Author Topic: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation  (Read 1720 times)

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2016, 03:36:54 PM »
By closed tank do you mean siphoned into an oxygen laden wooden barrel and sealed with a cork without purging. look I don't generally do secondaries but you don't have to be afraid of it ,plenty of brewers do it and have no problems. I want the OP to know you can make very good beer without doing closed transfers. Have you ever watched how beer is canned commercialy. On the home brew scale your wort is not going to be exposed long enough from a transfer. Hey does closed system have some benefit? Sure. Is it necessary? IMO no. Let's just agree to disagree.
Some beer styles it is appropriate to have those types of oxidized flavors.  A sherry-like or musty/cheesy aromas like in lambics it is preffered.  So stylistically it may be appropriate to have cellar aged flavors.  Others not so much.  Again head space in that barrel makes a difference too.  Sours are blended to get the right level of those flavors, however many have negative flavors due to oxygenation. 

It is subjective.  I am with you if your point is, "Its your homebrew, ultimately you get to decide"  a cinnamon/vanilla stout is not a bourbon barrel stout, a lambic, a sour, or any other.  It's a spiced holiday stout.  So I would be avoiding unnecessary steps and possible negatives is where possible off flavors could put an off character to the beer.

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Offline denny

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2016, 03:56:10 PM »
Fermentation won't stall. Under aerated beer will stall. Ever add dry hops after 5 days? It starts fermenting again from the oxygen that gets in with the hops. The risk of oxidation comes after fermentation is complete. At least that's what I believe. But like I said if you're worried just toss it in the primary.

Have you checked to see if it's actually fermentation?  Often it's just CO2 coming out of solution due to the hops providing nucleation sites.  If the gravity actually drops, then it is continued fermentation.
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Offline denny

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2016, 03:57:43 PM »
http://howtobrew.com/book/section-1/fermentation/using-secondary-fermentors
Here is what John Palmer says about racking when still actively bubbling

John has changed his opinion since that was written.  https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=15108.msg191642#msg191642

An excerpt...."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. With the right pitching rate, using fresh healthy yeast, and proper aeration of the wort prior to pitching, the fermentation of the beer will be complete within 3-8 days (bigger = longer). This time period includes the secondary or conditioning phase of fermentation when the yeast clean up acetaldehyde and diacetyl. The real purpose of lagering a beer is to use the colder temperatures to encourage the yeast to flocculate and promote the precipitation and sedimentation of microparticles and haze."
« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 04:00:37 PM by denny »
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Offline dilluh98

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2016, 03:57:58 PM »
Fermentation won't stall. Under aerated beer will stall. Ever add dry hops after 5 days? It starts fermenting again from the oxygen that gets in with the hops. The risk of oxidation comes after fermentation is complete. At least that's what I believe. But like I said if you're worried just toss it in the primary.

Have you checked to see if it's actually fermentation?  Often it's just CO2 coming out of solution due to the hops providing nucleation sites.  If the gravity actually drops, then it is continued fermentation.

Yup, that's what I was thinking.

Offline Brew Cat

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2016, 04:41:39 PM »
Exactly. That is why I said to rack before fermentation is done.
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Offline Brew Cat

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2016, 05:04:35 PM »
Well D I never secondary anymore. But I add my dry hops at krausen drop but it is probably still fermenting a bit. As far as weather the O2 in the hops or the nucliation is causing the increased activity I do not know but I feel better that the head space is being purged either way.
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Offline denny

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2016, 05:12:55 PM »
Well D I never secondary anymore. But I add my dry hops at krausen drop but it is probably still fermenting a bit. As far as weather the O2 in the hops or the nucliation is causing the increased activity I do not know but I feel better that the head space is being purged either way.

That's certainly one way you can do it.  I prefer to wait til fermentation is done, get the beer off the yeast, and then dry hop.  Both methods work, it's just a question of the result you want.
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2016, 12:26:31 AM »
Exactly. That is why I said to rack before fermentation is done.
Why do you suggest that at all? What benefit would your beers have to racking off of the yeast cake/trub prior to finishing?

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Offline Brew Cat

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2016, 04:24:06 AM »
If you read the original post it was about racking onto fermentable additions which is the only reason imo to rack to a secondary
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2016, 06:40:07 AM »
If you read the original post it was about racking onto fermentable additions which is the only reason imo to rack to a secondary
The op doesn't mention fermentables.

Offline Brew Cat

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2016, 06:53:55 PM »
If you read the original post it was about racking onto fermentable additions which is the only reason imo to rack to a secondary
The op doesn't mention fermentables.
True. He says ingredients so maybe he meant spices. If that's the case I wouldn't secondary.
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Offline dunngood

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2016, 06:19:19 PM »
One of my biggest concerns about racking off the primary yeast cake to soon is the yeast has not cleaned up the off flavors yet.

Offline denny

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2016, 06:28:42 PM »
One of my biggest concerns about racking off the primary yeast cake to soon is the yeast has not cleaned up the off flavors yet.

Doesn't quite work like that....here's some info from John Palmer that will appear in an upcoming BYO article I'm writing....

Yeast have 3 phases in their life cycle: Adaptation, High Growth, and Stationary. (See Yeast by CW and Jamil) They do not have a maturation phase where they clean up byproducts. Adaptation phase is where they take in oxygen and build sterols and other lipids, assess the sugar composition and build enzymes, etc. Once those activities are done, they start the High Growth Phase, eating and reproducing. The number of cell divisions is limited by their lipid reserves they made during Adaptation. These reserves are shared with each daughter cell. When those lipid reserves are exhausted, the cell stops reproducing. In addition, when those reserves are exhausted, the cell is old and cannot eat or excrete waste efficiently across it’s cell membrane. A yeast cell typically can reproduce about 4 times during a typical fermentation, after that it is old and tired and tends to enter Stationary phase where it shuts down most of its metabolism and flocculates, waiting for the next batch of aerated wort. Stationary phase is essentially an inactivity phase, resting on the bottom.

Like I said, no conditioning phase as far as the yeast are concerned. Byproducts can be consumed at any point during the high growth phase, but they are a lower energy source than sugar, so guess what? Byproducts are not a biological priority. The brewer therefore needs to plan his pitching rate and fermentation conditions such that the yeast run out of fermentable wort sugar before their lipid reserves are exhausted and they go into stationary phase. Now you have a majority of vigorous yeast that have only undergone 2 reproductions (for example), the sugar is gone, and they are still hungry, so they turn to acetaldehyde and diacetyl as alternate energy sources and maturate the beer. You can help this by doing a diacetyl rest by raising the temperature a few degrees after the first half of fermentation, to keep the yeast active and eating. Where in the fermentation? after the first half, 2/3 to 3/4, when most of the attenuation has occured and raising the temperature is not going to cause rampant growth and the off-flavors associated with it.

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Offline dunngood

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2016, 06:38:18 PM »
Interesting I will have to check that out. Thanks.

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Timing question regarding secondary fermentation
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2016, 07:07:58 PM »
Denny isn't a D-Rest a step within the final phase of the yeasts life cycle? the Stationary phase? that I believe Chris White Ph.D put out an article discussing these phases. The Lag Phase, The Exponential Growth Phase, and the Stationary Phase.

            ...."Beer is matured in the stationary phase of growth, also known as the conditioning phase. Yeast reabsorb diacytyl that was produced during fermentation, and hydrogen sulfide escapes from the top of the fermentor as a gas."...

*edit - I only say anything at all because I think it does work that way, but not the way most people think.  There is a "conditioning" period where during the later stages of the growth phase and the beginning-middle of stationary phases beer is metabolizing "off flavors" such as diacetyl and acetaldehyde, like you mentioned.  However that continues past the growth phase of "active" fermentation.  Probably not as late as most people assume it is happening.  But to say that off flavors are not reduced in the conditioning phase is to say there is no such thing as "green beer" and I don't believe that to be true.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 08:53:06 PM by JJeffers09 »
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