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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: afacini on May 14, 2012, 05:40:10 PM

Title: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: afacini on May 14, 2012, 05:40:10 PM
Common advice is to go with 2-stage fermentation (especially for heavier worts) to avoid having the fermenting beer sit upon the trub. I've read other opinions, which say that there's no harm, and sometimes even added benefits, to have the fermentation take place on top of the spent yeast.

Basically, I would like to know the consensus about this. I have a 6.5 gal conical, so I've been able to get away with a "middle ground" approach (having much less surface area for trub to be in contact). What do you think is best practice?

(This might get filed with the controversial "don't sparge" movement, heh)
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: denny on May 14, 2012, 05:49:19 PM
Here's part of what John Palmer said in the Ask the Experts section of the AHa website...(full text at http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/lets-brew/ask-the-experts/john-palmer?cid=wr6B8CL9lj0q%2bJT6ImywRQ%3d%3d&redirect=http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/lets-brew/ask-the-experts/john-palmer if you're a member)

"Therefore I, and Jamil and White Labs and Wyeast Labs, do not recommend racking to a secondary fermenter for ANY ale, except when conducting an actual second fermentation, such as adding fruit or souring. Racking to prevent autolysis is not necessary, and therefore the risk of oxidation is completely avoidable. Even lagers do not require racking to a second fermenter before lagering"

I almost never use a secondary.  I decide on a batch by batch basis if I need it and I alost never do.  I have found no negative impact on beer quality by not using a secondary and it's a heck of a lot easier!  Since you have a conical and can dump yeast and trub, I can't see why you'd even consider it.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: Hokerer on May 14, 2012, 05:51:37 PM
Agreed.  With today's modern yeasts plus the fact that we're not brewing 10-barrel batches, a true secondary is the only time you'd want to rack.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: davidgzach on May 14, 2012, 05:56:59 PM
+1 to the above.  No need for secondary.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: afacini on May 14, 2012, 06:05:10 PM
Sounds great, so this seems to be more of a consensus than I thought.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: jmcamerlengo on May 14, 2012, 06:51:02 PM
Its consensus here as well.  I, like others on this forum, have even began dry hopping in the primary or directly in the keg.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: afacini on May 14, 2012, 06:57:55 PM
Keg-hopping is something my friend does, and he swears by it. I've yet to try one of those, however...
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: jmcamerlengo on May 14, 2012, 06:59:40 PM
Keg-hopping is something my friend does, and he swears by it. I've yet to try one of those, however...

It works great. just tie it off to the underside of the keg lid 5-7 days before serving!
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: davidgzach on May 14, 2012, 07:17:45 PM
Its consensus here as well.  I, like others on this forum, have even began dry hopping in the primary or directly in the keg.

+1.  Kegging a Pale Ale tonight that I threw 1oz of Chinook in after 8 days......
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: punatic on May 14, 2012, 07:40:28 PM
I do not rack to a secondary most times either.  However, one reason you might want to consider it is to reduce the amount of sediment going into your bottles or kegs.

Of course transfering sediment from the primary can be greatly reduced by careful handling of the fermenter and racking cane.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: jmcamerlengo on May 14, 2012, 08:19:30 PM
I do not rack to a secondary most times either.  However, one reason you might want to consider it is to reduce the amount of sediment going into your bottles or kegs.

Of course transfering sediment from the primary can be greatly reduced by careful handling of the fermenter and racking cane.

I forgot to mention, to combat this I will cold crash my primary fermenter for a day or 2 after 2 weeks as well. Especially for less flocculent yeast strains.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: dllipe on May 14, 2012, 08:34:43 PM
Here's part of what John Palmer said in the Ask the Experts section of the AHa website...(full text at http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/lets-brew/ask-the-experts/john-palmer?cid=wr6B8CL9lj0q%2bJT6ImywRQ%3d%3d&redirect=http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/lets-brew/ask-the-experts/john-palmer if you're a member)

"Therefore I, and Jamil and White Labs and Wyeast Labs, do not recommend racking to a secondary fermenter for ANY ale, except when conducting an actual second fermentation, such as adding fruit or souring. Racking to prevent autolysis is not necessary, and therefore the risk of oxidation is completely avoidable. Even lagers do not require racking to a second fermenter before lagering"

I almost never use a secondary.  I decide on a batch by batch basis if I need it and I alost never do.  I have found no negative impact on beer quality by not using a secondary and it's a heck of a lot easier!  Since you have a conical and can dump yeast and trub, I can't see why you'd even consider it.

What about dry hopping?  Can you do that in primary or is that a qualifier for secondary?
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: denny on May 14, 2012, 09:11:23 PM
Here's part of what John Palmer said in the Ask the Experts section of the AHa website...(full text at http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/lets-brew/ask-the-experts/john-palmer?cid=wr6B8CL9lj0q%2bJT6ImywRQ%3d%3d&redirect=http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/lets-brew/ask-the-experts/john-palmer if you're a member)

"Therefore I, and Jamil and White Labs and Wyeast Labs, do not recommend racking to a secondary fermenter for ANY ale, except when conducting an actual second fermentation, such as adding fruit or souring. Racking to prevent autolysis is not necessary, and therefore the risk of oxidation is completely avoidable. Even lagers do not require racking to a second fermenter before lagering"

I almost never use a secondary.  I decide on a batch by batch basis if I need it and I alost never do.  I have found no negative impact on beer quality by not using a secondary and it's a heck of a lot easier!  Since you have a conical and can dump yeast and trub, I can't see why you'd even consider it.

What about dry hopping?  Can you do that in primary or is that a qualifier for secondary?

I don't rack to secondary just to dry hop.  If I decide to use a secondary, I dry hop there.  Otherwise, I dry hop in primary after the fermentation ends, or dry hop in the keg.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 14, 2012, 09:15:31 PM
I don't dry hop frequently, but last time I dry hopped in the keg.

It worked perfectly.

I suppose, in effect, I am using the kegs as a "secondary" since I don't tap them for awhile and the beer has time to condition and clarify before I drink it.  But the same thing could be said for bottles.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: bo on May 14, 2012, 09:27:23 PM
My stomach is my secondary. My bladder is my tertiary.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: WDE97 on May 14, 2012, 09:40:41 PM
Here's part of what John Palmer said in the Ask the Experts section of the AHa website...(full text at http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/lets-brew/ask-the-experts/john-palmer?cid=wr6B8CL9lj0q%2bJT6ImywRQ%3d%3d&redirect=http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/lets-brew/ask-the-experts/john-palmer if you're a member)

"Therefore I, and Jamil and White Labs and Wyeast Labs, do not recommend racking to a secondary fermenter for ANY ale, except when conducting an actual second fermentation, such as adding fruit or souring. Racking to prevent autolysis is not necessary, and therefore the risk of oxidation is completely avoidable. Even lagers do not require racking to a second fermenter before lagering"

I almost never use a secondary.  I decide on a batch by batch basis if I need it and I alost never do.  I have found no negative impact on beer quality by not using a secondary and it's a heck of a lot easier!  Since you have a conical and can dump yeast and trub, I can't see why you'd even consider it.

What about dry hopping?  Can you do that in primary or is that a qualifier for secondary?

I don't rack to secondary just to dry hop.  If I decide to use a secondary, I dry hop there.  Otherwise, I dry hop in primary after the fermentation ends, or dry hop in the keg.
I dry hop in a secondary if I plan on harvesting the yeast from the primary. This avoids having hop debris to worry about.  Other than that, no secondary for me
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: Rhoobarb on May 14, 2012, 09:53:23 PM
My stomach is my secondary. My bladder is my tertiary.
Quote of the week, right there! ;D
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: bluesman on May 15, 2012, 01:39:05 AM
+1 to John Palmer's statement.  I follow the same practice.

I just got finished kegging 10gal of a Pliny the Elder clone. It was femented in a 14.6gal conical for two weeks, then dry hopped for two weeks in the same conical after dropping the yeast. Conical fermenters rule!  8)
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: sparkleberry on May 15, 2012, 01:55:11 AM
i started out doing secondary but after a bunch of reading here and other places i stopped.  sometimes i'll add an extra week.  besides finding it wasn't really necessary, it also took another step out of the process that was sometimes a hassle for me and my work schedule.


cheers.

ryan
 
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: erockrph on May 15, 2012, 03:46:18 AM
What about dry hopping?  Can you do that in primary or is that a qualifier for secondary?

FWIW, I still consider myself somewhat of a novice when it comes to homebrewing, but I've never used a secondary (thanks largely to the great advice everyone has provided here). I'm a huge hophead, and I generally dry hop the hell out of my beers. I've used both pellets and whole cones, no hop bags, and just sprinkle them right into the primary. The results have been great. Unless I start harvesting my yeast, I don't think I'd ever bother with racking to a secondary for dry-hopping.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: TrippleRippleBrewer on May 15, 2012, 07:35:06 PM
What about dry hopping?  Can you do that in primary or is that a qualifier for secondary?

FWIW, I still consider myself somewhat of a novice when it comes to homebrewing, but I've never used a secondary (thanks largely to the great advice everyone has provided here). I'm a huge hophead, and I generally dry hop the hell out of my beers. I've used both pellets and whole cones, no hop bags, and just sprinkle them right into the primary. The results have been great. Unless I start harvesting my yeast, I don't think I'd ever bother with racking to a secondary for dry-hopping.

To quote the late Slim Pickens from the movie Blazing Saddles, "Ditto".

I follow the same protocol. Beer goes straight off the yeast into a keg. If I'm dry hopping, I do it in the primary and/or the keg. Loose in the primary and in nylon bag in the keg, or in an infuser.

Per Denny's advice and Jamil and John's great book on brewing classic styles, I quit racking to secondary years ago. This isn't a set in stone procedure for all beers, but it works for mine.

Additionally when I used to rack to secondary I ruined many beers in the past ( it's been awhile ) by sloppy racking and aeration during racking. I thought the beer tasted bad ( oxidized ) because it sat on the yeast for too long. I then found out it was OK to let it sit for up to a month and realized it must be something else.

I tried skipping it once and the first time I did it my beer was so much better I was amazed. You could say I turned the corner at that point but later learned my racking procedure was the culprit more than letting the beer condition in secondary.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: narvin on May 15, 2012, 11:18:37 PM
I dry hop, crash cool, and even fine with gelatin in the primary. As long as you can avoid stirring up the trub, there's no reason not to.
Title: Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
Post by: The Professor on May 15, 2012, 11:27:01 PM
My stomach is my secondary. My bladder is my tertiary.
Quote of the week, right there! ;D

Another one to put on a T-Shirt...