Is headspace an issue with bulk aging?

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Mike

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If I understand it correctly, with wine you're supposed to minimize the head space surface area when aging to avoid oxidation (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm thinking of making a high gravity beer soon that will bulk age for 7 months or so. I wanted to split the 6.5 gallon batch between two 5 gallon carboys so I can use two different yeasts. Will the extra head space be a problem? If so, perhaps I can purge the air as best I can with CO2.
 

Malkore

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Yes, headspace is still a possible issue.
However if you keep them sealed up no air gets in, and the beer will probably degas enough CO2 to keep it safe. you can purge with some CO2 when you go to secondary if you like to help it along.

I've never bothered with a long bulk age on beer. For me I need to keep my carboys open for the next batch, so I age in the bottle or keg.
 

Mike

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That's a good point. I'll just age it in some cornies. That would make purging the air easier and would also make aging "safer". Thanks Malkore.
 

TheTooth

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Same as Malkore, I age my big beers in kegs. It's much easier to move them around the cellar in kegs, and I can purge the air from the keg with a blast of CO2 when filling.
 

Wade E

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Im the same way, I dont bulk age a beer without it at least being in a corny with either gas on it or naturally carbed. I would naturally carb any beer that wasnt going to be on tap immediately.
 

Mike

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Here's the brew I'm planning by the way: :b
 

Mike

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In 2011!

Tooth: Can you give me any suggestions as far as ferm temp? Is 150 ok for a mash temp? What FG am I looking for? If it's a 10.2% ABV and the OG is 1.107, I calculate the FG should be around 1.038.
 

TheTooth

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In 2011!

Tooth: Can you give me any suggestions as far as ferm temp? Is 150 ok for a mash temp? What FG am I looking for? If it's a 10.2% ABV and the OG is 1.107, I calculate the FG should be around 1.038.
- I like to ferment my belgian beers at around 70 degrees so the yeast can produce more interesting esters.
- According to ProMash, a final gravity of 1.032 will net you 10.2% ABV, but you and ProMash may just be using different calculations. Realistically, there isn't a whole lot you can do about where you end up. If your yeast doesn't want to stop at 1.032, it won't, and you should let it finish it's fermentation to completion. Depending on the yeast strain you choose (attenuation rates for those you list are in the 70%-80% range), you'll likely end up a bit lower than that (in the 1.020-1.030 range). That won't be bad, though, so don't worry about it. You'd have to be using the Wyeast and hit the max attenuation rate for that yeast to have a likelihood of reaching 1.020.
- I think 150 degrees is find for mash temp. If you want to try to retain more residual suger (higher final gravity), then you may want to bump that up a few degrees.
 

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