For Middle West Spirits, Caldwell Tanks, Inc. designed, fabricated, and erected fourteen (14) fermenters and one (1) beer well. The first nine (9) fermenters and the beer well were for Line 1 with the additional five (5) fermenters added as an expansion to this line.

The fermenters were all 22’ foot diameter by 16’9” shell height with an overall height of 24’ 9”. These tanks all had internal heating coils. The beer well was 25’ diameter by 16’ 9” shell height with an overall height of 24’ 9”.

All of the tanks were made from 304L stainless steel and were leg supported with a cone bottom. As these were spirits fermentation tanks, these were required to be a 2B finish. However, the design requirements required significant portions of the steel to be thicker than ¼”. This means that we had to finish these plates ourselves instead of being mill provided finished plates.

There were two main challenges with this project. The first was the timetable. We were contracted in May and had to have the beer well and three (3) fermenters had to be complete and installed by October with two (2) additional fermenters needed every month thereafter.

The next challenge was that all of these tanks were to be installed inside an existing building. There was no door large enough for them and the roof could not be open above them. In fact, the roof height was low enough that we had to decrease the cone slope of the bottom and change the roof from a dome to a cone with structural stiffening to reduce the overall height of the tanks to as minimal as possible.

Given the schedule and the site constraints we all agreed to build four (4) tanks at once outside. A side of the building was removed to allow completed tanks to be brought in one (1) piece inside the building. Unfortunately, the only available wall to remove was on the opposite side of the building from the final location.

So, once the tanks were lifted into the building, they all had to be “skated” over and then lowered onto the final location of each tank. A custom rolling equipment was used for this.

The addition of these 14 fermenter tanks at Middle West Spirits signifies a significant advancement in the company’s production capabilities, underscoring their ongoing dedication to delivering top-tier spirits for the enjoyment of their discerning customers.

Award Name

Special Storage

Company Name

Caldwell Tanks, Inc.

Award Year


Product Details

  • Middle West Spirits Tanks
  • Middle West Spirits
  • Columbus, Ohio

Date Completed

May 26, 2023

Construction Standard

API 650

Overall Height


Column Height






Steel Tonnage Used


Steel Thickness

0.375” - 0.75”

Affiliate Companies

The Sherwin-Williams Company