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Old 09-20-2006, 08:13 AM   #1
poorfatjames
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Default New Brewer; A)use a 5 gal primary? B)Store in Wine Bottles?

Hello Hip Hopsters.

I'm getting ready to do my first brew, but I'm tryinging to do it with as little monetary expenditure as possible by using equipment around the house. I've sorted out my plans pretty well by reading the forums and other websites, but I have two unanswered questions.

A) I have two glass 5 gallon glass carboys (about 5 and 1/4 gallons filled to the brim). I have read that some people regularly use a 5 gallon primary. Not that it'll stop me, but is this a bad idea for a beginner? What would I need to do if I were to use the 5 gallon carboy for a primary?

B) I have more than enough wine bottles to store a batch of beer. Can I store beer in a wine bottle using nothing but a cork to seal the bottle, or would the C02 blow the cork?

Thanks for your help!

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Old 09-20-2006, 10:37 AM   #2
gruntingfrog
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First of all, welcome.

To answer your questions...

a) Just get a blowoff tube and you should be OK using a 5 gallon carboy for fermentation. You'll probably lose a little beer in the blowoff, but not too much. Check this out for info on the blowoff tube... http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter9.html

b) The CO2 will definitely push the cork out of the wine bottles. If you had champagne bottles with cages over the corks it would work, otherwise you need to use bottles that can be capped or kegs.

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Old 09-20-2006, 03:15 PM   #3
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B) the CO2 could easily burst the bottles. Wine bottles are not designed to take pressure. In fact, wine makers go to a lot of trouble de-gassing their wines and killing the yeast, so the wine isn't carbonated. Champagne bottles can handle the pressure.

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Old 09-20-2006, 09:25 PM   #4
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OK, thanks for the replies. Guess I'll use my dad's old capper, afterall, and even if I have to buy bottles it would cost less than a corker and corks. Ha.

Would it jeopordize the brew to split the wort into my two carboys, and then at the end of primary fermentation siphon all the beer into one carboy, clean and sanitize the other, and siphon all the beer into the sanitized carboy for secondary phase?

thanks!

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Old 09-21-2006, 02:17 AM   #5
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If your using a 5 gallon carboy for primary, I wouldn't make a starter for it... Things tend to get messy if you don't have alot of space on top to handle the foam... I would go with a blow off tube just in case... I saved alot of money by reusing bottles from beer that I drink around the apartment... Like guiness, SA's and other styles that require a bottle opener... You can get caps cheap cheap on ebay and LHBS's normally have a good supply for a cheap price...

As for splitting the brew's and combining them, I would hesitate on it for two reasons.

1) When you combine the two, you are retaining the trub and fallout from the one that is the receiver of the other beer... The clarity would be affected...


2) If you combine, sanitize then transfer back to use a secondary, you are risking infection with un needed transfering of wort...

With that said, I would use the 5 gallon carboy as your primary for now untill you get a 6.5 but two things you will need to keep from having to mop the ceiling like I have had to do in the past... Blow off tube is a life saver and try to keep the wort a little cooler than normal... If it's cooler like in the high 60's or even 70 degrees, it will not be as aggressive of a fermentation....

Good luck with your project.. I've been a brewer for only 6 months and let me tell you, I am hooked and will be a LHB for life!!!!

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Old 09-21-2006, 02:38 AM   #6
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You can just use one 5gal carboy with a blowoff tube. The blowoff materials have a lot of strong "super"yeast contained whithin. I have heard..."heard" being the operative word here, that this material can be washed in the same fashion as trub to collect the yeast for a future batch. I still need to try this for myself, but you're welcome to go for it!

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Old 09-21-2006, 10:44 AM   #7
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OK, I think I'll just use the blow off tube. I was reluctant because my carboy has a 2.25" ID opening, and hose that size is about $2.50 a foot, and I'd have to get it shipped. Kinda kills what little savings I'm making. What I'll do is get the #12 stopper for $2.50, drill it to a normal carboy size, and get some blow off tubing and a second stopper in that smaller size.

LHBS is open late tomorrow, so I can go in and get my supplies! My expenditure will be about $30 in equipment, $5 in cleaners, and an ingredients kit.

Terrific! Thanks for your help.

James

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Old 09-21-2006, 06:34 PM   #8
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If you don't want to lose some beer into your waterjug, run the tubing vertical for a bit before bending it over into your waterjug. Essentially you create a longer neck for the carboy. It sounds like you're using a 5 gallon spring water jug. Why not buy your tubing from Home Depot? They sell by the foot also. If you want to downsize the tubing, you might try a carboy cap. I found it makes racking easy also.

Bobby

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Old 09-21-2006, 07:31 PM   #9
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Just a thought but 6.5 gal. fermentation buckets aren't that expensive and then you could use both your carboys as secondaries and keep your pipeline moving.

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