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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Ale Pail as a secondary? Why carboys?
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:39 PM   #1
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Default Ale Pail as a secondary? Why carboys?

Hey guys. Thanks for all the advice to date.

I'm currently using an ale pail primary and a glass carboy secondary. I'm drinking/sharing faster than my one batch setup can handle. It is time to expand.

I'm curious why we even use carboys.

Could I just get a bunch of ale pails and use them as both primary and secondary fermenters?

They are just so cheap compared to glass or better bottle carboys.

Thanks again.


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Old 12-06-2007, 03:47 PM   #2
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If for some odd reason I decide to transfer my beer off the primary I have been known to put it into another plastic bucket.
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:48 PM   #3
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I think the main reason is to move to a smaller vessel. The smaller the vessel, the less headspace, meaning less chance of oxidation...
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soulive21
I think the main reason is to move to a smaller vessel. The smaller the vessel, the less headspace, meaning less chance of oxidation...
DING! DING! DING! Tell him what he's won Bob...

You certainly could rack to another bucket. It likely would not present any problems provided that you follow your normal sanitation procedures.
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeehiveBrewer
...Could I just get a bunch of ale pails and use them as both primary and secondary fermenters?
...
I do it all the time.

If I were to add any more equipment, it would be buckets. Certainly makes dry hopping easier.
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:34 PM   #6
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There are some questions about the oxygen permiability of HDPE buckets. Apparently they will allow oxygen in slowly so it's not ideal for brews you intend to secondary for more than 2 months for example.
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Old 12-06-2007, 05:55 PM   #7
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Which is why I just secondary in the keg. 7 to 10 days in the primary and keg it. If it needs to clear, just put those kegs in the back so I don't pull them out for a couple of months. Plus kegs have handles built in, carboys don't.
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:00 PM   #8
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It's not just oxygen permeability and head space (although those are HUGE reasons). It's also the quality of the seal and the ability to see how the beer clears.

I've thought about going straight to kegs, like jdoiv, and I might just do that on a beer I don't dry hop.


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Old 12-06-2007, 07:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLaw
…I've thought about going straight to kegs, like jdoiv...
It’s 30 degrees here now so my outdoors is my new unlimited crash cooler. I just racked my Munich Helles straight from the primary to the kegs (w/gelatin) and dragged em outside. It’s easier to forget about them out there and with a nice 29-24 degree temp range, they should clear up nicely without taking room in my kegerator(s)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
…so it's not ideal for brews you intend to secondary for more than 2 months for example...
You mean like me???
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:46 PM   #10
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I really think people use glass carboys so they can watch the beer clear and take pictures. Buckets are more like ultrasound baby pics.

[Note: I don't have carboys OR babies.]


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