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Old 02-13-2009, 03:06 PM   #1
brelic
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Default Primary fermentation in carboy

Until now, I've always used a bucket with loose fitting lid for primary fermentation (open fermentation, I guess it would be called).

But I keep seeing people talk about blow off tubes and fermenting in the carboy. My question is this: I don't have a blow off tube, but can I do primary fermentation in a glass carboy using the airlock?

The carboy is 6gal and my batches are usually 5gal. I'm thinking the 1gal headspace would be enough for the kraeusen, no? And is an airlock appropriate for this purpose?

Thanks!

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Old 02-13-2009, 03:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by brelic View Post
Until now, I've always used a bucket with loose fitting lid for primary fermentation (open fermentation, I guess it would be called).

But I keep seeing people talk about blow off tubes and fermenting in the carboy. My question is this: I don't have a blow off tube, but can I do primary fermentation in a glass carboy using the airlock?

The carboy is 6gal and my batches are usually 5gal. I'm thinking the 1gal headspace would be enough for the kraeusen, no? And is an airlock appropriate for this purpose?

Thanks!
Yes you can primary in a 6gal carboy. Although I've had krausen push through the airlock on my 6.5gal carboy. When that happens there is so much gas being pushed out of your fermenter that nothing nasty can get in. Just clean everything up and spray with sanitizer and attach your airlock. For an easy blowoff tube setup either get a piece of tubing and shove it in the carboy opening or do what I did and cut the "X" off the bottom of the airlock post. Install the carboy bung and airlock then take some tubing and place it on the center post of the airlock. Run your tubing into a jar of sanitizer and your good to go. After high krausen remove the blowoff and attach a regular airlock. I always use a blow off for at least 5 days. You can do it!!!
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Old 02-13-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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Honestly, I wouldn't risk it unless you were repeating a recipe you'd already made and you knew that it didn't have huge krauzen. I recently made an IPA using a carboy for the primary, and even with quite a bit of headspace, it still exploded all over the place. Having done this once, I won't be doing it again ever.

It's easy enough to get a blowoff tube from your LHBS, or any of the online suppliers. It's only a few bucks, don't risk your carpet/ceiling.

If you decide that you just can't scrape together 3 bucks for a blowoff tube, absolutely do cut off the bottom end of your airlock and be prepared to clean. Put towels down on the floor under your carboy, and if it's a big high-grav beer, prepare for a mess.

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Old 02-13-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice guys...

Ridge Runner, I might try that, or look at my LHBS. I do have lots of extra tubing, now I'm just trying to really visualize your suggestion

Is there really a huge advantage doing a closed fermentation over open fermentation?

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Old 02-13-2009, 03:38 PM   #5
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I just made the mistake of using a 6 gallon carboy for 5 gallons of IIPA. Long story short everything clogged and i ended up with hops on the ceiling.

But i have used it for many other brews. my best advise is to buy a 3 foot of hose at home depot.

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Old 02-13-2009, 03:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llazy_llama View Post

If you decide that you just can't scrape together 3 bucks for a blowoff tube, absolutely do cut off the bottom end of your airlock and be prepared to clean. Put towels down on the floor under your carboy, and if it's a big high-grav beer, prepare for a mess.
Clean what? The mess goes through the airlock and tubing into the jar of sanitizer.
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Old 02-13-2009, 03:46 PM   #7
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Blowoff tibes are pretty easy to put together. I use carboy caps with two openings (one straight up for an airlock-the other at an angle-perfect for a blowoff tube). This makes it really easy to switch to an airlock once the kreusen falls. I personally love using glass as the primary-it's fun to watch!

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Old 02-13-2009, 03:49 PM   #8
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Is there a good picture somewhere? I still don't really understand the set up.. i.e. the tube going into the jar of sanitizer?

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Old 02-13-2009, 03:57 PM   #9
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Default Here ya go...

Tube in carboy opening http://image40.webshots.com/40/8/9/1...9XDBAwi_ph.jpg

With airlock http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/.../Ailockbo1.jpg

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Old 02-13-2009, 04:05 PM   #10
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Get some Fermcap-S and make your life a LOT easier.


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