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Old 01-29-2013, 03:57 AM   #1
Odinperez
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Jan 2013
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I would like to know your opinion about what could go wrong in fermenting 3 gal batches of beer in 5 gal carboys. I'm intending to do this because I don't want the krausen to get out of the air lock and all that kind of problems I have had sometimes when there's a lot of krausen forming, I know this is depending on the style, but with stouts I have allways had this problem.

Thank you!

 
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:02 AM   #2
lowtones84
 
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Oct 2011
Montclair, New Jersey
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I've fermented 3 gallon batches in 7.5 gallon buckets as well as a 6.5 gallon carboy. It was only primary though and I tried to keep it fairly short (2-3 weeks). So far I haven't noticed any problems despite the massive head space.

 
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:04 AM   #3
gbx
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Feb 2011
Vancouver, British Columbia
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I split most of my 5gal batches between 2 6gal better bottle carboys. It works awesome.

 
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:40 AM   #4
Gavagai
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Nov 2010
Lincoln, Massachusetts
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1. Do it. Lots of headspace is no problem in primary.
2. Your only concern is krausen? Have you heard of a blow off tube?

 
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
Grantman1
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Nov 2010
Raleigh, NC
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I ferment 3 gal batches in a five gal carboy all the time, and never had any krausen close to the top. But if you're still worried, you could use a blow off like the post above mentioned.

 
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:22 PM   #6
Odinperez
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Jan 2013
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Thank you all for sharing your experiences. This information is very useful to me!

 
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:01 PM   #7
Calichusetts
 
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Nov 2011
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Better yet...brew 3.5 gallon batches in a 5 gallon carboy. If you need to secondary (fruit, oak, dry hop, etc) you can get a 3 gallon carboy and completely fill it, no worries of headspace and oxygen

 
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:12 PM   #8
bobbrews
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Jan 2011
Sierra, Nevada
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Excess headspace in the primary is a non-issue... in fact, there may be some added benefits, one of which includes a thicker/denser 02 blanket to protect the beer. Excess headspace in the secondary however is certainly an issue.

 
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:17 PM   #9
Hopper5000
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Oct 2011
Oakland, CA
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I've done it plenty of times with no issues (im doing 3.75 gal). Only tricky part is getting a gravity reading/sample as my theif is barely long enough.

 
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:07 PM   #10
brewfreeordie
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Feb 2012
manchester, nh
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I could see it being a problem in the secondary if the batch is pretty much fermented out, but there's so much CO2 being pushed out the airlock it must be completely blanketing the wort. I could see if you move your containers around a lot, but if you don't invade the space I don't see a problem.

 
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