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View Poll Results: when do you transfer out of primary?
just before fermentation is complete 0 0%
just after fermentation is complete 2 11.76%
3 days of a stable gravity reading, then rack 5 29.41%
2 weeks 10 58.82%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-30-2014, 12:38 AM   #1
Jan 2011
U.P., Michigan
Posts: 462
Liked 22 Times on 17 Posts

Just curious to see whatt other home brewers are doing these days. I know a lot of brewers on the forum like the extended primary method, but is anyone racking off the trub just before or just after fermentation is complete? Just for experimentation I racked my last beer out of the primary and into the corny keg just a couple points shy of terminal gravity. At this stage there seems to be plenty of yeast in suspension, which I would guess should be enough to finish off the fermentation and clean up after themselves. This would also naturally carbonate the beer if all goes well. Has anyone tried or compared different methods? Noted any flavor differences?

Edit: wanted to add another poll option for 4 weeks or more, but editing polls doesn't seem to be an option.

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Old 04-30-2014, 02:09 AM   #2
Jan 2014
Posts: 103
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Preferably when either fermentation is almost all the way tapered off or ~.001 of predicted FG. The basic rule of thumb with ales is 2 weeks. But, I watch the beer because I worry about racking to secondary if all fermentation is done. I like positive fermenter pressure for secondary after racking. Last thing I want is a suction on the airlock or oxygen just sitting there in the headspace. I am betting you will get at least 5 more different answers that will all be right. The only thing to really be cautious of is racking based on airlock activity alone and racking during a stalled fermentation.

I take a small shot glass sample after 1-1.5 weeks and taste for sweetness. If it tastes close to being done I check gravity. Then rack based on gravity.

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Old 04-30-2014, 02:15 AM   #3
kh54s10's Avatar
Aug 2011
Tiverton, Rhode Island
Posts: 11,082
Liked 1717 Times on 1406 Posts

Really none of the above. I prefer to go about 3 weeks then keg. Lately my pipeline has been slack so I have been kegging at just over 2 week.

I never move my beers before fermentation is finished.

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Old 04-30-2014, 02:24 AM   #4
BigPerm's Avatar
Jan 2014
Posts: 1,398
Liked 351 Times on 264 Posts

It just depends. I rack if I want clarity, to bulk age or to dry hop. I don't if I want to drink on the young side, or if clarity doesn't matter (ie Wit) or (conversely) have a very flocculant yeast that I can easily rack off of. I will rack if I want to repitch on a yeast cake. Sometimes, when making a sour, I'll leave it on the dregs for a little extra funk.

I never rack until fermentation is totally done and the yeast has had a few days to clean up/drop out. The few times I've racked when fermentation was evident I ended up with a stuck ferment (I don;t know why).

This is one of those "everyones got an .... opinion" topics here. In general, you wont go wrong either way (within reason)
Bulk Aging: Big Ass Stout
Barrel Aging: Golden Sour, Group Red/White Sours
Souring: Lambic, Black Wit, Pineapple Gose, Saison, Sour Stout
Kegged: Saison (3726, 100% Brett)
Bottles:: BDSA (on dates), Agave Tripel (Straight and with Mezcal-soaked oak), Belgian Single, Coconut-vanilla-coffee stout, Farmhouse Radler, Barrel-Aged RIS, Chile RIS, Oud Bruin (Plain, Cherry), Cranberry-Hibiscus Gose, BA Imperial Rye Smoked Porter, Quad, Berliner x4, Petite Saison Brett, Sour Wit

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Old 04-30-2014, 03:22 AM   #5
May 2011
Medford, WI
Posts: 6,897
Liked 1153 Times on 960 Posts

None of the above. Usually three weeks minimum before racking to the bottling bucket.

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Old 04-30-2014, 03:30 AM   #6
Sbarnard80's Avatar
Apr 2012
Smyrna, Ga
Posts: 106
Liked 22 Times on 14 Posts

After a week which for me is not long after fermentation is pretty much done. Then stays in secondary for 2. Although based on a lot of posts I have been reading, I will likely stop transferring unless I'm dry hopping or something.

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Old 04-30-2014, 03:52 AM   #7
Nov 2013
north Seattle, wa
Posts: 210
Liked 14 Times on 12 Posts

been transferring to secondary after {10 days} or {3 days of the same SG} (whatever is more) but I think from now on, I'm not going to use a secondary. My 11% barley wine did just fine after just 2 weeks in primary with no off flavors.

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Old 04-30-2014, 04:09 AM   #8
Jul 2010
Portland, OR
Posts: 1,614
Liked 177 Times on 163 Posts

None of the above, no secondary for me.

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Old 04-30-2014, 11:22 AM   #9
CraigKing's Avatar
Mar 2014
Erie, PA
Posts: 219
Liked 10 Times on 7 Posts

My general schedule is, primary = 7 days, secondary = 14 days.

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Old 04-30-2014, 11:57 AM   #10
Feb 2013
Powassan, Ontario
Posts: 730
Liked 62 Times on 49 Posts

pretty much 2 weeks unless I'm lazy. i go straight from the bucket and into the keg. in the summer we drink a lot around my place so there is no time for long fermenting beers!!

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