Aging in carboy - too much headspace?

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Cugel

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Hey there,

Just stuck what should have been a dubbel, but at 9.5% abv it's a Belgian strong dark ale I guess with a hot alcohol bite (waay too much candi sugar) in a 5 gallon carboy and plan on keeping it there for 3-4 months. I wonder if I have too much headspace for long term aging?

I brewed 5 1/8 gallons, and after racking from primary the beer comes to within 5 inches or so of the airlock, with too much headspace for my liking. I would have been happy with an inch or two.

I tried to introduce some CO2 from my keg system, by supplying CO2 directly into the top of the carboy for about 30 seconds. Dunno whether that worked as I had to reinstall my airlock which took a few seconds.

Should I be comfortable with the situation as is? Do I need to bottle ASAP? Just drink it all ASAP? :)

Slainte
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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You should be just fine. The beer will likely produce some more CO2 as well creating a fine blanket over your beer. If you are really that worried, you could top up with some store bought dubbel.
 
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Cugel

Cugel

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You should be just fine. The beer will likely produce some more CO2 as well creating a fine blanket over your beer. If you are really that worried, you could top up with some store bought dubbel.
That's a really good point - I do it with wine, why not with beer. I have a few Corsendonk browns left that I am thoroughly unimpressed with. They'll do the trick!
 

fratermus

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Over the weekend I was racking mead with a new meader (?) who highly distressed about the possibility of oxygenation during the rack.

To eliminate the problem and soothe his concerns, we poured some water in the bottom of a plastic jug, threw in $1 worth of dry ice chips from the local grocery store and stoppered/blowoffed the jug. The blowoff tube became a CO2 pump, blowing fog at an impressive rate. We pumped his 6.5gal carboy full of CO2 then racked. He was happy/soothed and we moved forward.

It was cheap ($1) and felt Mad Scientist, which is always a plus.
 

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