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Old 11-06-2009, 05:49 PM   #1
DrSanta
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Default Extended Time In Secondary, Yeast, and Bottle Conditioning

So my partner and crime and I have had a few beers that have kicked around in the secondary for a while. Some as long as a month.

This doesn't happen all the time. We've also noticed that some beers that we've made haven't carbonated too well. We don't take proper notes to know if there's any correlation there, so I thought I would lean on the sage advice of you folks to help me out.

Becuase I'm now working on a long term drink: that Apfelwein recipe that's all the rage. I guess traditionally it's flat, and traditionally you're supposed to let it mull around in the fermentor for.. well, a couple of months if your patient enough. And that got me worried - because I want it carbonated.

So my general question is this:

As a general rule when racking a beer into the secondary, should we bring some of the yeast cake over. Just a bit? Or should w avoid it entirely?

And then, on top of that, how long in a secondary is too long for the yeast when it comes down to its effectiveness in bottle conditioning? Does it just go dormant and die in there, to the point where adding sugar won't do any good? Or is it slumbering and easily awakened?

Thanks!

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Old 11-07-2009, 03:22 PM   #2
Suthrncomfrt1884
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When using secondaries, I usually suggest racking from primary as soon as fermentation begins to slow. You should have a few points of gravity left to go before it's actually finished. At this point, there's still enough yeast in suspension to carbonate your beer. The point of moving it is to get it off the yeast cake, so no...don't transfer any over.

Some of the yeast will settle out in secondary, but just moving the carboy/bucket to wherever you plan to bottle will get some back into the beer enough to carbonate. Generally, you won't be leaving the beer in secondary long enough for all your yeast to settle. It will take longer to carbonate though, so I suggest waiting at least 6 weeks before opening one. Patience is the key in brewing.

As far as apfelwein goes...I carbonate mine, as do lots of people on the forum. It's really a personal preference and I can drink it either way.

And you should really start taking notes...it makes brewing a lot easier and it's nice being able to repeat recipes.

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Last edited by Suthrncomfrt1884; 11-07-2009 at 03:27 PM.
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