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Old 11-28-2013, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default sanitizing before adding stuff to secondary?

I always hear people talking about soaking their additives like orange peel, oak, chocolate nibs, blueberries, etc. in vodka or other hard liquors to sanitize before adding to secondary, why not just use a couple ounces of starsan solution?
I get that using burbon could be on purpose for flavor, but fail to see a reason to use vodka over starsan.
wouldn't the vodka up the ABV a little and possibly change the flavor?

it just seems weird to me to add liquor to a beer that you're making.

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Old 11-28-2013, 10:10 PM   #2
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I still don't understand why folks are using secondaries for additions like this...
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:13 PM   #3
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I still don't understand why folks are using secondaries for additions like this...
Because if you throw additives in the primary, there is a better than even chance that whatever flavor you're trying to get will likely be eaten by the yeast.
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:56 PM   #4
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Secondary is really just to clear your beer, and when you rack to secondary it's a convenient time to add stuff to it.

But that's completely off topic.......

Pretend that I didn't even mention the word secondary if it helps...
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:34 AM   #5
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Because if you throw additives in the primary, there is a better than even chance that whatever flavor you're trying to get will likely be eaten by the yeast.
I never heard of this before. Please provide some supporting evidence. The yeast on the bottom are done, dormant, and have no further part in the process. With respect to extracting and retaining flavor, it makes no difference whether you transfer to secondary or not.

...... Personally, I move most of my beers to secondary. Usually to do with harvesting clean healthy yeast rather than anything else.
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Old 11-29-2013, 12:17 PM   #6
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I never heard of this before. Please provide some supporting evidence. The yeast on the bottom are done, dormant, and have no further part in the process. With respect to extracting and retaining flavor, it makes no difference whether you transfer to secondary or not.
Just repeating what I've heard more experienced brewers on this site say, although I believe they meant that during fermentation the flavors could be eaten up. I have no clue myself, as I said, I'm just going by what the experienced voices on these fora have said.

Another reason to soak things like vanilla beans, etc in liquor is to better extract the flavors. Think about it... if you're soaking your vanilla beans while the wort is fermenting, you can have a little bit of liquor with a very strong dose of vanilla ready when you're done fermenting. Now, if you just want to toss that in the primary and let it sit for a few days, that would work too.
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:07 PM   #7
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Well I don't think anyone has addressed the OPs question....
I was hoping someone with more knowledge of starsan's chemical function would chime in but I think it works best on smooth clean surfaces and would not be as effective on anything porous.
That's my impression and why I soak vanilla beans and cocoa nibs in alcohol for a couple days.
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:38 PM   #8
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Well I don't think anyone has addressed the OPs question....
I was hoping someone with more knowledge of starsan's chemical function would chime in but I think it works best on smooth clean surfaces and would not be as effective on anything porous.
That's my impression and why I soak vanilla beans and cocoa nibs in alcohol for a couple days.
I believe you are correct -- StarSan works best on hard, non-porous surfaces, such as carboy walls, etc
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Newsman
Because if you throw additives in the primary, there is a better than even chance that whatever flavor you're trying to get will likely be eaten by the yeast.
Yet another myth. I only add things to primary and get every bit of flavor/aroma I used to when racking to secondary. I've done side by sides, no one can tell the difference.
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autonomist3k
Secondary is really just to clear your beer, and when you rack to secondary it's a convenient time to add stuff to it. But that's completely off topic....... Pretend that I didn't even mention the word secondary if it helps...
Beer clears the same, if not better, in primary. It was previously recommended to rack to secondary to get the beer off the old dead yeast they used to sell to homebrewers. Nowadays, the yeast is healthy and the beer actually benefits from staying in contact with it for a bit.
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