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Old 04-19-2010, 07:29 PM   #1
frogguruami
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Default Racking

I think this is the right forum for this question and I haven't found an answer anywhere.

Why does racking help clear up a beer, wine or mead? I am not asking if it does help, I mean, what is the actual reason that it helps.



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Old 04-19-2010, 09:34 PM   #2
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It doesn't, necessarily.

Racking usually goes hand-in-hand with secondarying, which most people do over a longer time than primary. So, the racking does nothing, but the longer your brew sits undisturbed, the clearer it gets as the yeast settles to the bottom.

Also, many people will rack to secondary in order to lager, which will allow even more yeast to settle out as they become cold and go dormant. Ales also benefit from cold storage--or even just a cold crash the night before bottling to settle out yeast and clear the brew.

Hope this helps.



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Old 04-20-2010, 12:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCCOLA View Post
It doesn't, necessarily.
But I consistently see a dramatic improvement in the clarity of my brews within 12 to 24 hours of racking. Example, I have a lemon mead that was moved from primary to secondary two days ago. Within 12 hours I had a 1/2 inch layer of sediment in the carboy, today there is an inch layer. On the same day I racked a braggot that has been sitting cloudy for weeks, today there is a 1/2 inch layer of sediment and it is finally beginning to clear.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:35 PM   #4
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It is a good question. Yeast do respond to the environment. I've never seen any science that the lack of a trub in the container helps yeast in suspension to flocculate. It could be that the yeast in suspension were using trub lipids for fuel or something, and their removal makes the yeast flocculate.

Racking removes the trub, agitates the wort, causes CO2 in solution to off gas, and probably lets in some air. All or any of these might cause additional settling of yeast or protein.

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Old 04-20-2010, 05:10 PM   #5
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Personally, I haven't noticed a difference just from racking. All my beers (except wheats)are very clear w/in 2 weeks of the end of fermentation (in primary or secondary)

But, you know what they say---whatever works for you.



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