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Old 02-26-2010, 02:59 PM   #1
Mose
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Default Fermenter Size

Is a 10gal conical fermenter to big for a 5gal batch, is there to much head space or am I worried about nothing? Thanks

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Old 02-26-2010, 03:13 PM   #2
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Nope, it'll be just fine. You're CO2 will fill up that head space pretty quickly after fermentation kicks off.

On another note, it's too small for a 10 gal batch obviously.

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Old 02-26-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
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It's also bloody expensive. What is the attraction to conicals?

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Old 02-26-2010, 03:22 PM   #4
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I've been reading some of the threads the DIY forum and US Plasitcs have some that can be fitted out with the right valves for around $100. No racking to secondary, easy samples etc... The 10 gal also is a nice size to set up in a cooling chamber to attempt lagering without a major refit. But your right much more expensive than the better bottle and buckets I use now.

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Old 02-26-2010, 03:32 PM   #5
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Why do you need to rack to secondary? I can do almost anything I need to in the primary, with the exception of bulk aging past a few months and racking on to fruit.

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Old 02-26-2010, 03:38 PM   #6
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Why do you need to rack to secondary? I can do almost anything I need to in the primary, with the exception of bulk aging past a few months and racking on to fruit.
I also don't use a secondary.

I'm an ale brewer so I don't really know. But with lagers it may be an advantage to get the beer off the trub.
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:43 PM   #7
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I have no idea about Lager at all or how the trub would effect it. The dimensions just made for a nice fit for cold fermentation.

When I was taught how to brew a couple years ago "they" said secondary was good to clear of the beer and get it off the trub due to off flavors. I've been reading lately that it's really not necessary but I haven't investigated far enough.

Other than that some dry hopping and fruit. Admittedly I haven't done much of either of these.

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Old 02-26-2010, 03:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mose View Post
I have no idea about Lager at all or how the trub would effect it. The dimensions just made for a nice fit for cold fermentation.

When I was taught how to brew a couple years ago "they" said secondary was good to clear of the beer and get it off the trub due to off flavors. I've been reading lately that it's really not necessary but I haven't investigated far enough.

Other than that some dry hopping and fruit. Admittedly I haven't done much of either of these.
You will not get off flavors in an ale from trub in the primary. I don't do lagers so I don't know about those. Beer will clear very well in the primary. Dry hops can also be done with no problems in the primary. I don't do fruit and I don't do secondary.
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:00 PM   #9
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There is a lot of science and style that goes into this decision.

Don't criticize a secondary for ales. There are a lot of great reasons to use a secondary based on the combination of the science and personal style. There are just as many reasons to not use a secondary as there are to use it. We all balance our style with the science to achieve the outcomes we desire. No process is wrong. More importantly, no process is right. They are just different. Even the lame Mr. Beer instructions produce beer.

Based on your style and the science that fits, a conical can be advantageous. It makes it very easy to do a long fermentation with the convenience of not transferring to another vessel. As we all know, autolysis will set in after a while and you want to get those yeasties off the bottom. Conicals are designed to have just the right slant for the trub to come out in a nice plug.

If it matters, I have been racking to a secondary for over a decade and it works very well for the way I brew. When I'm really rockin' and rollin', I have 5-10 beers in fermenters or conditioning behind the ones that are currently on tap. Using secondaries is all part of my beer pipeline process that works well for me. For others, it's a PITA with no gain. I tend to brew big ales that need a long time to ferment out, and to condition. For this reason, I do a series of batches (3-5) that rely on the same active yeast cake. My first batch is a small ale that is effectively a starter to get a kickin' yeast cake for the following batches in the series. This works wonderfully with secondaries. But that's my style, that works with the science, and the outcome that I like with long fermentation and long conditioning. If you're into lawn mower beer, bottle, and brew once a year.. secondaries and conicals aren't going to help.

Cheers,
Scott

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Old 02-26-2010, 04:04 PM   #10
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Well then...I guess I'll do some more reading, save some sanitizer and steam ahead. I guess I'll set aside the conical fermenter project and concentrate more on the temperature control issue and fine tune that area of the process.

I take it you do your primary until you hit your desired FG and rack to bottle bucket or keg? I've done it that way but I thought I was skipping a step and rushing things.

Thanks for word.

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