Author Topic: Maximum barrel headspace  (Read 1537 times)

Offline danmages

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 29
Maximum barrel headspace
« on: March 10, 2015, 01:13:05 AM »
I just filled my barrel for a third time with a batch of Jester King's Black Metal RIS recipe. I plan on adding the dregs of one of their bottles to give up the funk (gotta have that funk). Anyhow, my batch was a little smaller than I needed to fill the barrel to the top. I have maybe 1" of headspace in my 5 gallon barrel. What is the maximum amount of headspace I should allow in the barrel? Should I consider flushing it with CO2? I think I will start to formulate my recipes at 6 gallons going forward....

Thanks!

Dan

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
Maximum barrel headspace
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2015, 02:27:46 AM »
Recipe please? Love me some Jester King (all but the smoked one they did with salt lick).

And I have always heard that barrels should be kept as full as possible.

Offline danmages

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 29

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7782
  • Underhill VT
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Maximum barrel headspace
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 11:54:59 AM »
I would top it up somehow. either more beer or glass marbled, stainless nuts, something to fill that headspace. the small barrels have so much more surface to volume than the big barrels already adding that much air to the headspace it going to introduce a lot of o2 which, unless you are very confident in the types of bugs you are adding could be bad news. unless you like RIS vinegar.

I don't think purgeing with co2 would do the trick, it might help but the barrel is not airtight so o2 is going to ingress no matter what.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline danmages

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 29
Re: Maximum barrel headspace
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2015, 05:22:21 PM »
Would it work to make a gallon of 1.050 wort with pilsner DME to top of the barrel?

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7782
  • Underhill VT
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Maximum barrel headspace
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2015, 07:11:28 PM »
you'd get a big jolt of fermentation which would make a big mess. Some other similar beer would be the way to go if you don't want/can't use marbles or similar.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce