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Old 06-05-2011, 11:30 AM   #1
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Default Such a thing as too much headroom?

I am going to be experimenting a bit, and I am only looking to make maybe 1-2 gallon batches with said experiments (no use in wasting a full batch if its going to come out crummy anyhow)

Anyway, I only have 6.5 gallon fermenter/carboys and I was wondering if there can be too much headroom?

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Old 06-05-2011, 11:32 AM   #2
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Well,the co2 formed during fermentation is a heavier gas than o2,so it might be ok. But I'd rather get one of those 2 or 3 gallon fermenters. Seems to me Midwest has them.
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:46 PM   #3
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I'm no expert, but I have brewed 2 smaller batches(both, amusingly, due to user error). Both batches ended up being between 2.5 and 3 gallons, and being that I only have 5 gallon fermenters, I went ahead and used them. The beers turned out fine.

I honestly didn't even think to ask this question. I am curious as to whether or not this would have any ill effects.

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Old 06-05-2011, 11:15 PM   #4
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For making 2-3 gallon sized batches you can easliy buy a few food grade buckets from your local bakery. These have frosting in them and can easily be used with the same lids as your 6.5 size gallon fermentors. Walmart also sells 5 gallon food grade buckets in their paint department for $2.59. Lids are usually $1.09. These hold a maximum volume of 5 gallons and I use them for 2-3.5 gallon sized brews to experiment with. Never had a problem with them. These would rduce the amount of head space as well as give you a few extra fermenting options for little money invested. I have bought some of the pastry buckets from local bakeries in grocery stores and used them well.

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Old 06-06-2011, 04:02 AM   #5
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Home Depot has 2 gallon white plastic buckets and covers in the paint dept. I'll be trying my first 1 gallon batch on thursday in it.

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Old 06-06-2011, 05:36 AM   #6
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I *think* it's okay to have headspace during primary because a lot of CO2 is being pushed out during a lot of the time. But I have heard headspace is a possible problem during secondary.

Also, as I'm thinking about it, when I do a 5 gallon batch in the primary bucket, it's a 6.5 gallon container, and there's a lot of headspace there too.

Of course, advocating a smaller container is a good idea anyway because it's cheap and frees up your larger fermenter for another brew.

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Old 06-06-2011, 11:17 PM   #7
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I suppose in an experimental batch being only 1 gallon 1.5 gallons... 2 maybe at most, if I would worry about a secondary at all.
Is it really necessary with decent filtration?
I suppose yes for clarity. But on the other hand how important is clarity when you wouldnt want to bother with the mess of a secondary just for an experimental brew.
Paradox!

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Old 06-07-2011, 12:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GameReaper88 View Post
I am wondering if there can be too much headroom?
Not on day FOUR!
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GameReaper88 View Post
I am going to be experimenting a bit, and I am only looking to make maybe 1-2 gallon batches....
Just a thought from a glass snob...

My friend uses 1g wine jugs he got from his neighbors. Fit a bung into the neck and they are mini carboys. All the benefits of glass at no cost. Even if you had to buy them full/new, I dont think they cost a whole lot.

A half dozen and your experiments are off and running.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musick View Post
Just a thought from a glass snob...

My friend uses 1g wine jugs he got from his neighbors. Fit a bung into the neck and they are mini carboys. All the benefits of glass at no cost. Even if you had to buy them full/new, I dont think they cost a whole lot.

A half dozen and your experiments are off and running.

You are very correct, I nearly forgot about those 1 gallon jugs of 10 dollar wine.
At the cost for a 6.5 gallon glass carboy the gallon jug and the wine is well worth the 10 dollars.
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