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Old 03-29-2008, 03:20 AM   #1
eurc51
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Default Too much head space?

I just moved my Belgian Dubbel to the secondary. As usual, I didn't get a great yield from my siphoning efforts. I guess this is another question. I never seem to get all of the beer out when going from the primary to the bottling bucket - I always end up leaving about 1/2 above the bottom yeast / hops cake.

So, the same thing happened going to my 5 gallon secondary. The beer level is just above the curve in my glass carboy and I'm worried about too much head space causing oxidation. The beer is scheduled to be in there for at least 4 weeks. What should I do? I thought about adding water. I know this will alter the beer, but I figured that might be better than letting too much air sit in there while the beer conditions.

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Old 03-29-2008, 03:25 AM   #2
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Above the curve on the carboy is fine. Even in secondary, the beer will give of enough CO2 to purge the headspace, and there's still some yeast activity to clean up any oxygen that does get in the beer.


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Old 03-29-2008, 03:26 AM   #3
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If you sanitized well it will be fine. No Worries.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:22 AM   #4
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Thanks - it's always good to hear that I didn't screw up too badly. In the future, would you recommend that I tip the primary a bit to help get more beer out during siphoning? Typically, I get just enough beer for 48 bottles, but I'm supposed to get 48-55, correct?
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:00 PM   #5
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I stopped counting how many bottles I get. It really doesn't matter- as long as every bottle is filled with good beer.

I do tip my primary though, to siphon off more clear beer. Some people put a wedge or phone book under one side a few hours before racking, and then siphon from the other side. If I have a nice thick solid yeast cake (and I usually do, since I leave it a long time in primary), I will tilt and siphon all of the clear beer off. I bet I leave about 1/4" or less of beer on the yeast cake.
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:12 PM   #6
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Just racking the beer will release Co2. There is some Co2 in suspension in the beer at that point and the action of racking and moving the fermenter around will bring some of it out of suspension and provide a layer of CO2 over your beer.
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