The term LEM actually comes from the Apollo project because the lander used in those missions inspired the design of this tank. The truncated-cone shape of these tanks is the ideal solution for using the system to turn over and wet the cap using the punch-down approach. LEM’s sloping bottom facilitates the removal of the product (décuvage) from the bottom of the tank, while heat exchange bands on the sides and bottom of the tank control the temperature and thus fermentation. The top can be removed to facilitate punch down.
The look draws on the Apollo missions, but this is not merely to improve the aesthetics, as the design also improves punch-down processes.
In combination with a punch-down system, the unique shape of the LEM becomes especially effective at wetting and turning over the cap, increasing oxygen levels in the must and extracting colour as required.
The simplicity with which the top can be removed facilitates punch down, increasing effectiveness and reducing processing times during fermentation.
The name MEL was a relatively random choice as it is simply LEM backwards. But this was because the tank design is exactly the opposite.
The decision to make such a tank was based specifically on clients seeking to find new ways to add unique style and personality to their wineries.
Design is not simply about classic shapes. Your winery could get a new lease on life simply through distinctive products like MEL.
The unique tank shape increases cap surface area, making it thinner.
Since the cap is thinner, wetting it becomes more effective and this improves extraction of the substances that make up the must.