If the medium is sterilized in a separate batch cooker, or is sterilized continuously, then the fermenter has to be sterilized separately before the sterile medium is added to it. This is normally achieved by heating the jacket or coils (see Chapter 7) of the fermenter with steam and sparging steam into the vessel through all entries, apart from the air outlet from which steam is allowed to exit slowly. Steam pressure is held at 15 psi in the vessel for approximately 20 minutes. It is essential that sterile air is sparged into the fermenter after the cycle is complete and a positive pressure is maintained; otherwise a vacuum may develop and unsterile air be drawn into the vessel.
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