Author Topic: Carboy headspace  (Read 1630 times)

Offline bierview

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Carboy headspace
« on: December 01, 2016, 05:20:10 AM »
I recently racked 5 gallons of an American ale into a six gallon carboy.  Because it is not totally full, will the air space affect the beer?

Thanks

BV

Offline Nwsurfkid

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 05:23:51 AM »
Relax, and have another beer while it sits.

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Offline flars

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2016, 05:36:21 AM »
There is a larger surface area of your beer exposed to air so there is more risk of some oxidation than if the beer was in a five gallon carboy filled to the neck.  I would not be too concerned unless you were planning to have the beer in the secondary vessel for long term aging.

Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2016, 11:03:10 AM »
I've fermented 10 and 15L batches in a 33L bucket with no issues.  Unless you're planning on leaving your beer for months like that, there is nothing to worry about.
Dom

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Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2016, 11:36:35 AM »
It is also likely that racking caused some off-gassing of the CO2 produced during fermentation. It may not fill the whole head space, but CO2 is heavier than air, so you may have a blanket of CO2 protecting the brew for a short time.
Frank C.

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heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline bierview

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 01:28:33 PM »
Thanks.  All very helpful.

BV

Offline pete b

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2016, 03:38:41 PM »
For future reference there is no need to rack into a secondary unless it will be ageing for months or you are adding fruit. It's not necessary when adding fruit but it's less problematic as the renewed fermentation caused by the fruit will fill headspace with co2. For long term ageing you do want to fill to neck.
In your case there is an increased possibility of noticeable oxidation occurring faster, with a likely symptom of reduced hop aroma/flavor.
The solution: drink it fast! 8)
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2016, 05:36:33 PM »
"Blankets" of co2 is a bit of a falsehood. Unless the beer is actively generating co2, the co2 that escaped during racking will simply mix with the rest of the air.

If racking to a second fermenter, purge with co2 first and fill to the neck.

Offline pete b

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2016, 05:49:37 PM »
"Blankets" of co2 is a bit of a falsehood. Unless the beer is actively generating co2, the co2 that escaped during racking will simply mix with the rest of the air.

If racking to a second fermenter, purge with co2 first and fill to the neck.
Am I correct in assuming that in the case of racking on fruit and creating a true secondary fermentation that the air will be pushed out by the co2 and when fermentation is done there will only be co2 left?
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2016, 06:10:45 PM »
"Blankets" of co2 is a bit of a falsehood. Unless the beer is actively generating co2, the co2 that escaped during racking will simply mix with the rest of the air.

If racking to a second fermenter, purge with co2 first and fill to the neck.
Am I correct in assuming that in the case of racking on fruit and creating a true secondary fermentation that the air will be pushed out by the co2 and when fermentation is done there will only be co2 left?
I think that is a safe assumption as long of the fermentation is active enough to push out the air, but the o2 that is picked up should be taken care of by the yeast.

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2016, 07:40:49 PM »
You are better off to package, I personally don't see the point
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Offline bboy9000

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2016, 04:14:51 AM »
For future reference there is no need to rack into a secondary unless it will be ageing for months or you are adding fruit.
While I basically agree I rack to secondary for my dry-hopped beer.   I dry hop in primary after fermentation is finished then rack to secondary after a few days to prevent hop trub from clogging my keg.  But as a general rule I don't rack to secondary.  The instructions that come with many kits say to rack to secondary but I believe that is out I tradition.

Brian
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Offline bierview

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2016, 02:20:58 PM »
For future reference there is no need to rack into a secondary unless it will be ageing for months or you are adding fruit. It's not necessary when adding fruit but it's less problematic as the renewed fermentation caused by the fruit will fill headspace with co2. For long term ageing you do want to fill to neck.
In your case there is an increased possibility of noticeable oxidation occurring faster, with a likely symptom of reduced hop aroma/flavor.
The solution: drink it fast! 8)

The reason I went for the six gallon carboy is because I added caramelized figs.  In a previous batch adding figs, I racked to a five gallon secondary and there wasn't enough room once the figs began to ferment.

Offline pete b

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2016, 02:40:24 PM »
For future reference there is no need to rack into a secondary unless it will be ageing for months or you are adding fruit. It's not necessary when adding fruit but it's less problematic as the renewed fermentation caused by the fruit will fill headspace with co2. For long term ageing you do want to fill to neck.
In your case there is an increased possibility of noticeable oxidation occurring faster, with a likely symptom of reduced hop aroma/flavor.
The solution: drink it fast! 8)

The reason I went for the six gallon carboy is because I added caramelized figs.  In a previous batch adding figs, I racked to a five gallon secondary and there wasn't enough room once the figs began to ferment.
Yes, I learned the hard way quite awhile ago that you need extra headroom when racking onto fruit. If the figs caused a fairly active secondary fermentation your probably in good shape.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline fmader

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Re: Carboy headspace
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2016, 02:42:45 PM »
For future reference there is no need to rack into a secondary unless it will be ageing for months or you are adding fruit. It's not necessary when adding fruit but it's less problematic as the renewed fermentation caused by the fruit will fill headspace with co2. For long term ageing you do want to fill to neck.
In your case there is an increased possibility of noticeable oxidation occurring faster, with a likely symptom of reduced hop aroma/flavor.
The solution: drink it fast! 8)

The reason I went for the six gallon carboy is because I added caramelized figs.  In a previous batch adding figs, I racked to a five gallon secondary and there wasn't enough room once the figs began to ferment.

If you are having a true secondary fermentation, which it sounds like you are with your figs, you won't have to worry about anything. The O2 will be blown off and replaced with CO2.
Frank