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Old 05-10-2011, 03:22 AM   #1
AlesOfDistinction
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Default Racking with gravity, risking aeration

This is my first post since joining HBT - I'd like to start it by just giving a shout out to everyone for making great contributions to the forums - this is an awesome community and I'm glad to finally be joining it!

SO - I did a potentially stupid thing. Twice. I like to make some nice english style ales as extract brews with some of the wyest strains, thames valley, london esb, etc.; if its got a maris otter grain base, some kent goldings, and any combination of fuggles, challenger, target, or you name it - that's what most of my recipes look like.

I brewed two of these ales, a bitter and an esb, five days apart, doing the primary in a 6.5 gallon glass carboy. Potential mistake number 1 - I didn't take a reading with a hydrometer - I just waited for the yeast to fall and the beer to clarify a little - in the case of both beers, the yeast was gone by day 3.5, the beer was clarifying at the end of day 5.

Before reading about the advantages and disadvantages of racking to secondary on HBT, I decided to crash my schedule and move the beers to secondary as needed to free up my 6.5 gallon primary.

This is where I may have really screwed-up - - I had bought an autosiphon, but did not have proper tubing, and only realized this when I was halfway through boiling another beer. As I'm sure other brewers do when they hit this kind of wall, I panicked, and decided to pour the wort into my bottling bucket and then drain it into the secondary via gravity. Needless to say, there was splashing.

If it wasn't bad enough that I did it the first time, I had lost my tubing when I needed to move the second ale, and so I made the same mistake twice in a matter of days.

So I understand this was foolish and unacceptable, and I've got my tubing and autosiphon in an important place so that I don't make this mistake ever again, but what are everyone's thoughts about the two batches that suffered this transfer? The airlocks kept bubbling at healthy rate in the secondary for me to consider that they may have purged a fair amount of the oxygen, but I'm no chemist. Am I faced with a hundred bottles of cardboard?

I'm actually more pleased that I didn't drop my 6.5 gallon glass carboy onto myself when I poured it into the bottling bucket than I would be disappointed to lose all the beer. Quite frankly, I don't think I ever want pick one of those up again without some kind of safety accessories.

Thanks guys!

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Old 05-10-2011, 03:56 AM   #2
samc
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Oxidation is what you mean. You really won't know the effect until you start tasting. Ideally if you did create a problem you'd want to drink sooner rather than later. I'd just relax however as most of us have made similar mistakes at the start. Now we make different mistakes, being that we have experience.

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Old 05-10-2011, 04:16 AM   #3
ryandlf
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You'll be fine. I used to just pour my wort into the fermenter through a screen funnel for a long time before I realized it wasn't the "proper" thing to do. Its actually good to aerate your wort before it ferments because it helps the yeast thrive. Most people use a pump and airstone or an O2 container, but there are also plenty who just pour from kettle to bucket back and forth a few times.

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Old 05-10-2011, 01:51 PM   #4
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Yeah, since its a summer sort of ale, and they're my first two batches of a series that I'm hoping will go through the whole summer, I'm probably going to bottle each of them in the next few days and see if they can all get consumed by the middle or end of june. They're definitely not going to get aged for the long haul, etc.

Thanks guys.

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