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Old 08-20-2012, 10:51 PM   #1
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Default When to rack to secondary (with fruit in primary)

I made a 10 gallon batch of Centennial Blonde a couple weeks ago, and on a whim, racked one of the carboys (5 gallons) onto 2 lbs raspberries. It wasn't until later that I realized that I probably should have saved the fruit until the secondary, but too late now. I did look around, and see that it isn't unheard of to add the fruit to the primary, but there doesn't seem to be much advice as to whether having fruit in the primary effects how long it should remain in the primary before being racked to the secondary.

That said, does anyone have any advice as to how to tell when to transfer? Should I just rely on seeing whether the SG drops over a period of a few days (as I typically do) or is there more to consider with fruit? I want to be sure that the raspberries have been fully utilized (both to ensure that the yeast has consumed all the additional sugar, and to get as much flavor as possible.)

Thoughts?

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Old 08-21-2012, 05:21 AM   #2
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I'm confused. You said you racked one of the carboys onto the raspberries.. so you're in secondary right now, correct? And was fermentation not finished or finishing in the carboy when you racked the beer? So you're essentially asking when to rack to a tertiary stage of fermentation? Stop oxidizing your beer, and bottle or keg it after it's finished on the raspberries in this carboy. The longer the beer sits on the fruit, the more you will taste the fruit. I'd watch your SG and when its low enough, taste the beer periodically, then keg it.

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Old 08-21-2012, 02:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBeerist View Post
I'm confused. You said you racked one of the carboys onto the raspberries.. so you're in secondary right now, correct? And was fermentation not finished or finishing in the carboy when you racked the beer? So you're essentially asking when to rack to a tertiary stage of fermentation? Stop oxidizing your beer, and bottle or keg it after it's finished on the raspberries in this carboy. The longer the beer sits on the fruit, the more you will taste the fruit. I'd watch your SG and when its low enough, taste the beer periodically, then keg it.
Maybe I used the wrong terminology. I chilled the wort and put it directly on top of the raspberries in the primary. It has since fermented for 10 days, and I'm wondering if/when I should rack to a secondary.

As a side-note: is it not called racking when you transfer from the BK to the primary carboy?

Thanks for your help!
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