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-   -   Beginner question about headspace in carboy (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/beginner-question-about-headspace-carboy-328931/)

Croakersoaker 05-16-2012 03:01 AM

Beginner question about headspace in carboy
I started my first wine a couple weeks ago (apfelwein) And I used the exact recipe from edworts thread.I have been reading alot and have been hearing you shouldNt have any extra headspace in the carboy. I didn't know this at first and bought a six gallon carboy and have five gallongs going in it is thAt going to be ok? I also bought a six and a half gallon wine making kit from amazon will I be able to use these bottles longterm or should I Get some smaller five gallOn ones?

056r 05-16-2012 04:48 AM

Headspace is only really an issue when aging things. During primary fermentation you will actually want some headspace just in case it foams up on you. Anything that requires secondary fermentation / aging you generally want to minimize headspace to prevent oxidation. A lot of people will have multiple sizes of carboys on hand so they can gradually move it into a smaller vessel from racking to racking. For example my primary fermentation vessel is a 10 gallon plastic bucket with loose fitting lid which gives me a lot of flexibility in the size of the batch i can use it for. Then i have a couple 6.5 gal carboys and several 5 gal that i use for aging / secondary fermentation. Anything that doesn't fit in the 6.5 or 5 gal carboys i put into 1 gal growlers for topping up.

ETA: the short answer is it'll be fine.

elly_karadimas 05-16-2012 12:07 PM

I started my apfelwein yesterday, a five gallon batch in a five gallon carboy, with about five inches of airspace, and already it is bubbling over. I am going to have to do what you did, and move it to a six gallon to prevent having a huge mess in my kitchen.

however, after much of the fermentation is over (at least the rapid part anyway) ill move it back to the five gallon. too much airspace makes your wine susceptible to oxidation and other nasty things. its better to just invest in one or two five gallon ones, especially if your going to keep making more.

Honda88 05-17-2012 04:53 AM

ferment primary in a bucket or use a blowoff valve in a carboy

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