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Old 05-23-2009, 01:59 PM   #1
CPooley4
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Default Racking to Secondary

When racking to a secondary is it important not to aerate? In Palmer's book he mentions that aerating at that point could cause off flavors a few weeks down the road in the beer. However, I have a friend that likes to get a little aeration when racking to secondary to help the yeast.

Opinions?

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cp

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Old 05-23-2009, 02:03 PM   #2
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When I rack to my secondary I don't try and get any aeration b/c of the off flavors you mentioned. Also, by the time you rack to your secondary, the yeast is pretty much finished with all its going to do so I dont get why your friend is trying to help them at this point

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Old 05-23-2009, 02:07 PM   #3
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Do you even need to rack to secondary? What are you brewing? Unless you are adding something to the secondary or just need an empty primary its really not a necessary step.

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Old 05-23-2009, 02:09 PM   #4
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Thanks Chode.

Danielinva - I typically do not rack to a secondary. My friend does and I was looking at doing so in certain situations. Just wanted to get a little more info. I'm going with Palmer.

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Old 05-23-2009, 02:27 PM   #5
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Once the beer has gone full-swing into fermentation and from that point on, all efforts should be made to reduce the oxygenation of the beer. At that point the yeast are done using oxygen for growth. Adding oxygen after that can cause the oxidation of compounds to create "bad" flavor-active compounds. Beer should be racked "quietly", i.e. no aeration or foaming.

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Old 05-23-2009, 02:28 PM   #6
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I agree there is generally no need to rack to a clearing tank(What are you fermenting in the second vessel anyways?) Should you want to do this then try and Not aerate the wort at all.

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Old 05-24-2009, 01:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPooley4 View Post
Thanks Chode.

Danielinva - I typically do not rack to a secondary. My friend does and I was looking at doing so in certain situations. Just wanted to get a little more info. I'm going with Palmer.
Personally I don't think it's a matter or should you, or shouldn't you, the important question is why do you want to? There are plenty of reasons why you can, and maybe a few why you should. So it's hard to say either way without knowing the details.

As far as aerating, you do so in the beginning to help the yeast. If you are transferring to a secondary vessel, the yeast should have completed (or pretty darn close) ferementation. They've already gone through the growth phase, and any oxygen they don't consume will end up in the finished product, so in general, no aerating after fermentation has started.

Did your friend say why he thinks it helps the yeast?
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:06 PM   #8
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You friend is dead wrong about the aeration thing. The only time you ever want to aerate your beer is after you boil and chill it, right before you pitch yeast. At all other times, avoid aeration at all costs. Especially after the growth phase of the fermentation has completed. If you make an active attempt to aerate your beer when going to secondary, you can really screw it up. Oxygen does not need to be bonding with any of the flavor compounds in your beer, as this will change them around and make some weird off-flavors.

Now as for the secondary issue, you will find that many on this board do not bother with it. The general consensus is such that if someone like yourself posts a question like this about racking to secondary, most of the people in the thread will tell you it is a waste of time to secondary.

Personally, I secondary most of my beers. My own experience has shown me that my beers come out cleaner and clearer if I secondary. The only times I have ever had significant off-flavors in my beers were the times when I left them in primary for four weeks. Two weeks in the primary has always been more than enough for the yeast to clean up after themselves, as most ale yeasts are dormant by this point anyway. I do it very cleanly and quickly, and it is worth the effort to me based on my own results. I encourage you to try it both ways and see which results you prefer.

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