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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > I want to add a second primary into the mix ideas??
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:31 AM   #1
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Default I want to add a second primary into the mix ideas??

First things first, I'm a college student so i go through a great deal of beer so making faster beers (wheats and light ales) is a must, but i also really want to brew a dark bourbon ale. I was thinking about adding a second primary to the mix maybe a 6.5 glass carboy (they just look so much cooler) but could a 6.5 gallon also double as a secondary if i want to make an ale later the doesn't have to sit in a secondary for 6 weeks or can a 6.5 even be a primary for 5 gallons of dark ale?

I am pretty new to Home brewing and have yet to bottle my first brew (lemon coriander weiss). Me and my roommates have had almost every beer our local liquor store has to offer so we began brewing our own and I can barely contain my urge to brew 15 different types at once. I guess what I'm to say is in a matter of 2 weeks I am already addicted to home brewing!

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Old 10-27-2010, 01:14 PM   #2
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you should use a 5 gallon carboy for secondary fermentation. Less air space means less oxygen which equals better beer.

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Old 10-27-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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Why don't you buy 3-4 buckets for the price of one 6.5 gal carboy, skip using a secondary, and get to brewing.

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Old 10-27-2010, 02:09 PM   #4
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Why don't you buy 3-4 buckets for the price of one 6.5 gal carboy, skip using a secondary, and get to brewing.
Best bet for a poor college student. Screw looking at your beers. After the novelty wears off you'll be pitching your yeast and walking away for a month and not pay any attention, like the rest of us. Then rather than having 3-4 primaries you only have 2 1 bucket and one overpriced novelty.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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Just buy a bucket or 3.

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Old 10-27-2010, 03:36 PM   #6
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Most of the the beers i want to make need to go into a secondary for the addition of flavorings.

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Old 10-27-2010, 03:51 PM   #7
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You can use an empty primary as a secondary if all your doing is adding flavorings. All we are saying is don't waste your money on a glass carboy when you can get 3 or 4 buckets for the price of one vessel. This will allow you to have mutliple beers going at once and reduce your overall waiting time for beer.

If you bought 3 more buckets you could always have 3 beers in primary and use the spare as your secondary. Just rack a finished beer to secondary, leave it for a week, then bottle. A little planning and you can come up with a good brewing schedule so this all works out and you keep the pipeline moving.

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Old 10-27-2010, 03:55 PM   #8
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so the extra head space in the secondary won't cause any problems?

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Old 10-27-2010, 03:59 PM   #9
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so the extra head space in the secondary won't cause any problems?
I rarely use a clearing vessel ("secondary") but when I do, I make sure to match the size to the batch. In other words, you want a 5 gallon carboy for a 5 gallon batch to minimize headspace, especially if you are going to let it sit there for more than 2 weeks or so.

In primary, you need the headspace for the krausen and because the co2 is coming out, oxygen can't get in. In secondary, though, it's different. The beer is no longer producing co2, so you lose the benefit of the "blanket" of co2 that is in the headspace. A 6.5 gallon carboy is fine for primary, but not for secondary.

The other choice, as mentioned, is to skip using a clearing vessel anyway and bottle the beer out of primary in three weeks or so.
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:52 PM   #10
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Now lets say I leave lemon weiss in my primary can I just add the lemon zest to the primary instead of racking it then adding it? The recipe said to rack it after a week in the primary then add the zest and let sit for 2 more weeks before bottling.

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