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Old 09-10-2009, 07:18 PM   #1
larrysbooze
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Default What kind of Secondary Should I purchase?

Im on my first batch right now, and I think I would like to get another fermenter to put this batch in a secondary fermenter. Do people recommend a Carboy or a fermenting bucket for this?

This way I could have two batches at once. I would like to use this to have some sort of rotation going. Does this make sense? What is the best way to do this? Right now I have a 5 Gal Carboy and a bottling bucket. Would a 6.5 gal carboy be something to purchase for primary fermenting in the future?

Also, how long should it stay in the secondary before I bottle it?

I appreciate all the help guys, I'm trying to gain a better understanding of this whole process!

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Old 09-10-2009, 07:26 PM   #2
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Plastic buckets leave beer susceptible to oxidation. Use a glass carboy. As for length of time- all depends on what you are going for. Search around and you will find enough answers to form your own opinion.

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Old 09-10-2009, 07:28 PM   #3
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Thats what I was thinking, but do you think I should get a 6.5 gal Carboy or another 5? I saw somewhere that 6.5's are better for primary because the yeast has more room or something like that.

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Old 09-10-2009, 07:29 PM   #4
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You should definitely get a larger carboy or bucket to use for primary - at least 6.5 gallons. Then use that 5 gallon for a secondary. Don't bother with a secondary for this batch. If you put this batch in a 6.5 gallon carboy to secondary there will be too much headspace and you will have oxidized beer. Just bottle from primary after 2-4 weeks of fermentation. Never bottle or transfer your beer from secondary until a few days after fermentation is complete as evidenced by hydrometer readings. You want to wait a few days to let the yeast clean up biproducts of fermentation.

The amount of time in secondary depends on the beer and what you are using it for. Don't even bother with it at all unless you are bulk aging a high gravity beer, adding fruit, oak, herbs, etc or dry hopping. For bulk aging something like an RIS or barleywine, you can go anywhere from a month to a year, just be sure that you have almost no head space. For dry hopping, a week will be plenty.

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Old 09-10-2009, 07:30 PM   #5
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Use a 5 gal for a secondary- less head space, less air contacting your beer. If you want to use glass as a primary (lots of threads and debate on that- I use buckets) get a 6.5 .

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Old 09-10-2009, 07:33 PM   #6
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Heres my own experiences, as I own a 6.5 gallon carboy, a 5 gallon carboy, and a 5 gallon bucket.

You can use any or all of the above for primary fermentation, though I tend to use my 6.5g carboy, as it has greater head room for that krausen to fill (this in no way replaces a blow-off tube!)

If I secondary, I will use the 5g carboy exclusively - secondary is for clearing, a carboy lets you get a grasp on the progress.

That being said, more often than not I will use all three as primaries. I tend to favor carboys a little more, and use the bucket when it comes to bottling, but thats just personal preference.

You will find people here that swear by one or the other, but ultimately either will work fine - its a matter of what feels best for you (and your wallet).

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Old 09-10-2009, 07:35 PM   #7
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Okay- I think I will just purchase a bucket for future use as a primary and just leave this brew alone in the 5 gal carboy then. Less expensive as well.

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Old 09-10-2009, 11:19 PM   #8
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Could just buy a glass carboy, rubber stopper, and airlock. Leave it in primary, and not transfer to secondary and brew another one. Or if you have a kegerator, then use your keg as a secondary, transfer to serving keg by co2a few weeks later. Just a few ideas.

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Old 09-11-2009, 02:33 AM   #9
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I think the key is to ask if you want to bother with a secondary or not (read the sticky in the forum on the topic). If you do, then a combo of a 6+ gallon primary and a 5g secondary are best, with maybe the advantage going to a 5g carboy with less head space. But if you subscribe to the idea that a secondary racking isn't needed and you can just leave it in the primary, then maybe two 6+ primaries are better. That way you can brew one weekend, then brew the next, and never touch the first batch.

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Old 09-11-2009, 02:36 AM   #10
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well since there was no budget listed and I feel like giving a smart at answer, I would suggest one of these



This way, you can primary, dump some yeast and trub and your already in your clearing tank.

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