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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Belgian tripel in secondary
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:23 PM   #11
SCBrewster
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I'm not 100% sure. I did a 5 gallon batch and then you figure I lost about 1/2 gallon in yeast cake when transferring. I have a 6.5 gallon carboy so about 2 gallon headspace give or take

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Old 02-05-2013, 09:12 PM   #12
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so you have 2 6.5 gallon carboys? If you are making 5 gallon batches and not dry hopping then you should have the least amount of head space exposed because of potential oxidation. You are probably fine but it's just something to note in the future.

These are glass carboys, no?

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Old 02-05-2013, 09:29 PM   #13
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I have a bottling bucket that I also use as a primary fermenter. I think that's like 7.5? And then a glass 6.5 gallon carboy

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Old 02-05-2013, 10:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
If you are making 5 gallon batches and not dry hopping then you should have the least amount of head space exposed because of potential oxidation.
^^This^^

Another reason to just package it as soon as it is done. I would just start it in the 6.5 gallon carboy and leave it in there until it is clear enough to bottle next time. While some will probably disagree with me, I know first hand that fermenting in plastic buckets will give you much more oxidation into your beer over glass. Just keep your bucket for bottling and use the carboy for fermentation.

There really isn't any need to transfer your beers anymore. If you don't have any other means to clarify it like cold crashing, you can just leave it sit in the fermentor for a month or so and it should be clear enough to package. The best thing for a new brewer to do is to forget the whole primary/secondary thing unless you are adding fruit to a beer. There is really no such thing as primary or secondary, there is only the fermentor. When it is done fermenting, then you transfer to the package.

Oxygen(after fermentation) is absolutely your biggest enemy, and I don't think enough gets said to new brewers about it. Most people worry about infections. While infections can be bad, most brewers shouldn't have any problem with them as long as they are using proper cleaning and sanitizing steps. Oxidation, however, can be quite a bit trickier to minimize.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:26 AM   #15
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Ohhhhh man. Every time I post one question it opens up a bunch of others and a basket of worms

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Old 02-06-2013, 02:38 AM   #16
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What happens when beer gets oxidized? Funny flavor? Off colors? Explosions? Apocalypse?

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Old 02-06-2013, 03:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCBrewster View Post
Ohhhhh man. Every time I post one question it opens up a bunch of others and a basket of worms

^^^ Get used to it, it does. I agree with you AND, I also found out that you will ask a question, and,say the 1st 5 answers you get all agree with each other.The n you get 2 "OTHER" answers that do not agree with the 1st 5 answers ?????

I get that alot on these threads. My conclution is; You have to read and research, AND then Do what YOU think would be the best way to do what you were asking from all of the information you garthered. You may find you do it the way you have been doing it, AND then youll find even a BEtTER way!
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Reason: Oh, I just primary in my 6.5 glass carboys, sometimes I do use my 7.5 plastic buckets, But I COLD CRASH for at least 3/4 days
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:46 PM   #18
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Depending on your beer oxidation can be a desirable quality (in russian imperial stouts, old ales, barleywines, etc), however, not in a Tripel. Oxidation can darken the color of a beer and give it sherry and papery/cardboard flavors. Once the beer is exposed to oxygen these flavors can take a while to develop (2ish months).

You might be OK as there is a layer of co2 on top of your beer when you are fermenting in primary and some is released when transferring into secondary.

However, it is generally best practice to reduce this by leaving a very small amount of surface area exposed in secondary and/or not doing a secondary fermentation.

If you want to take an extra step you can get a co2 tank and purge all the vessels you are racking into when racking to secondary, bottling, etc. This works because co2 is heaver than oxygen so it will go to the bottom of a vessel and work its way up. It's also a step into the kegging territory.

You definitely never want to secondary in a bucket as usually the seals aren't 100% effective. Isn't usually an issue in primary because co2 is actively being produced.

You are probably fine but it's just one of those lesson learned things. I would bottle this one and drink it within the next couple months before the potentially oxidized flavors develop.

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Old 02-06-2013, 04:17 PM   #19
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Ok as far as the comment on secondary goes. I was told not to leave a beer on the yeast cake for more than 2 weeks in primary because the off flavors will start leaching into it. So say for this tripel it says 2 weeks in primary and two months in secondary. If I left it in primary for 2 and a half months would those flavors not leach into it?

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Old 02-06-2013, 04:30 PM   #20
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At the risk of complicating things, I'm going to suggest a few things to consider with a tripel.

First, I do think a secondary is important with high gravity beer. The alcohol is quite toxic to the yeast and they will start to die. I like to leave the beer in primary about three weeks to a month then transfer to a secondary vessel for lagering and clearing. For most others beers, you can get them out of fermentation in a few weeks without issues -- but not a tripel.

I roll ghetto stylee. So I "lager" by having the carboy sit outside in a carboard box protected from the sun. Right now, it's about 40-50 during the day and 22-28F at night. The beer stays right around 30-34F. It won't freeze until it gets to about 27F in the carboy. This helps get a lot of yeast and protein bits out. I do this for a few weeks. If it gets too cold, I put it in the basement at 50-52F.

I also add fresh yeast at bottling. I think this is important with a big beer. The yeast in suspension is weak and fixing to die as it stews in a toxic blend of alcohols in the fermentation vessel so a little fresh yeast seems to help. You could rehydrate some S-33 yeast which costs about $2 per pack, and throw about a quarter teaspoon of the rehydrated mix into your bottling bucket.

I figure about two months is accurate. 3 weeks primary, 3-5 weeks in a clearing vessel / lagering.

You can read endless pros and cons about using a secondary vessel. For smaller beers, I don't use it. For longer term aging or clearing of big beers I do use it. But I'm just a noob not some pro.

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