Five Gallon Carboy - Is it good for secondary?

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TVarmy

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I bought a carboy from my LHBS that I thought was 6 gallons but which was actually 5 gallons, which I'm currently using for apfelwein. It's been a few weeks, and since I've used it, I'm a bit too embarrassed to take it back and swap it for a 6 or 6.5 gal carboy for when I try beermaking. I know glass is (for our purposes) chemically inert and can be completely santized, but it's just the principle of returning something I've used after a month (which it will be once my apfelwein's done).

I have a bottling bucket at 6.5 gallons that could serve as my primary. Would this glass carboy be okay the secondary fermentation? Or am I completely confused about how much headspace is needed?
 

BigEd

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It's an ideal secondary fermenter, that's what the five gallon carboys are generally used for.
 
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TVarmy

TVarmy

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Thanks, I just wanted to make sure. I'm interested in trying fruit beers, so it's good to know I won't need to buy anything.
 

iron_city_ap

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Fruit beers change things though. Because you are adding a pretty good amount of fruit you are better off with a larger carboy. Not that you are screwed with the 5 gal. one. Its just that you may have to lose some of it because of the addition. I wouldn't loose too much sleep over it though.

Worst case, sell it for pretty close to what you bought it for and pick up a larger one. I wouldn't return it after using it. Bad form, but that's just me.
 
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TVarmy

TVarmy

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Yeah, I found out it was five gallons, because it was full after pouring in five gallons of cider. After putting in all that energy sanitizing everything, I wasn't going to clean the carboy, find a place for the juice to hang out, etc.
 

dummkauf

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also, before you go spend money on anything else, consider searching, or posting a want ad, on craigslist. I just put one out a few weeks ago looking for some 5 gallon carboys so I have some extra for aging stouts, barley wines, and possibly some mead soon too. Got a response the next day and picked up 3 five gallon carboys for $40. My LHBS sells them for $32 so I would consider that a pretty good deal, just needed a good cleaning which you would want to do either way :)
 
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