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5 Gallon Carboy and a 5 Gallon Batch...

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jaydubb

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 8, 2005
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Hi Everybody,
I made my very first batch of mead last night. I went for a strawberry melomel
and added a couple of madagascar vanilla beans. What a blast it was to make, a nice change from brewing beer! My question is this, I went for a full 5 gallon batch and I'm using a 5 gallon carboy. Am I asking for trouble? Should I transfer it to a larger primary to avoid having it get everywhere once it gets rolling? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks, ya'll.
 

Dan McFeeley

Lifetime Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Oct 10, 2003
1,897
5
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Illinois
jaydubb said:
. . . My question is this, I went for a full 5 gallon batch and I'm using a 5 gallon carboy. Am I asking for trouble? Should I transfer it to a larger primary to avoid having it get everywhere once it gets rolling?
It should be ok, but best to keep an eye on it. If the fermentation starts getting really vigorous, switch the airlock for a blow off tube. They're easy to make -- cut off the tube end of an airlock and insert part of it into the rubber stopper, then couple the other end to a vinyl hose. Run the end of the hose into a basin filled with sanitizing solution -- a sulfite solution will do.
 

jaydubb

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 8, 2005
2
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Thanks much! That's what I was hoping to hear. I really don't need the headache of a a gallon of honey/water seeping into the cracks in the baseboards. Thanks again.
 

Pewter_of_Deodar

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 23, 2004
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Cedar Rapids, IA
I use 6.5 gallon, 6 gallon, and 5 gallon carboys. Eventually, I end up racking into a 5 gallon carboy for bulk aging.

For a melomel, where I am adding fruit and/or honey to the secondary, I will start in a 5 gallon, then rack up to a 6 or 6.5 gallon for secondary fermentation. Then I rack down, again ending up in a 5 gallon for bulk aging.

For something like Joe's Ancient Orange or Crazy Ludwig's Blackberry Wine, I started in a larger carboy and racked downward...

But I have the flexibility to use a bigger carboy to provide the necessary headspace. I will probably curse myself by saying this but the only batches I have ever had blow the traps were the hard cider yeast tests which used about 3/4th's of a gallon of raw juice in a gallon container. None of my bigger batches have ever had problems...
 

edacsac

NewBee
Registered Member
May 18, 2005
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Pewter,

Not to hijack this thread, but when I rack, I loose everytime. If I where to start a 5 gallon batch with exactly 5 gallons, byt the time is been through a couple of racks, I'm sure I loose at least 1/2 gallon. From what I read from posts like these, and from the recipies themsleves, it seems that 5 gallons starts with 5 gallons, and ends with 5 gallons. Doesn't make sense to me.
 

Oskaar

Got Mead Partner
Administrator
Dec 26, 2004
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The OC
Ed,

I usually start in a 6.5 gallon carboy and rack down to a 5 gallon for bulk aging. I have a line on each of the 6.5 gallon carboys I use that let's me know when I am just above 5 gallons. When the spillage get's to that point, I rack to a fiver and call my buddies for a spillage party. After that they usually make off with the carboy. Lately I've been making stuff mostly for my buddies. They buy the stuff, come over and help me put it together.

I'm going to get rid of some of the honey I have on hand though, so I'll be busy here pretty soon.

cheers,

Oskaar
 

Pewter_of_Deodar

NewBee
Registered Member
Sep 23, 2004
1,867
0
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64
Cedar Rapids, IA
edacsac said:
Not to hijack this thread, but when I rack, I loose everytime. If I where to start a 5 gallon batch with exactly 5 gallons, byt the time is been through a couple of racks, I'm sure I loose at least 1/2 gallon. From what I read from posts like these, and from the recipies themsleves, it seems that 5 gallons starts with 5 gallons, and ends with 5 gallons. Doesn't make sense to me.
Edasac,

When I start with 5 gallons of straight mead in my primary and rack onto a gallon of puree and a half gallon of honey/water, I am up to 6 1/2 gallons. Then I rack into a 6 after the ferment is completed and into a 5 for bulk aging. Like you, I lose about 1/2 a gallon on every racking except the bottling.

When I do something like Joe's Ancient Orange, or a batch where I am not going to be adding volume in the secondary, then I start out in a 6 or 6.5 gallon carboy and rack down from there.

Hope that helps clear things up.

Pewter
 
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African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members