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Old 09-29-2007, 11:30 PM   #1
BlendieOfIndie
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Default Transfer to secondary

I'm about ready to transfer from primary to secondary fermentation. I'm going from a 7.5 gal. bucket (that has a spigot) to a 5 gal glass carboy. Although I could use the spigot to do the transfer, I was thinking that racking might be a better option. My logic is that the cane would be able to circumnavigate the crap at the bottom of the bucket; whereas the spigot draws beer from (near) the bottom.

1st: Is my assumption correct that a racking cane is preferable to a spigot.?

I'm having problems with racking water from a carboy (just practicing). Everything goes smoothly until I get to about 5" of water remaining - then the siphon stops. I'm using a pump-style racking mechanism. The whole contraption looks similar to a transparent wrapping paper roll. THe raking cane has a grommet on the end the fits perfectly inside the wrapping paper roll. Then you push the cane into the roll to start the siphon.

I'm thinking that my tube (that plugs into the racking cane) is too short. Does that make sense?



Last question:
I pitched the yeast 6 days ago & primary has been going for about 5 days. The bubbles have slowed significantly (now @ 1 gurgle every min rather than a gurgle per 4 sec). Am I rushing into secondary fermentation. I'm brewing a brown ale.

Thanks - that was a lot of stuff.



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Old 09-29-2007, 11:46 PM   #2
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I found the answer to my 3rd question here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=40081
Sorry for posting a similar q.

I timed the bubbles and they're ocuring every 40 sec rather than every minute. I'm going to wait a while to transfer to secondary.



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Old 09-30-2007, 12:19 AM   #3
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DON'T TIME THE BUBBLES. bubbles mean nothing.
get your hydrometer out, and take a reading. if you don't have a hydrometer, then its all guesswork.

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Old 09-30-2007, 12:19 AM   #4
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I use an auto siphon for my racking, but I only use glass carboys. I think you are right when you say that you can avoid more sediment and yeast by racking, but a proper spigot won't suck too much yeast. Some homebrewers use the spigot on their bucket and don't have problems with the beer, it does makes it easier. It's just a matter of how much work you are willing to do, if you want to save some time then use the spigot, if you feel you don't want that much yeast then use a racking cane. Both ways work and produce great beer.
How long is your tubing? It's probably long enough, you just have to tilt the fermenter when the beer starts to get close to the bottom.
Also, like Mal said, use a hydometer.

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Old 09-30-2007, 12:41 AM   #5
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The hose is 4' long and 1/2" internal diameter (obviously the racking cane is also 1/2" internal diameter). I think I'm going to need a longer hose just because the short one is so hard to deal with. The hose has the natural curly-que thing going for it. I'm hoping the weight of a longer hose will stop the curling action.

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Old 09-30-2007, 12:53 AM   #6
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Concerning hydrometer readings:

I understand that bubbles do not indicate the progress of fermentation. However, the fact that the bubbles have slowed down surely reflects that the fermentation is not progressing as quickly as before. Now, since I haven't cracked the seal yet, the fermenter should be full of CO2, rather than air. Is it worth cracking the seal to take a hydrometer reading at this point? It will take a while to push out the O2 & there is also the risk of contamination. When I actually do the transfer to the carboy I will surely take a hydro. reading. I just don't want to crack the seal and not transfer.

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Old 09-30-2007, 01:22 AM   #7
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When the liquid gets low and the siphoning slows can't you give the siphon another pump? That's what I have been doing to get it started again.

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Old 09-30-2007, 01:31 AM   #8
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You probably want around 5 feet of tubing for the siphon, that would be ideal. I let the beer sit on the yeast for 2 weeks and then I take a reading, this ensures a proper, comlete fermentation and gives the yeast some time to get rid of any fermentation by products that are considered flaws. You should not be worried about contaminations, just keep the equipment sanitary and you'll be fine. If you do take the lid off and draw a sample for a reading some CO2 will escape, but it's not a big deal. All you have to do is, gently, swirl the fermenter to suspend the yeast, this will make them active and they will create more CO2, which will displace the air in the bucket.

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Old 09-30-2007, 01:50 AM   #9
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I tried restarting it. That didn't work. Each pump will move a little bit of water, but then the siphon stops again. Theoretically I could pump the remainder of the water, but that would defeat the purpose of a siphon.



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