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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: cptnpenguin on April 03, 2015, 03:19:19 PM

Title: Secondary question
Post by: cptnpenguin on April 03, 2015, 03:19:19 PM
If you want to do a secondary fermentation before bottling do you need to pitch new yeast? If you do pitch new yeast (for example a vial of brett in a saison thats been in primary for 2.5 weeks) do you have to transfer to new fermenter without old yeast or can you just throw it in the current primary?


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: kramerog on April 03, 2015, 03:22:58 PM
You can keep it in the same fermenter.  In your Brett example, if you transfer you'll probably get less funk and a little more acidity from oxygen pickup.  Mind you these might be subtle changes.
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: klickitat jim on April 03, 2015, 06:42:19 PM
I consider the total time its going to be on the yeast and what that yeast is. If total time is ten weeks or less I dont transfer. If my yeast is just bugs I dont transfer. This works for me at homebrew volumes. Probably not so much if you were brewing multiple barrels.
Title: Secondary question
Post by: bboy9000 on April 04, 2015, 01:38:10 AM
Good questions, here's a list as I've had a few:

1.  You do not need to pitch more yeast if you rack to secondary before bottling (assuming primary fermentation is finished, you don't transfer too early and the yeast aren't pooped out from fermenting  a high OG wort).  Edit: From what I understand you will transfer plenty of yeast still in suspension and will likely rouse a little from the yeast cake.

2.  You can just pitch the brett into the primary.

Now my advice.  Do not move beer into a secondary fermentation vessel as a standard practice unless you like the risk of oxidation which makes the beer taste like cardboard (Mmmmm).  I only rack to secondary for very specific reasons: 1) I need to empty a large carboy/bucket to ferment another beer, 2) I'm making a spice beer or a massively dry hopped beer and want to reduce the amount of trub that will eventually  be packaged, 3) I'm pitching brett or bugs that will be in there for six months or longer and 4) lagering, in which case I transfer from the primary fermentation vessel and lager in the keg.  In general, racking to a secondary fermentation vessel is an old school and unnecessary practice.  I even dry hop in the primary. 

If you do decide to transfer to a secondary fermentation vessel remember two things: 1) dont transfer from primary until the yeast are done, usually after 2-4 weeks but only a consistent hydrometer reading for at least three consecutive days can confirm this and 2) try to transfer in an oxygen-free environment by purging the fermentation vessels and siphon of oxygen with carbon dioxide before hand.  IME, you typically won't need to add more yeast to any beer if it's fermented properly.  Sometimes it is necessary if the yeast are tired from doing a high gravity beer or if you are bottle carbonating a lager.
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on April 04, 2015, 12:16:08 PM
Now my advice.  Do not move beer into a secondary fermentation vessel as a standard practice unless you like the risk of oxidation which makes the beer taste like cardboard (Mmmmm). 

Some home brew myths never die.  Wet cardboard/paper is the a compound known as trans-2-nonenal.  It is the result of the oxidation of lipids in the mash.  The culprit is an enzyme known as lipoxygenase.   What causes trans-2-nonenal to rear it's ugly head is poor post-packaging storage.

Oxidation while racking to a secondary is yet another home brew myth that is even worse than the home brew myth that is replaced; namely, autolysis.  The threat of oxidation while yeast cells are still in suspension is close to nil, as yeast cells love to scrub O2 from a solution.  Oxidation does not become a serious risk until the beer has been filtered or the viable yeast cell count drops to a very low level.  The threat of autolysis is real; however, most beer is packaged before yeast cells reach a state of health where autolysis occurs.  Yeast cells undergo a morphological change in addition to storing glycogen and trehalose at the end of fermentation.  This morphological change is thickening of the cell wall in preparation for hard times.


Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: inbituinthebrew on April 04, 2015, 02:03:07 PM
It sounds like oxidation and autolysis are not necessarily myths, but instead very rare in the common homebrew process? Perhaps in the extreme homebrew cases these are still valid - forgetting about a batch for a few months, etc.?

Also, if you're pitching Brett, wouldn't you want to pitch in a different fermenter altogether? I don't deal with those bugs much, but those that do usually recommend to keep them away from your non-brett/bugged equipment? I know of some who have a set for each.
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: cptnpenguin on April 04, 2015, 03:12:07 PM
Well too late now. I pitched I vial of brett c. yesterday into the primary. Amazing compared to other yeast vials how little are in the brett ones. I was reading the article on saisons in the July/august zymurgy and it said using Brett helps get the high attenuation needed for saisons. Plus I'm curious to see how this turns out now. Also I'm wondering how much activity in the airlock I'll actually see compared to those initial 2 days when you start off the original primary.


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: inbituinthebrew on April 04, 2015, 07:14:06 PM
Yeah, the pitching rates for Brett are a lot smaller than what they would be for the typical ale strains. I'd like to hear how the activity went as well - I'm pretty sure Brett cells take much longer to mature and peak as compared to your typical S. Cer strains.

Also, since you did throw in the bugs, perhaps worth using that fermenter for only similar pitches moving forward? Unless you like a little Brett in all your beers  :)
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: cptnpenguin on April 04, 2015, 07:18:35 PM
Didn't think of that but yes, I do like funk


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: cptnpenguin on April 05, 2015, 08:05:07 PM
So at about 24 hrs have some bubbles about every 1.5-2 min. Before I pitched it there was absolutely no activity at all. Probably let it sit a week or two then bottle


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: jtoots on April 06, 2015, 05:15:42 PM
Well too late now. I pitched I vial of brett c. yesterday into the primary. Amazing compared to other yeast vials how little are in the brett ones. I was reading the article on saisons in the July/august zymurgy and it said using Brett helps get the high attenuation needed for saisons. Plus I'm curious to see how this turns out now. Also I'm wondering how much activity in the airlock I'll actually see compared to those initial 2 days when you start off the original primary.


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

If your primary is plastic, best call it a brett only bucket from now on.
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: cptnpenguin on April 06, 2015, 06:21:11 PM
Will it really not go away even with good PBW cleaning and then good star san soak?


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: jtoots on April 06, 2015, 06:26:26 PM
Will it really not go away even with good PBW cleaning and then good star san soak?


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

Not in my limited experience with sours... had a couple batches go bad, won't risk it any more. 10 gallons of weird beer was a drag.
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: cptnpenguin on April 06, 2015, 06:43:38 PM
Hmmm. Bad as in just tasted off/bad or just everything had some funk (in a good way) too it ever since?


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: brewinhard on April 06, 2015, 06:54:28 PM
So at about 24 hrs have some bubbles about every 1.5-2 min. Before I pitched it there was absolutely no activity at all. Probably let it sit a week or two then bottle


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

You are definitely going to want to let it sit longer than another week.  And most likely those bubbles are simply CO2 off-gassing from your racked beer rather than Brett C. already fermenting.  Brett C is a very slow worker and not a strong attenuator, and without a sizable pitch will take at least 3-4 mos for it to show any noticeable character. 
What was the final gravity upon racking and adding the brett?  If it was above 1.010 I would definitely give the brett more time to work on the beer unless you like having bottle bombs going off in the house. 
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: jtoots on April 06, 2015, 06:57:12 PM
Hmmm. Bad as in just tasted off/bad or just everything had some funk (in a good way) too it ever since?


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

LOL bad as in bad :)  I don't like every beer funky.
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on April 06, 2015, 07:26:40 PM
Will it really not go away even with good PBW cleaning and then good star san soak?

Brettanomyces can be difficult to eradicate from porous brewing equipment.  However, you may be able to eradicate it by soaking your gear in a strong chlorine bleach-based solution (1/2 to 1 cup of bleach per 5 gallons of water).  Star San is acid-anionic sanitizer.  It is composed of a surfactant called dodecylbenzenesulfonate and phosphoric acid.  Acid-anionic sanitizers  are very effective at killing bacteria, but they have limited yeast and mold killing ability (see the paragraph on acid anionic sanitizers at this link: http://books.google.com/books?id=lCRxcp3gfhUC&pg=PA180&lpg=PA180&dq=acid+anionic+sanitizer+mechanism&source=bl&ots=oOdpNfn5b8&sig=BFDwDZJtIT_H1mVtXMVvCMPED9k&hl=en&ei=uKrgTIX_OcGAlAfd0MWcAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=acid%20anionic%20sanitizer%20mechanism&f=false).  I went back to using bleach at a rate of 1/4 cup per 5 gallons of water as my primary sanitizer because I discovered the hard way that acid anionic sanitizers have limited yeast and mold killing ability.  Star San is now way down on my list of sanitizers.  I only use Star San on gear that is been sanitized with an oxidizing halogen and rinsed with tap water.
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: cptnpenguin on April 06, 2015, 08:35:06 PM

So at about 24 hrs have some bubbles about every 1.5-2 min. Before I pitched it there was absolutely no activity at all. Probably let it sit a week or two then bottle


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

You are definitely going to want to let it sit longer than another week.  And most likely those bubbles are simply CO2 off-gassing from your racked beer rather than Brett C. already fermenting.  Brett C is a very slow worker and not a strong attenuator, and without a sizable pitch will take at least 3-4 mos for it to show any noticeable character. 
What was the final gravity upon racking and adding the brett?  If it was above 1.010 I would definitely give the brett more time to work on the beer unless you like having bottle bombs going off in the house.

It was about 1.013 and I didn't do astarter for the Brett. The idea of bottle bus freaks me out like no other. Sometimes I cringe when picking up a bottle and imagine shards of glass flying everywhere. 3-4 months? Oh boy, my wife is going to have to wait quite awhile for her saison.


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Title: Re: Secondary question
Post by: cptnpenguin on April 06, 2015, 08:36:02 PM

Will it really not go away even with good PBW cleaning and then good star san soak?

Brettanomyces can be difficult to eradicate from porous brewing equipment.  However, you may be able to eradicate it by soaking your gear in a strong chlorine bleach-based solution (1/2 to 1 cup of bleach per 5 gallons of water).  Star San is acid-anionic sanitizer.  It is composed of a surfactant called dodecylbenzenesulfonate and phosphoric acid.  Acid-anionic sanitizers  are very effective at killing bacteria, but they have limited yeast and mold killing ability (see the paragraph on acid anionic sanitizers at this link: http://books.google.com/books?id=lCRxcp3gfhUC&pg=PA180&lpg=PA180&dq=acid+anionic+sanitizer+mechanism&source=bl&ots=oOdpNfn5b8&sig=BFDwDZJtIT_H1mVtXMVvCMPED9k&hl=en&ei=uKrgTIX_OcGAlAfd0MWcAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=acid%20anionic%20sanitizer%20mechanism&f=false).  I went back to using bleach at a rate of 1/4 cup per 5 gallons of water as my primary sanitizer because I discovered the hard way that acid anionic sanitizers have limited yeast and mold killing ability.  Star San is now way down on my list of sanitizers.  I only use Star San on gear that is been sanitized with an oxidizing halogen and rinsed with tap water.

Are you able to get rid of bleach smell/taste fairly easily with that much bleach?


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."