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Old 12-30-2012, 04:35 PM   #1
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I just have a few questions about the secondary fermentation.

When racking to a secondary can I add any more yeast to my batch to get the fermentation going again or is that not advised?

Also what is the stance on using yeast energizer and yeast nutrient in beer brewing? I use it in my mead but haven't heard of people using it for beer. I assume it could only help but I figured I'd ask.

And is there anywhere I can read about or watch a video on how to rack to a secondary? I'm so used to just brewing in the primary and going straight to bottling that I've never really read about racking to another fermenter or seen it done.

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Old 12-30-2012, 04:48 PM   #2
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Many people have stopped going to secondary if primary fermentation is less than a month. If you are lagering for extended periods then a secondary should be used.

After a month, your beer should still have about a million cells per milliliter, unless you cold crashed it (35-40F).
You cannot see a million cells per milliliter.

Why add more yeast? Are you not reaching terminal gravity? It is generally better to warm the beer and keep it on the yeast to help it finish out.

----

>Also what is the stance on using yeast energizer and yeast nutrient in beer brewing?

I generally use Wyeast Yeast Nutrient, but I forgot last night! You are right that it is more needed in mead since honey doesn't have much of what the yeast needs to grow new cells.

---------

>And is there anywhere I can read about or watch a video on how to rack to a secondary?

Yup. Here is Michael Dawson from Northern Brewer. He racks like a champ.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abk6hNNGeAg

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Old 12-30-2012, 04:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1k3 View Post
Many people have stopped going to secondary if primary fermentation is less than a month. If you are lagering for extended periods then a secondary should be used.

After a month, your beer should still have about a million cells per milliliter, unless you cold crashed it (35-40F).
You cannot see a million cells per milliliter.

Why add more yeast? Are you not reaching terminal gravity? It is generally better to warm the beer and keep it on the yeast to help it finish out.

----

>Also what is the stance on using yeast energizer and yeast nutrient in beer brewing?

I generally use Wyeast Yeast Nutrient, but I forgot last night! You are right that it is more needed in mead since honey doesn't have much of what the yeast needs to grow new cells.

---------

>And is there anywhere I can read about or watch a video on how to rack to a secondary?

Yup. Here is Michael Dawson from Northern Brewer. He racks like a champ.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abk6hNNGeAg
+1 to all the above!
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:03 PM   #4
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Quite a few have stopped using secondaries and let them sit on the yeast to clean up. I only secondary lagers that will sit for months and I fill carboy with CO2 after sanitizing. Using starters instead of energizers IMHO + to the above posts

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Old 12-30-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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This Irish stout I've been brewing has been fermenting at an incredibly slow rate but I have also heard that stouts are a little slower anyway. I was just curious if it doesn't get to the ABV I was hoping for or the recipe expects then will adding more yeast to the secondary allow it to ferment a bit more?

And thank you for the other help too. That was basically what I was looking for.

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Old 12-31-2012, 12:38 AM   #6
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What was the OG of the stout, the expected FG, and the current gravity? What were the conditions of the ferment, ie: temperature at the start of the ferment, did you let it warm up when the ferment slowed?

The real answer is your beer has all the yeast it needs to complete the ferment. Adding more now isn't likely to help unless you made a horrible mistake earlier.

You should never rack an ale to secondary until the ferment is over. Secondaries are for clearing beer, not renewed fermentation and secondaries are losing favor for even that as it has been found that the beer will clear in the primary just as fast as in secondary.

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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I completely agree with what these guys are saying^^

I stopped using a secondary last year and will never do it again unless with a lager. The beer is actually a little better or cleaner tasting. I guess because racking introduces a little oxygen to the beer. I even give my kegs a nice blast of C02 before racking to keep it away from oxygen as much as possible.

As far as your slow ferment goes, got the temperature up enough? Some guys have cool basements this time of year like me. I bought a huge cooler and put 2 carboys in it at a time and fill the cooler with the correct temp water to aid in keeping temperature control. I just adjust the temperature of the water in the morning and evening during the first few days especially. This even works great in the summer.

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Old 01-31-2013, 04:17 AM   #8
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I just though about this today but for my next beer I will be adding cocoa nibs and lactose to the secondary to enhance a chocolate flavour to my final product. The only thing though is that I'm not sure how these additions will affect the alcohol content and how I will be able to calculate the ABV after these additions.

Anyone have any information that could help me with this? I am new to partial grain brewing and not sure how this stuff can be calculated. I need some help.

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Old 01-31-2013, 08:16 PM   #9
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Lactose will add sweetness but is unfermentable, the nibs I understand only need 1-2 weeks to add their flavor (correct me if I am wrong)

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Old 01-31-2013, 10:35 PM   #10
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Yes I will be leaving the nibs in for about 2 weeks and then removing them before bottling. I think that adding both of these items will change the gravity of the beer and I won't be able to get a correct ABV. I know people do this in their brewing process often but I need to know how they account for the additional sugars and change in gravity when calculating the ABV.

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