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Old 04-25-2013, 04:52 PM   #1
cbzdel
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Default 5 or 6 gallon better bottle?

Hello, I currently have (2) 6.5 gallon with brews fermenting in them, and I have (2) brand new never used glass 5 gallon carboys. I thought I needed the glass carboys because all the books I read about brewing said to do a secondary, now after being on here I have learned it is not needed unless dry hopping or adding fruit, ect.

The horror stories of the glass carboys scare the crap out of me, with little kids and pets in the house. It was just me I would not care but I need to look out for everyone else, and after reading up I feel more comfortable with the plastic, as does the wife.

My thought is to keep the 6.5g buckets because I like the handles and then buy 1 better bottle for now, and sell the two glass carboys. My kegerator only hold two 5 gallon kegs and I am the sole drinker (unless company comes over) in the house so I will not have to brew often, maybe only once every month or so.

My question is for a setup like this would it be better to get a 5 or 6 gallon better bottle, the 6 would work better if I wanted to use it as a primary, but the 5 would work better as a secondary?? So really I am buying it as a just in case I need it for anything situation.


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Old 04-25-2013, 05:00 PM   #2
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You can't go wrong with either. I ferment exclusively in buckets for many of the reasons you listed. I rarely secondary, unless I'm doing a crazy long term brew or want to rack the beer onto something. I have 3 5 gallon better bottles that I use for this. I originally bought one to use for secondary-ing before I learned more about the benefits of longer primary fermentation. I now use them almost exclusively for brewing apple wine (it is the perfect size, no krausen so no need for extra head space of a 6 gal one). The reason I have 3 is because I got some extra ones to use to brew a bunch of batches at once for a wedding.

TL;DR - Go for the 5 gallon for the occasional secondary you might do, or applewine. That being said, both are fine, but I suspect if you get a 6 gallon BB, it will sit unused while your buckets are always in use.

I hope this helps your decision!


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Old 04-25-2013, 05:01 PM   #3
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I do mostly IPA's so i'm always putting something in secondary. I do 5 gallon batches and have 4 glass carboys (if you are careful with them, they are the best).......I do primary in 6.5 gallon carboys and secondary in 5 gallon ones.....I love the 6.5 gallons
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:02 PM   #4
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If the main point of the BBs is for secondary then the 5gal will be better for the reason , as I understand it, of less headspace.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:03 PM   #5
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Just my 2cents: I find having a number of different vol containers covers all, well, vols. Ya never know when you want to try that odd batch, or wine, or whatever. I've also prepped a batch in ss keg, stored it really cold in cellar, start starter when I felt like it, warm up and pitch. Keep a few 1 gal wine jugs, too. 1, 2 and 3 liter PET soda bottles will work in a pinch, tho noone knows if they are permeable to oxygen???
I do use Vintage Shop and BBs and can vouch for them. Any odor that remains dissipates over time, just hang 'em upside down to air out. Good luck.
PS: I have exp with glass, and they can be very dangerous. If I find time, I'll shoot you a Word file about them.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:04 PM   #6
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I have 4 BB's... Two 6-gal and two 5-gal. I barely use a secondary anymore but when I did, i always went primary with the 6 gallon and 5 gallon with secondary. Just cuz of the extra head space and krausen and what not.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:15 PM   #7
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Get rid of the carboys, and if you run across a recipe which requires a secondary, get something at that point. I'd actually suggest just getting a third bucket since you like them. Even if you have headspace, since you're kegging, you can just purge your secondary bucket with CO2.

If you get a better bottle, you now have 3 single purpose fermenters. If you get another bucket, you have 3 dual purpose fermenters
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:34 PM   #8
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Why couldn't he just use the 6 gallon better bottle as a primary? That's what I've been doing with mine.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:41 PM   #9
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He said that he likes buckets for the handles. I can't see a reason why you'd get a better bottle which has no handles, then use it as a primary. You could have just bought the thing that you like!

If all you use is better bottles because you like the fact that they don't have handles, it wouldn't make sense to buy buckets.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:44 PM   #10
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That's true. Only reason I bought a better bottle was because I'm still new to this and still enjoy seeing the action. I figured that might be part of the reason why he was looking into getting a carboy. If you don't care, then definitely just save the money and get some more buckets.


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