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Old 02-28-2012, 12:44 AM   #1
Shaw237
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Dec 2011
Acton, MA
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It is about that time in my homebrew career where I switch from a fermenting bucket to a glass carboy. I have been looking on craigslist for the past few weeks to see what people are selling as far as carboys. It seems most people are looking to sell 5 gallon carboys. I wanted to see what peoples opinions were on whether or not to buy a 5g or 6.5 gallon carboy? Is one option better for the primary vs. the secondary? It seems you would have issues adding to the secondary with a 5 gallon. Finally when they refer to 5 gallons is that all the way to the top of the neck or does a 5 gallon batch leave a little space in the neck. Thanks for all opinions.

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:48 AM   #2
Hammy71
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I ferment in 6+ gallon carboys and when I do secondary, I use 5 gallon ones. The 5 gallon carboys get pretty near the top, but not all the way to the neck. You don't want a lot of head room any way. The less air the better. Works fine for dry hopping, If you plan on using fruit you could just use a six gallon I guess. So, 6 for fermentation, and 5 for secondary.

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:32 AM   #3
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I'm like Hammy. I have a 6, a 6.5, and a five gallon if I secondary. If you are going to pick just one, pick a 6 or 6.5.

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:31 AM   #4
jamaha
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Feb 2011
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I have all 5 gallon ones, because no one was selling any 6 or 6.5s when I was getting set up. I ferment in the 5s with no problems. I always use a blow-off bucket. My 5 gallon batches end up more like 4.75 gallons, but whatever.

That said, if I could get my hands on a 6 or 6.5 for free/cheap, I'd be all over it.

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:15 AM   #5
day_trippr
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May 2011
Stow, MA
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I'm definitely a 6.5g glass carboy fan, they're all I use for fermenting. The one 5g glass I have is relegated to holding my Star San mix 'cuz it's just too small to be useful for beer...

Cheers!

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:20 AM   #6
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Forget the glass! Get 6 gallon Better Bottles. Much lighter and WAY safer. One trip to the ER after breaking a glass carboy will cost big $$$

5 gallon bottles are useless unless you are brewing 4 gallon batches or doing secondaries.

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:22 AM   #7
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Since I do one gallon batches there is no alternative for me but to leave a decent amount of head space (maybe 10%) but I have seen no issues with oxidation.

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:48 PM   #8
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I personally would go with a bucket for primary and 5-6gal for secondary. I don't secondary much, but when I do, I use the 6. The buckets are so much easier to clean and have never given me an issue. I use 8 gallon primary buckets I get from brewmasters warehouse. When I dryhop, I use the 6 gallon glass so I can finish with 5 gallons. I also have 4-5 gallon glass for long term bulk conditioning for Imp Stouts and such.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:59 PM   #9
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Don't get caught up in the glass vs. plastic debate. Both have their pros and cons, and those have been discussed to death elsewhere here on HBT. But, if you're doing a primary fermentation, you'll need at least a 6 gallon vessel. 6.5 would be better. A 5 gallon carboy would be perfect to secondary in.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calichusetts View Post
Since I do one gallon batches there is no alternative for me but to leave a decent amount of head space (maybe 10%) but I have seen no issues with oxidation.
What size fermenter do you use for your one gallon batches? We have three gallon carboys at the Homebrew Emporium in Weymouth. You could do a two gallon batch in that easily.
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