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Head Space In Fermenter

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kaitai

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Does it matter how much head space you have in your primary fermentation? How about in the secondary?

Wondering for example if a 30l fermenter will be to large for a 23l brew in secondary? How about a 15l brew in a 30l fermenter?


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jayse

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Hi Kaitai,
It is sometimes refered to as the ullage and no it isn't a great deal important that you don't have to much in the primary fermentor, in my experience even having a fair amount in the secondary hasn't been that bad.
if you are going to leave it to condition for a great length of time then i would want to have the very least amount possible but for the first month you can be reasonbly happy with quite a bit more than you would think or like to use.

Jayse
 

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kaitai said:
Wondering for example if a 30l fermenter will be to large for a 23l brew in secondary? How about a 15l brew in a 30l fermenter?

[post="46678"][/post]​
kaitai

Sometimes you need that much space in the fermenter, especially with some yeasts. I wouldn't worry about 15 litres in a 30 litre fermenter for a primary as lots of CO2 is being generated which will blanket the beer. In a secondary, it might be too big as it will take a long time to get a decent CO2 blanket over the beer (any movement that stirs up the beer will stir up the CO2 blanket).

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Pedro
 

BigAl

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Kaitai,

Be wary with some yeasts such as WLP300, hefeweizen yeast, which like to climb out of the fermenter, give them at least 5 inches of head space for their krausen to build. Lagers are generally much less vigourous and wont throw such a large krausen.

Al.
 

redbeard

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depends if its a lager at 10'c or an ale at 22'c. coopers sell a 25l fermentor for 23l of wort at 20-26'c, so 30l is plenty. perhaps the ag wheat brewers might recommend a 30l for very active yeasts ....

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kaitai

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redbeard said:
depends if its a lager at 10'c or an ale at 22'c. coopers sell a 25l fermentor for 23l of wort at 20-26'c, so 30l is plenty. perhaps the ag wheat brewers might recommend a 30l for very active yeasts ....

cheers
[post="46694"][/post]​
Thanks guys.
 

johnno

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Hi kaitai,
In my limited brewing experience it has not been a problem so far. I bottled a 12 litre brew one week ago that was in secondary in a 30 litre fermenter for about 4 weeks.
I have also done a couple more in the past that seemed fine to my jaded pallette.

cheers
johnno
 

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If you are buying a new primary fermenter for 23 litre brews and have a choice, get the 30 litre. Sometimes, even that will not be enough headroom for some yeasts.

If you are buying a new fermenter for secondary, you want no headspace, that is a 23 litre bucket. They don't come in this size, so you will have to settle for a 25 litre fermenter.

Volume of headspace in primary does not matter. Allow for lots of foam space.

Volume of headspace in secondary should be as small as you can organise.

Most kit yeasts are relatively sedate. Some of the liquid yeasts really get a big head of foam.
 
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