Aging 5 gallons of beer in 6.5 gallon secondary? - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Aging 5 gallons of beer in 6.5 gallon secondary?
Cool Brewing Corny 5G & Mini Giveaway
Sign-up To NEW HBT Article Newsletter - Brewing Articles Direct To You!

Thread Tools
Old 10-28-2010, 03:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,240
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts
Likes Given: 12

I'm planning on brewing a belgian dark strong ale, and probably bulk aging it for a month or two after the initial 3 week primary. Problem is, I only have 6.5 gallon primary fermenters, and I don't usually use a secondary for anything. I guess I have 4 options here, which one is the best?

1. Leave it in the primary for the entire time.

2. Add it to a 6.5 gal fermenter and purge the headspace with CO2.

3. Add to 6.5 gal fermenter and at the same time add some sugar (that was in the recipe anyway) to feed the yeast to create CO2 in the headspace.

4. Don't secondary, and just age in the bottles after primary fermentation is over.

I'm leaning towards option 1, just because it's the easiest and I don't foresee any issues with doing this one. The OG is 1.087, so would it benefit from an even longer primary than I usually do?

devilishprune is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2010, 04:01 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somewhere in the middle of Nebraska
Posts: 869
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 4

When I bulk age I use option #2, after 3-4 weeks in the primary .

hamiltont is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2010, 04:02 PM   #3
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 68,386
Liked 7304 Times on 5165 Posts
Likes Given: 2071

Originally Posted by hamiltont View Post
When I bulk age I use option #2, after 3-4 weeks in the primary .
I agree. For a beer you want to age a bit, moving it to the carboy and purging the headspace with co2 would be just the ticket.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2010, 04:08 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Desert
Posts: 303
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Number 2 is the ticket, but honestly, I doubt you need to purge the headspace. It's still going to be generating a little bit of CO2 and that will lay like a protective layer on the top of your beer. Won't hurt to purge; but not really necessary IMHO.
"All right, brain, I don't like you and you don't like me - so let's just do this and I'll get back to killing you with beer."
- Homer Simpson

2013 spring IPA
White Christmas ale
Holiday Porter, Grilled Pumpkin Ale
knightbeer39 is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2010, 04:25 PM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: puget sound
Posts: 202

1)Lots of brewers on this site use buckets only.

2) Im with knightbeer39 it will make its own layer even if its only a 1/2 inch. CO2 is heavier than air and will push the air out



dogtailale is offline
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2 Gallons in 5 Gallon Carboy hal simmons General Techniques 9 09-02-2013 06:48 PM
Help - how measure 5 gallons in 6 gallon better bottle pcrawford General Techniques 12 12-30-2010 10:09 PM
7 gallon carboy for 5 gallons batches... SowegaBrews General Techniques 5 03-23-2009 04:03 PM
5 Gallon Recipe's....5 drinkable gallons?? jacobyhale General Techniques 13 12-23-2007 12:33 PM
bottle aging vs secondary aging for a winter ale wstein General Techniques 7 09-02-2006 11:59 PM

Forum Jump