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Old 11-03-2008, 03:24 PM   #1
darkestdays
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Default Carboy question. 5 gal carboy for a 5 gal batch?

Hello everyone,
I have been lurking for the last few weeks, but finally decided to post.

A friend recently gave me and my buddy a glass carboy which we are currently using as our primary for our third batch of beer. When we added the wort to the water in the carboy, we realized that the carboy must have been exactly 5 gallons because the beer went all the way to the top of the carboy. We siphoned some of the beer out, and the level of beer is now a couple of inches from the neck of the carboy.

My question is: Will this be ok when the beer starts fermenting? Are you supposed to leave a certain amount of space between the beer level and the top of the primary fermenter? I am already getting some krausen forming, so I hope it will not overflow or anything.

On another note, I noticed that there is a small orange dot on the top of the krausen. Could this potentially be an infection?

Any information will be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

-Chris

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Old 11-03-2008, 03:27 PM   #2
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I use a 5 gallon carboy because I got several 5 gallon carboys for free. You will want to hook up a blowoff tube because you will be very prone to getting a lot of blowoff. You might also end up with a little less beer once it's done fermenting, for me I get between 46 and 50 bottles once all is said and done.

Oh, and as for the little orange dot, don't worry about it for now. If it's infected, it's infected, if it's not, it's not. I would lean to the 'it's not infected' side of things. Even if it is infected, there isn't anything you can do about it now. You're better off waiting for it to finish fermenting, bottle it up, wait for it to carb and decide then if it's worth keeping, and if you don't think it's worth keeping, keep it anyway and let it sit at around 70f for another month and try it again.

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Old 11-03-2008, 03:28 PM   #3
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I did a fermentation in a 5 gallon carboy just to see what happens and you will NEED a blow-out tube!! Go to a hardware store and get some 1" vinyl tubing and an extra bucket. I get blow-out on my 6.5 gallon carboy. I can almost guarantee it on a 5 gallon.

This was my 5 gallon carboy experiment. That's a 1" tube there for a blow-out tube. After you get past the high point of fermentation you can remove the tube and replace with a standard airlock.

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Old 11-03-2008, 03:29 PM   #4
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If I were you, I would buy a 6.5 gal food grade plastic bucket for primary. You need the extra headspace to make room for the krausen, otherwise things can get messy. Keep you 5 gallon as a secondary and you can have two batches always going.

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Old 11-03-2008, 03:33 PM   #5
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Oh boy, headed to the hardware store as of now...

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Old 11-03-2008, 04:06 PM   #6
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I always use a 6 or 6.5 gallon primary, and have never needed a blow off tube. I try to keep the temperature under control, too.

5 gallon secondaries are fine.

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Old 11-03-2008, 04:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt_Kirks View Post
I always use a 6 or 6.5 gallon primary, and have never needed a blow off tube. I try to keep the temperature under control, too.

5 gallon secondaries are fine.
Depends on the beer. The 6.5 gallon only blows out on me now when I'm doing a big Belgian or the fermentation temp is in the 70s. I just got the 6 gallon and it's currently blowing out some. I have a Belgian Pale Ale in there though and made a starter that gave me a yeast cake the size of some of my primary fermentations.
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Old 11-03-2008, 05:12 PM   #8
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Thanks so much guys. I literally got back home in the nick of time. The krausen was starting to bubble through the airlock. Anyways this pic is how I have it set up now. Does everything look fine?



The tubing was a little too wide, but I was able to jam it in the top of the carboy. I then wrapped the tube to the neck with saran wrap and tied it.

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Old 11-03-2008, 05:15 PM   #9
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Looks good to me.

I always add a splash of bleach to the water in the bucket. If you get a good blow out, it'll prevent any mod/bacteria from growing in there.

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Old 04-03-2010, 11:47 PM   #10
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Default first brew - 20 hours after pitching yeast

Hi fellow brewers,

Here is a picture of my 5 gallon carboy 20 hours after adding yeast. The airlock just recently started overflowing. (This is my first brew... IPA)

http://i1002.photobucket.com/albums/...4-03193805.jpg

I have 2 questions, but first I will tell you about the process I am using. Since I only had 5 gallon carboys the guy at the local homebrew store recommended pitching the yeast into 4 gallons, waiting for the vigorous part of the fermentation to happen, and then topping the carboy off with a 5th gallon. Is this sound advice? Is it okay to do? Any recommendations?

Also, since there is only 4 gallons in the 5 gallon carboy during fermentation, how much overflow should I expect? Think I need an overflow bucket?

Thanks in advance,

mechedd

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