Author Topic: "Rack on to" secondary  (Read 1974 times)

Offline crummydo

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"Rack on to" secondary
« on: January 31, 2017, 09:37:58 PM »
I am almost ready to move an oatmeal raisin stout into the secondary, following a basic recipe kit but adding ingredients I found for another recipe. Right now I have, as suggested, the raisins, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla beans sitting in bourbon. However, the recipe states beer should be "racked onto" the ingredients. Im new to this and confused at what its saying. Am I just throwing this into the secondary or am I washing the beer over this mixture?

I would like to think that I should let these sit in the secondary to bring out the flavor, but im just not sure on the lingo.

Offline Stevie

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 09:46:50 PM »
Rack onto means the additional ingredients are already in the fermenter ahead of racking. This is to account for displacement. When using secondary you want to fill all the way to the neck, so adding stuff after could cause overflow.

Offline crummydo

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2017, 10:01:46 PM »
Awesome. Thank you.  I figured as much, just wanted to make sure. What seems like a good length of time considering its sitting with those ingredients and bourbon?

Offline Stevie

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"Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 10:03:00 PM »
Never messed with cinnamon or raisins, vanilla is a quick pickup. Take very small tastes and package when you're happy.

Offline kramerog

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2017, 11:01:22 PM »
Cinnamon powder takes a few days to achieve full strength.  Cinnamon sticks longer I imagine. 

Offline santoch

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2017, 03:01:21 AM »
Be sure to purge the vessel with CO2 first and avoid splashing during the transfer to help your beer age better.
And remember that its most important that your fermentation is already complete in the primary.  There are old directions that basically say to rack after only a week.  Give the beer the time it needs to finish up, then rack it to the new vessel over the top of the spices.

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Online Ellismr

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2017, 11:38:22 AM »
This means to transfers your beer on top of the items you have already put in your secondary fermentor. 

Santoch, that's an interesting observation.  I have noticed when I have time that true final is reached in 1-2 weeks. 


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Offline crummydo

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2017, 03:19:10 PM »
Thanks everyone.

Offline pete b

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2017, 04:34:37 PM »
Rack onto means the additional ingredients are already in the fermenter ahead of racking. This is to account for displacement. When using secondary you want to fill all the way to the neck, so adding stuff after could cause overflow.
I'm not sure about all of this. This is a true secondary fermentation IMO because of the sugar in the raisins which will put out some CO2. I don't think it needs to be up to the neck because of the co2 and at any rate there may or may not be enough beer to fill to the neck after racking off the trub. If you do fill to the neck, or close to it, you need a blow off tube.
Also, to the comment that they should purge with CO2, most new brewers can't do this and with a sugar source in the 2nd carboy that's OK.   
Also, an alternative is to simply add the ingredients to the primary fermenter as it winds down. You will then want to rack very carefully into the bottling bucket when the time comes.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2017, 04:52:53 PM »
I didn't think of them as a fermentable.

Offline pete b

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2017, 05:03:56 PM »
I didn't think of them as a fermentable.
If there are enough to have a flavor impact they should be. I cup has about 100g of sugar. Regardless, I wouldn't be surprised if the carboy can't be filled to the neck. Maybe adding to primary is best.
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Offline crummydo

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2017, 09:03:12 PM »
Correct, i dont have any co2 source. The time to move into secondary is drawing near. The goodies have been soaking in the bourbon since Sunday. Looking at the fermenter last night it looks like a gallon with of trubb sitting on the bottom, far above the collector and valve.

When I siphon the beer to the secondary carboy, I imagine that it will be 4 gallons and very thick considering the molasses and cocoa powder I used at the end of the boil. So should I add boiled clean water to top it off to make a total 5 gallons? And how would that affect the FG?

I can post the full recipe when I get home if that helps answer questions.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 09:11:49 PM »
Do not add water to top it off at this point.

I would simply rack on to the raisins et al and not worry about the head space in the carboy.

Raisins will ferment for sure.  Craisins ferment.  Pretty much any fruit you add will ferment.
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Offline crummydo

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 09:26:35 PM »
Okay got it. Next time I will consider adding more water up front if I think the trubb will be more than the normal. Thanks.

Offline pete b

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Re: "Rack on to" secondary
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2017, 01:04:31 AM »
I'll make a couple of points that I think will be helpful in the future, crummydo.
You mentioned topping off with water, in part, because you expect the beer to be "thick" because of molasses and cocoa powder. Actually it won't because the molasses is just about all sugar which will all be fermented into alcohol which will actually be thinner and make the beer taste drier and the cocoa will just give off flavor and the rest will be trub.
You also mentioned adding extra water at the beginning so you can fill the secondary carboy to the top.
Two things:
You don't need to rack into a carboy in most cases. You usually can just let it finish in the primary fermenter. Racking into the secondary is usually done when you are adding fermentables like fruit. Some also do it onto hops and other ingredients. I personally only do it when there will be additional fermentables.
Also, adding extra water will give you watered down beer unless you add more malt or extract.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 12:27:30 PM by pete b »
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