Question about aging in glass growlers

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garbagegeezer

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Hello brewers

Im mentally putting together my setup for a 2-3 gallon cider batch. Im trying to work with what I already have because money is tight

Primary Fermenter - 5 gallon Ale Pail w/ lid and airlock, let most of the activity happen here and then rack to secondary

Secondary - Several 1 gallon glass growlers, i have normal screw tops for these as well as rubber stoppers with holes for airlock

If I want to age in the growlers, should I be using an airlock to let out carbonation or a screw top to keep it in? How does carbonation affect the aging process? This is assuming that I will be bottling to something else after aging. Actually,if the cider looks clear enough in the growlers, I might try just adding a bit of priming sugar after a few months of aging and then capping them to carbonate. I have no desire to bottle in smaller vessels.

Any feedback would be swweet!
 

Tusch

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You need to age with airlocks on. Depending on when you rack to secondary you could have a fair amount of co2 being produced and if you cap them, you could be making 3, one gallon glass bombs.

Also, those aren't generally considered to be designed to with stand pressure, so I would definitely not prime your brew in there, even if you do intend to bottle in them.
 
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garbagegeezer

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Thanks.

So...when it comes time for bottling, can I forgo the priming sugar, remove the airlock and put a cap on the growler? I imagine that maybe some carbonation would still be retained....
 

Tusch

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Again, those containers aren't design to hold pressure, I wouldn't trust them with any carbonation. And just removing the airlock and replacing it with a cap isn't a very good idea anyways. Unless you know exactly how much sugar is left and how much more the yeast will eat, you won't know how carbonated you are making the batch. The only safe way to naturally carbonate is to let it completely ferment and then add only enough sugar to it to get the carbonation level you want.
 

conpewter

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Again, those containers aren't design to hold pressure, I wouldn't trust them with any carbonation. And just removing the airlock and replacing it with a cap isn't a very good idea anyways. Unless you know exactly how much sugar is left and how much more the yeast will eat, you won't know how carbonated you are making the batch. The only safe way to naturally carbonate is to let it completely ferment and then add only enough sugar to it to get the carbonation level you want.
I think he forgot the part of "Transfer to regular bottles" then add the corn sugar to carbonate.
 
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garbagegeezer

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Actually, I was trying to avoid transferring to "regular" bottles because I am not a fan of the crown capping, bottle washing process. However, its a small batch, so it won't be so bad...Does anyone else have ideas for bottling into bigger vessels? I quite fancied the idea of bottling into the growler, but its seems like thats a bad idea.

On a related note, has anyone had luck with using the 'Grolsh' type bottles with the rubber gasket and NO crown caps? I did a batch of porters in some of these type bottles with about a 60% success rate (40% were flat and I think it was because of improper sealing of the rubber gasket)
 

SeamusMac

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I have a prof who used to bottle all of his beer in Grolsch bottles, he recommended buying new gaskets every third use, which was approximately equal to buying new caps for each batch but far less time consuming.
 

conpewter

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Actually, I was trying to avoid transferring to "regular" bottles because I am not a fan of the crown capping, bottle washing process. However, its a small batch, so it won't be so bad...Does anyone else have ideas for bottling into bigger vessels? I quite fancied the idea of bottling into the growler, but its seems like thats a bad idea.

On a related note, has anyone had luck with using the 'Grolsh' type bottles with the rubber gasket and NO crown caps? I did a batch of porters in some of these type bottles with about a 60% success rate (40% were flat and I think it was because of improper sealing of the rubber gasket)
The Grolsch bottles (especially the brown ones) work great. I actually have a 2.5 liter grolsch bottle at home that my uncle gave me. If you can find a few of those you'd be set! There are other brands that do flip top bottles (I found some Hacker-Pschorr bottles that were flip top and nice)
 

jtbarclay

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Bottle in 2 liter soda bottles, they'll withstand the pressure.
 
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