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Old 06-19-2010, 11:31 PM   #1
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Default Two questions on secondary fermentation

I have 2 questions on secondary fermentation.

1) How do you get beer out of the glass carboy to take a hydrometer reading?

2) Do you top off your beer to fill the entire carboy? When I transfered mine from the primary, it didn't fill the whole carboy.

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Old 06-19-2010, 11:38 PM   #2
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1 - They make a tool called a wine thief that will let you take a sample from the carboy. Also, I have heard of many people using a (sanitized, of course) turkey baster.

2 - You probably brewed a 5 gallon batch and you have a 6 gallon carboy. If you topped it off with water, you'd have a watered down brew.

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Old 06-19-2010, 11:42 PM   #3
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+1 on the wine thief and not watering down your brew. Usually folks will use a 6 gallon or larger vessel for their primary so there's room for krausen, and then a 5 gallon secondary so they can fill it to the top with little or no headspace. Other folks just skip the secondary and leave it in the primary until it clears and bottle from there.

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Old 06-19-2010, 11:42 PM   #4
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EDIT: nevermind what I said before, this is about secondary...


So, maybe your initial volume was actually low. Or, maybe you had a bunch evaporate during primary fermentation. Or, maybe your carboy isn't 5 gallons. Lots of explanations.

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Old 06-20-2010, 12:03 AM   #5
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I rarely fill the secondary to the top; the beers come out fine. Usually, moving the beer releases CO2 which quickly ejects any O2.

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Old 06-20-2010, 12:55 AM   #6
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I am using a 5 gallon secondary. I read someone say that they topped off in the secondary. I've never heard anyone else say to do that so I figure I'd better ask.

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Old 06-20-2010, 12:57 AM   #7
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Let it be. As pkeeler said there is usually enough CO2 brought out of solution to stave off oxidation. Sounds like you just didn't quite hit your volume in primary or you left quite a bit behind. How long was your primary?

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Old 06-20-2010, 12:19 PM   #8
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It was in my primary for 6 days. I'm brewing a dark ale from a kit. The instructions said to fill the primary to 5.25 gallons, so that's what I did. I didn't have much trub in the bucket. Only about half an inch.

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