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Old 08-05-2005, 05:37 PM   #1
JillC25
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Default Is this true? Secondary...

I've read serveral instructions on brewing now, and this is the first set that has said anything about making sure the carboy is filling to a certain point. anyone have any comments/suggestions about this? My last batch was about 1" below where the bottle starts to neck up.

From Annap. Homebrew:

"Using your secondary fermentor is easy. Wait until fermentation is complete or nearly complete, and then gently siphon the beer from primary to secondary. Leave as much of the sediment behind as possible. You definitely want the secondary fermentor filled to the narrow part of the neck, so top up with pre-boiled cool water if necessary. Don’t worry about “watering down” the beer, because you’re supposed to have 5 gallons at this point."

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Old 08-05-2005, 05:42 PM   #2
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rest of it...

"you don’t want any air headspace in a secondary fermentor, because oxygen in that air can contaminate the beer. Although oxygen is necessary before fermentation, after fermentation it will rapidly spoil the beer. This wasn’t a concern in the primary fermentor because so much CO2 is produced there that it blows out all of the air in the headspace. However, now that your beer is in secondary, there’s little or no CO2 being produced, so you can’t count on the air being driven out before it does damage to the beer."

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Old 08-05-2005, 05:51 PM   #3
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I read that also, and I think it's bunk! CO2 is heavier than O2 so it will quickly replace the O2 sitting on the beer. And you know there must still be some CO2 production going on, because you're bubbler's doing it's thing.

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Old 08-05-2005, 06:09 PM   #4
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I did many, many brews before reading that myself. So, I started topping off for about three batches in both my primary and secondary fermenters. I stopped doing it after I transferred my third batch, a porter, that had, for whatever reason, come up about a gallon short of the five gallon mark. I ended up with a thin porter. Not what I was looking for.

I went back to disregarding the headspace amount. I tend to agree with El Pisto.

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Old 08-05-2005, 06:22 PM   #5
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That's probably the stupidest thing I've seen. Did that come from a book or a homebrew supply store?

While it is true that oxygen spoils beer, when you put the beer into the secondary FERMENTER there is still fermentation occuring. The oxygen will be replaced by CO2 at least to the extent necessary to form a CO2 barrier as described by El Pistolero.

Good lord. Any effect that O2 would have on the beer at that point wouldn't be as bad as the effect you have by adding water to the damn beer. I mean, come on. If you notice a little extra space in your secondary, you should just remember to add more water at the beginning of the process next time.

Yikes.

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Old 08-05-2005, 06:26 PM   #6
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This also sounds like it's assuming you have a 5-gal carboy. Imagine filling a 6.5 to the neck? This is also recommended on Defalco's site. Crazy talk.

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Old 08-05-2005, 06:30 PM   #7
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Interesting interesting.

the info was from the lme brewing instructions from annapolishomebrew.com. I'm assuming 5 gallon carboy...

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Old 08-05-2005, 06:48 PM   #8
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YEAH O & A! I was dying this AM. SO much funnier than stern.

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Old 08-05-2005, 07:23 PM   #9
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Since I still use a plastic bucket as a primary I top that off to 5gals if I am low. You shouldn't lose anything in the fermenter. JMTCW.

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Old 08-06-2005, 02:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowain
That's probably the stupidest thing I've seen. Did that come from a book or a homebrew supply store?

While it is true that oxygen spoils beer, when you put the beer into the secondary FERMENTER there is still fermentation occuring. The oxygen will be replaced by CO2 at least to the extent necessary to form a CO2 barrier as described by El Pistolero.

Good lord. Any effect that O2 would have on the beer at that point wouldn't be as bad as the effect you have by adding water to the damn beer. I mean, come on. If you notice a little extra space in your secondary, you should just remember to add more water at the beginning of the process next time.

Yikes.
I've never had a batch transferred to secondary that was still fermenting. I check the SG before transferring to secondary, and when it comes out (either to Keg or Bottle) and it has always been the same. To say there is still fermentation going on is not always true. Blanket statements like that can be dangerous.

In most cases (notice, I'm not making an all-inclusive statement here!) any CO2 'produced' in secondary is just dissolved CO2 that is released from the solution when you rack it and move it into storage.
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