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Old 01-09-2013, 04:05 PM   #1
Geordan
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Default First lager, undecided on whether to proceed with a secondary

So in my first 12 months of brewing, I've completed a number of very successful ales, never once racking to a secondary, as I saw early on the community's general disdain for the practice, with the current knowledge being that the minor risk of autolysis and off flavours was questionable, and not worth the chance of oxidation, infection, etc from moving between vessels.

However, the consensus does seem to be that lagers should still be moved to secondary after a D-Rest, to get them off the trub during the lagering period.

So here's my dilemma: I have 4.9 gallons of a marzen going into a D-Rest today, and I will need to do something with it this weekend; as I see it, my options are:

1) Leave it in the primary, lager "as is" (no problems temperature wise, will be lagering at around 1c)

2) Rack to a 5 gallon carboy before lagering; the issue being that I will have some open headspace (the 4.9g will likely be more like 4.5-4.6g with trub losses) and I have no CO2 to purge headspace with (no kegging kit until March at the earliest)

So, faithful friends, what are your opinions? Which option would you pursue in my place?

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Old 01-09-2013, 04:08 PM   #2
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Rack it. When done properly, transferring to secondary proposes no risk of oxidation or infection.

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Old 01-10-2013, 01:06 AM   #3
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Yea, I've racked to a secondary without ever worrying about the headspace. Gases will still be coming off and displacing whatever oxygen there is. Just make sure your secondary is sanitized.

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Old 01-10-2013, 02:54 PM   #4
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Rack it.

Once you have your kegging supplies, (assuming you are planning on multiple kegs, and if you aren't you should) then simply rack to a keg after the d-rest and lager in that. You'll get a bit more yeast in your glass at the very beginning when you tap it, but that is a very minor drawback. Most of my ales are in the keg within 10 days, and 3 weeks tops for lagers.

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Old 01-10-2013, 05:29 PM   #5
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leave it in the primary.

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Old 01-10-2013, 05:45 PM   #6
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Rack it. Enough CO2 will come out of solution to fill the headspace and since it happens as you rack, there will always be a layer of CO2 on top of the beer.

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Old 01-11-2013, 07:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
Rack it. Enough CO2 will come out of solution to fill the headspace and since it happens as you rack, there will always be a layer of CO2 on top of the beer.
David, that's a great point -- it never occurred to me that CO2 in solution will fill the headspace. Now I feel better about moving to a secondary.

Thanks for your input, everyone!
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