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Old 12-22-2011, 04:02 PM   #1
TorribleBrew
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Default Racking from plastic fermenter to keg

I will be racking my first beer from a plastic fermenter to a keg next week. My question is how to you rack without disturbing the trub when you cannot see how thick the trub is? Most of the videos I watched demonstrate going from a carboy to a keg, where you can easily see when the beer is close to the trub. Any advice is much appreciated.

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Old 12-22-2011, 04:19 PM   #2
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How long have you had the beer in the plastic fermenter? After three or four weeks, the cake at the bottom should be pretty compact and hard to the point where you could hit it with the racking cane and not disturb too much. Then you can just rack your beer from a few inches from the top until you start getting lower then carefully rack from a half an inch from the top until you see the trub.

Another option if you have the refrigerator space is to cold crash your fermenter. This will make a number of yeast drop out, and form a hard yeast cake at the bottom which shouldn't be to hard to stay away from.

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Old 12-22-2011, 04:23 PM   #3
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Well, you should set your fermentor where you want to rack from (a counter or table etc) a day or two before you actually transfer. When I do that, I put one edge of the fermentor on a book so that it's slightly tilted. If you do this and rack from the top down, you will begin to see the trub/yeast cake before you're done siphoning. Also, you waste much less beer this way.

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Old 12-22-2011, 04:24 PM   #4
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Perfect, thanks! It will have been in the primary for four weeks. I was planning on cold crashing it for 24-48hrs before the transfer. Thanks again for the response.

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Old 12-22-2011, 04:27 PM   #5
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I just did a transfer after 3-4 weeks and ended up getting a lot of slurry transfered. I'm just letting my keg settle and cold crash and pouring out the first pint or so. Hopefully that will help with the issue. Lesson learned, move to transfer position a day or two before the actual transfer to let things re-settle.

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Old 12-22-2011, 05:35 PM   #6
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Yup, a thick yeast cake because of a long primary will basically render your question moot.

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Old 12-23-2011, 12:14 PM   #7
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Long primary, thick cake, cold crash, move to racking station day before = no worries during racking.

Thanks again for the feedback!

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Old 12-23-2011, 12:18 PM   #8
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I used to position the racking cane about half-way down the side of the fermenter to start with. Once the racking got to the point where I could see the end of the racking cane, I would move the racking down a bit more, then a bit more, etc. etc.

I realized that this was a waste of time with the trub packed the way it was. Now I drop the racking cane on top of the trub and syphon away.

Edit to add: this method works only if you have a cap on the end of your racking cane. the cap rest on top of the trub while you are racking, so when you start the syphon you'll see a bit of cloudness in the line then it will clear right up.

If you are worrying about that little bit of cloudiness going to the keg, you might be in the wrong hobby!

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Old 12-23-2011, 12:19 PM   #9
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I also recommend getting a clip for your racking cane or auto siphon. That way you can lower the cane until you just begin to pick up sediment, slide it back up 1/4", and you'll have very clear beer going into the keg.

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Old 12-23-2011, 12:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewnoob1 View Post
I just did a transfer after 3-4 weeks and ended up getting a lot of slurry transfered. I'm just letting my keg settle and cold crash and pouring out the first pint or so. Hopefully that will help with the issue. Lesson learned, move to transfer position a day or two before the actual transfer to let things re-settle.
^^^This mostly, worrying about racking some yeast cake over to the keg will MORE than take care of itself when you pull the first half pint or so which you'll toss. After that l usually pull clear beer from then on. I don't cold crash, and do 3 week primaries. I may try gelatin soon just to get uniformly bright beer, but I don't worry about transferring some sediment... It happens, and fixes itself within a day or two.
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