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Old 04-13-2009, 06:04 PM   #1
CrossCreekBrewing
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Default Buckets and Carboys

I know there is the pro vs. con thread that talks about the pros and cons of these but i have a few questions on the two.

So for those of you that do NOT use a secondary, are u still using a bucket for your long primary or are you doing the entire process in a carboy?

If your starting in a carboy do you go from wort chiller to carboy? how? siphon? i was thinking about getting a big funnel?

If i am going to use a carboy and i am only going to primary is the chance of blow offs greater? is there anything else i need to know or worry about?

How do i pitch yeast in a carboy?


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Old 04-13-2009, 06:12 PM   #2
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1) I have buckets and Better Bottles, and I don't do secondary unless I'm oaking, dry hopping, adding fruit, adding sour cultures, or I just plain need to free up a larger fermenter. I use both for long primary, and have never had a problem... Unless you consider delicious beer a problem, in which case I'd be more than happy to come over and help you with your problem.

2) When starting in a carboy, I generally just dump it through a funnel. Many people will also use a strainer in their funnels to help aerate and filter out some of the trub from the kettle. Many people also use the whirlpooling technique to form all that trub into a neat little cone at the bottom of the kettle, then siphon around that. I use Irish Moss and extended aging, so getting that trub into the fermenter isn't a problem for me as it's just going to settle out at the bottom anyway.

3) The chance of blowoff depends on the fermenter size, type/amount of yeast, temperature, and several other things, but not so much the shape of the fermenter. Basically a 5 gallon bucket and a 5 gallon carboy are both going to have the same risk of blowoff. However, buckets tend to be much larger (6-7 gallons generally) than carboys, so that will affect the risk. Either way, I always recommend a blowoff for the first few days. No point in taking unnecessary risk.

4) Very carefully! Or just use a funnel, and wash down the clingers with a bit of water or wort.


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Old 04-13-2009, 06:17 PM   #3
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I do long primaries in buckets and carboys, it doesn't matter.

Since I have an immersion chiller I chill then autosiphon from brewpot to carboy, though in the past I have used a funnel.

If you are using a 6.5 gallon glass carboy, a blowoff us usually unnecessarily, but there is always an exception, since we're dealing with living micro organisms, some may be more active than others.

Open pouch and sprinkle, or if you rehydrated or are using liquid yeast and a starter, carefully pour...a funnel does help.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
If you are using a 6.5 gallon glass carboy, a blowoff us usually unnecessarily, but there is always an exception, since we're dealing with living micro organisms, some may be more active than others.
Just to piggyback on this, Revvy is 100% correct. Out of the batches I've done in larger containers (generally ~6.5 gallons) I've only ever had 1 blowoff. I got complacent with my larger sized buckets, and decided after several batches with no blowoff that I didn't need a blowoff tube installed... surely it couldn't hurt just this once! Yeah, that was when ol' Captain Murphy decided to rear his ugly head, and of course, something went wrong. It was blowoff central, and it nearly popped the lid off my bucket.

Since then, my recommendation to new brewers has been to always use a blowoff tube for the first few days in the following scenarios:
1) A recipe you've never brewed before
2) A yeast you aren't intimately familiar with
3) Your fermenter has less than 2.5 gallons of head space
4) Hefes and Wits
5) Any beer over 1.060 OG
6) Your fermenter is located near anything you wouldn't want to see covered in krausen
7) You're just plain sick of cleaning the ceiling.

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Old 04-13-2009, 06:37 PM   #5
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I use a 6.5 carboy for all beer fermentations. I've not had a blowoff yet (I control temps carefully, I don't brew hefe's and I use foam control in the boil kettle - some gets through to primary). I pump from the keg through a CFC to the carboy. When pitching dry yeast I cut the top of the packet off and just pour through the neck of the carboy carefully. Liquid yeast is easier, pouring out of the Erlenmeyer flask.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:51 PM   #6
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Given I'm still new and have brewed only three batches, I use only 6.5 gallon buckets as primaries, and have yet to have a blowoff. Having said that, the Belgian Wit I brewed with WLP400 had a vigorous ferment, but nothing ended up in the airlock, my last brew was a stout the OG came in at 1.060, and no blow-off either, however, it did take over 3weeks to reach my FG wich was a couple points higher than the estimated target FG. Anyhow, I'm waiting for my first blowoff.

Just a thought, but does aeration of the wort prior to pitching have an effect on blowoff?
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:42 PM   #7
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I would say yes, as a chemist and from my brief experience thus far, my first batch i did a terrible job aerating and everything in the fermentor was pretty calm. My second batch i did a much better job with aerating and had that "holy $h!t what is going on in that bucket?!?!" affect. The reactions that take place require O2 and if the yeast does not have easy access to the O2 than it is going to be harder for it to perform these reactions. If it is really easy for the yeast to perfrom these reactions than they go bizurk and blow off.

Anyone care to comment on that response? as a newb i dont like to rely on my own credibility too strongly

EDIT: obviously other factors go into wheather or not there will be a blow off, i just mean this could be one of them
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:49 PM   #8
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I use carboys, not buckets. To get the wort into the carboy I use a siphon, and I attached a home-made venturi tube at the end of it (there's a topic on simple aeration gadget or something to that effect over on the DIY forum). It aerates very nicely and easily. On the batch I brewed yesterday, fermentation started in 12 hours.

I use a sanitized funnel to pour in the yeast.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:09 PM   #9
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What is the benefit of no secondary? leaving it in the primany till bottling day?
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by injen69 View Post
What is the benefit of no secondary? leaving it in the primany till bottling day?
1) Less risk of contamination
2) Less risk of oxidation
3) Fewer carboys/buckets required
4) Less effort
5) In my opinion the beer comes out just as clear, and tastes better. Recently, I made 2 identical batches of Robust Porter. One utilized a secondary, one did not. Since it was quite dark, I couldn't really tell a difference in the clarity, but the extended primary beer tastes better to me. I think the hops shined through a bit better, and the malt didn't add quite as much sweetness, resulting in a more balanced beer.


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