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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Secondary Fermentation - To Rack or Not to Rack
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:54 PM   #41
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Revy seems to use we as an authority. No real tested data. Brewing Science books don't use hearsey. They use test labs and analyzers to prove the theory.

I know that a lot of keeping wort on the trub is yeast dependent. Certain yeast strains will be okay for a while, others will not and will spit out off flavors in your brew. If you have a 100 IBU brew, you may not taste them or anything else for that matter, but if you try to make a pils or lite lager with low hop ibu's they will show up.

Leaving fermented wort on the trub for long periods of time with no off flavors is an exception, not the rule

If you use certain yeasts they will eat themselves if there isn't enough food

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Old 01-10-2010, 12:58 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by OLDBREW View Post
Leaving fermented wort on the trub for long periods of time with no off flavors is an exception, not the rule
I tend to agree, but I think the issue is that we may define "long periods of time" differently. From my own brewing experiences, I don't feel that the 3-4 weeks I normally ferment is long enough for those off flavors to develop. There may be yeasts that produce off flavors from autolysis in less than a month, but the 8 or 10 strains I've tried so far didn't, even in very light beers.

There was an article in BYO last year that had homebrewers compare brews that had been racked against those left on the cake. It wasn't the most scientific expiriment, but the results are interesting. Definitely worth a quick read-
http://www.byo.com/component/resourc...harm-your-beer
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:05 AM   #43
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I ferment in a sanke for 20 days (3 weeks roughly). I then transfer into a corney, stick it in the fridge to finish off the remainder of the time with some C02.

I was wondering....does my corney transfer count as a secondary?

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Old 01-10-2010, 10:23 PM   #44
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I ferment in a sanke for 20 days (3 weeks roughly). I then transfer into a corney, stick it in the fridge to finish off the remainder of the time with some C02.

I was wondering....does my corney transfer count as a secondary?
If you dispense out of the corney (which it sounds like you do) then no. A secondary is a vessel between the primary and the keg\bottle.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:53 PM   #45
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Juan,
From reading that it tells me that they were not looking to see if the flavor was better doing primary fermentation compared to doing a primary/secondary fermentation. They were looking for yeast autolysis with keeping the beer on the yeast for a short amount of time.
The decade ago comment about the must having to rack the beer over right away is BS. We knew 20 years ago that you could sit the wort on a yeast cake for 3-4 weeks with no real ill effects (autolysis).

James didn't do a secondary fermentation. He finished fermenting the beer in the primary, then racked it over. All three of the tasters said there was a definite difference in flavor, with Chris Colby saying the brew that was racked off the trub was the better of the two. Crispy clean spritzy.
The other two said the beer left on the trub tasted fruitier. Hmmm.. that was only a short stent on the trub and 1056 is a pretty crisp, clean yeast for an ale yeast.

That test and guidelines used was faulty. They should have had a recipe with the same yeast hops and fermentation temperatures designed for all brewers to abide by. There should be very little hoppiness and all light malts used so you could pick up any flaws. Then also do a proper primary/secondary fermentation

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Old 01-11-2010, 01:44 AM   #46
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As I stated, it wasn't very scientific, but I still thought it was worth reading. Even though it wasn't designed to see which method created better tasting beer, the participants did rate which tasted better, and were split as to their preferences.

As unscientific as the study was, I think it showed clearly that the flavor differences between a long primary vs using a secondary are not as large as many would have you believe. Some participants didn't notice any difference at all, and those that did all said the differences were very minor. Even RJ who left some of his bitter on the yeast for an additional 40 days said "the differences are very slight".

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All three of the tasters said there was a definite difference in flavor.
Where did you get "definite difference in flavor"? Here's the actual quote- "All three tasters thought the differences between the three beers were extremely insignificant."

In the end I think it's personal preference, I just want to see an end to the fear-mongering about leaving a beer on the yeast cake for the entire fermentation. It's not going to ruin the beer, and in fact it probably won't change the flavor much at all.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:18 AM   #47
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Chris said that all three samples were “very similar” with a “clean” flavor. According to Chris, the beer bottled at two weeks had the least amount of body. The beer left on the primary yeast for four weeks had a very slight “meaty” or “broth-like” character, while the beer that had been racked to secondary was crisper, or — as he put it — the “zippiest.”

While Steve thought the beer left on the primary yeast was the most different, it was the beer that he preferred. He described it as “most fruity.”

James thought the beer bottled at two weeks had a sharper and cleaner character. While he thought the beer racked to secondary had a more fruity quality, James felt it was “cleaner” than the beer left on the primary yeast for the full time period – a beer he described as very slightly “nuttier.”

This to me is a definite different flavor profile from beer to beer and this is brews kept only a short period of time on the trub

Try keeping a triple decocted doppelbock on the trub for extended periods of time with no secondary.

They are teaching the KISS method, this way they can try to keep more homebrewers brewing and in turn sell more product.

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Old 01-11-2010, 06:20 AM   #48
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Hi...

My first post...seems like a heated topic.

First, I would like to ask if anybody has any solid research. While Revvy and everybody else are making very emotional arguments about how great they do things, the evidence they are presenting is purely anecdotal and has no scientific basis whatsoever.

What I gather here is that you want to use the secondary as a clearing stage and are looking for clarity points.

So here is what I am going to do. I have a few potential sources for homebrewing experimentation. If nobody has any actual studies in this to provide, I will propose to them that we do this:

1) Brew a beer of their choice that is not terribly dark (as dark beers would not benefit much from a clearing stage anyway)

2) Rack half to a secondary.

3) Proceed exactly the same with both beers through the bottling stage.

4) I will take both beer samples to my lab to be analyzed with a spectrophotometer (a device that measures light absorbance in a chemical sample) The clearer beer should exhibit less absorbance. In order to keep a good randomization, I will hope that at least 10 homebrewers will actually want to go through with this experiment.

Then, we can see if it indeed does make clearer beer.

Sound like a good idea?

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:18 AM   #49
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yeah like what others are saying. A secondary vessel isn't required nor will it produce better beer. Using a secondary will cost you cleaners, sanitizer, space for extra equipment, time and potential oxidation. Basically lots of us think it's a waste of time. Don't worry about your yeast dying on you.

Keeping your brew in one vessel will allow the yeast to clean up after it self and produce a cleaner tasting beer. Also yeast will settle regardless of what vessel it's in. it's not like yeast in suspension looks down, gets scared and decides not to floculate.

After fermentation has stopped completely and I have reached my FG I leave it alone for a week or so. Then I crash cool (putting the fermenter in a fridge) for another week or so. This will leave you will clear beer.

Never throught of crash cooling it in the fridge before botteling/kegging. Good idea! Also, what do you do for your high gravity beers? Do you treat them the same way? Some people like to "condition" them in the secondary for 3-6 months or more depending on the gravity and type. What are your thoughts?
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:51 PM   #50
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Then, we can see if it indeed does make clearer beer.

Sound like a good idea?

i may be missing something here but isn't there more to it that just "clear" beer? While clear beer is desireable in certain sytles isn't it the overall flavor qualities of the beer that most people are after?
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