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Size of secondary fermenter

I brew 5 gallon batches in a 6.5 gallon bucket. I want to get a secondary so I can add some fruit. I also want to get another 6.5 gallon bucket to use as a primary. My question is: could I just use a different 6.5 gallon bucket as a secondary or would it be smarter to get a 5 gallon secondary and get another bucket to use as a primary? Would using a 6.5 gallon as a secondary have a higher risk of oxygen ruining the beer?

Yes, yes, and yes. I rarely secondary but when I do it’s in a 5 gallon fermenter. I wouldn’t be afraid of a 6 gallon fermenter with my process but you do run the risk of oxygenation depending on your process.

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I wouldn’t worry at all using a 6-6.5gal fermenter for secondary IF YOU ARE ADDING FRUIT. The restart of fermentation will quickly scrub any headspace of O2.
Now, if your not using fruit that’s an awful big headspace. 5gal is much better for a secondary, and, you can still add fruits as it won’t create a krausen head like regular fermentation.

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First of all if you are looking for a secondary, you have to remember that the CO2 gas is going to be less and a bucket is/can be permeable to oxygen, so I would get instead a glass carboy instead. Get a 6 gallon carboy (which can really hold 6.5 gal), and you can use that as a secondary with your fruit or as a primary if you wan to run two batches at a time.

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Fermenation buckets are bigger than 5 gallons anyway. If you want to rack into fruit and want 5 gallons of beer definitely want the 6.5 gallon bucket. I age in keg but you could age in a carboy although a carboy is a pain to work with fruit. You could just add your fruit later in the primary then rack the clean beer to glass to age.

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