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Old 04-25-2007, 06:55 PM   #1
boutin73
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Apr 2007
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I have heard mixed things about the secondary fermentation. I would like to clear my beer before bottling, but isnt air the enemy? When I place the brew into the secondary, there will be a few inches of headspace. Isnt that bad? I havent been able to find any info as to how to avoid this. Is it really bad? How long should it set in the secondary before the air can become a problem?
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:50 PM   #2
Driftless Brewer
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The headspace is no problem at all. When you rack over to the secondary, some of the CO2 that is dissolved in your beer releases and (because CO2 is heavier than air) it will create a layer of protective CO2 right at the surface of the liquid. As long as you don't shake or splash the beer around, you are fine. The beer can sit in the secondary for months and months and it will never see any air as long as it is not disturbed.

 
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:53 PM   #3
boutin73
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Thanks. I appreciate the response. I guess I should be all set then. Thanks again.

 
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Old 04-26-2007, 04:04 PM   #4
98EXL
 
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or if you rack into a secondary carboy, you should fill it up all the way to the neck so there is little airspace, and hopeully the CO2 will push out the little bit of air
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:36 PM   #5
Rook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98EXL
or if you rack into a secondary carboy, you should fill it up all the way to the neck so there is little airspace, and hopeully the CO2 will push out the little bit of air
How do you go about doing that? I never have enough beer to fill it to the neck...
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:20 PM   #6
98EXL
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rook
How do you go about doing that? I never have enough beer to fill it to the neck...

I measured 12.5 inches from the bottom of the carboy, and apparently that is about 5.5 gallons or so. I fill to that mark or above (if I'm not paying attention) and then I have all I need!

Sorry for the big pic, but here:


and that filled up to here on the secondary, with a nice sample to taste!



I did transfer it a little to early, but my Second Round Draft Pick Pilsner came out better in terms of not overflowing in the secondary

see her in the middle back?


and then I got a little retarded, and overfilled my Amstel clone and IPA
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:23 PM   #7
Driftless Brewer
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Just to help clarify, what 98EXL is suggesting is that you make 5.5 gallon batches instead of 5 gallon batches. That is certainly an option, although it becomes difficult if you use kits that are designed for 5 gallons.

If you are adamant about reducing head space, another option is to add sanitized marbles to the carboy. This will cause the liquid to rise up with out diluting your beer.

But, I would like you add that reducing the head space in the secondary is not essential. Your beer will taste awesome with or without the head space.

 
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