Why not transfer to secondary during fermentation? - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Why not transfer to secondary during fermentation?
Cool Brewing Giveaway - Supporting Membership Drive & Discount

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-17-2012, 09:36 PM   #1
ScoRas
Recipes 
 
Feb 2012
Worcester, MA
Posts: 198
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts



I'm currently working on my first batch and have been perusing many threads regarding secondary conditioning in carboys.

It seems that one of the disadvantages of transferring to secondary after the FG is reached is that one exposes the beer to oxygen. Why not rack to secondary while the primary fermentation is still occurring, and maintain CO2 production, thus protecting the beer?



 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 09:40 PM   #2
Jayhem
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
Culpeper, VA
Posts: 2,640
Liked 278 Times on 225 Posts


My understanding is that racking the beer off the yeast cake can cause fermentation stalling and flavor problems since you are loosing the yeast cake which is partially responsible for cleaning up off flavors after attenuation is reached. The only beer I've brewed that was a dud was one that I trasferred to secondary while it was still fermenting. It is way too sweet, never reached FG and is having problems carbonating even after 4 weeks. I think I lost too much yeast during transfer so there was not sufficient yeast to finish the job.


__________________
Next up: Amber Ale
Primary 1&2: 90 Min IPA clone
Primary 3&4: Belgian Wit
Keg #1: White Mosaic Pale Ale
Keg #2: Empty
Drinking: Amber Ale, White Mosaic Pale Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 09:44 PM   #3
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,890
Liked 3163 Times on 1871 Posts


Many of us don't use secondary for most beers anyway...But why would you want to transfer a beer off the yeast that is trying to ferment the beer before the beer is complete?

And relying on whatver yeast was slow to get starting and slow to flocculate, to finish fermenting your beer, especially if it's a higher grav one, to me that's like leaving the 3rd string JV of the local high school to finish playing the second half of the superbowl when the team is already down by 21 points.....

Folks who do that usually end up with stuck fermentations, or stressed out yeast causing off flavors....

Also the reason folks opt for long primaries over secondaries at all have to do with the fact that if left to their devices, yeast are very fastidious creatures....if you don't rack them right away, they WILL go back and clean up their own waste- all those byproducts of fermentation that lead to off flavors. So even if folks still want to rack to a secondary, I recommend they wait another week after fermentation has ceased to let the yeast do so.....

Even John Palmer has advocated not rushing the beer off the yeast for that very reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by How To Brew
Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.

That's why when I do rack I check gravity on day 12 and again on day 14 to confirm fermentation is complete, then rack.
__________________
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

ScoRas Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #4
Lunchtime
Recipes 
 
Nov 2011
springfield, missouri
Posts: 338
Liked 13 Times on 13 Posts


I think a better question is...Why not just leave it in the primary? Are you wanting to move it to the secondary just to use the secondary?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 09:47 PM   #5
ScoRas
Recipes 
 
Feb 2012
Worcester, MA
Posts: 198
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts


Thanks for the reply. I'm not going to risk it, and will wait until FG is reached. This batch seems to be cranking and I'll let the yeast do their job. I am going to go to secondary, mainly because I poured my wort into the fermenter and added a lot of trub. I'll be using the stir and siphon technique next time.

This is my first solo brew (extract) blind-pig double IPA kit from morebeer.

This forum is great!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2012, 09:51 PM   #6
ScoRas
Recipes 
 
Feb 2012
Worcester, MA
Posts: 198
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunchtime View Post
I think a better question is...Why not just leave it in the primary? Are you wanting to move it to the secondary just to use the secondary?
I poured in a lot of trub and thought I'd get a cleaner taste if I conditioned in secondary. The answers in this thread certainly convinced me to let the fermentation finish in primary, and I know that conditioning in secondary is purely optional.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2012, 12:12 AM   #7
helibrewer
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
helibrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Nov 2011
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 3,705
Liked 299 Times on 254 Posts


There's actually no harm in leaving it on the trub...even if there is a lot of it.
__________________
Something is always fermenting....
"It's Bahl Hornin'"

Primary:
Brite Tank/Lagering:
Kegged: Sour Saison, Pale Ale, Aggie Ale, Firestone DBA, De Koninck Blonde
Bottled: Belgian Quad (Grand Reserve), Derangement (Belgian Dark Strong)
On Deck: Pliny the Younger

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2012, 12:37 AM   #8
johnsma22
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
johnsma22's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2006
Taunton, MA
Posts: 1,953
Liked 74 Times on 56 Posts


"I don't often make use of a secondary, but when I do, I use Better-Bottles!"

Oxygen Free Racking





The primary has a ported closure with a 90˚ barb fitting installed. A length of 1/4" ID tubing from the barb fitting connects to the ID of the inlet of the high flow valve on the secondary. The secondary also has a ported closure, but this is where the dry trap air lock is installed. I put a short length of tubing on the barb of the airlock and insert it into a sandwich bag with sanitizer in it so that I can see the bubble rate.

The CO2 produced during the primary phase is used to purge the air out of the secondary. When it is time to rack, the 1/4" ID tubing simply gets removed from the valve on the secondary to the outlet barb of the air lock. This will allow for equalization during the transfer. Next, I connect a length of 1/2 ID tubing to the OD of both high flow valves. Now the secondary is placed on the floor while the primary is elevated, both valves are opened, and gravity does the rest. No introduction of O2 whatsoever. I even purge the air out of the tubing with CO2 from my tank before connecting it up.
__________________
Cheers,
John

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2012, 02:20 AM   #9
ScoRas
Recipes 
 
Feb 2012
Worcester, MA
Posts: 198
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts


@johnsma, that is a great solution! From reading a lot more threads about the subject, and taking all of your replies to heart, I am not going to move this batch to secondary.

I think for every experiment that it is good to focus on learning one major thing about the system. For my first batch, I think observing all of the aspects of primary fermentation should be the goal, and from many experienced brewers, it should also result in a nice beer. Prost.



 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do I need to transfer to a secondary? DWavs Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 10-10-2011 05:36 PM
beginner question on end of fermentation/transfer to secondary jazzyeric Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 05-18-2011 06:48 PM
Should my fermentation be complete when I transfer to secondary? Pixalated Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 02-24-2011 03:07 PM
Transfer to secondary BEFORE fermentation stops? sensibull Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 10-30-2010 12:00 AM
transfer to secondary FEARDIZ Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 10-22-2007 09:17 PM


Forum Jump