s the same apparatus utilized in the commercial production of hormones and antibiotics.

Homebrewers usually use carboys, corny kegs, buckets, and conicals for such purposes. But you can also ferment in a kegerator too.


Fermenter, on the other hand, is the term used to refer to the agents or substances that trigger the fermentation. 

The typical fermenter for home-brew is yeast, but you can also use another bacterium like mold. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the difference between the two terms, you’ll no longer doubt yourself and wonder if you’re correctly using these terms! 

Enjoy your brew. Cheers!

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