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Old 06-30-2014, 06:48 PM   #1
gravityspiral
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Default Newbie question: Racking

Hello all,

I've been researching homebrewing for a while and just got into it a few months ago. I'm going to start my second partial-grain recipe next week and I'd like to get some advice on it. The recipe involves adding some smoked chipotle peppers to the secondary fermentation a few days before bottling, then recommends letting it age in the bottles for as long as possible.

If I were to modify this process by following the instructions, but instead of adding the peppers then bottling a few days later, could I add the peppers then just transition it to another carboy after a few days? I only ask because I'm hoping to let this beer age for at least 6 months, and by that time I will likely have a keg setup so I won't have to bottle it.

Thanks everyone, and I'm looking forward to getting your help and contributing once I learn more!

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Old 06-30-2014, 07:45 PM   #2
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You could do that but then you would be transfering your beer 3 times including when you keg it. I would worry about oxidation. I would suggest adding the peppers to the primary after fermentation has finished. This way it will have a layer of CO2 protecting it. Give it however many days you want and then transfer to secondary until you keg it.
That's what I would do.
Good luck!


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Old 06-30-2014, 07:47 PM   #3
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That's a much better idea - thanks!

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Old 07-01-2014, 04:19 AM   #4
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Personally I would follow the directions (I know, a home brewer who actually follows the directions... ). I have heard stories (*note* I have only heard of these stories, I have no first-hand experience) of hot-pepper beers only getting hotter as they age where the [home] brewer was hoping the heat would mellow over time.

For what it is worth you are planning on waiting 6 months to drink a beer that you hate. There are YouTube videos of people waiting excitedly after X amount of months to film themselves taking first crack at their "genius" home-brew only to puke it out on camera and curse up a storm.

As a noob home brewer I know that a chipotle beer sounds awesome and I am sure that your friends will be impressed, too. But think about it: it's a chipotle-flavored beer, you are new to the game; chances of screwing it up are high.

At the very least post the recipe along with your intended modifications and take what-ever advice you receive. I know you won't do that as most new home brewers don't. It is how most of us learned.

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Old 07-01-2014, 03:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice - I do have a tendency (in other ventures) to try and change things up, and it doesn't always work out.

The only change I'm looking to make is that instead of adding the peppers then bottling 3 days later and aging in-bottle (per recipe), I'm instead going to add the peppers then move it to secondary fermenter 3 days later, and allow it to age there. My main concern was whether or not aging in the bottle vs aging in a carboy would have any significant difference.

Which is probably a better question to ask:
Is aging in a secondary fermenter for 3 months then bottling, the same as bottling then aging in the bottles for 3 months? Or are there significant differences to what will happen to a brew that is aged in a carboy vs bottles?

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Old 07-03-2014, 08:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravityspiral View Post
Which is probably a better question to ask:
Is aging in a secondary fermenter for 3 months then bottling, the same as bottling then aging in the bottles for 3 months? Or are there significant differences to what will happen to a brew that is aged in a carboy vs bottles?
I wonder the same thing. There is a thread on this: HBT -- here
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:36 AM   #7
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Extended time on the peppers is what makes it hot/intense. 3 days and then bottle or 3 days and then rack, is excatly the same.

As a suggestion, if you plan on extended secopndary, I would recommend minimizing the headspace (as best as you can), and adding a little sugar solution to the beer as it is racked. A few ounces of simple sugar boiled in water (similar to when you bottle, but don't need as much). This will help scrub any O2 you might get in there, and form a CO2 blanket. Any additional yeast you may create will be minimal and will drop in the same way it would do in the bottle.

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