5 Gallon main fermenter?

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ZBrewMan

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Thought I had researched my new hobby pretty well, but alas... I made my first n00b mistake before my first brew.

I purchased two 5 gallon glass carboys from morebeer.com thinking the standard 5 gallons of wort would naturally need a 5 gallon home.... oops :(

I'm weighing the pros and cons of a few options and would love some input.

Option 1: (the greedy option)
Still brew 5g batches for each carboy and just go to the hardware store for some large diameter blow-off tubing.

Option 2: (possible beer famine?)
Brew only one 5g batch and fill each carboy halfway (2.5g).

Option 3: (n00b hell?)
Alter any recipes to brew only 4g of wort for each carboy, thereby saving the krausen. (How difficult are these calculations for a n00b?)

Option 4:
Return the carboys and order new 6.5 gallon ones.



Would love to RDWHAHB, but I don't have any yet! :eek:

Advice?
 

ChshreCat

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Option 5:
Pick up a 6.5 gallon fermenter, primary in it for a week or two and then transfer to the 5 gallon to secondary.
 
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ZBrewMan

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Definitely another option to consider. Thanks!

...and yet another option: Cake or Death?
 

fireface

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Welcome to the club, I made the same mistake for my first batch.

Using a 6.5 gallon for primary fermentation as ChshreCat said before is the way I went. Been pretty successful so far.
 
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ZBrewMan

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Option 6:
Pick up two fermentation buckets, keep your 5 gallon for secondary and smaller batches.

Probably the wisest decision considering that I've already spent too much...

fireface said:
Welcome to the club, I made the same mistake for my first batch.

Using a 6.5 gallon for primary fermentation as ChshreCat said before is the way I went. Been pretty successful so far.

Thanks! How many brews you got under your belt so far?


ChshreCat said:
ZBrewMan said:
...and yet another option: Cake or Death?
Death. No wait! Cake! Cake!

lol... Eddie Izzard is the man! As well as being an executive transvestite.
 

Jewrican

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i have done 8 batches and use 1. i also have 5 gallon carboys and use them with 5 gallon batches each and every time with 1" blow offs
 
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ZBrewMan

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i have done 8 batches and use 1. i also have 5 gallon carboys and use them with 5 gallon batches each and every time with 1" blow offs

Yeah, this is what originally I wanted to do, but after reading the following statement in another thread:

Now we know, through the works of Palmer and others, is that there is some benefit to Krausen and all that stuff actully falling through the beer, and taking other things with it, as well as the fact that the yeasts do a heck of a job cleaning up their own waste products if we let them...

I had second thoughts. :confused:
 

jldc

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Option 6:
Pick up two fermentation buckets, keep your 5 gallon for secondary and smaller batches.

+2

I primary in 6 gallon better bottles, but I usually loose some beer to a blowoff (I make 5.5 gallon batches). I wonder if it would be easier to just use buckets to primary in. I do like watching the eddys and currents in the fermenting wort:).
 

ChshreCat

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+2

I primary in 6 gallon better bottles, but I usually loose some beer to a blowoff (I make 5.5 gallon batches). I wonder if it would be easier to just use buckets to primary in. I do like watching the eddys and currents in the fermenting wort:).

That's one of the main reasons I secondary. I primary in a bucket, so when I transfer to my secondary, I get to see my beer for a few weeks. :D
 

kcstrom

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I use both 5 and 6 gallon Better Bottles for primary. The 6 gallon is obviously the better choice, but for me it depends on which carboy is empty on the day that I brew. I use a blowoff tube (3/8" has worked for me fine - I just shove it down into the stopper) for both. Either way you go, you'll have great tasting beer, so RDWHAHB!

kcstrom
 
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ZBrewMan

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Awesome guys. Thanks so much for the advice!

I decided to go with two more 6.5 glass carboys. (I like to watch:D)

Don't worry, I've now hidden the credit card from myself. :eek:
 

Figbash

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Option #6 is the way to go. Using bottles as a primary is a PIA because everything needs to be siphoned. You'll also curse them the first time you try dry hopping and curse them even more when you break one. Do your primary fermentation in a bucket and transfer it to the secondary or just go ahead and bottle from the primary. I like to keep things as simple as possible.

Tom
 

LaurieGator

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Cherries on the ceiling and all over the walls from too much pressure buildup in the neck of the carboy. THAT was a bear to clean up... I had used about 4 pounds of cherries in a 6.5 gallon carboy. Thought I left enough headspace. I was so wrong...
 
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ZBrewMan

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Wow... the yeasties must love cherries, I'm guessing!

I've heard way too many horror stories about that crazy krausen.

I think I'm always gonna start new fermenters with blow-off tubes.
 
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