Using a 6.5gal carboy to secondary ferment a 5gal batch?

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Using a 6.5gal carboy to secondary ferment a 5gal batch?

Postby schlach » Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:22 am

Hi all,

I'm starting a group with a few poor undergrads, and I'm trying to figure out how to get the most out of the least equipment and investment. I'm generally sold on the idea of racking to a secondary, having heard the virtues extolled long and loud, but in the past have racked 5 gallon batches to 5gal carboys. What about racking to 6.5 gallon carboys? Does the extra airspace cause any oxidation or contaminant problems? Would it affect how long I can keep the beer in the secondary? If it's not too big a problem and still allows 1-2 weeks in the secondary, then it would cut each member's necessary investment down from $50 to $25. This may not seem like much (especially when talking about college students' beer allowance), but will make the hobby available to a lot more people.

What do you think?

cheers,

schlach
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Postby cubangoose » Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:12 pm

I have used a 6.5 gallon carboy for secondary with success. Just sanitize it.
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Re: Using a 6.5gal carboy to secondary ferment a 5gal batch?

Postby Push Eject » Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:47 pm

Why risk it (the oxidation)? You need two carboys anyway, right? Why is it cheaper to get two 6.5g vs. 1x6.5 and 1x5?

~ Charlie
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Cheaper when brewing multiple batches simultaneously

Postby schlach » Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:03 am

It is cheaper to only use 6.5gal carboys because then we only need X+1, for X 5gal batches brewed at the same time. It may sound a little industrial, but if I've got five guys over and we all brew our beer one day, we can all use our own 6.5gal carboy to store the beer. I have one extra carboy, so in a week or so when it's time to rack to secondary, my batch goes in the extra carboy, I clean and sanitize my primary, then the next guy racks his primary to my (now clean) 6.5 gal carboy, etc and so forth. The glassware-cost for 6 people brewing is ((6+1) x $25) = $175, vs a 6.5gal + 5gal method, which would be ((6 x $25) + (6 x $23)) = $288.

For the record, I have two 5gal carboys, which I would be using for my secondaries :wink: But if it's not a big deal for a 1-2 week secondary fermentation in 6.5gal carboys, then I can tell other people that the cost of entry is only $25 + ingredients, rather than $50 + ingredients. (I already have the other gear.) That will have a large psychological effect and will directly determine how many people give brewing their own beer a shot. I'm sure those folks that enjoy it would be willing to spend another $25 on their own 5gal carboy, once they've got their foot in the door.

Does that make sense? In addition to cubangoose's response, I've read about people having agreeable results with (fresh) plastic buckets if they're only keeping it in the secondary for a couple weeks, so I'm thinking the extra airspace probably won't hurt me over the short term.
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Makes Perfect Sense

Postby Push Eject » Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:46 pm

Got it!

There is no reason why you can't do that.

Additionally, ANYTHING that gets more people brewing is a good thing, so if saving some start-up cash gets more brewers into the hobby (actually, I think I would like to refer to it as a sport) the better!

Well done.

Charlie
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Rack a little early

Postby KBrau » Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:28 pm

I don't think the airspace would pose any kind of problem especially if you don't agitate the beer too much. However if you did want to ensure that you were removing most (if not all) of the air from the carboy, you might try racking a few days early. The remaining fermentation would purge remaining oxygen and would probably result in only a small amount a remaining yeast in the carboy. Lastly, oxidation is not the end of the world, especially when your college buddies are used to drinking Busch Light or Natural Ice. I hope you get a bunch of people to join you in brewing. Good Luck.

Rich
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