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Old 09-10-2008, 02:03 PM   #1
hal simmons
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Default 2 Gallons in 5 Gallon Carboy

I've recently started brewing some two-gallon test batches to try out some new recipes before making a larger batch. I've been fermenting them in a 5 gallon carboy since it's the smallest i've got. Should I be worried about all the headspace? Should I be careful about how long I leave these batches in primary/secondary with that amount of headspace? I haven't actually bottled any of these small batches yet, but i've got two batches in carboys right now. Just wondering if I should invest in a couple 3 gallon carboys or not.

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Old 09-10-2008, 02:12 PM   #2
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For primary fermentation, you'll be fine as the headspace will fill up quickly with CO2. When transferring to a secondary, if there is any way you can purge the container with CO2 first, I recommend doing just that. No worries though, I'm sure it will be fine either way.

You could look into getting some 3 gal Better Bottles if you plan to brew 2 gallon batches often.

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Old 09-10-2008, 02:41 PM   #3
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I agree. The CO2 outgassing will push all air out of the carboy while fermenting

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Old 09-10-2008, 02:45 PM   #4
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So basically as long as I don't transfer to secondary, i'll be OK? I wasn't planning on using a secondary for any of these batches, but some of them might stay in primary for a month or so.

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Old 09-10-2008, 04:35 PM   #5
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You could leave it in a primary for a month without any problems, but you can still use a secondary because there will still be some outgassing.

I ferment on the floor and rack from a counter top.

If you place your carboy at the location (height) you will be racking from you will eliminate any jostling (and rousing) of the fallen yeast which will keep the brew clear thus working to your advantage.

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Old 08-28-2013, 01:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsay View Post
For primary fermentation, you'll be fine as the headspace will fill up quickly with CO2.
Would this be true for lagers too as I believe they don't ferment as rapidly as ales?
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Would this be true for lagers too as I believe they don't ferment as rapidly as ales?
pretty much. A standard gravity beer (around 1.040) will produce about 60 gallons of co2 for every gallon of beer. How fast? I don't know, All the O2 won't be displaced, some of it will end up in the fermentation, but remember unless you are using O2, just about every beer is under aerated at the start.

Long and short, I'd not worry about it.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:32 AM   #8
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Would this be true for lagers too as I believe they don't ferment as rapidly as ales?
You don't really care because as soon as a little CO2 is produced it, being heavier than air, will form a blanket over the beer and then as time goes on, will push out the rest of the remaining air.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses!

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Old 09-02-2013, 06:48 PM   #10
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Try boiling down to just under 2 gallons and get a 2 gallon paint bucket from HD. That is what I use. Although nothing wrong w/your 5 gallon primary.

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