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Old 08-22-2005, 02:53 PM   #1
Turricaine
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Default 5 Gallon Carboy seconday Question

I understand that it is possible to leave the beer fermenting on the yeast for about a month or so before it needs racking. So in this sense a carboy is not exactly an imperative piece of brew-ware however it does look like it is quite popular amongst alot of the people who are dedicated to this hobby.

I guess the real beauty of a carboy is not that it is easier to clean or that plastic fermenters can carry infections. It is that you can actually see your beer through glass and you know how well the batch is clearing with time.

So what I was wondering is that if you fill up your carboy for a secondary, how well has the beer cleared after say two weeks? I guess this is dependant to some extent on the yeast strain but I just wanted a rough idea.

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Old 08-22-2005, 03:04 PM   #2
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I brewed for years without a secondary. Left it in the primary for a 1 to 2 weeks and then bottled. Beer was very good, in my humble opinion. Started lurking around here earlier this year and heard everyone that uses a secondary. Thought to myself, well for 20 bucks, I'll buy a glass carboy for my secondary and see what the big deal is. I wouldn't say that there is a big difference between the 2 processes, but there definately is a difference. It's one of those things.... which type of water to use, do you chill your wort with a chiller or ice it down, do you use liquid yeast or dry yeast etc... I could have lived my life making beer my "old" way and been very satisfied. Am I glad I bought a carboy? Yes, I probably will use it as long as I have one. If you can afford to mess around with a carboy, go ahead. Is it necessary? Not unless you are lagering or are into heavy beers that need to linger for long periods of time.

cheers, loop

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Old 08-23-2005, 12:06 AM   #3
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I've left Czech-style Bud in carboys for 3 months without any problems.

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Old 08-23-2005, 01:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turricaine
I understand that it is possible to leave the beer fermenting on the yeast for about a month or so before it needs racking. So in this sense a carboy is not exactly an imperative piece of brew-ware however it does look like it is quite popular amongst alot of the people who are dedicated to this hobby.

I guess the real beauty of a carboy is not that it is easier to clean or that plastic fermenters can carry infections. It is that you can actually see your beer through glass and you know how well the batch is clearing with time.

So what I was wondering is that if you fill up your carboy for a secondary, how well has the beer cleared after say two weeks? I guess this is dependant to some extent on the yeast strain but I just wanted a rough idea.
To me the true beauty of a glass carboy is that it is so much better at stopping oxidation. The plastic buckets are porous, and at the air/liquid interface they have a HHUUGGEE surface area when compared against the same interface in a carboy. Add that to the impervious-to-air nature of glass, and you practically bring oxidation to a complete standstill.
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Old 08-23-2005, 01:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
I've left Czech-style Bud in carboys for 3 months without any problems.
In the primary?
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Old 08-24-2005, 05:16 PM   #6
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But in the other thread, posters are oxygenating their wort deliberately using O2 cylinders. Are you saying that the plastic is porous or that air can creep in through the lid of the container? Because O2 and H2O are molecularly around the same size so if the plastic was porous then wouldnt that mean the buckets would leak? Also I dont see that oxygenation should be a problem for beer but it would be able to score more credit over in the winemaking forum. I really have no interest in leaving my beer in a carboy for 6 months either, 6 weeks is still alot for beer.

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Old 08-26-2005, 12:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pistolero
In the primary?
No, of course not. Lagered in the secondary.
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Old 08-26-2005, 02:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turricaine
But in the other thread, posters are oxygenating their wort deliberately using O2 cylinders. Are you saying that the plastic is porous or that air can creep in through the lid of the container? Because O2 and H2O are molecularly around the same size so if the plastic was porous then wouldnt that mean the buckets would leak? Also I dont see that oxygenation should be a problem for beer but it would be able to score more credit over in the winemaking forum. I really have no interest in leaving my beer in a carboy for 6 months either, 6 weeks is still alot for beer.
Oxidation is a big problem for beer. Ever try a half empty keg 2 days after is has been tapped with a picnic tap? By pumping air into the beer, you are oxidizing it, which is why it will taste like vinegar after a few days.

People pump O2 into their beer prior to fermentation. This is a good thing as O2 is good for yeast. Once the fermentation is complete, O2 is bad.

I rarely ever leave my beer in a carboy for more than a couple of weeks, mainly because I don't have the storage capacity to keep it aging for that long. But many lagers require many weeks and months of conditioning. Many other beers improve with aging as well, not to mention barley wines and meade.
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