Beginner Question about Secondary Fermenter

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harryh654

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Hey guys,

I just recently started home brewing and am still trying to get the hang of things. Should I only use a 5gal as my secondary fermenter? I have a 6.5Gal glass carboy that I would like to use as my secondary fermenter for a 5gal IPA brew, would this work? Thanks for the help.

Harrison

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Primary: Who's in the Garden Grand Cru belgian wit, Victory Hop Devil IPA
Drinking: Harry's Nut Brown Ale
 

Tankard

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It's not a good idea to use a 6.5 gallon carboy as a secondary fermenter because there is too much headspace, meaning there would be too much oxygen exposure.

The 5 gallon carboy is perfect because it minimizes the headspace which minimizes the oxygen exposure.
 

malkore

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Its not a secondary 'fermenter'. Just call it secondary. Fermentation starts and ends in Primary.

Always.

secondary is to clear and/or bulk age the beer.
 

DutchK9

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It's not a good idea to use a 6.5 gallon carboy as a secondary fermenter because there is too much headspace, meaning there would be too much oxygen exposure.

The 5 gallon carboy is perfect because it minimizes the headspace which minimizes the oxygen exposure.
I have 6 gallon carboys and there is plenty of headspace with just 5 gallons of beer in it. I was planning on using one of them for a secondary. Can it be used, or do I need to buy a 5 gallon?
 

kebrown

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I also use my 6.5 gallon carboy all the time and have had no problem. Go for it..
 

Brewer3401

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Its not a secondary 'fermenter'. Just call it secondary. Fermentation starts and ends in Primary.

Always.

secondary is to clear and/or bulk age the beer.

Yeah, I never did understand "secondary fermentation". After my fermentation is done, I transfer to a brite tank.

This is where you leave it to clarify.

Sorry to be a prick, but it's like saying secondary birth........wtf ???
 

WBC

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I wish the books had never mentioned a secondary fermenter. All this did was mess with peoples heads. For ales you do not need a secondary vessel. You can let ales sit in the primary the whole time. It is best to do this anyway as this cleans up the beer and prevents off flavors. I ferment in 1 vessel for 14 days as a rule and then keg or bottle. I then condition for 2 to 3 weeks depending on the type of ale. Every time you transfer you are taking a chance of infection unless good sanitary practices are used.
 

killian

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the less you handle your beer the better. each time you transfer you increase the chance of oxidation and contamination. I would stick with using one fermenter but if you are going to use a bright aka secondary you might want to consider purging the carboy with co2 prior to transferring.
 

SteveM

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Technically and grammatically speaking, while fermentation does not take place in the "secondary," (except in rare circumstances) you still should call it something. "Secondary" is an adjective. Things are named by nouns. Adjectives by definition modify something, generally a noun.

So if semantics are such a worry and calling it a secondary fermenter gives you the willies, then why not just call it "second stage?"

On the other hand, if semantics don't bother you so much, then why worry that someone calls it a secondary fermenter?
 

Special Hops

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Man aren't you guys the dictionary police: "secondary fermenter" "brite tank" "secondary".

Who gives a rat's a$$?
 

Bobby_M

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I'm on board with the idea of leaving beers in the primary for 2-3 weeks and then going straight to the serving vessel but I've been moving to my 5 gallon "bright tanks) for the simple reason of making room for the next batch (if I'm stringing a few batches tightly).
 

Rick_R

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Still plenty of residual CO2 being given off in the secondary
Don't tell Malkore. :)

As to the OP's question, I'd get a five gallon for the intermediate container that's used between primary fermentation container and keg/bottle.

As to skipping that intermediate container ( :) ), I did this on my last brew and was disappointed. In the process of getting the siphon cane in, crud in the neck and on the upper portions of my BB primary fell into the beer. The beer didn't appear nearly as clear/clean as when I use the sec^h^h^h^h intermediate container. If I were pulling from a BB with racking port or a conical, it might be different, but next time I'll use a (screw it) secondary.

Rick
 

WBC

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If you have lots of foam coming out of your primary then it can be caused by the following reasons.

Too much beer in the frementer: You need more head room. Use another carboy or a bigger fermenter. That's why I like my conical or a Sanke Keg for fermentation. You also have all the beer in the same vessel and the whole batch tastes the same. I also find that if foam does not gush out the top that clean up is much less a chore and siphoning from a Sanke fermenter is much easier because you don't have to contend with clumps of dried yeast around the opening. If you over fill a Sanke keg then you are right back to foaming out the top opening which is what you are trying to prevent from happening.

Temperature of the fermentation is too high.
 

milltyl

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If you move your beer to a secondary vessel (brite tank) do you need to put an air-lock on it, or a stopper?

If fermentation is over, my sense it would just need a stopper. Any suggestions?

Another thing, does anyone have strong feelings about carboy vs. bucket primary fermenters?

p.s. if you haven't guessed I'm a new brewer (and loving it).
 

BrewerJim

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I usualy just ferment the once in the original fermenation bucket and bottle straight from that. My last batch of brew I left to ferment for three weeks in the orginal bucket before kegging. Apparently the Yeast cake that forms at the bottom helps the brew settle and the yeast also helps gobble up all the nasty flavours. This might not be the case for most people and I stil fairly new to Brewing so may be talking a load of rubbish. but from my experince my beer turned out really clear and had a great taste even though obv flat!
 
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