Author Topic: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?  (Read 12252 times)

Offline denny

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2009, 09:48:41 AM »
Are we talking here about finishing fermenting in secondary fermenter or are we talking about transferring fully fermented beer to another vessel for flocculating and clarification?

These are two different things.



In my case, I consider it to be the latter.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2009, 10:46:52 AM »
Are we talking here about finishing fermenting in secondary fermenter or are we talking about transferring fully fermented beer to another vessel for flocculating and clarification?

These are two different things.



In my case, I consider it to be the latter.

I used to secondary all of my beers religiously until I discovered that it really wasn't necessary for most beers. Yeah a Barleywine or a big beer would benefit by a secondary for aging and clarification purposes, but your typical ales don't really benefit from a secondary. I rack from the primary right into the keg for most of my beers.
Ron Price

Offline halenrush

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2009, 11:04:30 AM »
Lately my secondary is straight to cold crash. 

Offline chezteth

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2009, 11:15:27 AM »
Thanks for all the replies.  I wait until fermentation is complete before transferring to secondary.  I have been using a secondary fermenter for the purpose of clearing my beer. I have done a couple of fruit beers that I transferred to secondary on top of some fruit puree.  It definitely sounds like most people are not using a secondary except in a few cases ( ie fruit beers ).  I think I will follow the advice "let the beer decide".  

Another question that goes along with this is...  If you bottle your beers, do you transfer to a bottling bucket before adding the priming sugar?  Or do you have another method of adding the priming sugar to the finished beer?  Thanks again for the guidance.

Brandon

Offline denny

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2009, 11:21:40 AM »
do you transfer to a bottling bucket before adding the priming sugar?

Yep.  I don't want anything that's settled to the bottom of the fermenter stirred up when I add the sugar.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2009, 11:49:16 AM »
do you transfer to a bottling bucket before adding the priming sugar?

Not before, after.  Mix priming sugar with a little water, boil to sanitize, cool, add to bottling bucket.  THEN siphon the beer from the secondary into the bottling bucket.  Makes sure things get mixed up well that way.
Joe

Offline halenrush

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2009, 08:09:42 PM »
do you transfer to a bottling bucket before adding the priming sugar?

Not before, after.  Mix priming sugar with a little water, boil to sanitize, cool, add to bottling bucket.  THEN siphon the beer from the secondary into the bottling bucket.  Makes sure things get mixed up well that way.

And a little coil in the transfer hose in the bottom of the bucket helps a ton in stirring it up without oxidizing the beer too much.

Offline brewsumore

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2009, 04:02:57 PM »
Are we talking here about finishing fermenting in secondary fermenter or are we talking about transferring fully fermented beer to another vessel for flocculating and clarification?

These are two different things.

In my case, I consider it to be the latter.

What the rest of these guys said...  Technically, going to secondary is done either at partial or full fermentation.  Ten years (or longer) ago it was pretty common wisdom to rack to secondary when fermentation was about 0 - 80% complete - often about five - seven days into fermentation.  Doing so prior to completion of fermentation left a lot of yeast in suspension to help ensure completing the fermentation in secondary, while getting the wort off of the trub.  The idea was to allow the beer to bulk mature and clear prior to bottling, to create cleaner-tasting beer while removing the threat of autolysis.  Dave Miller, in "Brewing the World's Greatest Beers" (1992) recommended racking off the trub 12 hours after pitching the yeast.

Since then, fears of autolysis have subsided significantly, and kegging is more commonplace.  The same bulk maturing, and/or cold conditioning happens in the keg, so arguably that IS secondarying. Or, if people are more particular about getting any yeast at all in their keg, or want to bulk age, dry hop, and/or add fruit prior to bottling/kegging, they will secondary in a carboy, conical, etc.


Personally, I learned a long time ago I prefer to secondary in carboys only after fermentation is done, and normally if adding fruit, or want to dry hop or cold condition, or see the when the beer has cleared.  And I recently went to kegging about 1/2 of my beer and so use the keg to secondary/dry hop/cold condition.

And sometimes I'll still go from primary to bottling bucket, especially for a low gravity ale. 
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 04:06:20 PM by brewsumore »

Offline Brew.Drink.Repeat.

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2009, 11:40:03 AM »
Even if you decide to do a secondary, IMO you shouldn't rack out of primary before three weeks or so. (And definitely ignore the old rule of racking as soon as the airlock stops moving, which can sometimes be as short as two or three days!)

One of the mistakes I see far too many people make is racking too early; give the yeast time to full complete the task you're asking them to do. Your beer will thank you for it. Remember: brewers make wort, yeast makes beer.
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Offline pricepeeler

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2011, 05:13:27 PM »
I am going to leave my beer alone.

Question, how long for ale is too long to leave in primary?

I know, look at your beer...

Thank you in advance,
Price

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2011, 05:21:02 PM »
Once the fermentation is finished you can let it sit 1-2 week without any issues. If you are in a temp controlled fermentation chamber and can lower the temp to 50 or below you can go several weeks. The colder the better.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2011, 05:29:50 PM »
I've done a month or more without ill effects, even in the 60s.
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2011, 05:56:19 PM »
Who resurected this old thing?

 Tubercle's take. No

 There is no such thing as secondary fermentation. It's all one fermentation and one fermentation only. Sometimes it is done in two seperate vessels in special circumstances but it is still only one;from begining to end. Secondary fermentation should be stricken from the vocabulary.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2011, 06:03:10 PM »
There is no such thing as secondary fermentation.

What about bottle conditioning?
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Offline tubercle

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Re: Is it necessary to rack to a secondary fermenter?
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2011, 06:09:51 PM »
There is no such thing as secondary fermentation.

What about bottle conditioning?

DAMMIT >:( >:( >:(  There you go messing up another one of my theories :D :D :D
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