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Old 11-28-2009, 02:59 PM   #1
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Default Hopefully not the typical "transfer to secondary" question...

So I've got a lager in the carboy right now doing its thing. It took about 4 days for fermentation to really kick in and now the beer is swirling and churning more than I've had in any of the ales I've done. My recipe calls for me to transfer it to a secondary after 7 days. Today, Saturday, is day 8.

My question is this: is it an issue to transfer to the secondary while the yeast are still so active? I've transferred active beer before, but it was not nearly as active as my current brew is. So, it's not a question of "if" I should transfer, but rather: since I'm going to transfer, when should I do it?

Thanks!

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Old 11-28-2009, 03:21 PM   #2
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Well, the point of a secondary is to clear and condition the beer, and remove the beer from the trub of primary. If fermentation is still very active, you will not be able to really do either of those. You'll have a ton of trub in the secondary, since the yeast is still working and in suspension.

I'd wait until fermentation was finished and the beer was at FG for at least three days before transferring. That allows time for the yeast to finish, to "clean up" after itself by digesting its own waste products like diacetyl, and to flocculate out. Then you can rack the clear beer off of the trub.

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Old 11-28-2009, 03:25 PM   #3
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Thanks. It's funny that the recipe would call for it to be transferred so soon, then. I can't imagine many beers being ready to transfer in 5 to 7 days - mine are always quite active still at the one week mark.

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Old 11-28-2009, 03:45 PM   #4
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I've found most of the commercial kits to have directions that are against what most people on HBT do. I usually search on here and do what HBT says.

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Old 11-28-2009, 03:58 PM   #5
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it's not a commercial kit. it was a mini-mash of a Xingu lager clone.

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Old 11-28-2009, 05:14 PM   #6
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My experiences with kits, even the best ones, is the only thing I can expect to be dead on is the OG. Assuming a lager yeast, transfer at 7 days is crazy. And I agree with Yooper, never while the fermentation is active.

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Old 02-02-2011, 04:52 PM   #7
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This is an old thread, but I searched for the answer to my question and this thread came up. It looks like I should not have transferred to secondary since my yeast was still dancing around in the primary...but I followed the kit instructions. Oops.

I guess I'll know better for next time. Fortunately, I have another carboy and can transfer to tertiary, hehehehehe

I hope it turns out well!
Thanks for the info,
Sean

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