Primary Headspace - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Primary Headspace

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-16-2008, 04:01 AM   #1
hoplobster
Recipes 
 
Dec 2006
Roseville, MI
Posts: 220


I currently brew 3 gallon batches and I have a large 6.5 gallon carboy to use as a primary. I tend to only use the primary for 2-3 weeks and then bottle, but I am wondering if it is a problem to leave the beer with that much head space?

Please correct me if my logic is flawed, but during the rigorous fermentation stage, O2 is being pushed out by by the CO2 and the airlock does not allow gas to get back in. Would it be safe to assume that my brews are ok or would you think they are being exposed to too much oxygen because of the headspace even though everything has been pushed out?
__________________

Primary: EMPTY
Keg #1: - Hefeweizen
Keg #2: - Mild Ale
Keg #3: - CO2

On Deck: Black IPA - Imperial Stout - IPA or Double IPA - Mocktoberfest

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2008, 04:10 AM   #2
Bearcat Brewmeister
Pour, Drink, Pee, Repeat
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Bearcat Brewmeister's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2006
Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 696
Liked 23 Times on 9 Posts


You are fine. CO2 is heavier than oxygen. As it gets produced quickly at the beginning of fermentation, it pushes the O2 out. Some will mix, but you should have a nice protective layer of CO2 by that point. Keep in mind that some people do open fermentations with no oxygenations issues - just the risk of something falling in. If it were the secondary where fermentation is slower, then I would be concerned with a ton of head space.
__________________
Kegged: Barrel Aged Imperial Sweet Stout, Rye Ale, Old Ale
Secondary:
Barrel Aged Imperial Sweet Stout On Cherries
Primary:
Fruitcake Old Ale, RIS
Next Up: White IPA
Projects: Brutus Strut-stand (Done), Freezer Conversion (Done), HERMS (Done), Lager Fermentation Mini-fridge Extension (Done)
Drinking: Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, Fuller's 1845, Founder's Dirty Bastard, New Glarus Moon Man, Fat Head's Hop Juju

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2008, 04:34 AM   #3
GloHoppa
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
Posts: 440
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


If you have a 6.5 carboy, why do you only do 3gal batches instead of 5?
__________________
Primary: (empty)
Carboy: Apfelwein, aged 11 mo
Mr. Beer: (empty)
Bottled/Conditioning: (empty)

Planning: Belgian Pale Ale, Hop Harvest Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2008, 05:19 AM   #4
Jack
Recipes 
 
Aug 2006
Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 343
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts


He may be like me... 5 gallons is a lot of beer. I'm the only beer drinker in my household, so it makes sense. Plus, it's less expensive and I can brew more often (which is good because I enjoy it -- which is the point of a hobby).

Does your beer taste ok? If so, I think your practices are ok.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2008, 12:37 PM   #5
hoplobster
Recipes 
 
Dec 2006
Roseville, MI
Posts: 220

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack
He may be like me... 5 gallons is a lot of beer. I'm the only beer drinker in my household, so it makes sense. Plus, it's less expensive and I can brew more often (which is good because I enjoy it -- which is the point of a hobby).

Does your beer taste ok? If so, I think your practices are ok.

Took the words right out of my mouth. Plus, its difficult to get 6+ gallons of wort to a rolling boil on a gas stove with such a large pot. When I get my turkey fryer, I may consider a large batch or two.

My beer has been ok, but I'm concerned about the long term effects if I were to age a batch in the bottles for an extended period of time.

Thanks for the replies!
__________________

Primary: EMPTY
Keg #1: - Hefeweizen
Keg #2: - Mild Ale
Keg #3: - CO2

On Deck: Black IPA - Imperial Stout - IPA or Double IPA - Mocktoberfest

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2008, 02:15 PM   #6
TexLaw
Here's Lookin' Atcha!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
TexLaw's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2007
Houston, Texas
Posts: 3,670
Liked 28 Times on 26 Posts


Just like Bearcat said, you're fine.


TL
__________________
Beer is good for anything from hot dogs to heartache.

Drinking Frog Brewery, est. 1993

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2008, 03:14 AM   #7
Bearcat Brewmeister
Pour, Drink, Pee, Repeat
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Bearcat Brewmeister's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2006
Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 696
Liked 23 Times on 9 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by hoplobster
Took the words right out of my mouth. Plus, its difficult to get 6+ gallons of wort to a rolling boil on a gas stove with such a large pot. When I get my turkey fryer, I may consider a large batch or two.

My beer has been ok, but I'm concerned about the long term effects if I were to age a batch in the bottles for an extended period of time.

Thanks for the replies!
You don't necessarily need to boil more than your 3 gallons. Make a 3 gallon concentrated wort on your stove top, add it to your fermenter, and top off with some sanitized tap water to increase your volume a bit.
__________________
Kegged: Barrel Aged Imperial Sweet Stout, Rye Ale, Old Ale
Secondary:
Barrel Aged Imperial Sweet Stout On Cherries
Primary:
Fruitcake Old Ale, RIS
Next Up: White IPA
Projects: Brutus Strut-stand (Done), Freezer Conversion (Done), HERMS (Done), Lager Fermentation Mini-fridge Extension (Done)
Drinking: Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, Fuller's 1845, Founder's Dirty Bastard, New Glarus Moon Man, Fat Head's Hop Juju

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2008, 09:26 PM   #8
JodsterBrewMan
Recipes 
 
Jan 2008
College Station TX
Posts: 14
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Not to hijack, but can a person do secondary in a 7.9 gallon bucket (from wine making) and inject CO2 before adding airlock? I have an extra one lying around and would like to put it to GOOD USE!

thanks and sorry Hoplobster!!
__________________
Tick Tock Tick Tock....It's five O'Clock (somewhere)!!


Gettin' Ready to brew: American Wheat (Extract)
Primary: Oktoberfest (PM)
secondary:
Currently bottle conditioning: Extract Bock
What I'm Drinking: store bought brown ale...and can't wait for the next 10 days to roll by to start drinking the bock!!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2008, 09:29 PM   #9
WillPall
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
WillPall's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Nov 2007
somewhere special
Posts: 634
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcat Brewmeister
You don't necessarily need to boil more than your 3 gallons. Make a 3 gallon concentrated wort on your stove top, add it to your fermenter, and top off with some sanitized tap water to increase your volume a bit.
Yeah, that's what I've been doing, and it works just fine.

On another note, I think this thread topic would be a good name for a thrash metal/alt. rock band... "And now presenting... PRIMARY HEADSPACE!!!!!!"
__________________
Life is a carnival, believe it or not.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2008, 09:35 PM   #10
ChrisS68
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Illinois
Posts: 564
Liked 5 Times on 3 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by WillPall
Yeah, that's what I've been doing, and it works just fine.

On another note, I think this thread topic would be a good name for a thrash metal/alt. rock band... "And now presenting... PRIMARY HEADSPACE!!!!!!"
SWEET!

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Primary headspace for 2.5 gallon batches Marko73 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 10-25-2009 01:03 PM
Headspace in primary Jsta Porter Mead Forum 2 04-21-2009 06:50 PM
MLT Headspace Brutus Brewer Equipment/Sanitation 1 09-15-2008 06:08 PM
Too much headspace. Okay to add? gheist Winemaking Forum 3 09-12-2008 06:12 PM
too much headspace? trainfever Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 11-24-2007 11:38 PM


Forum Jump