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Old 03-22-2009, 02:45 AM   #1
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Default Too little in secondary?

I just transfered my chocolate stout to a secondary and lost quite a bit to sediment. The batch only goes up to where the carboy starts to curve to the top of the bottle (ie where it angles at the top). Will this be a problem with oxidation, or should I be fine and let it sit for a few weeks as is? I would imagine topping the brew off with some water might help, however it would water it down. Any advice? This is my first time doing a secondary. Typically I bottle after primary.

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Old 03-22-2009, 02:47 AM   #2
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Don't worry about oxidation. When I was new to brewing I used to top off my secondary to cut back on head space too, and I'm really not sure where I got that idea from, but it is not necessary. The fact is that your beer is saturated with CO2 and the agitation of racking is going to make a bunch of it come out of solution, rise to the top, and form a protective layer of invisible gas over the beer. Adding water could actually introduce more oxygen (dissolved in the water) than the headspace of the secondary.

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Old 03-22-2009, 02:49 AM   #3
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Damn, I forgot to mention I added 16oz of bottled spring water cut down on the exposed surface area a bit. Hopefully that wasn't a poor decision on my part.

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Old 03-22-2009, 02:58 AM   #4
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Dude...you asked the question, got a response two minutes later, and still already did it? Geez.

It was a poor decision, but you didn't know better yet and it will by no means ruin your bach. It is not something I would do to my beer, but like I said, it is something I have done to a batch of beer. I still made good beer. Don't worry.

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Old 03-22-2009, 03:08 AM   #5
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Coastarine, I did that right after I transfered to secondary hours before posting here.

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Old 03-22-2009, 04:51 AM   #6
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Damn, I forgot to mention I added 16oz of bottled spring water cut down on the exposed surface area a bit. Hopefully that wasn't a poor decision on my part.
Did you boil it first? If so, that would have take just about all the oxygen out.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:22 AM   #7
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Did you boil it first? If so, that would have take just about all the oxygen out.
Nope, straight out of the bottle. Not a bad idea, though.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:52 AM   #8
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FWIW, there was probably more dissolved oxygen in the unboiled water than it would have absorbed from surface exposure. At any rate, your beer is not ruined, it takes more than that to ruin beer. In the future, keep in mind that when you transfer to secondary it will release enough dissolved CO2 to form a blanket on the surface, protecting it from oxygen. So it really isn't much to worry about.

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Old 03-22-2009, 04:00 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice everyone!

What do you guys typically do to cut down on volume loss to the sediment in the primary? This time I did about 5.25 gallons in the primary and would up with about 4.5 in the secondary after transferring.

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Old 03-22-2009, 04:14 PM   #10
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What do you guys typically do to cut down on volume loss to the sediment in the primary? This time I did about 5.25 gallons in the primary and would up with about 4.5 in the secondary after transferring.
How long was it in primary? If you leave it in long enough, the trub will compact to a very thin and dense layer, making racking clear beer much easier. Cold crashing also helps.

Leave it in there long enough, and you'll eventually decide not to bother with a secondary!
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