Fermentation Operator

Control fermentation process of mashes inoculated with yeasts.
picture of Fermentation Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$21,000 – $58,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Fermentation Operators do?

Controls fermentation process of sweet or sour mash inoculated with yeast to produce fermented mash for use in distillation of distilled liquors: Pumps specified number of gallons of cooked mash and yeast into fermentation tank, simultaneously, to ensure that mash and yeast are thoroughly mixed together. Opens valves to admit specified number of gallons of water into mixture, according to formula. Opens valves to circulate steam through coil pipes in tank to heat mixture to prescribed temperature. Turns valves to admit and control air pressure that agitates mixture as it ferments or to accelerate chemical reaction of yeast. Observes gauges or dials to ascertain that prescribed temperature and gas pressure are remaining constant in tank. Tests mash at prescribed intervals to determine temperature and specific gravity, using thermometer and alcohol-proof hydrometer. Compares test results with standard charts to determine when mixture is fully cooked. Regulates steam, air, and gas pressure in tank to ensure that chemical reaction of yeast and fermentation process is taking place, according to formula. Pumps sour mash into cistern tank, preparatory to distilling. Cleans tanks by rinsing them with water.


Should I be a Fermentation Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Feed-Preparation Operator, Flotation Operator

    How to become a Fermentation Operator

    Most Fermentation Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9gibaa&chl=no+college+%2879%25%29|certificate+%288%25%29|associate%27s+%2811%25%29|bachelor%27s+%282%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,79,79
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