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Old 04-24-2012, 02:54 PM   #1
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Default 2 Gallons of beer in a 6.5 Gallon Fermentation Bucket

Question, I have a 5 Gallon batch of Autumn Amber Ale in a Primary fermenter. After 2 weeks I want to bottle but I was going to put 2 gallons in a secondary fermenter to experiment with some added ingredients like Lemon Zest. If I put 2 gallons of beer in a 6.5 gallon bucket to ferment another week is that to much head room? Should I get a smaller fermentation bucket? If so how small?

Also, how long should I do a secondary fermentation? Is 1 week long enough for an added ingredient?

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Old 04-24-2012, 02:59 PM   #2
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Question, I have a 5 Gallon batch of Autumn Amber Ale in a Primary fermenter. After 2 weeks I want to bottle but I was going to put 2 gallons in a secondary fermenter to experiment with some added ingredients like Lemon Zest. If I put 2 gallons of beer in a 6.5 gallon bucket to ferment another week is that to much head room? Should I get a smaller fermentation bucket? If so how small?

Also, how long should I do a secondary fermentation? Is 1 week long enough for an added ingredient?
A bucket was wide headspace as it is, so it's not recommended for keeping beer in after fermentation ends. Then having 4 gallons of headspace above would be an issue. You'd risk oxidation as well as some contamination. I'd use two one gallon "jugs" like Carlo Rossi wine comes in. A #6 stopper fits, along with an airlock and you'd be all set.

I've never added things like lemon zest, so I don't know how long it would take to get the essence of it out into the beer.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:10 PM   #3
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Cool thanks I do like that idea of using 1 gallon wine bottles. I will need to get that size 6 stopper. Now you say you never used lemon zest, have you ever used any other added ingredients into a secondary fermentation?

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Old 04-24-2012, 03:19 PM   #4
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/bier...l-mash-312769/

you might try looking at this thread. I just added about 2oz of chopped lemon grass to my remake of this beer in the secondary, and had 1 medium sized lemon's worth of zest added during primary (this is a 3-gallon batch, by the way). If you're gonna do something like this, make certain you don't get any of the pith (the white part) with the zest or you'll get some really funktastic bitterness. This is my first attempt at using any ingredients like this in my beer, and it's just been bottled. All I can say for now is that the aroma of lemon as been absolutely gorgeous throughout the process, and every sample I've tasted has the most delicate hints of flavor and aroma at the end. I'll be updating more on the above saison post as I learn more and would be happy to share my results with you
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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I've done a few gallon beers in a 7.9 gallon bucket, so I'm sure you're ok. The CO2 will fill up the headspace and still push out bubbles. I've left them in the bucket for weeks at a time without contamination or oxidation.

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Old 04-24-2012, 03:31 PM   #6
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get a mr. beer fermator. I use it for all my two gallon batches. mr. beer was running a special a fermator for $10. works great!!!

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Old 04-24-2012, 06:43 PM   #7
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I've done a few gallon beers in a 7.9 gallon bucket, so I'm sure you're ok. The CO2 will fill up the headspace and still push out bubbles. I've left them in the bucket for weeks at a time without contamination or oxidation.
Yes, I have also. But the point is that after fermentation ends, removing the lid and racking out 3 gallons and recovering would not have the same level of protection as before that is done. In a covered fermenter, leaving 5 gallons of beer in the bucket for an extended time is fine. But once fermentation ends and the beer is racked, the amount of co2 released from the remaining 2 gallons would not be sufficient to continue to have the same protective effect. That is why I said I'd rack it to two one gallon containers at that point.
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:30 PM   #8
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Now after I rack it in two 1 gallon glass jugs. Should I let it ferment for 1 week then bottle? Also when I bottle can I add table sugar to help carbonize it or should I use priming sugar? How much sugar per 1 gallon before bottling? Thanks for these tips.

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Old 04-24-2012, 09:35 PM   #9
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Now after I rack it in two 1 gallon glass jugs. Should I let it ferment for 1 week then bottle? Also when I bottle can I add table sugar to help carbonize it or should I use priming sugar? How much sugar per 1 gallon before bottling? Thanks for these tips.
You can let it sit for as long as you want. You may add things that take a bit longer, for example. You can use table sugar or corn sugar to prime with. I use .90 ounce of table sugar (1 ounce of corn sugar) for priming per gallon. You need to use a small kitchen scale when you get to small amounts like that. Actually, you should use a scale when you use larger amounts too, but it's more critical with small amounts.
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:56 AM   #10
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Awesome, thanks for your help.

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