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Old 08-03-2010, 04:15 AM   #1
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Default Is 5 gallon carboy secondary too big for 4 gallon of beer?

Ran into a problem with my brewing today where my auto-siphon broke and I was not able to strain a much of the hops out as the beer was transfered from my brewkettle into my 5 gallon bucket. The bucket only has 4 gallons of beer fermenting and I should have a new auto-siphon being shipped next week. I would like to try to clarify this beer by transfering it to a 5 gallon glass carboy as a secondary. This will leave about 1 gallon of head space and I want to know if that is too much room to have in the secondary. The beer will be in the primary for about 10 days and then go into the secondary for about 20 days.

Any thoughts and thanks fpr your time to read this.



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Old 08-03-2010, 11:33 AM   #2
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It's fine. I've secondaried many a five gallon batch in a 6.5 gallon carboy.



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Old 08-03-2010, 12:05 PM   #3
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+1. It's fine.

If the volume of beer is closer to 50% of the volume of the container... that starts to be a problem.

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Old 08-03-2010, 12:31 PM   #4
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My first question would be, "why are you using a secondary?" If you are going to dry-hop or add fruit, then that is a good idea. Otherwise, it is an unnecessary step. You would be better off leaving your beer in primary for a month, then kegging or bottling.
With regards to your original question though, using the 5-gal carboy with 4 gal of beer will be fine.

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Old 08-03-2010, 12:42 PM   #5
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If you are worried and have access to CO2, you could purge the carboy before transferring, but 1 gallon of head space should be fine.

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Old 08-03-2010, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bull8042 View Post
My first question would be, "why are you using a secondary?"
He is doing a primary in the carboy he normally uses for a secondary.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msa8967 View Post
..... The beer will be in the primary for about 10 days and then go into the secondary for about 20 days.
.......
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldy_Beer_Brewery View Post
He is doing a primary in the carboy he normally uses for a secondary.
Really? Sounds to me like he is transferring to secondary.....
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:01 PM   #8
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You're right I didn't notice the last line. But at this point he is going from kettle to carboy.

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Old 08-03-2010, 01:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldy_Beer_Brewery View Post
You're right I didn't notice the last line. But at this point he is going from kettle to carboy.
Which is why I included this as my last line...

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Originally Posted by bull8042 View Post
......
With regards to your original question though, using the 5-gal carboy with 4 gal of beer will be fine.
So there! Neener neener boo boo!
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:30 PM   #10
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The beer is currently in a plastic bucket. I normally do not use a secondary for most brews that take a month to ferment but thought about transfering to a secondary this time to try to improve the clarity of the beer. I was not able to screen/filter out much of the hops from the primary due to my auto-siphon being broken and thus there is a lot of hop pieces suspended in the primary buckets. I usually use hop bags but didn't have access to these for this brew.

Sorry that I didn't make this clear in my original post. I am just wanting to improve the clarity of the beer since it is a blond ale. Perhaps the hop pieces will be on the trub after fermentation or maybe there is something else besides/instead of racking to a secondary I can do to improve the clarity.

Love to hear any thoughts on how to achieve this.

Mick



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