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Old 10-14-2009, 02:17 PM   #1
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Default A question about using a secondary

I know some say to secondary some say no way. I understand that BUT I have a question anyway lol....My primary is a big thick white plastic bucket. If I try to rack from this into a bottling bucket , there is NO WAY I can see well enough to avoid getting into the trub. I even thought just keep lowering the siphon with the level of the beer but this beer is so dark and thick I don't believe I can see through it. SO is racking into a glass carboy secondary for the purpose of letting the beer clear a bit and to be able to rack into a bottling bucket with more certainty of not getting into the yuck on the bottom reasonable reason to do it?

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Old 10-14-2009, 02:24 PM   #2
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Yeah, that's why I do it. A secondary is also known as a "Bright Tank". Its main purpose (assuming you aren't adding anything more to the beer like fruit, etc.) is to clear the beer.

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Old 10-14-2009, 02:28 PM   #3
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Many people clip their auto siphon so it's about an inch above the bottom of the bucket, then rack til the level gets that low, then gently set the bottom into the trub and rack the remaining beer off it.

But actually, if you put the bottom of the siphion into the trub, you really only get a little trub in anyway. What happens is that the liquid will push it's way through the trub and make a channel into it. The beer is less viscous (thick) then the gunk in the trub, so as soon as it finds a clear channel it will take over and come out first.

You always get a little trub in the secondary...that's normal, and it settles as does any other yeast still in suspension....THEN when you rack from secondary to bottling bucket or corny keg, you CAN see the bottom of the carboy, and so you rack your beer UNTIL you get to the sediment in the bottom.

You're overthinking and over worrying about a really simple process.

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Old 10-14-2009, 02:37 PM   #4
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Many people clip their auto siphon so it's about an inch above the bottom of the bucket, then rack til the level gets that low, then gently set the bottom into the trub and rack the remaining beer off it.

But actually, if you put the bottom of the siphion into the trub, you really only get a little trub in anyway. What happens is that the liquid will push it's way through the trub and make a channel into it. The beer is less viscous (thick) then the gunk in the trub, so as soon as it finds a clear channel it will take over and come out first.

You always get a little trub in the secondary...that's normal, and it settles as does any other yeast still in suspension....THEN when you rack from secondary to bottling bucket or corny keg, you CAN see the bottom of the carboy, and so you rack your beer UNTIL you get to the sediment in the bottom.

You're overthinking and over worrying about a really simple process.

I understand that revvy. I was asking if that is a valid reason to secondary. to be able to SEE the trub better to avoid it in the BOTTLING BUCKET, not to avoid it in the secondary.
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:52 PM   #5
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I understand that revvy. I was asking if that is a valid reason to secondary. to be able to SEE the trub better to avoid it in the BOTTLING BUCKET, not to avoid it in the secondary.
Well I have old eyes. You might notice that in my long posts I usually hit enter every now and then, so as not to have a big block of text, where it is hard to see every detail in someone's post. Rather I surround little chunks of info in plenty of white.

Most of us use buckets, and brew dark beer, so not seeing the bottom has ever been an issue for me, and definitely not a reason for me to use a secondary.....

In the case of bottling, you want some yeast going into the bucket. So it's OK to put it in the bottom of your fermenter, and let some of the yeast go through....

Like I said in my first post, eventually the less thick beer will push and clear a path through the trub and will run clear. Usually within 30 seconds of starting the siphon..you usually get one "woosh" of yeast slurry then the rest is beer.

But you can put your autosiphion against the side of the bucket, then figure out about where 1" above the bottom of the bucket is on the shaft of the autosiphon, then stick it in the bucket and clip it with a binder clip to roughly that height....then siphon down and then lower it to the trub layer.

But I actually recommend, since many of us leave our beer in primary for a month or more, to actually run the bottom of the autosiphon along the bottom of the bucket to pick up plenty of yeast to move to the bottling bucket. The longer you let your beer sit, either in primar or secondary the tighter the yeast cake will be and the less will flow through.

Trust me, you won't have a ton of yeast in your beer....after the bottling yeast flocculates out, during the three weeks of carbing and conditioning, the cold of the fridge with "crash cool" all the suspended yest in your bottles...in fact, the longer you fridge your beers, the more compact and tighter, the yeast glop in the bottom of your bottle will be.

I found a bottle that had been in the back of my beer fridge for 3 months, and when I poured the beer the little bit of sediment was so tight that upending the bottle didn't even let any in my glass, and the beer was uber clear. It was so tight that I could have let a bmc drinker actually drink that beer from the bottle, and they neve would have known there was living yeast in there.

So if you chill them even for a week you will have very little yeast still in suspension.
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ThreeRatBastards View Post
Yeah, that's why I do it. A secondary is also known as a "Bright Tank". Its main purpose (assuming you aren't adding anything more to the beer like fruit, etc.) is to clear the beer.
+1 Exactly!
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:20 PM   #7
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secondary....just do it

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Old 10-14-2009, 03:23 PM   #8
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I use white buckets for primary. Even with a dark beer, you can just lower the siphon. When you start getting not-clear beer, then you've gone too deep. It's not even important if you see the trub- you'll see it in the clear tubing if you hit some.

I start my siphon in the middle of the fermenter. Then lower it as the level of the beer drops. It works just fine.

Now, you can still use a bright tank if you want to. But it's not necessary just from a racking perspective.

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Old 10-14-2009, 03:25 PM   #9
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The WHOLE reason I still secondary is because I can't seem to siphon without getting sloppy and sucking up at least a little bit of my yeast cake. A week in secondary lets that tablespoon or so of trub settle back out along with more of the suspended yeast, leaving a thin enough layer in the bottom that I can siphon to my bottling bucket without getting any of it.

If you can't see though your beer, start in the middle. As the level dops and you can see you're approaching the business end of your auto siphon, start lowering it. As you get to the end, you'll start to see your yeast cake and you'll be able to avoid it (unless you're me, and then your hand will slip and you'll scrape the top of the trub) and stop in time.

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Old 10-14-2009, 03:26 PM   #10
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I don't secondary and get very little trub in my bottling bucket. The crap I DO get in the bucket settles out in the bottling bucket and doesn't even get into the bottles.

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