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Old 08-10-2012, 02:06 AM   #11
wolfman_48442
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I will secondary for only 3 reasons:

  1. Dry hopping. I feel that dry hopping in primary loses hop aroma and flavor due to CO2 gas 'carrying' them out of the vessel. This is obviously a topic of some debate
  2. Adding fruit. Same reasons as 1), and also I've found that yeast will eat all the sugar in primary, causing the beer to be drier than I would like.
  3. When doing extended aging, for me over a month, I like to get the beer off the yeast to prevent autolysis. Debate rages over this as well.
These are what work for me, having tried various methods, and liking these results best.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:48 AM   #12
charley
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From what I'm hearing is that it's not necessary but the beer tends to be a little clearer and less chance of crud in the bottles when u use a secondary. When I share this much-anticipated beer with my eager friends I'd hate to have a bad end result. So if I do secondary I have a couple questions:

1) my beer has been in for 6 days, fermentation is almost over. When do I transfer?

2) once in the secondary do I put the airlock (sanitized) back in?

3) how much longer do I leave it in?

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Old 08-10-2012, 03:20 AM   #13
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It is typical to rack your beer from your primary to secondary when the fermentation has halted (the gravity being constant for at least 3 solid days).

When in the secondary, you will want an airlock fitted on your fermentor for good measure. It is unlikely any air will be forced out (and therefor back in) but why not take a precaution?

As for length of time, it really depends on what we're aiming for. With lagering not being in our aim and we are simply going for clarity, I'd say roughly a week or a little more. The easier answer is "until your beer is clear".

Take note of the amount of trub on the bottom of your primary fermentor compared to the bottom of your second fermentor right before you bottle. This will learn you two things: 1. The amount of crap you will avoid bottling from your primary fermentor is significant, and 2. The crap in suspension (which is now on the bottom of the secondary fermentor) can be minimized by patience. (I use the word "crap" ever so lovingly as it is, after all, mostly yeast we are talking about!"

Nothing is wrong with cloudy beer (well, not usually) but a clean beer seems to just always be crisp for some reason...

Good luck charley, and as always,

Cheers

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Old 08-10-2012, 03:46 AM   #14
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When I rack to the secondary do I take out the airlock and put the tube through the whole in the rubber stopper or do I pull out the while stopper out? I'm using a clear carboy. Same question for the secondary. Do I plug it and put the hose through or just run the tube in the opening and then plug and airlock it once i'm finished racking?

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Old 08-10-2012, 04:16 AM   #15
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I am slightly confused as to the question.

To rack, simply siphon your beer from your primary to your secondary with minimal splashing to avoid oxidation.

To do this, remove any stopper from both carboys. If you have a racking cane or auto siphon, perfect: make sure they sit beautifully above the trub. If not, siphon to the secondary keeping the hose in the primary above the trub like we were talking about earlier in the thread.

I have seen people siphon through the stoppers, which is what I think you are mentioning, but I do not like it nor have need for it. It has the advantage of holding the siphon hose at a specific place, but I found it a pain to manage. If it works for you, go for it!

Whatever route you take, make sure you do two things:
1. Minimize amount of trub you take with you. This is, of course, one of the reasons we are even using a secondary in the first place. Be patient, there is no need to rush. Prepare before you begin siphoning, because you ideally want to only start that siphon once.
2. Minimize oxidation. You got this far with the beer, and particularly since we are trying to REFINE the beer, don't chance hurting it. Avoid splashing the beer directly down into the secondary, and try an avoid starting the siphon multiple times.

And of course, avoid any contamination! I feel like a parent saying this, but sanitize!

Question us more if need be, I for one don't mind replying. And if you are all set, let us know how it all turns out!

Cheers

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Old 08-10-2012, 04:29 AM   #16
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To clarify the simplicity, one homebrewer did quite a decent video.


Notice the glass tool he is using at the end of his tube in the primary fermentor: that is a racking cane. He mentions the little black piece on the bottom of it above the trub, exactly what I was talking about before. It usually sits perfectly right above it, minimizing any unwanted siphoning.

Also notice how he mentions the secondary fermentor swirling: this is because hose is dropped into the bottom and curls around the sides so the beer is gently poured into the fermentor with no splashing.

I figured I'd share this with you in case you were looking for a clearer explanation. If not, then ignore me

Cheers
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:58 AM   #17
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Listen to Schecter, he gives good advice. It sounds like you're committed to doing a secondary, and that's cool. I'm also a winemaker and I firmly believe occasional rackings of wine are necessary, but with brewing, I'm just not convinced the pros outweigh the cons. I've done it both ways and my beers have turned out great ... and yours probably will too. My personal experience is that other things like temp control and pitch rates have a much bigger influence on the quality of my beers. In fact, I've noticed absolutely no drop in quality since I've stopped transferring to secondary.

For now, I'd suggest doing whatever process makes sense to you. But I would recommend this thread as required reading on the topic: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/secondary-not-john-palmer-jamil-zainasheff-weigh-176837/

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Old 08-10-2012, 04:58 PM   #18
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Thanks for both links guys! Both great info. Not sure what I'm gonna do at this point but have lots of great info thanks to you both. I'll let you know how it turns out?

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Old 08-10-2012, 06:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charley View Post
Argh! Another acronym I'm not familiar with... What's IMHO? And ?
Stolen from another post
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/handy-acronyms-5349/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Category:Abbreviations
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:26 PM   #20
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or you could skip your car payments for a few years and get 3 or 4 conicals.

I do secondary only on big beers and if I need to free up the primary. "Fast" beers (IPAs, wheats, pale ales, etc.) go right from the primary into the keg.

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