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Old 01-04-2009, 06:29 AM   #1
MikeRobrew
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Default How much do you lose going to secondary?

I just racked an IPA to secondary and lost almost a gallon in the form of muck at the bottom of the primary. Is that normal?

This fermentation was incredibly active and required a blow-off tube. I'm wondering if that was the cause.

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Old 01-04-2009, 07:44 AM   #2
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A gallon is a bit much but half of that would be normal...
Yeast multiplies as it makes beer so if your yeast was active it made more yeast.
If the yeast is good quality harvest it. Put it in a 2 liter pet bottle, leave in the fridge overnight, pour off the beer on top and bottle the sludge in a small bottle. It will last months and you can toss it in a brew instead of the dehydrated stuff.

For what is there now, depending on the type of fermenter, we use plastic down under and lose about 2 liters below the tap, most of it is yeast cake and rubbish anyhow.
The good news is that what is left is all beer, you will have a very small yeast cake left at bottling time so not much more is wasted.

There are varying opinions about racking, i don't do it as a rule unless i want to do it for a reason (adding fruit or dry hopping etc). It will not harm your beer to stay in the primary for 2-3 weeks or more, it will have a similar effect to racking in that in this time the yeast settles (finings will help) and the brew is clear.

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Old 01-04-2009, 08:20 AM   #3
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that explains a lot, thanks.

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Old 01-04-2009, 02:15 PM   #4
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A gallon seems like a lot. How long was it in the fermenter?

I leave my beers in the primary for 4 weeks and have a very compact trub layer. I probably lose about 12 ounces or so when I siphon and have never had more than a dusting of yeast on the bottom of my bottles.

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Old 01-04-2009, 03:23 PM   #5
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Thanks guy's, this kind of info is great for us Noobies!
Cheers and have another beer =)

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Old 01-04-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
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Give it longer in the primary and possibly place it in a cool place towards the end of it's time in the primary, I just transfered a Guinness clone last night that had been in primary for a month, the yeast layer had compacted to half and inch.

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Old 01-04-2009, 06:16 PM   #7
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it was in primary for 2 weeks. it's an IPA and i was transferring it to dry-hop it. maybe next time i'll give it another week, but i thought an IPA was supposed to be bottled by 3-4 weeks.

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