Skip to Content

Is a carboy the same as a demijohn?

No, a carboy and a demijohn are not the same thing. While they may look similar, they are intended for different purposes. A carboy is typically a container with a narrow neck, made of heavy glass or plastic, which can hold between 2-6 gallons of liquid.

It is primarily used for the fermentation, storage, or transfer of liquid or gas. Carboys are also used in laboratories for storing or transferring chemicals or other hazardous materials. A demijohn, on the other hand, is usually made of blown glass or stoneware, and is characterized by a large, rounded body and a wide neck.

This type of container usually holds an amount of liquid between 1-12 gallons, and is primarily used for a variety of storage applications, such as for wine, beer, cider, or fruit juice.

Why do they call it a carboy?

The term “carboy” originates from the Persian words qarabi, an expression for a large vessel used for water storage, and qarabah, meaning jug. Carboys first came into use in the Middle East more than 1000 years ago, when they were used to store and transport liquids like water, wine, and oil.

The idea of the carboy is thought to have arrived in Europe around the 16th century, when it was adapted to store beer, cider, and other fermented beverages. The term carboy has become popularly used to describe any large bottle with a narrow neck and handle, including containers made of glass, plastic, and other materials.

They are often used in chemical laboratories, wineries, and home brewing operations, and the handles make it easier to move the container around. The name carboy has also been used by some manufacturers of brewing and distilling equipment to refer to larger, specialized drinkers.

How do you identify a demijohn?

A demijohn is a type of large glass container that is used for storing liquids. It typically has a wide mouth that is either sealed with a stopper or sealed with some other type of topping material such as wax.

The body of the vessel is often round and may be decorated with stripes or other patterns. Demijohns can range in size from a few centimeters up to several feet tall. They are usually made with thick, durable glass and may be fitted with a handle for easy transport.

In the modern world, demijohns are still used for a variety of tasks, such as storing home-brewed beer, wine, and whisky, decanting liquids like oil, kombucha, or water, and for displaying decorative objects like glass ornaments.

The distinctive shape and size of demijohns can make them easy to identify, although some modern designs have more angular or cylindrical shapes.

What is a demijohn?

A demijohn is a large, bulbous glass container, with a narrow neck and a sealed stopper that is usually made from wicker or cloth. It is generally used for the storage, transportation, and fermentation of liquids, most notably wine and beer, but also water and distilled spirits.

Historically, the term “demijohn” referred specifically to a large vessel with a capacity of 15 liters or more, but it can now be a used to refer to a range of larger glass containers, often holding up to five gallons or more.

Demijohns were originally made from blown glass, with a capacity of a few liters to the enormous carboys that were used by apothecaries. Today, they are often made from recycled glass and plastic, with a metal hoop and plastic cap to secure the stopper.

Demijohns come in a variety of colors and can often be decorated with labels and other adornments. Their large size and versatility make them a popular and convenient choice for both home brewers and winemakers.

How big is a carboy?

A carboy is a large container typically used for home brewing and wine making. It typically holds about 5 gallons (19 liters) and generally comes in either a glass or plastic form. Generally, glass carboys are made using heavy-duty glass that is especially resistant to breaking, while plastic carboys are sometimes made with strong, rigid HDPE plastic to prevent cracking.

The shape of a carboy can vary, often featuring a narrow neck that typically has a standard opening of two to five inches, and a larger bottom portion that is typically around 20 inches in diameter. The size and shape of carboys may vary between manufacturers, so it is important to check specific measurements before purchasing.

How do you clean a carboy?

Cleaning a carboy is a relatively straightforward process, but it is important to use the appropriate materials and steps to ensure that the equipment is decontaminated properly. Before cleaning a carboy it is important to empty the contents and remove any remaining residue by rinsing the carboy with warm, soapy water and a soft brush.

This should be followed by sterilizing the carboy with a sanitizing solution, such as a bleach-water mixture. Once all residue is removed, the carboy should be filled with clean, hot drinking water and allowed to sit for approximately 15 minutes.

After the water is drained, the carboy can be rinsed twice with fresh, clean water and allowed to fully dry before use. When storing the carboy, it should be kept in a dry place and protected from light.

Additionally, it is best to use disposable or plastic gloves when handling the carboy to avoid contamination. Following these steps will help ensure that the carboy remains clean and free of any potential microorganisms.

Can I use bleach to sanitize brewing equipment?

Yes, you can use bleach to sanitize brewing equipment. It is important to dilute the bleach before use for sanitizing, as using bleach at full strength can leave off-flavors and be damaging to brewing equipment.

Generally, the recommended ratio for sanitizing is 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water. When using bleach to sanitize, make sure the brewing equipment is completely submerged in the solution for at least 1 minute, and then thoroughly rinse with cold water.

Additionally, it is important to make sure the concentration of the bleach does not exceed 50 ppm for any sanitizing or cleaning solution. Bleach is effective for killing bacteria, yeast, and mold, and is one of the better choices to use when it comes to sanitizing.

How do you clean plastic fermenters?

Cleaning plastic fermenters requires a few steps in order to ensure they are properly sanitized and ready for your next fermentation. Before you begin, read all manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines to ensure you are cleaning your fermenter correctly.

Start by scrubbing your plastic fermenter with a non-abrasive sponge and a solution that is a mix of hot water and a non-chlorinated, non-foaming, non-sudsing, food-grade cleaner like PBW. Rinse all the cleaner off with hot water and allow the fermenter to air dry.

Alternatively, you can use a mixture of water-bleach and detergent, just make sure you rinse it very well with hot water.

If possible, it is recommended to let your fermenter drain from the bottom out of the top. When your fermenter has dried, inspect it closely to make sure that any stuck-on material is removed. If there is still residue or bacteria left behind, you can use a brush attachment on a power washer or hose- it is recommended to avoid blasting with water pressure or using razor blades or wire brushes as these could damage the plastic fermenter.

To ensure that your fermenter is sterilized and ready for use, sanitize it with a no-rinse sanitizer like Star San or One Step. You can also use a household bleach mixture, just make sure you rinse it extremely well afterward.

Allow the fermenter to come in contact with the sanitizer for at least one minute, then rinse with hot water and allow the plastic fermenter to air dry before use.

What is the purpose of carboy?

A carboy is a type of large container that is used primarily to transport, store, and dispense liquids such as water, chemicals, and beer. They generally consist of a large, strong, clear plastic or glass container with a narrow neck, a handle, and usually a taped-on or screw-on cap.

Carboys are often used in laboratories and industries to transport a variety of liquids, such as acids and bases, for use in experiments and chemical processes. Additionally, they are used to store beer before it is bottled and by homebrewers as a primary fermenting container.

Generally, carboys are made of plastic or glass, hold up to 5 gallons of fluid, and have a wide mouth with a small neck that is sealed with an airtight lid or stopper. Because they are made of heavy-duty material that is meant to withstand pressure, carboys can last for many years, even when exposed to harsh chemicals and temperatures.

Can you use a bucket for secondary fermentation?

Yes, a bucket can be used for secondary fermentation. Secondary fermentation is the process of adding flavor and complexity to your beer by allowing it to age and mature. In this process, the yeast and other ingredients settle and clear to the bottom, allowing for a clearer beer with fewer imperfections.

You can use a large plastic bucket, allowing plenty of room for the beer to ferment and giving enough space for the sediment to settle. To help prevent contamination, it is important to thoroughly sanitize all equipment prior to use.

It is also important to use a sanitized lid to cover the bucket and keep out any airborne contaminants, as this can greatly affect the flavor of your beer. Be sure to also take precautions in making sure the airtight seal remains tight and secure as to not allow the CO2 produced while fermenting to escape.

With careful sanitation and attention, a bucket is a great way to conduct a secondary fermentation and add depth to your beer.

Can I use a carboy as a primary fermenter?

Yes, you can definitely use a carboy as a primary fermenter. It is ideal to use a food-grade plastic container as a primary fermenter when you’re just starting out because it is easy to clean and will not break as easily as a carboy.

The primary benefit of using a carboy for primary fermentation is that you can easily observe the fermentation process, which provides valuable insights into the progress of the fermentation. Additionally, carboys are built to hold pressure, which means that they can safely handle the pressure generated during primary fermentation.

Finally, carboys are relatively inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes, which makes them a great choice for primary fermentation.

Is racking to secondary necessary?

Racking to secondary is necessary because it removes the beer from the trub (sediment) and yeast that has settled to the bottom of the primary fermentation vessel and also allows for a slower and more consistent fermentation to occur.

Racking also increases the beer’s appetizing appearance, taste and aroma. This is especially important for certain styles of beer (Belgian, English and German styles). Racking can help reduce a beer’s acetaldehyde, dimethyl sulfide and other off-flavors which can build-up during secondary fermentation.

Additionally, it helps to clarify the beer, increase the rate of maturation and remove harsh, bitter-tasting hop compounds. For many styles of beer, in order to reach their fullest potential and meet desired characteristics, they must undergo a secondary fermentation—which includes racking.

Generally, racking is performed at least twice, with additional racking being done when desired characteristics or appearance of the beer haven’t been reached.

Does secondary fermentation need an airlock?

Yes, secondary fermentation generally requires an airlock. An airlock is a piece of brewing equipment that can help keep the brewing environment sterile by creating a barrier between the inside of the fermenter and the outside environment.

This is important, as air can introduce contamination to the fermentation process that can lead to off-tastes, spoilage, and potential health risks. An airlock allows carbon dioxide to escape the fermenter, while preventing anything from outside from entering.

This can help to reduce the risk of oxidation and contamination during the fermentation process. When brewing beer, an airlock should be used when first transferring the beer to the fermenter and during the secondary fermentation phase.

When should I transfer my wine to secondary fermenter?

When transferring wine to secondary fermentation, it is best to wait until primary fermentation is nearly finished and the specific gravity has reached a stable point for two days of testing. The oxygen content in the new container can cause shock to the yeast which leads to stressed fermentation and off-flavors in the finished wine.

For reds and whites, transfer once the yeast cells start to settle on the bottom, or when the Specific Gravity drops to 1.010-1.008. The time frame to reach this point should be 8-30 days or more depending on the fermentation temperature and yeast strain.

If a Malolactic fermentation is planned, it is generally best to give it itself its own fermenter rather than adding the bacteria to the primary fermenter.

Additionally, wines made with little or no added sulfite may benefit from racking to a secondary fermenter or carboy to remove the lees that naturally form during fermentation. Racking can also help clear the wine of undesirable flavors that could have been produced during fermentation.

In some cases, a portion of the yeast cells may remain suspended in the liquid and get transferred to the secondary fermenter. If this is the case, it is beneficial to use fining agents such as gelatin or isinglass to help clear the wine.

It is important to keep in mind that leaving the wine in the primary fermenter for too long can result in the wine taking on the off-flavors of the lees. To prevent this from occurring, make sure to keep the wine in the fermenter for only the minimal amount of time needed for the primary fermentation.