Author Topic: Racking to secondary in warm weather  (Read 574 times)

Offline leowaiau

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Racking to secondary in warm weather
« on: January 13, 2015, 06:39:08 AM »
Hey guys, I live in a tropical climate and so I have had to find ways to inexpensively be able to control the temp of my home brew. I read somewhere online that when brewing in hot climates you should rack into secondary earlier to get the beer off of the sediment at the bottom, which in warm temperatures can cause the beer to pick up off flavors. Is this true? Your thoughts?

Offline JT

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Re: Racking to secondary in warm weather
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2015, 11:21:20 AM »
What temp are you calling hot?  How warm is your beer during fermentation?

Offline majorvices

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Re: Racking to secondary in warm weather
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2015, 12:08:38 PM »
You need to be keeping the fermenting beer, which will be 4-6+ degrees over ambient temp, in the mid to high 60s for almost every beer you would brew except maybe saison. Otherwise you will most certainly be picking up off flavors from fermenting too warm.

Warm temps will cause the yeasts to break down faster after fermentation is finished. But it will be the least of your problems compared to the off flavors you will create if you don't find a way to control fermentation temps.

Offline leowaiau

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Re: Racking to secondary in warm weather
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2015, 07:31:09 PM »

What temp are you calling hot?  How warm is your beer during fermentation?

Mid 70s

Offline leowaiau

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Re: Racking to secondary in warm weather
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2015, 07:40:43 PM »

You need to be keeping the fermenting beer, which will be 4-6+ degrees over ambient temp, in the mid to high 60s for almost every beer you would brew except maybe saison. Otherwise you will most certainly be picking up off flavors from fermenting too warm.

Warm temps will cause the yeasts to break down faster after fermentation is finished. But it will be the least of your problems compared to the off flavors you will create if you don't find a way to control fermentation temps.


I live in Hawaii and because of a lack of money and space, I have been using the swamp cooler method, which has worked well.
I'm got a saison in primary right now and I'm just trying to figure out if I should rack into secondary when it's done. I did 2 batches where I didn't rack into secondary and both seemed to have some very weird fruity/leathery flavors. Since then I have always racked into secondary after the main fermentation period has ended and the beers have never had those off flavors again. So I'm wondering if racking into secondary is actually working or of it was just those 2 batches.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Racking to secondary in warm weather
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2015, 07:52:28 PM »

You need to be keeping the fermenting beer, which will be 4-6+ degrees over ambient temp, in the mid to high 60s for almost every beer you would brew except maybe saison. Otherwise you will most certainly be picking up off flavors from fermenting too warm.

Warm temps will cause the yeasts to break down faster after fermentation is finished. But it will be the least of your problems compared to the off flavors you will create if you don't find a way to control fermentation temps.



I live in Hawaii and because of a lack of money and space, I have been using the swamp cooler method, which has worked well.
I'm got a saison in primary right now and I'm just trying to figure out if I should rack into secondary when it's done. I did 2 batches where I didn't rack into secondary and both seemed to have some very weird fruity/leathery flavors. Since then I have always racked into secondary after the main fermentation period has ended and the beers have never had those off flavors again. So I'm wondering if racking into secondary is actually working or of it was just those 2 batches.

fruity leathery says bretta to me. or some other wild yeast contamination. luckily you are brewing saison so that's not too much of an issue unless it's gross. I don't think racking will help that but you could try it.

Making sure everything that touches the wort, or the yeast on the cold side is very clean and sanitized will help as well. If you use plastic containers inspect them for scratches or stuck on gunk. Inspect or replace plastic tubes.
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Offline JT

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Re: Racking to secondary in warm weather
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2015, 06:38:22 AM »

What temp are you calling hot?  How warm is your beer during fermentation?

Mid 70s
Might be ok for saison to start this warm, but I go cooler.  You may also get away with WLP001 just a bit cooler as it is a clean yeast. 
Just keep in mind your beer temp is warmer than ambient temp during initial fermentation due to yeast activity... anywhere from 3-10 degrees.  Swamp cooler should work fine but if your beer is still mid 70's try to find a way to bring it down.