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Old 01-16-2008, 03:01 AM   #1
hoplobster
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Default Primary Headspace

I currently brew 3 gallon batches and I have a large 6.5 gallon carboy to use as a primary. I tend to only use the primary for 2-3 weeks and then bottle, but I am wondering if it is a problem to leave the beer with that much head space?

Please correct me if my logic is flawed, but during the rigorous fermentation stage, O2 is being pushed out by by the CO2 and the airlock does not allow gas to get back in. Would it be safe to assume that my brews are ok or would you think they are being exposed to too much oxygen because of the headspace even though everything has been pushed out?

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Old 01-16-2008, 03:10 AM   #2
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You are fine. CO2 is heavier than oxygen. As it gets produced quickly at the beginning of fermentation, it pushes the O2 out. Some will mix, but you should have a nice protective layer of CO2 by that point. Keep in mind that some people do open fermentations with no oxygenations issues - just the risk of something falling in. If it were the secondary where fermentation is slower, then I would be concerned with a ton of head space.

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Old 01-16-2008, 03:34 AM   #3
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If you have a 6.5 carboy, why do you only do 3gal batches instead of 5?

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Old 01-16-2008, 04:19 AM   #4
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He may be like me... 5 gallons is a lot of beer. I'm the only beer drinker in my household, so it makes sense. Plus, it's less expensive and I can brew more often (which is good because I enjoy it -- which is the point of a hobby).

Does your beer taste ok? If so, I think your practices are ok.

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Old 01-16-2008, 11:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack
He may be like me... 5 gallons is a lot of beer. I'm the only beer drinker in my household, so it makes sense. Plus, it's less expensive and I can brew more often (which is good because I enjoy it -- which is the point of a hobby).

Does your beer taste ok? If so, I think your practices are ok.

Took the words right out of my mouth. Plus, its difficult to get 6+ gallons of wort to a rolling boil on a gas stove with such a large pot. When I get my turkey fryer, I may consider a large batch or two.

My beer has been ok, but I'm concerned about the long term effects if I were to age a batch in the bottles for an extended period of time.

Thanks for the replies!
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:15 PM   #6
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Just like Bearcat said, you're fine.


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Old 01-17-2008, 02:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoplobster
Took the words right out of my mouth. Plus, its difficult to get 6+ gallons of wort to a rolling boil on a gas stove with such a large pot. When I get my turkey fryer, I may consider a large batch or two.

My beer has been ok, but I'm concerned about the long term effects if I were to age a batch in the bottles for an extended period of time.

Thanks for the replies!
You don't necessarily need to boil more than your 3 gallons. Make a 3 gallon concentrated wort on your stove top, add it to your fermenter, and top off with some sanitized tap water to increase your volume a bit.
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:26 PM   #8
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Not to hijack, but can a person do secondary in a 7.9 gallon bucket (from wine making) and inject CO2 before adding airlock? I have an extra one lying around and would like to put it to GOOD USE!

thanks and sorry Hoplobster!!

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Old 02-21-2008, 08:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcat Brewmeister
You don't necessarily need to boil more than your 3 gallons. Make a 3 gallon concentrated wort on your stove top, add it to your fermenter, and top off with some sanitized tap water to increase your volume a bit.
Yeah, that's what I've been doing, and it works just fine.

On another note, I think this thread topic would be a good name for a thrash metal/alt. rock band... "And now presenting... PRIMARY HEADSPACE!!!!!!"
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillPall
Yeah, that's what I've been doing, and it works just fine.

On another note, I think this thread topic would be a good name for a thrash metal/alt. rock band... "And now presenting... PRIMARY HEADSPACE!!!!!!"
SWEET!
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