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Old 07-11-2007, 12:04 PM   #1
Foreigner
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Default Air Headspace in Secondary

Well:

I underestimated the quantity of pale ale in my primary - I thought I had 23L, it turns out I only have 19L. I blame the trub.

How did I figure this out? When I racked into the 23L secondary. I now have
~4L of air at the top of my carboy.

I'm not going to cry or anything but a question for you:

Should I worry about oxidation? All visible signs of fermentation have stopped.

Am I better off just bottling now owing to potential oxidation? Or should I leave it in the secondary for a few weeks? I am NOT going to rack into a 19L carboy, btw.

What you folks think?


Thanks!

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Old 07-11-2007, 12:37 PM   #2
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You should be fine. While there may be no visible signs of fermentation the beer is still creating C02 and should in a day or two create a C02 blanket over the beer, to prevent oxidation. When calculating your next batch you should factor in aproximitly 2 extra liters to account for loss in the primary and secondary fermentors.

Cheers

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Old 07-11-2007, 12:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wop31
While there may be no visible signs of fermentation the beer is still creating C02 and should in a day or two create a C02 blanket over the beer,

2 extra liters to account for loss in the primary and secondary fermentors.

Cheers
Yeah, I sort of figured something like that re: CO2, but I forgot to account for the loss.


Thanks!

I'm not sure if I'm too lazy to brew today, but it is going to rain...Maybe a frankensteinian munich dunkel ale...and a 2nd runnings for a lighter beer with some flavour...the agony of choice!
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I try not to drink anything harder than Gin before breakfast - W.C. Fields

Primaries: Ed's Haus + Munich, Ed's Haus + medium crystal

Secondaries: suck :)

Bottles: Chili Stout, Dry Irish Stout, Bitter Ass IPA, Headstrong Munich Lager clone, Lawnmower ale with chocolate and munich malt

Bulk Aging: Wildberry Sweet Mead - Orange Vanilla Dry Mead

Up Next: Orfy's Old Speckled Hen and an IPA of some kind

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Old 07-11-2007, 02:47 PM   #4
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for oxygen to actually get into solution, you need surface agitation. so even when its not producing any CO2 because fermentation is over (such as very long secondarys) you still have no problems, as long as you don't splash.

hence why you stir the crap/shake the bejesuz outta the primary fermenter to re-oxygenate the wort for pitching.

(I also keep planted aquariums with high light output and zero surface agitation so my injected CO2 does not out-gas...and have to rely on my plants to produce enough oxygen for the fish since the water isn't exchanging atmospheric gas)

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Old 07-11-2007, 06:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
for oxygen to actually get into solution, you need surface agitation. so even when its not producing any CO2 because fermentation is over (such as very long secondarys) you still have no problems, as long as you don't splash.

hence why you stir the crap/shake the bejesuz outta the primary fermenter to re-oxygenate the wort for pitching.

(I also keep planted aquariums with high light output and zero surface agitation so my injected CO2 does not out-gas...and have to rely on my plants to produce enough oxygen for the fish since the water isn't exchanging atmospheric gas)
Not really true. Gases are exchanged at the boundary between air and liquid. A still surface just has less surface area and the two mediums have to rely on diffusion to disperse the concentrations of O2 and CO2 within the mediums, instead of circulation. These two causes greatly reduces the amount of gases exchanged.
However it is generally not considered to be a problem to have extra head space in a secondary because of the CO2 produced by the beer and the amount of O2 absorbed is not enough to cause off-flavors within the time between fermenting and drinking.

Craig
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:51 PM   #6
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If you have access to CO2, could you just give the secondary a "shot" of CO2 when you're finished racking?

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Old 07-11-2007, 07:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppy360
If you have access to CO2, could you just give the secondary a "shot" of CO2 when you're finished racking?
I believe you can, but have no access to such things.
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I try not to drink anything harder than Gin before breakfast - W.C. Fields

Primaries: Ed's Haus + Munich, Ed's Haus + medium crystal

Secondaries: suck :)

Bottles: Chili Stout, Dry Irish Stout, Bitter Ass IPA, Headstrong Munich Lager clone, Lawnmower ale with chocolate and munich malt

Bulk Aging: Wildberry Sweet Mead - Orange Vanilla Dry Mead

Up Next: Orfy's Old Speckled Hen and an IPA of some kind

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Old 07-11-2007, 07:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppy360
If you have access to CO2, could you just give the secondary a "shot" of CO2 when you're finished racking?
Yep, certainly can. when you keg and don't plan to force carb right away (room temp aging a few weeks) you put a few psi on the keg, bleed it, repeat a few times, to build the CO2 pillow and to purge atmospheric air.

and Craig, you are right...I was indeed over-simplifying it a bit. but at least we both agree it shouldn't matter if you don't agitate it
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