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Old 09-24-2008, 09:26 PM   #1
Aubie Stout
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Jan 2008
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I've been making some half batches lately. I start them in my 5 gal fermentation bucket then rack them to a 5 gal glass carboy for another two weeks. Usually, there seems to be some secondary fermentation when I rack it over. However, I just did a pale ale on top of a yeast cake and it looks like it might be finished fermenting already before I can rack it over to the secondary.

Do I need to be concerned about the headspace issue?

 
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:09 AM   #2
Go Gators
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As long as you haven't been opening the bucket/caraboy everyday, I would not worry about oxidation. When beer ferments it releases CO2, which pushes the oxygen out of the airlock. CO2 is more dense, and will "cover" your beer.

On a separate note, I would not suggest racking to the secondary for AT LEAST a week after fermentation began. Let the yeast clean up after themselves and allow some flavors to mellow.

And remember relax don't worry have a homebrew.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:13 AM   #3
BrianP
 
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+1 on the above. A longer primary allows the yeast to clean up the byproducts produced during the active part of the fermentation.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:24 AM   #4
BarleyWater
 
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You have been transfering to secondary too early. Always wait AT LEAST a couple days after fermentation is over before you rack to secondary.

Secondary Fermentor is a misnomer, it is the clearing or bight tank, and is not a necessary step in making good beer. It is used in commercial breweries to clear up space in the main fermeter to make as much beer as possible. Unless you need the space, there isn't usally a reason to even transfer to a bright tank.

If you do decide to transfer to the bright tank, then there is usually enough CO2 in solution to be roused out and creat a "CO2 blanket" on top of the beer to protect it from oxygenation. As long as you are careful not to splash or rouse the beer to much while transfering, you shouldn't have a problem.
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:20 AM   #5
hopsalot
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Sep 2007
Corpus, Texas
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+1 Co2, secondary in a 5g corny

 
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