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Using a 5 gallon glass carboy as primary

Recently I came across a great deal on several 5 gallon glass carboys. I plan on using a blow-off tube for fermentation , but would the loss of yeast / krausen affect my primary fermentation ?

Edit - I’m currently doing 5 gallon extract brews

I do all my primaries in carboys, some 20, some 23 liters. As long as you are controlling your temperatures losses to blowoff shouldn’t be too much to worry about.

Usually a normal 5gal batch will fill a 5gal carboy to the neck. Doesn’t really leave much room headspace.
Could be messy…

If you can keep the temps really low you could maybe make it work with a blowoff tube so long as you’re ok with losing some wort once and awhile. My first two batches ever were in a five gallon because I was too cheap to buy the bigger one and didn’t know I needed it. After two messy fermentations I jumped on board to the big boys.

If you want you could always cut it down to 4.5 gallons to compensate. It would increase your SG but not by so much that you would really throw off the balance of the beer.

[quote=“inhousebrew”]If you can keep the temps really low you could maybe make it work with a blowoff tube so long as you’re ok with losing some wort once and awhile. My first two batches ever were in a five gallon because I was too cheap to buy the bigger one and didn’t know I needed it. After two messy fermentations I jumped on board to the big boys.

If you want you could always cut it down to 4.5 gallons to compensate. It would increase your SG but not by so much that you would really throw off the balance of the beer.[/quote]
Personally, I’m more concerned about losing a lot of good, healthy yeast through blowoff hose than losing a tiny bit of beer. I ferment in 6 gallon better bottles and have started to limit my fill level to 5 gallons. I’m not happy with only 1/2 gallon of head space during high krausen.

[quote=“CobiaTower”]Recently I came across a great deal on several 5 gallon glass carboys. I plan on using a blow-off tube for fermentation , but would the loss of yeast / krausen affect my primary fermentation ?

Edit - I’m currently doing 5 gallon extract brews[/quote]

I think you have to define “great deal”. Is it worth paying a low price for something you will replace because it doesn’t suit your needs? 5 gallon carboys hold well, 5 gallons. A fermenting batch of beer needs at least a gallon or more of headspace to prevent excess loss and mess. If you are on a budget, brew 4 gallon batches. If you aren’t, get the good deal on 5’s for secondary vessels, but don’t delude yourself into thinking they will make adequate primary fermenters for 5 gallon batches…

I brewed all of my batches in 5-gallon carboys and had decent luck in not getting too much blowoff. They work fine. Just make sure you use a blowoff hose and have something to catch it with. The temp control suggestions seem like something to try.

But some yeasts are going to be problematic. In particular, S-04 dry yeast goes nuts. One batch I made blew off more than a half-gallon of beer. I got a 6-gallon better bottle this year and I still get some blowoff at times.

I think y’all are missing something great. split a 5 gallon batch into 2 carboys to experiment with different yeasts.

It never even crossed my mind to split the 5 gallon batch into two carboys. Great idea Edward Teach. Thanks guys for the help on this issue !! To define my “Great deal” I was able to get 7 carboys for $10 each figured I shouldn’t pass it up.

That is a great price, but I still think you’ll end up buying something bigger if you stick with the hobby. I’d definitely grab a few though…

Arrrr! It takes a Pirate to come up with such a great idea. Good thinking Blackbeard.

Bill

When you get to 20 gal batches, you can use 5 and put 4 gal in each.

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