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37

The term "secondary fermentation" is misleading since the purpose isn't to continue fermentation. A secondary stage can be used for any combination of things: Clarification: racking to secondary gets the beer off the yeast cake and allows more particulates to fall out of suspension. This is often the only reason I use a secondary stage; I like clear beer. ...


16

You'll need a 6 or 6.5 gallon carboy to provide enough head space during primary fermentation of a 5-gallon batch. If you go smaller, it will be very messy. Five-gallon carboys are good if you plan on racking to secondary to let the beer condition. During secondary, there will be little to no foam on top ("krausen") so the head space isn't needed. In fact, ...


14

Don't use hot water to clean glass carboys. The glass is subject to thermal shock when some of it is heated while the rest remains cool. Count yourself lucky that you escaped without injury.


12

Do not carry a full carboy only by the neck. All of that weight is concentrated in the small area of that carrier, exerting a lot more force than the neck was designed for. It may not happen often, but the risk isn't worth the reward, in my opinion, especially when there are much better options to moving full carboys. Some folks like to use milk crates. ...


10

Stirring is not needed while the yeast are actively fermenting because the fermenting wort is naturally turbulent - i.e. it self-stirs. This churning mixes the wort ensuring the yeast are suspended more-or-less throughout the wort, so they are always in contact with their food supply, making additional stirring redundant. The turbulence in the wort comes ...


9

Hot PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash from Five Star Chemcials) takes off everything I've thrown at it.


9

I use a that scrubby cleaner thing with some cleanser and maybe half a gallon of water to get all the particulates loosened up and get the surface clean. Then I rinse it with water, and put in maybe a quarter gallon or less of sanitizing solution, just enough to make sure I touch every surface with it. The carboy doesn't need to be immersed in it, it just ...


9

I use the better bottle PET carboys for my lagers, and have noticed no oxidization. The amount of oxygen introduced through the carboy itself is negligible compared to the amount introduced through the stopper or when racking to the bottling bucket or transferring to keg. The Better Bottle page discussing permeability aims to show that plastic is fine for ...


9

TAKE THE STOPPER OUT! THIS IS A SERIOUS ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN! Unlike glass bottles, glass carboys are not designed to hold pressure. 4 tsp in 1 gallon will produce about about 2.4 volumes of CO2. The pressure created will be significant - at a minimum 22 PSI, but likely more than that, since fermentation proceeds quicker than the CO2 will dissolve, ...


8

This is specific to Iodophor, but the manufacturer states that you do not have to fill a carboy up to sanitize with it. As long as you slosh enough around to get all the surfaces wet, then the sanitizer will work. Star San would work the same way, just make sure the foam touches all parts of the carboy. No need to waste sanitizer and water by making more ...


8

The product you are looking for is called Armour Etch. Everything you need to know can be found here: http://www.capandhare.com/forums/showthread.php?t=726 Dead simple and produces very nice results.


7

I use the handle as a steadying tool and something solid to hold on to when it's slick from water and cleaner. I support the weight of the carboy from the bottom with my other hand while holding onto the handle. I really wouldn't recommend carrying a carboy simply by a handle on the neck unless it's totally empty, and maybe not even then. Yes, it is ...


7

I'd try making a collar for your freezer lid to raise it and make room for your fermenter. Far easier and more realistic than trying to build a fermenter.


7

The best way to get the turkey baster out with the least consequences on your wort is to wait until the beer is finished fermenting, and then just dump it out after the beer has been racked away. Whatever contamination was going to happen has already happened (hopefully you sanitized the turkey baster). Trying to fish out the turkey baster is going to be ...


6

A long standing mantra of brewing was to ferment in the plastic bucket for 7 days. Then the beer would be siphoned out of the bucket and into the carboy. In the carboy it would sit for 14 days. This step was used 1) to help with beer clarity as more stuff would settle out here post the primary ferment (done in the pail) 2) to get the beer of the sludge of ...


6

I leave mine upside down until there is just condensation left inside (no more drips). Then if you lay it on its side the condensation will evaporatefrom the bottom side. Roll over and repeat. Mine will usually dry in about a day this way.


6

It makes absolutely no difference in the quality of the beer which way you do it. I'd tend to do it in the keg for the reasons you mention. You can carb it and have it ready to serve when it's done conditioning.


6

Buckets are cheaper, lighter, and easier to deal with in general. They're not advisable for long term storage though, as they allow some light and oxidation to occur. Carboy's allow no oxidation, but they're more difficult to deal with. If you get a carboy cleaner wand, this is an attachment to a garden hose or water tap that creates a powerful stream of ...


6

Craft stores sell creams for glass etching. That will give you permanent markings. Maybe not a lot of contrast but should still be visible.


5

I was told that it helps the clarity of the beer, since the sludge from the primary will be left over in the first fermenter. I use a glass carboy for secondary fermentation. I also know of many people who bottle right after primary, as you do. If it's working for you, then it's no big deal. Try doing a secondary for a batch and see if you notice a ...


5

For something north of electrical tape and south of glass-etching, I've used nail polish. Cheap and easy; even comes with it's own little brush. It won't come off in most circumstances, but it will if you take some acetone to it.


5

I would advise trying to siphon first. You can use one siphon on multiple carboys. This is a much more economical option to making or converting multiple glass secondary fermenters to have a spigot. Of course, thus assumes that you have more than one brew going at once. As you're new, this is mere conjecture. However, if you plan on being both wine and ...


4

The biggest downside to the carboy I've found is in checking the specific gravity to tell if the initial fermentation is done. The hydrometer simply falls too far to read well. We had to attach some dental floss to it so we could retrieve the thing! This was especially true during our last brew which had a VERY active fermentation with lots of stuff ...


4

Choosing between buckets, glass carboys, etc is always a matter of personal choice. The ease of use on buckets is high, but the durability is poor and they are much harder to keep sanitary over multiple uses. Any tiny scratch will make the bucket hold microbes you can't see or kill with a simple acid rinse, and now your fermentation vessel is a ticking time ...


4

I agree with Jeff L, that secondary is useful for particular things. To your question, I only ever do a 'secondary' when adding fruit or extended aging. My beers clear just fine after two weeks in the fermenting vessel. I've never experienced off flavors from that two weeks on the yeast, and I always dry hop in the primary. For me I can't find any reason ...


4

For carboys, bottles, and bottling buckets I've had good success with OxyClean. I always rinse and sanitize right after.


4

The problem with using anything that etches is that you're removing material from the unit. This can in turn affect the structural integrity in the long run. This is somewhat counter to why people prefer glass fermenters; they will resist scratching better than plastic. Etching is essentially controlled scratching. A few years ago I took a bumper sticker ...


4

You can use a wine or beer thief and a test jar to grab a sample from your carboy. I use the following one and it works great: http://www.amazon.com/Fermtech-Wine-Beer-Thief/dp/B00186ADYS This one is nice because the hydrometer fits right inside it so you don't need a test jar. I never put the sample back in, just scared of contamination. Does anybody ...


4

Once fermentation is mostly complete, keeping the fermentor at the ideal temperature (68, in this case) is less important. The yeast tend to give off fusels and other off flavors at high temperatures mainly during the early stages of fermentation, so raising the temperature won't matter as much. Since fermentation is mostly complete, lowering the temperature ...


4

I came across this just today: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f19/carboy-vs-thumb-334851/ I've seen more than one story like this. I will never carry a full carboy by a handle on the neck; milk crates or straps.



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