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Old 05-18-2011, 03:31 AM   #1
May 2011
northern, ca
Posts: 19

The term "beginner" isnt quite truthful, as i have yet to receive my ordered "beginner kit". I'm trying to read as much as i can but have one question that should be easy for anyone thats done it.

When primary fermentation is complete, will there still be a head on the brew? what im getting at is this.... when i go to transfer the brew to the secondary fermenter, the yeast/sediment falls to the bottom of the bucket, so i should siphon from, what, an inch from the bottom? 2 inches? and the question about crud on top, just wondering if i have to avoid siphoning from both top and bottom. I'd rather have less sediment and a little wasted brew to be honest.

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Old 05-18-2011, 03:47 AM   #2
lakeshorebrewer's Avatar
Sep 2010
Muskegon, MI
Posts: 97

Keep it simple. Start your siphon in between and as the level lowers, so does the siphon end. There will not be much on top of the vessel usually. But understand why you are looking to move the beer over. You want to remove the beer from the dead yeast cells. The beer will still be working but at much lower level in the secondary so any sediment that does make it over will end up at the bottom of the secondary anyhow.

Don't sweat the small stuff. Just keep it clean and you will enjoy your beer.

On tap: Little Lake IPA
Secondary 1: Dockside Ale
Primary 1: empty
On deck: Reds Rye IPA
Bottled: nadda

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Old 05-18-2011, 04:57 PM   #3
AmandaK's Avatar
Feb 2010
Posts: 1,498
Liked 143 Times on 106 Posts

Personally, I don't use a secondary unless I'm adding fruit or aging a Belgian. It's been proven time and time again that you do not need to remove your fermenting beer from the yeast in the bottom of the primary fermenter. If anything, you'll probably rack it too early and cause a stuck fermentation. I've been doing month long primaries for a while now and my beer and improved noticeably.

Just leave it in there and bottle after 3 weeks or so. I siphon right above the layer of trub.
BJCP Master Beer Judge

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Old 05-18-2011, 06:48 PM   #4
Hang Glider
Beer Drinker
Hang Glider's Avatar
Mar 2007
North Augusta, SC
Posts: 3,218
Liked 209 Times on 153 Posts

also -

the krausen (foam at top) usually falls long before it's time to rack to a secondary, if indeed you do rack. If you have a full krausen, it's WAY to early to rack.

Differing opinions here, and other forums - but one prevailing thought is that its really unnecessary to move the beer to a secondary - it has been determined that it is not detrimental to the beer for it to sit on the dormant yeast, and you could be introducing the possibility of oxidation or contamination the more you "handle" your beer. Keep it simple, don't play with it. Let it do it's thing, then bottle or keg.

Read, read, read. Ask questions. Expect lots of differing opinions, as each of us has made good beer different ways and we like to stick with what works for us.

Welcome to HBT!

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