I am a rank amateur brewer, brewing an Irish Red Ale from a NB extract kit. I am making a 5 gallon batch in 6 gallon carboys, and I am almost done with primary fermentation. So far so good.
My concern is that if I rack to my secondary fermenter (another 6 gallon carboy), there will be a lot of space for air in the carboy (the beer comes up 3/4, so the whole diameter of the carboy is exposed surface area). With all that exposed beer and slow fermentation, I’m concerned about contamination.
I’ve seen other comments on this board about secondary fermenters. I know that some people say don’t bother. My questions are, given the amount of airspace in my carboy, how significant is the risk of contamination (seems to me a real possibility)? And what is the real downside to not racking to a secondary fermenter (sounds like my beer will not be as clear, but I’m brewing from extract, not all grains and fresh hops, how bad can it be?). Am I missing something?
Thanks for listening to amateur hour.