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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Apfelwein carboy question
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:09 PM   #1
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Default Apfelwein carboy question

I have a 6 gallon carboy and its got a small hairline on the top of it. I used it for beer- no issues- im just careful. VERY CAREFUL

Id like to retire it to an apfelwein producer- but im wondering is that extra head space going to throw anything off with this? I know I can top it off to 6 gallons- but I only have enough corn sugar to make 5 gallons.

Can I supplement with something common around the house- and get that extra gallon in? Will the natural "sugars" in grape juice be sufficient enough to not need more corn sugar- if I threw a gallon in?

Should I just ride out the 5 in the 6?

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Old 08-15-2012, 05:20 PM   #2
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I'd just do the 5 gallons, the head space won't be an issue

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Old 08-15-2012, 05:27 PM   #3
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Agreed. As long as you're not opening it, the headspace will be filled with CO2. Even if you did decide to open it a few times, the headspace will eventually fill back up with CO2, and even if it doesn't fully, unless you plan on aging it for quite awhile, the oxygen on the surface isn't going to have a noticeable affect on the final product.

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Old 08-15-2012, 05:42 PM   #4
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Agreed. As long as you're not opening it, the headspace will be filled with CO2. Even if you did decide to open it a few times, the headspace will eventually fill back up with CO2, and even if it doesn't fully, unless you plan on aging it for quite awhile, the oxygen on the surface isn't going to have a noticeable affect on the final product.
Im from LI myself- thanks for replying too- because im like {} close to making a 5G mash tun- and you have a link in your sig for a video. If I had some cold home brews I might make this thing tonight...or flush the system a little and make it anyway- off topic
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:46 PM   #5
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That said, you can also just substitute in some brown sugar/honey/white sugar in place of the corn sugar for the last gallon if you do decide to go up to 6.

Making it 6 gallons with only 5 gallons of sugar would work too, you would just have slightly less ABV...but probably only slight.

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Old 08-15-2012, 06:25 PM   #6
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If it's got a crack in it, I'd get rid of it. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

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Old 08-15-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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Im from LI myself:
That's awesome! I didn't even notice that. I'm always excited to see Long Island brewers on HBT because we've got such a big craft beer scene here and a strong homebrewing culture to follow along with it. If you need any help on your mash tun, feel free to post any questions on the video page and I can help ya out. And if you build it with help of the video, feel free to post yours to the video page as well. I'd love to see how other people's MLTs come out!

I gotta ask though, whats the difference between using this carboy as a beer carboy or apfelwein carboy? How does that 'retire' it? Obviously you know the dangers of trying to move one full so you know you shouldn't be moving it at all and that, at any point, it can literally let loose especially with a change of temperature. If it were me, I would keep it at a good height for racking in a vessel that's larger than it to contain it if it did burst and I would never move it unless for cleaning when it's completely empty.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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hairline fracture in the neck area- I realize the safety factor but my make shift office / beer factory is getting crazier each week.

When I handle the full 5- im prepared- no half ass carrying going on- no carboy handle- clean hands. dry hands. dry carboy- and man handle that over to the location of choice- safely. Im not planning on any hospital visits any time soon

That said- I can keep using it for beer- or apfelwein- my idea is to let one sit for a few months to age- and doing so in a somewhat hairline cracked carboy is probably the best place for it. If I keep doing beer in there- it will be used more often- moving around in and out of swamp coolers etc.

but I would like to 'dedicate' ONE or two- carboys to the apfelwein project. Well its a simple project - getting my wife and her friends drunk on my goods

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Old 08-16-2012, 03:01 PM   #9
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but I would like to 'dedicate' ONE or two- carboys to the apfelwein project. Well its a simple project - getting my wife and her friends drunk on my goods
And a noble project indeed.

Moving it around less because of longer aging times makes sense to me. Again, you're fine if you just use 5 gallons in the 6 gallon carboy; the co2 will protect it. If you haven't got the next batch going already though, you can also add an extra gallon of apple juice (you'll come out with a slightly lower ABV but it won't taste noticeably different), you can add the extra gallon and supplement table sugar without any ill effects (besides it not dissolving as readily as corn sugar), or you can experiment a bit and add a gallon of grape juice with or without additional sugar. If you're wondering how much sweeter it is than applejuice, just take hydrometer readings of them both before you add them.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemet View Post
hairline fracture in the neck area- I realize the safety factor but my make shift office / beer factory is getting crazier each week.

When I handle the full 5- im prepared- no half ass carrying going on- no carboy handle- clean hands. dry hands. dry carboy- and man handle that over to the location of choice- safely. Im not planning on any hospital visits any time soon

That said- I can keep using it for beer- or apfelwein- my idea is to let one sit for a few months to age- and doing so in a somewhat hairline cracked carboy is probably the best place for it. If I keep doing beer in there- it will be used more often- moving around in and out of swamp coolers etc.

but I would like to 'dedicate' ONE or two- carboys to the apfelwein project. Well its a simple project - getting my wife and her friends drunk on my goods
Im not as worried about you moving it with the hairline fracture as i am it opening up and dropping microscopic shards of glass into your brew which could severely hurt or kill someone when it gets in their stomach.
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