5 gallon carboy vs 6

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jdammer

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Is there any reason to buy a 5 gallon carboy? I got a bunch of 6 gallon carboys and I want to make some beer.

I figure the 6 gallon would give you some extra head space for the foam.

pros and cons?

Thanks,

Jason
 

Tom

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If making Beer I would suggest 5 gallon carboys. Ferment in a pail and then rack to a 5 gal. just like wine you want little head space. I would not ferment in a 6 as beer ferments harder than wine and you will get a volvano
 

Wade E

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I dont even rack my beer, I leave it in the primary for a few weeks then transfer to kegs usually so I dont even use carboys for beer.
 

cpfan

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How about make 6 US gallons in a primary and rack to a 6 gallon carboy. Then you don't have to buy a 5 gallon carboy.

Are you planning to make beer from scratch or a kit? If kit, which kit? Some kits make 5 US gallons, others 6 US gallons.

Steve
 

djrockinsteve

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Each time you rack you will have a little less wine as you'll be leaving behind sediment/lees. You may start with a 6 but most likely end up with a 5 and maybe another 1/2 gallon. For wine as I haven't made beer yet. That too is coming.
 

Tom

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You will love the beer making hic hic.. :b:b
There is less "trub" in beer making as there is in winemaking.
 

djrockinsteve

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I got my son-in-law a beer kit for Christmas. Waiting for him to say he's ready to start. I may not wait that long.
 

jdammer

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How about make 6 US gallons in a primary and rack to a 6 gallon carboy. Then you don't have to buy a 5 gallon carboy.

Are you planning to make beer from scratch or a kit? If kit, which kit? Some kits make 5 US gallons, others 6 US gallons.

Steve
I was planning on making one of the Brewer's Best kits.

I'm sorry but i'm just not understanding the volcano. I would start in the primary and then rack to a carboy. Are you saying if I did the whole fermentation in the 6 I would get a volcano?

Maybe I should just buy the 5. I'm sure I'll be making beer again.
 

jeepingchick

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lol we had a volcano 2 weeks ago!! DNW's beer shot straight up and out of the air lock LOL!!! and it was in the primary!!!! insane....i looked at it in the morning..saw the mess....called him told him to get his but home n clean it cuz i was NOT doing it then left for work LMAO!!!! it was the largest bucket to so i was impressed LOL!
 

Wade E

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Yes, hes saying that brewing a 5 gallon batch of beer in a 6 gallon carboy could be messy but can be done with a 1" blow off hose. Even then it can get hairy but a airlock or small hose on a 6 gallon carboy is a ceiling painter!
 

jdammer

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So the extra room causes it to foam up? If it doesn't have a lot of head it wont foam?
 

djrockinsteve

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I've never made beer but with wine you need ample room for the foaming (caused by CO2). As soon as you begin to stir you are releasing more CO2 which can cause your must to overflow.

Beer is different but similar is some aspects. Hope to be making beer soon myself.
 

Tom

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So the extra room causes it to foam up? If it doesn't have a lot of head it wont foam?
Head space has nothiing to do with foaming. Like I said ferment in a bucket as the fermentation is much stronger than winemaking. Then, rack to 5 gallon carboy once the primary is finished. The secondayr like in winemaking will help clear your beer/wine.
As I type I have 30 gallons in 6 buckets in the primary stage.
 
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jdammer

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Alright don't get mad. Just to make absolutely sure. Ferment in primary. Then rack to secondary. If beer makes a bunch of co2 and the airlock is always on then why can't i use a 6? not enough co2?
 

cpfan

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I haven't made a Brewers Best kit. But the beer that I have made (in a 10 gallon primary) always foams up about 4 inches. Wine in the same primary seems to foam up less than an inch (with the occasional exception). That is partially because wine yeast is low foaming and beer yeast isn't.

I believe that there are three methods of handling this.

1. a large primary with space. keep it in primary 3-5 days.
2. a blow-off tube like Wade mentioned
3. let it happen, and clean-up afterward.

Good luck, Steve
 

Tom

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Like what Steve said, Doing a 5 gallon batch usually will require more space than a 6 gal carboy will give without YOU having to clean up
 

TheTooth

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There is no reason to have a 5 gallon carboy that I can see, unless you are making wine in 5 gallon batches.

Unlike winemaking, there is no real reason to bulk age your beer. Just ferment in a bucket or a 6 gallon carboy, then bottle or keg it when it's done fermenting.

If you do your primary fermentation in a 5 gallon carboy, it will overflow almost immediately. That's a bad idea.

Plenty of home brewers do their primary fermentation in 6 gallon carboys. I'm not a fan of fermenting my beer in a carboy, but that's just personal taste.

I fermented in buckets for years, much how you likely ferment your wine now. Now I ferment in kegs, but that's another story and not an avenue you are likely to take. ;)

You probably use a bucket or other large fermenter for your wine's primary fermentation, right? If so, just use one of them for your beer. It will work perfectly. Then, when the fermentation is complete and you think you need to rack to a carboy, STOP... and simply bottle it up.
 

Tom

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I do all grain. All grain is somewhat different than extract. This is why I rack to a secondary carboy. I then wait a week so it settles more and save that yeast (washed). I also keg . The difference is in the clarity of the beer. the taste would be close to the same if bottling from primary w/ extract.
 

TheTooth

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I do all grain. All grain is somewhat different than extract. This is why I rack to a secondary carboy. I then wait a week so it settles more and save that yeast (washed). I also keg . The difference is in the clarity of the beer. the taste would be close to the same if bottling from primary w/ extract.
I do all-grain as well. I used to transfer to secondary, but found that it really didn't make any difference to clarity or taste as long as I let it ferment out completely in the primary.

Either way, we can all agree that fermenting 5 gallons of beer in a 5 gallon primary (or any sort) is a bad idea. ;)
 
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