Author Topic: Consensus on racking out of primary?  (Read 4640 times)

Offline afacini

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Consensus on racking out of primary?
« on: May 14, 2012, 10:40:10 AM »
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)

Offline denny

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 10:49:19 AM »
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.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 10:51:37 AM »
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.
Joe

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 10:56:59 AM »
+1 to the above.  No need for secondary.
Dave Zach

Offline afacini

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 11:05:10 AM »
Sounds great, so this seems to be more of a consensus than I thought.

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2012, 11:51:02 AM »
Its consensus here as well.  I, like others on this forum, have even began dry hopping in the primary or directly in the keg.
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline afacini

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 11:57:55 AM »
Keg-hopping is something my friend does, and he swears by it. I've yet to try one of those, however...

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 11:59:40 AM »
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!
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2012, 12:17:45 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......
Dave Zach

Offline punatic

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 12:40:28 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.
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2012, 01:19:30 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.
Jason
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Offline dllipe

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 01:34:43 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?
I don't drink a lot but I do drink frequently.

Offline denny

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 02:11:23 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.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 02:15:31 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.
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Offline bo

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Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2012, 02:27:23 PM »
My stomach is my secondary. My bladder is my tertiary.