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Old 08-06-2013, 03:24 AM   #1
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Default Carboy Headspace.... how much is too much?

Assuming you are not looking for any oxidation flavors in your brew....... how much headspace are you willing to allow in a secondary carboy for a few months?

I ask because I've got a couple of 6 gal glass carboys that I'd like to secondary in for extended periods yet all my batches are 5 gal. You see where this is going....

I've tried it once so far and the brew was fine, no wet cardboard flavors but I would hate to toss a batch because of it. Obviously the less oxygen the better in you headspace but how much of a gap are you guys willing to go for a 1-2 month secondary?

Maybe I should just go buy a few more 5 gal plastic fermentors. I have contemplated a blanket of co2 in the headspace and have a kegging system but the easy implementation of it eludes me at the moment.

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Old 08-06-2013, 04:53 PM   #2
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You could either fill the head space with CO2 by running a sanitized tube deep into the carboy from your CO2 tank. Or, something that I have not tried, but may work well is adding a little priming sugar to the carboy and let the yeast fill the head space with CO2 for you. Just an idea.

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Old 08-06-2013, 08:30 PM   #3
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Hmmm, I did not think about the priming sugar thing!

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Old 08-06-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
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I have the same setup as you. I originally got 6.5 gal carboys because I figured if I ever have brews that i add stuff to, then I have room (such as fruits).

I have never had an issue with this. I get that issue of oxidation, but remember that the amount of beer TOUCHING the headspace is very little in comparison to the total amount of liquid. One big issue would be if you splash it too much around after its in there but the same issue could be said even for a 5gal unless it's filled to the very top.

The CO2 blanket is a good idea to ease your mind. If you don't want to invest in kegging yet (which would be one excuse to) then just get yourself a CO2 injector that uses those small bullet cartridges and that's it. Cheers.

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Old 08-06-2013, 11:25 PM   #5
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double post

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Old 08-06-2013, 11:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ismedeiros88 View Post
I have the same setup as you. I originally got 6.5 gal carboys because I figured if I ever have brews that i add stuff to, then I have room (such as fruits).

I have never had an issue with this. I get that issue of oxidation, but remember that the amount of beer TOUCHING the headspace is very little in comparison to the total amount of liquid. One big issue would be if you splash it too much around after its in there but the same issue could be said even for a 5gal unless it's filled to the very top.

The CO2 blanket is a good idea to ease your mind. If you don't want to invest in kegging yet (which would be one excuse to) then just get yourself a CO2 injector that uses those small bullet cartridges and that's it. Cheers.
I have kegging gear and 2 set up in my garage fridge... but I do my ferms in the basement a floor away.... pain in the ass to carry it all around. The small co2 cartridge injector might be something to look at.

I'm glad to hear about headspace being a nonissue for ya. Relieves some of my paranoia
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:13 AM   #7
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Yeah and I even have the 6.5 lol. If I find a link to something that you could use for the co2 injector ill link it. Cheers

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