Author Topic: sugar added to secondary  (Read 1565 times)

Offline ipaguy

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sugar added to secondary
« on: September 11, 2010, 06:02:07 AM »
When racking a completely fermented beer to my secondary, I add about a tbs of corn sugar (boiled & cooled).  My reasoning is that it generates just enough CO2 to purge the carboy head space of O2.  Just wondering if anyone else does this, and if it makes sense.
Primary: gotlandsdricke/alt/dunkel hybrid
Secondary: pale barleywine,
Bottled:  Gotlandsdricke
               Oatmeal/blackberry stout
               Honey Kolsch

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2010, 09:38:53 AM »
I don't secondary, but if I did I wouldn't bother with it.  I'd just give it a blast of CO2, but you might not have that option.  Depending on how long your primary is though, there might already be enough going on to purge it anyway.  I don't think what you're doing hurts necessarily, just adds risk of contamination with questionable rewards.

But anyway, I think you should examine why you are doing a secondary in the first place and if you really need to.  Many of us don't feel like it adds anything to most beers.
Tom Schmidlin

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2010, 09:41:13 AM »
If you do decide to rack to a secondary there's probably going to be enough CO2 coming out of solution just from the agitation of the racking process to purge the headspace without the sugar.  A blast of CO2 to purge the secondary of air before you transfer wouldn't hurt though.
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Offline chezteth

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2010, 12:56:04 PM »
If you do decide to rack to a secondary there's probably going to be enough CO2 coming out of solution just from the agitation of the racking process to purge the headspace without the sugar.  A blast of CO2 to purge the secondary of air before you transfer wouldn't hurt though.

+1 to the CO2 coming out of solution to purge the headspace.  There have been plenty of times where the airlock starts gurgling after transfering to secondary.

Offline majorvices

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2010, 05:01:54 PM »
Personally, I'd just skip the secondary.  ;)
Keith Y.
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Offline tubercle

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2010, 05:09:14 PM »
Personally, I'd just skip the secondary.  ;)

 Me too.

 An ounce? Hell Fire - I spill that much adding the pound or so to my 7% Lawnmower Cream Ale.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2010, 07:10:22 PM »
The less handling your beer is exposed to the better.  I used to use a secondary religiously and then decided to take the advice of others and now I only use a secondary for big beers or other specialty beers when I really don't have a choice.

Your beer should be fine as is but on the next batch try going from the primary right into the priming bucket or the keg.

Good Luck on you beer and don't hesitate to questions.  8)
Ron Price

Offline chezteth

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2010, 07:37:44 PM »
The less handling your beer is exposed to the better.  I used to use a secondary religiously and then decided to take the advice of others and now I only use a secondary for big beers or other specialty beers when I really don't have a choice.

Your beer should be fine as is but on the next batch try going from the primary right into the priming bucket or the keg.

Good Luck on you beer and don't hesitate to questions.  8)

I definitely agree with this.  I used to use a secondary as well.  Now I only use a secondary for big beers and other specialties like Bluesman, and many others do.  It also helps reduce the amount of cleanup needed.

Offline ipaguy

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2010, 08:47:27 AM »
... I only use a secondary for big beers or other specialty beers ...

How do you define 'big'?
Primary: gotlandsdricke/alt/dunkel hybrid
Secondary: pale barleywine,
Bottled:  Gotlandsdricke
               Oatmeal/blackberry stout
               Honey Kolsch

Offline majorvices

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2010, 09:14:15 AM »
For me big is over 1.065 - unless you are talking about a IIPA and that is a session beer.  ;) I still don;t secodnary many beers, perhaps a barley wine, RIS or a fruit beer.

That said, since your name is IPA guy I'll mention that I also dry hop in the primary after fermentation has settles. One thing I will mention though is I keg all my beers and kegging is essentially a big bright tank.
Keith Y.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2010, 09:21:27 AM »
... I only use a secondary for big beers or other specialty beers ...

How do you define 'big'?

A big beer is a beer that as Keith has indicated has a relatively high gravity but also requires bulk conditioning and/or aging.
Ron Price

Offline HydraulicSammich

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2010, 09:29:35 AM »
Anyone.  So, how long do you leave your beer in the primary after two or three days of constant gravity?  Is there a benefit to let it condition for another week or up to three weeks in the primary?
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Offline bluesman

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2010, 09:42:54 AM »
Anyone.  So, how long do you leave your beer in the primary after two or three days of constant gravity?  Is there a benefit to let it condition for another week or up to three weeks in the primary?

What are your recipe specifics?  What was your OG?  What type of yeast are you using?  What is your current S.G.?

I need this info. to give you an informed response.  Thanks.
Ron Price

Offline HydraulicSammich

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2010, 09:58:41 AM »
Okay,  I have a rye beer that is two weeks old in the primary.  OG is 1.053.  currently it is 1.020 and has been sitting for two weeks and has been steady for a week.  Will leaving it any longer in the primary help reduce the gravity?  Wyeast American Wheat
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: sugar added to secondary
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2010, 10:36:52 AM »
I don't know if leaving it in primary will help the gravity drop, that depends on if there are still fermentable sugars available.  But moving it to secondary will definitely not help it drop.  You can try warming it and rousing the yeast in primary and see if you get any movement on the SG.
Tom Schmidlin