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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > How often do you use your carboy or better bottle (poll)?
View Poll Results: How often do you use your carboy/better bottle?
Everytime I brew 34 60.71%
Only when I need to free up a fermenter to do multiple batches 6 10.71%
Only when I am doing a certain kind of recipe 7 12.50%
Own one or more but rarely use it 3 5.36%
Own one or more but never use it 3 5.36%
Don't own one but would like to get one 2 3.57%
Don't own one, don't want one 1 1.79%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-21-2011, 12:35 PM   #1
newbrewguy11
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Default How often do you use your carboy or better bottle (poll)?

Just wondering Answer the poll above!

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Old 12-21-2011, 12:38 PM   #2
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There is no poll... I currently own three 6-gal Better Bottles and one 5-gal BB in addition to two buckets. I use the three 6-gal BBs for all my primary fermentations except for sour beers, which is what I use a dedicated bucket for. The small BB is also dedicated for aging the sours in before they go into the keg. The second bucket is not used for fermentation; it's mostly to measure strike & sparge water volumes and to collect wort from the mash tun while I have sparge water heating up in my kettle.

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Old 12-21-2011, 12:41 PM   #3
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I don't really understand the question, but, I have two 6 gallon Better Bottles, a bucket and a 5 gallon Better Bottle. I rotate the 3 fermenters so they all are getting used and the 5 gallon secondary is not getting used much anymore.

BTW there is no poll attached.

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Old 12-21-2011, 12:41 PM   #4
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All I ever had was a carboy. I Only recently got a bucket and generally only use the bucket if I've got to add anything solid to the brew (fruit, coffee, chocolate, ect).

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Old 12-21-2011, 12:54 PM   #5
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Thanks guys for the responses! You guys are too fast, I must have still been creating the poll options when you replied. The poll is there now.

The foundation of the question is that a bunch of very knowledgeable folks have recommended that I just skip going from the fermenting bucket to the carboy as there is no real benefit to going to the carboy, unless I want to use the bucket for another batch. It just got me curious as to what folks are doing for their batches. More curiosity than anything else.

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Old 12-21-2011, 01:02 PM   #6
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ah, but if you have a 6.5 gallon carboy or a 6 gallon Better Bottle, you can use THAT for primary. And many do.

A 5 gallon carboy is far less useful for brewing. I use all of my 5 gallon carboys for winemaking, and very rarely for oaking a beer.

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Old 12-21-2011, 01:02 PM   #7
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yes, many would agree that secondary is not necessary. I would happen to be one of them. There are benefits to it but I definitely don't feel compelled to do it.
I almost always use my carboy as my PRIMARY, unless its otherwise occupied. Just start with the carboy, its easier to see whats going on, easier to keep contained, easier to rack out (you can see if you are keeping the racking cane above the trub line). Of course, its also easier to drop and shatter into hundreds of artery slashing shards of glass too.

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Old 12-21-2011, 01:22 PM   #8
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Ah, very interesting! Thanks for all the responses.

So the question is...what IS secondary fermentation? Is it:
a) just more time? thus the bucket will be just fine
b) change of vessel? the carboy is somehow different than the bucket (the shape or something?)
c) is is the actual process of moving from one vessel to another (leaving something behind)?

I guess once I understand exactly what secondary fermentation IS, I'll understand better I have a 6.5 gallon bucket and a 5 gallon carboy.

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Old 12-21-2011, 01:25 PM   #9
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Its getting it off the yeast cake. Doing this means when it comes time to bottle/keg the finished product may be a bit clearer. Also there's scientific disagreement on chemical benefits to the brew by getting it off the yeast.

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Old 12-21-2011, 01:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbrewguy11 View Post
Ah, very interesting! Thanks for all the responses.

So the question is...what IS secondary fermentation? Is it:
a) just more time? thus the bucket will be just fine
b) change of vessel? the carboy is somehow different than the bucket (the shape or something?)
c) is is the actual process of moving from one vessel to another?

I guess once I understand exactly what secondary fermentation IS, I'll understand better I have a 6.5 gallon bucket and a 5 gallon carboy.
In beer brewing, "secondary fermentation" is a misnomer. It IS a common practice in winemaking, where indeed fermentation is taking place in a different vessel. In beermaking, unless you are adding fermentables (like fruit), you aren't doing a "secondary fermentation".

In a brewery, that second vessel is called a "bright tank". That is where the beer that has finished fermenting is moved to, so it can clear a bit while a second batch is started in the fermenter. I think home brewers call this vessel a "secondary" just because winemakers do. It's better called a clearing vessel, or a bright tank.

Moving the beer does nothing magical to it- it's just a way to free up the fermenter but still giving the beer enough time to clear a bit before packaging. If done too early, you can actually arrest some of the good things that happen in the fermenter, like the beer finishing up fermentation and then the yeast going back after fermentation is over and actually then digesting its own waste products. That usually happens within about two days of the beer reaching FG.

If you're going to use a clearing vessel, I'd suggest doing it no earlier than about day 5-7 depending on when active fermentation ends.
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