If you have been thinking about brewing your own beer at home- you have simply got to check out Beer Brewing Made Easy. There, you will be able to find everything you need to start brewing your own beer in your own home. However, you may have a few questions before you get started- especially about the fermentation process. The truth is that many people are not exactly sure what it is. Following, you will learn more about how to choose the best fermenter for your needs.
Now that you have cooled the fruits of your labors in the pot you boiled them in, you may feel like it’s time to celebrate- but hold on- don’t call your loved ones just yet. There’s still more to do in the process. It’s not going to officially be beer until the yeast has been added and the mixture has been fermented. This will take at least two weeks. Then, you’ll still need to bottle it- or keg it, if you’d rather. However, you can breathe easy because the hardest part of the process is over.
The next part of the step is to transfer the mixture to your fermenter. You’ll need to ensure that your wort has been properly aerated, the yeast has been added, and you have a quiet, dark place that you can put your fermenter for the next few weeks.
Carboys Versus Buckets
When it comes to fermenters, you will find that there are two types that are commonly available: glass carboys and food grade buckets/bins. Each of them have their own pros and cons. The buckets/bins are a bit less expensive than the glass carboys and are much safer to handle. In addition, the buckets are already fitted with spigots, which means that you don’t have to siphon- which is a major advantage. Plus, the buckets can hold six gallons, which gives an extra gallon of headspace for the fermentation process- which is typically all you need.
Having the spigot attached to the bucket means you don’t have to siphon, which is almost a requirement when it comes to bottling. Plus, the spigot means you have much more control over the fill level if you’re bottling. Most homebrewers feel like this is the best way to bottle.
On the other hand, even though you’ll need to siphon, the class allows you to keep an eye on your beer and watch the fermentation process. There are typically two sizes available- a 6.5 gallon, which is best for primary fermentation or a smaller 5 gallon, which is best for secondary fermentation.
The 6.5 gallon size allows room for headspace, but the 5 gallon size does not have room for headspace, which means there will be no oxidation during the phase known as conditioning. Of course, the glass carboys will need to be shielded from light- but you’ll be able to see when the process is over and the yeast begins to settle. You can learn more at Beer Brewing Made Easy.
Blow-Offs Versus Air-Locks
The determination of using a blow-off hose or an air-lock will depend upon the headspace you have. Typically, the large carboys and buckets do have the necessary 3 inches of headspace so that the foam will not get into the air-lock. If the fermentation process does get so vigorous that it ends up popping the airlock off the lid, you’ll just need to rinse it out with your sanitizer solution and then wipe it off before replacing it.
During the primary phase, contamination is not really a major issue. Since there’s so much coming out, there’s really not a chance for too much to enter in. However, if the fermentation process does keep popping off the air-lock, there is an alternate route.
The alternate route is the blow-off hose. This will allow the foam and hop to come out of the fermenter. If you are using a 5 gallon glass carboy as your major fermenter, the blow-off hose is going to be necessary. Simply get a one-inch plastic hose and fit it into the carboy or enlarge the bucket lid hole.
Run it down the side and put it into a bucket of water/sanitizer mixture. It’s critical that you use a hose with a large diameter to avoid clogging. If the tube ends up getting clogged, you can end up with goo on your ceiling or a blow-up- which is a serious mess.