Author Topic: Headspace  (Read 373 times)

Offline Fire Rooster

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Headspace
« on: December 02, 2019, 12:47:54 PM »
I solely brew all grain BIAB.
4.5 gallons in a 5.3 gallon speidel is used for a two week secondary,
after one week primary.  US-05 or Nottingham yeast is used, ABV 4.5%.

Is this headspace ok ?

Thanks
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 12:50:42 PM by Fire Rooster »

Offline jeffy

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 12:52:42 PM »
I solely brew all grain BIAB.
4.5 gallons in a 5.3 gallon speidel is used for a two week secondary,
after one week primary.  US-05 or Nottingham yeast is used, ABV 4.5%.

Is this headspace ok ?

Thanks
All the extra head space is necessary only for the primary fermentation.  You pretty much want zero head space if you transfer to a secondary.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 04:48:25 PM »
You could just skip the secondary process altogether. There are pros and cons to both leaving it in the primary vs transferring to secondary but for me the risks of oxidizing have led me to abandon using a secondary altogether.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 07:59:05 PM »
Agreed that secondary use should be minimized, but there are times for its use.  I avoid heavy oxygen ingress when possible in those instances (CO2 transfer to purged vessel or similar).  Most beers go straight to keg from primary.  Headspace is an enemy after fermentation is complete - it’s tough to avoid oxidation if there is headspace for O2 to get into...
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Offline Fire Rooster

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 01:27:18 PM »
Thanks for the feedback !

There are many variables for the processes, and equipment brewing beer.
My beers benefit from secondary based on current equipment and processes.
Most of the time airlock activity is briefly noticed after transfer to secondary.

Will tighten up the headspace, and go to a full 5 gallon batch in a 5.3 speidel.

Thanks Again

« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 07:50:38 PM by Fire Rooster »

Offline goose

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 02:20:39 PM »
Agreed that secondary use should be minimized, but there are times for its use.  I avoid heavy oxygen ingress when possible in those instances (CO2 transfer to purged vessel or similar).  Most beers go straight to keg from primary.  Headspace is an enemy after fermentation is complete - it’s tough to avoid oxidation if there is headspace for O2 to get into...

Agreed.  I only use a secondary to dry hop when making an IPA since my racking cane tends to plug up with hop particles.  I have not yet figured a way around this problem.  I do a pressure transfer (3-4 lbs) from the primary (SS Brewtech Chronical)  to a purged secondary and dry hop there.  It allows me to better see the particles  drop out.  I then push the beer from the secondary into a purged keg at the end.  One of these days I will perfect dry hopping in hge primary and eliminate the extra transfer.
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2019, 12:19:16 AM »

My beers benefit from secondary based on current equipment and processes.
Most of the time airlock activity is briefly noticed after transfer to secondary.

Will tighten up the headspace, and go to a full 5 gallon batch in a 5.3 speidel.

Thanks Again


Just curious as to why your beers benefit from using a secondary? There are many reasons you may still see airlock activity after transferring from primary. One being fermentation wasn't complete in which case you are removing your beer from primary fermentation too early. Another being that what you are seeing is just off-gassing. In any case the term "secondary fermentation" is a misnomer. There should be no more fermentation going on. If there is, again, you are removing your beer from the primary fermenter too early.

Some brewers believe that there are certain situation where using a secondary stage is useful... adding fruit or dry hopping are most cited. But a lot of brewers are discovering you can make those additions IN the primary fermenter. Another commonly brought up reason for using a secondary is clearer beer. That is quite debatable. With fining or cold crashing you can achieve very clear beer with the risks associated with transferring to a secondary.
Another reason given in favor of secondary transfers is the conditioning required for certain high OG/high ABV beers. Some which are aged for many, many months. The explanation goes; you should remove the beer from contact with the yeast cake. My comeback is; so transfer it right to your keg or bottle it when fermentation is complete and let it condition there.

@goose: I use one of these for dry hopping in either my Chronical or keg... http://scottjanish.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cornykegdryhoppers.jpg
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Offline Fire Rooster

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2019, 10:31:19 AM »

My beers benefit from secondary based on current equipment and processes.
Most of the time airlock activity is briefly noticed after transfer to secondary.

Will tighten up the headspace, and go to a full 5 gallon batch in a 5.3 speidel.

Thanks Again

Midwest has the option of two-stage fermentation with all their all grain recipe kits.
I quote from their site-

" The two-stage fermentation is a much more effective fermentation schedule compared to a single-stage fermentation. Two-stage fermentation consists of primary fermentation (Days 1-14) and secondary fermentation (Days 14+). During primary fermentation, most of the alcohol is produced and the majority of solids settle out of solution. Once this is complete, the beer is transferred to a secondary fermentor (a 5 gallon glass carboy). During this step, the beer clarifies and its flavor profile matures. Beer can condition and clarify in the secondary fermentor for weeks or months depending on the style and strength of the beer. "

and-

" Two-stage fermentation is just what it sounds like–fermenting in two stages, using two separate
fermentation vessels. The first stage, primary fermentation, usually takes place in a plastic
fermenter. The second stage, secondary fermentation, takes place in a glass carboy or Better
Bottle. The main reason for two-stage fermentation is clarity. Yeast, grains and hops all create a
lot of sediment as the beer ferments. This can cause off-flavors in your beer. If you do single-stage
fermentation, this sediment will end up settling out in your beer bottles. If you have a bad memory
of trying your dad’s homebrew and finding things floating in it, it’s likely that dad did not use two-
stage fermentation. While your beer will still be drinkable, you will see a vast improvement in not
only clarity, but flavor and aroma when you do two-stage fermentation. We at Midwest feel that
this is the one biggest thing that homebrewers can do to improve their beer. "

With current equipment/processes the clarity, and possibly flavor and aroma improve. The spigot on the 5.3 gal speidel fermenters are in my opinion too low.  Bottling from primary is always a mess, trub, floaties, clogged tubing etc.  I understand the debate on the two-stage process, and it's an extra step, but for me it's easier and much clearer beer.  Sometimes hop-tea added at this point. Fermenter is much easier to clean after one week vs 3-4 week primary. Cold crashing is not practical, finnings aren't desired. Two-stage fermentation and bottling is done in a 58-62 degree basement, then transferred to a large cooler(heated to 72 degrees with a ink-bird and seedling mat) for 3 weeks, then transferred to the 57 degree basement floor from where its sampled and aged further.  I'm an OCD sanitizer, and transfer with surgical precision, for others this method may invite trouble.

Thank You
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 11:37:47 AM by Fire Rooster »

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2019, 11:53:00 AM »
Whatever works for you is just fine, but try a side by side experiment and see for yourself before assuming that a secondary is necessary.  I make crystal clear beers without a secondary or fining and drink them within 2-3 weeks from the boil.  YMMV.  Cheers!
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Offline denny

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2019, 03:13:15 PM »
The quote from Midwest shows a lack of understanding and a parroting of outdated info.
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Offline Visor

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2019, 04:26:30 PM »
The quote from Midwest shows a lack of understanding and a parroting of outdated info.

   ...Which is kept alive by outfits that want to sell you unnecessary equipment.
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline denny

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2019, 04:56:17 PM »
The quote from Midwest shows a lack of understanding and a parroting of outdated info.

   ...Which is kept alive by outfits that want to sell you unnecessary equipment.

I make no judgement on motive...it could just be ignorance
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Fire Rooster

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2019, 07:02:57 PM »
I take it that a few of you don't transfer to a secondary ?  :P
If there are others using secondary, you scared them off.  :-[
Been to this rodeo before, perhaps one day I'll go back to primary only,
but that day is not today.

Spirited feedback
Thanks
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 07:26:41 PM by Fire Rooster »

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2019, 08:07:21 PM »
I take it that a few of you don't transfer to a secondary ?  :P
If there are others using secondary, you scared them off.  :-[
Been to this rodeo before, perhaps one day I'll go back to primary only,
but that day is not today.

Spirited feedback
Thanks

I secondary in a keg. I primary in a fermenter, transfer to a keg where I carbonate, cold condition/lager/mature, and serve from. (I don’t trust glass)

It’s just semantics.

Cheers!


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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Headspace
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2019, 04:43:18 AM »
Always try what you want - it’s a hobby.  But try the results and compare to an alternate approach.  Like others have said, experience counts for something.  Do what you prefer.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"