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Old 01-03-2009, 08:35 AM   #1
jerryalan
 
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Hello! I'm considering spending most of my 2009 brewing time working on my own pale ale recipe. For this I would like to brew batches less than 5 gallons. Ideally I'd like to brew 2.5 gallon batches. My concern is the primary fermenter size though. I've seen 3-gallon carboys for sale which would be great as a secondary but do they have enough head space for the primary? Would my 5-gallon carboy be too big to use as a primary?

Thanks!

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Old 01-03-2009, 08:44 AM   #2
KopyKat
 
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Quote:
I've seen 3-gallon carboys for sale which would be great as a secondary but do they have enough head space for the primary?
Yes, I have done 2.5 gallon batches in a 3 gallon carboy. It would be the equivalent of doing a 5 gallon batch in a 6 gallon carboy which I do all the time as well. I always use a blow off tube on anything I brew so no worries.

Quote:
Would my 5-gallon carboy be too big to use as a primary?
No, and I have done this as well. I use a 5 or 3, whichever I have available at the time. My choice is 3 gallon.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:53 AM   #3
jerryalan
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KopyKat View Post
Yes, I have done 2.5 gallon batches in a 3 gallon carboy. It would be the equivalent of doing a 5 gallon batch in a 6 gallon carboy which I do all the time as well. I always use a blow off tube on anything I brew so no worries.



No, and I have done this as well. I use a 5 or 3, whichever I have available at the time. My choice is 3 gallon.
Thanks! Maybe I'll pick up a 3-gallon tomorrow and a blow off tube and use the 5-gallon as a secondary.

 
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:14 PM   #4
Bob
 
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For the primary? Bucket. Then rack to a 3-gallon carboy for bulk aging.

Using the 5-gallon for the secondary is a BAD idea. One of the objectives in the secondary is preventing exposure to oxygen - thus, the less air in the headspace the better. Go to LHBS and buy a 3-gallon carboy by all means; just ferment in the 5-gallon and age in the 3-gallon.

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Old 01-03-2009, 05:06 PM   #5
nosmatt
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MR BEER!!!!!


ok, someone had to say it.
i have a 2.5g batch in my fridge cooling now. been there a week. i think it's ready

 
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:09 PM   #6
Revvy
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I use mr beer fermenters, 3 gallon water jugs and 3 gallon betterbottles as primaries for my 2.5 gallon batches. I've never had a problem with the half gallon headspace in them for fermentation. If you were worried you could always rig off a blowoff tube..But I've done countless 2.5 gallon batches and only put one on once, and it wasn't really necessary.



As you can see there is considerably more than 3 gallons of space in the Better Bottle...see the 3 gallon mark?

Mr beer kegs are great becasue you can lager or cold crash them in your regular old fridge as well, and they work great set on an inverted bowl in a swamp cooler too.



And since I never secondary it doesn't matter what size I use for it
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:02 PM   #7
Redtail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
I use mr beer fermenters, 3 gallon water jugs and 3 gallon betterbottles as primaries for my 2.5 gallon batches.
Do the same orange carboy caps on the betterbottle (pictured) fit your 3 gallon water jugs? My LHBS had two sizes and I wasn't sure which to get. I have a one of those blue 3 gal water bottles I'd like to use as a secondary for Mr Beer batches.
Thanks!

 
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:08 PM   #8
Revvy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redtail View Post
Do the same orange carboy caps on the betterbottle (pictured) fit your 3 gallon water jugs? My LHBS had two sizes and I wasn't sure which to get. I have a one of those blue 3 gal water bottles I'd like to use as a secondary for Mr Beer batches.
Thanks!
Hmmm I can't say. I haven't tried, only because I picked the cap when I got the BB around turkey day, and after my month long primary on that beer, I then racked another beer on the yeastcake and re-sanitized and stuck the cap back on...So I haven't tried it on anything else. I actually have a couple drilled stoppers that fit on the water bottles.
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:23 PM   #9
Redtail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Hmmm I can't say. I haven't tried, only because I picked the cap when I got the BB around turkey day, and after my month long primary on that beer, I then racked another beer on the yeastcake and re-sanitized and stuck the cap back on...So I haven't tried it on anything else. I actually have a couple drilled stoppers that fit on the water bottles.
Okay, thanks. I think I'll just measure the hole and get the appropriate size drilled stopper on my next trip.

 
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