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Old 12-16-2007, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default using glass carboy for primary

I've always used plastic fermenters and just came up on a good deal on some glass carboys, so I picked up a few. They are 5-gal carboys. My plastic ale pail was 6.5 so I there was always plenty of head room in the pail. However, how should I brew with the 5-gal carboy? How much air room should there be above the wort? Also, do you use a funnel to pour the wort into the carboy? I just want to make sure I don't mess this up.

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Old 12-16-2007, 08:58 PM   #2
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I wouldnt ferment in a 5gal glass carboy, unless you rig a super blow-off tube. You can however buy 6.5 gallon carboys.

You want that headspace during fermentation because most beers have a head of kruesen that forms and it can clog up your airlock if it gets in there.

EDIT: On the other hand 5 gallon glass carboys work PERFECT for doing up batches of Edworts Apfelwein

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Old 12-16-2007, 09:08 PM   #3
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Certainly hang on to those 5 gal glass carboys. I have been playing with a grain bag in five gallon/ n00b/ extract system doing 2.5 gallon AG batches. 5 gal carboy will work great as a carboy for those.

You got time to punch out a batch of Apfelwine before I get an illustrated anything in the wiki...

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Old 12-16-2007, 10:13 PM   #4
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I only use glass carboys and although I have a couple 6.5 gallon I have used 5 for fermentation. Blow off tube is necessary because it's a bit of a squeeze in there but it works fine. You've got the carboys, I say use them.

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Old 12-16-2007, 10:52 PM   #5
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The five gallon carboys are really more for clearing and conditioning than for primaries but they can be used for this just the same. You're going to need a blow-off tube instead of an airlock though because the headspace in the 5 gal carboy isn't enough to allow for the krausen that forms on top of the fermenting beer. This is an easy thing to do, though. Just get a length of tubing (I can't remember the size off the top of my head and I'm too lazy to go look) and jam it in the neck of the carboy. Stick the other end of the tubing in a bucket of water and that's it. Make sure to check the blow-off bucket often and change the water as needed.

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Old 12-16-2007, 10:56 PM   #6
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+1 But you might want to toss a little bleach in that bucket of water, just to be on the safe side.

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Old 12-17-2007, 07:14 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. I was told I'd have to use a blow off by my LHBS folks. I've used a blow off before with a Hefe in my plastic fermenter, but never used glass. Seems like it'll be a little extra work since I'd have to use a siphon (which I've never used before), but I'll have to give it a shot.

Ok, so I'll use a blow off. How should I transfer my wort into the glass carboy- funnel from the brewpot? How much head room should I leave in the primary, if I even need to? Any other tips would be great and I look forward to seeing my yeast storm.

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Old 12-17-2007, 12:31 PM   #8
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I think that you'll be happyer in the long run w/ the glass carboy. I've been using them sence i've started brewing. Just use a blow off tube and you'll be fine! Happy brewing!

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Old 12-17-2007, 12:37 PM   #9
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I would add a lot of cold water to the glass carboy before you pour the wort in. Thermal shock is a problem with the glass ones, you don’t want to crack it. But yes a big funnel would work just fine. I would spend the extra couple $ and get a nice BIG funnel. You will like it when you have the big pot of wort you are trying to pour. Keep in mind if you have lose hops/grains in it you will need to filter it out some how. (Strainer or cheese cloth over the funnel)

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Old 12-17-2007, 12:54 PM   #10
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I've used 5 gallon carboys more than a dozen times for primary fermentation and I've never had a problem. Just make sure you hook up a blowoff tube and make sure it's sealed well.

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