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Old 10-09-2012, 07:26 PM   #1
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I had a 5 gallon glass secondary that I got rid of because I have a bucket fermenter to use as a secondary, and I usually only use the secondary for dry hopping IPAS. So the bucket is easier, but I think I may have made a mistake getting rid of the 5 gallon ferementor as the bucket has way more headspace - 6+ gallon bucket. How bad is to have all that air in there when you rack to a seconary?

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Old 10-09-2012, 08:16 PM   #2
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It's definately not ideal to have that much headspace in the secondary. If you have access to CO2, you could hit the bucket before racking and later the headspace before sealing to flush out the O2, or just skip secondary altogether and dry hop in the primary.

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Old 10-09-2012, 08:21 PM   #3
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I would NOT use a bucket as a secondary. Way too much headspace, and too much risk of oxidation and infection. I dryhop right in the primary, normally. But if I'm washing/saving the yeast, I will rack to a carboy on the hops.

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Old 10-09-2012, 08:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by stevo155 View Post
It's definately not ideal to have that much headspace in the secondary. If you have access to CO2, you could hit the bucket before racking and later the headspace before sealing to flush out the O2, or just skip secondary altogether and dry hop in the primary.
+1, I always dry hop in primary, then cold crash before bottling with great results.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:55 PM   #5
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even if you dry hop in the primary, won't you lose your CO2 buffer when you open it up to add your hops?

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Old 10-09-2012, 10:05 PM   #6
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The hops that are added into primary create nucleation sites for the CO2 that's in solution to escape which allows the buffer to remain. Also, I don't completely remove the lid, just crack it open enough to dump 'em in and do their magic.

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Old 10-09-2012, 10:12 PM   #7
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i like to use hop sacks to make racking/cleaning easier. it can be difficult to squeeze 3+ oz in a hop sack into a carboy

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Old 10-09-2012, 11:41 PM   #8
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If you can cold crash for 2-3 days before packaging and are careful racking from the carboy the hop sacks are not necessary at all IMO. You could also rubberband the hop sack to the bottom of your siphon to filter as you rack.

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Old 10-10-2012, 01:44 AM   #9
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Does cold crashing make the hops drop?
What are the repercussions of my secondary faux pas? What will oxidization do to my beer?
Also - I typically make 5 to 5.5 gallon batches in my 6 or 6.5 gallon carboy - is that a problem? Probably OK in the primary or would it be more ideal to shoot for 6 gallons? I bet I'd need a blowoff setup if I did.

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Old 10-10-2012, 05:42 AM   #10
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Cold crashing makes everything fall out of suspension. The issue with the large headspace in secondary is larger risk of infection.

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