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Headspace for lager primary

Well I seem to be running out of primaries here… but I am brewing an all grain ocktoberfest lager this weekend, pitching the crap out of it with 3 packets of wyeast 2633, 2 in starters now, the third will probably be just direct pitched.

My question is how much activity do you think I will have in the primary regarding the krausen etc. My 6.5 gallon bubbler still has my Irish red ale and I was thinking of leaving it a bit longer (it will be two weeks on saturday but wanted to leave it a bit longer to ensure its all cleaned up), and I don’t want to use a bucket as I wanted to be able to see the fermentation occasionally. So… I do have a 6 gallon glass carboy I had bought when my son was making a batch that needed fruit puree in the secondary, so I could use that if it will allow enough headspace for whatever activity there will be. I would estimate somewhere between 5 and 5.25 gallons going into the primary. Maybe its too tight… what do you guys think?

I think you’ll be alright.

6 gallon glass carboys used to be my go-to fermentor prior to the 6.5 gallon Big Mouth hitting the scene. I always used blow-off tubing until the krausen started to fall back, then I’d switch to an airlock. Some would blow off, some wouldn’t.

I’d think you should be okay with temp control. Never made one but made some high gravity beers that were okay. Maybe rig a blowoff just in case?

Thanks, I think I will try it. It will be fermenting at about 50 deg in the keezer, and the blow off hose is a great idea that should more than cover me if it gets more active than I think it will.

Thank you!

Since fermentation is colder and slower…krausen has not been huge on any of my lagers…i bet you will be ok with 6 gallons.


You’ll have no need to worry. Lager strains don’t produce near the krausen head as an ale yeast.

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Thank you loopie, I noticed my 2 small starters did not show a ton of activity either.

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