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Old 11-06-2008, 05:48 PM   #1
Roman Brewer
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Default Filling secondary with water?

A friend of mine (seriously, he's a friend of mine) recently got some advice that seemed a bit strange to me. He brewed a batch of amber ale and a clerk at a LHBS recommended that if was going rack his beer to his 5 gallon secondary after fermentation had stopped, that he should fill the carboy with water to prevent damage to the beer as it sat in the secondary for a few weeks. I heard this once before and immediately advised against is because that would just dilute the beer. I suppose if the carboy was nearly full anyway then the additional water woudn't dilute too much, but is it really necessary? In all the books I've ready and people I've talked to, I don't remember this being something that I should be doing. I don't even use 5 gallon CB's for secondary, I only have 6.5 gals. I have never had a problem. Any advice on this?

Cheers.

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Old 11-06-2008, 05:55 PM   #2
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There's no need, enough fermentation happens to put a nice blanket of CO2 on top of the beer to protect it. Water will just make it taste more like BMC. If your friend is really worried (RDWHAHB), tell (him|her) to pick up a CO2 tank and regulator and put a bit of gas on the top of the beer (though, this is TOTALLY UNNECESSARY).

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Old 11-06-2008, 05:55 PM   #3
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That clerk sounds like he rode the short bus.

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Old 11-06-2008, 06:27 PM   #4
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The clerk sounds like a winemaker. It is common practice to top off wines with water after racking to eliminate headspace. I would never do that with beer. There will be enough CO2 coming out of suspension during the racking of the beer to not worry about the headspace too much.

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Old 11-06-2008, 07:08 PM   #5
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Yeah, you'd introduce more oxygen by pouring water into it than you'd ever need to worry about by just letting it be. Unless the carboy is only half full or something, plenty of CO2 comes out of solution to blanket the beer (as others have already pointed out).

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Old 11-06-2008, 08:41 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I didn't think I had much to worry about, so I'll let my pal know about it.

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Originally Posted by bsay View Post
There's no need, enough fermentation happens to put a nice blanket of CO2 on top of the beer to protect it. Water will just make it taste more like BMC. If your friend is really worried (RDWHAHB), tell (him|her) to pick up a CO2 tank and regulator and put a bit of gas on the top of the beer (though, this is TOTALLY UNNECESSARY).
Sorry but what is RDWHAHB? I assume BMC is Bud/Miller/Coors? I've been brewing a while but don't know these ones. Better to ask now then look like a fool later.

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Old 11-06-2008, 08:57 PM   #7
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Well you caught BMC which is more than I did when I first came here, had to look that one up. RDWHAHB is Relax Don't Worry Have A Home Brew

Although you may need to RDWHAMB (Micro Brew) if you don't have any homebrew yet

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