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Old 01-29-2013, 04:49 AM   #1
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Default Agitating Beer in the Secondary?

will giving a beer conditioning in the secondary a gentle swirl every once in a while affect it in any negative way? My reasoning for doing this is below:

I have been brewing a Wheat Beer (extract from Northern Brewer) and after two weeks in the primary I racked it to the secondary top of 4.5 pounds of frozen/pasteurized raspberries. It initially developed I nice secondary krausen that has since fallen back in but a good 1/3 of the raspberries are still floating on top of the beer. Since mold usually grows in a substrate in contact with air (be it anaerobic or not) I try to give the carboy a gentle swirl once a day or so to more-or-less submerge the fruit into the nice acidic/alcoholic/anaerobic liquid until the gas pushes it back again.

Most of the trub stays sedimented when I do this, this picture was taken shortly after one of the "swirls". What do you think am I damaging the beer? (brand new brewer by way, this is my first batch)

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:57 AM   #2
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i would frown at you if i saw you swirling your unfinished beer. your added more O2 in to your beer and you really dont want too...id say leave it alone till its done.

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Old 01-29-2013, 03:41 PM   #3
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ah... point well taken

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Old 01-29-2013, 03:54 PM   #4
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You should be releasing CO2 when you swirl, most beer will have some CO2 after primary fermentation. I swirl my secondaries all the time when dry hopping, I get a few bubbles out of the airlock and stop. No issues as of yet from doing so.

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Old 01-29-2013, 07:52 PM   #5
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While I'm not against swirling a primary or secondary, I don't see it helping your cause here. If you're concerned about microbe growth, try crushing up some campden tabs, and gently mix the powder into the secondary. That should stunt any growth, if there is any. I am assuming that you are kegging. Don't do this if you plan to bottle condition the beer, as the campden will stunt the yeast as well.

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Old 01-30-2013, 05:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldstyle69 View Post
i would frown at you if i saw you swirling your unfinished beer. your added more O2 in to your beer and you really dont want too...id say leave it alone till its done.
Yes. I sadly had no idea this would happen and my recent IPA I swirled it in the secondary to agitate the hop pellets thinking it would make it hoppier. I ended up with radically oxidized beer. I still dont know how the 02 gets in when I have an airlock on there, but that's what happened...
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:39 PM   #7
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Yes. I sadly had no idea this would happen and my recent IPA I swirled it in the secondary to agitate the hop pellets thinking it would make it hoppier. I ended up with radically oxidized beer. I still dont know how the 02 gets in when I have an airlock on there, but that's what happened...
Did the beer foam at all when you swirled? There should be enough CO2 in suspension and in the carboy, assuming the airlock is floating, that oxidizing shouldn't be happening in the secondary. There is certainly a risk when transferring to the secondary, but once it's there, and there is a CO2 blanket, you shouldn't have problems with oxidization.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
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i would frown at you if i saw you swirling your unfinished beer. your added more O2 in to your beer and you really dont want too...id say leave it alone till its done.
If you are using an airlock then you won't be adding any more 02. Any O2 that gets in while you racked will (was) consumed pretty quickly by the yeast. So as long as you keep the fermentor sealed, feel free to swirl away and there is no O2 in there to cause any problems
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:48 PM   #9
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The added fruit fermented out, filling any headspace of the secondary with CO2. Swirling it will not oxidize the beer.

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Old 01-30-2013, 08:15 PM   #10
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I have no idea how it happened. I take care when racking to secondary not to aerate, so I just thought the only thing that could've done it was swirl it. regardless, from now on I don't rack to secondary at all, even on hoppy IPAS that i dry hop. Everyone i talk to at my homebrew club says the yeast cake doesn't affect flavor if you're just dry hopping for an extra week. If I was aging something like a barleywine maybe., but then I would just bottle quick and age it in the bottles.

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