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Old 12-26-2012, 09:54 AM   #1
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Default Carboy Question

total NOOB so bare with me on this question but, can you use a plastic 5 gallon Carboy or should it be glass only? I know I have seen the 5 Gallon buckets being used but I haven't seen a plastic 5 gallon Carboy. Any reason for this?

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Old 12-26-2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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Plenty of folks use plastic carboys. I think it's simply a matter of personal preference. Plastic is certainly lighter and less fragile (and cheaper?). I prefer the glass carboys though.

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Old 12-26-2012, 10:51 AM   #3
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You can use either, the main reason many people don't use 5 gallon carboys is because it doesn't give head space for krausen. So either a blowoff is required or going into they carboy with less than 5 gallons. A 5 gallon carboy would be good for a secondary, since at that point you don't have the previous issues.

If you only have a 5 gallon carboy then I'd recommend putting about 4.5 gallons in it, to avoid a potentially messy, messy explosion (speaking from experience lol).

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Old 12-26-2012, 11:10 AM   #4
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thanks for the quick response! Side question, (once again NOOB here) I see peoples reciepes calling for 3.3 gallons of water, how on Gods green earth do you measure the .3 of a gallon?

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Old 12-26-2012, 11:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirmeowsalot
You can use either, the main reason many people don't use 5 gallon carboys is because it doesn't give head space for krausen. So either a blowoff is required or going into they carboy with less than 5 gallons. A 5 gallon carboy would be good for a secondary, since at that point you don't have the previous issues.

If you only have a 5 gallon carboy then I'd recommend putting about 4.5 gallons in it, to avoid a potentially messy, messy explosion (speaking from experience lol).
Very true. I usually only use carboys for secondaries. I do have a few larger (6 gal) carboys for primary use, as well as for wine, mead, and ciders. The 5 gal carboys are strictly for a secondary or lagering. Then, I have a few 3 and 2.5 gal carboys for smaller batches. Some people don't like carboys, but I keep mine pretty busy. If nothing else, it gives me a place to put beer so I can free up my primary fermentation buckets. That all equates to more beer in the making.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:25 AM   #6
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Thanks again guys, starting to clear things up a bit.

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Old 12-26-2012, 11:27 AM   #7
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I use 6 gallon Better Bottle plastic carboys for almost all of my primary fermentations. Lighter, cheaper and MUCH safer than glass!

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Old 12-26-2012, 12:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mako2669 View Post
thanks for the quick response! Side question, (once again NOOB here) I see peoples reciepes calling for 3.3 gallons of water, how on Gods green earth do you measure the .3 of a gallon?
Use a liquid measuring cup and have Google convert .3 (or whatever the recipe calls for) to cups.

Odds are, however, that they're giving you that measurement for partial boil top-off water. This is the amount of water you add to your fermenter to hit 5 gallons if your pot can't hold 7 or so gallons. You can ignore their top off number, and just top off to 5 gallons to make it easier.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:09 PM   #9
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I use the 6.5 gallon plastic buckets for primary. At $12.50 a bucket with lid they are lot cheaper than buying a carboy just free up a FV. That being said I do own a carboy that will get used for an upcoming batch that will be aged 4+ months in secondary.

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Old 12-26-2012, 01:48 PM   #10
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Easier to clean thoroughly too

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