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Need a small secondary

I found a nice rhythm to my extract brewing … I take a recipe or a kit, bump it to 6 or 6.5 gallons, I keg the 5 and then I throw the 1 to 1.5 gallons into bottles and let them naturally carb and age a bit longer.

But I have this crazy idea of changing the secondary fermentation, I want to have the 5 2ed ferment in the keg and then split out the 1 or 1.5 gallons into a secondary and screw with the flavor… try something extreme with 1 gallon of beer before I make a large batch, fruit, heather, oak… thinks like that…

So: my question,
I have a 5 gallon secondary, both pail and Glass carboy … but my gut tells me that is too big, so I should get something smaller, so I am thinking a 2 gallon container, since I am bottling that, I would like to put in a spigot.

I about two things, the first is a few times I fermented in a bucket, the lid was a problem to get off, once I spilled most of my batch when removing the lid, so I am thinking of a screw top lid.

The other is the spigot… are those easy to install (or more appropriately, how easy is that to screw up)? do I need a square bucket? How high off the bottom so I install the spiggot (I will probably be adding solids here)


Yes, a five gallon carboy or bucket is much too big for a secondary of 1.5 gallons of beer. In secondary fermentation, you want to minimize head space. So a two gallon fermentation vessel would leave too much head room. You could buy a one gallon kit or re-purpose a one gallon wine bottle and buy a mini-siphon.

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Bucket tops are always a pain, but you kinda just get used to it.

I agree that 5 is too big for the secondary vessel, but 2 isn’t absurd. If you are adding extra things to dry hop, there won’t be a ton of headspace left. If I do my normal secondary, I use a 6 gallon carboy with about 5.5 gallons of beer… Never had any problems. Since you are already kegging, worst case is you could purge the headspace in the small fermenter with CO2

If your fermenter is plastic or metal, installing spigots is easy. Drill the holes slowly so you don’t burn the material and warp it. After that is basically just threaded nut and possibly some silicone.

I think a 2 gallon vessel would be fine. I’d purge it with CO2 before racking to it and then add CO2 to the head space as well. I use 2 gallon water jugs for starters that would be a perfect size vessel for this. Got them on amazon.

Check out the large containers of pretzels/cheese balls/what have you. I think one of those would make a nice secondary when empty.

Well this is what I ended with for the small batch 2ed fermenter. 2 gal PET container that people use for water in the fridge… Drilled out for an airlock and silicone sealed the water spout.

I see you found something already but… I’ve heard of guys using the plastic mr beer fermenters. They are probably cheap or free and they have a spigot. Also a screw on top that would allow you to add whatever you want

Never did hear. About mr beer. So went searching. Did see. A video. Conclusion. Extract. Water. Yeast. After 5 weeks. Congratulations your a home brewer.

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ah… I see my picture did not post…

Yeah, I was thinking about the spigot, and unless I can find tubing that matched the OD of the spigot, I would just be adding air to the beer, and that connection would be another possibility for leaks, so I sealed the spigot up.

The water jug was $8 on amazon, so not a lot of $ at risk here.

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Looks like it will do the trick

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