Open Top Wood Fermentation Vessel

At Philadelphia Distilling we see industrial craftsmanship as the link between art and science. So when purchasing additional equipment for our new and expanded distillery, we sought companies where that tradition remains part of production.  We were lucky to find The Hall-Woolford Tank Co, founded in 1854 in our hometown of Philadelphia, once called “Workshop of the World.”

Using the same skills the company has employed for 162 years, Jack Hillman and his multi-generational crew built four open top fermentation tanks that are a key point of difference for us—both in their construction value as well as the integrity of spirits that will eventually pass from the tanks to the stills.

Unlike closed top stainless steel fermentation tanks, open top wooden tanks expose the mash (as it converts sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide) to changing ambient factors that can give finished spirits a unique sense of place.

Douglas Fir, a neutral wood that imparts no flavor to the spirit has a tight grain, difficult to penetrate with liquid. With the quality of wood used our tanks will last 50 years.

Hand constructed using tongue and groove edge joints with meticulous craftsmanship that creates an airtight container yet allows for the effects of seasonal expansion and contraction. Finished by hand wrapping in steel coils, you won’t find a single nail in these tanks!

We were able to participate in the building process firsthand and you will see the end result in our new distillery.