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Old 09-24-2008, 09:26 PM   #1
Aubie Stout
Jan 2008
Birmingham, Al
Posts: 662
Liked 11 Times on 6 Posts

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
Jan 2008
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 178

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.
Primaries -Cider
Secondaries - Winter IPA, Belgium Noel
Extra Kegs - Empty
On Tap - Sam Adam's Boston Lager
Next - Nothing at the moment
Reading - Radical Brewing


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Old 09-25-2008, 01:13 AM   #3
BrianP's Avatar
Sep 2007
Dexter, MI, Michigan
Posts: 1,151
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

+1 on the above. A longer primary allows the yeast to clean up the byproducts produced during the active part of the fermentation.


Fermenter 1: Best bitter (1)
Fermenter 2: Best bitter (2)
Fermenter 3: APA
Fermenter 4: APA

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Old 09-25-2008, 03:24 AM   #4
BarleyWater's Avatar
Jan 2007
Armpit of Dallas (Irving), TX
Posts: 2,204
Liked 23 Times on 17 Posts

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.

Fermenting: Nada
On Tap:Cran Wit, Dr Pepper Dubbel, Cascadian Pale Ale, Dark Chocolate Stout, Imperial Stout, Brown Mild, Schwarzbier
On Board: IIPA


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Old 09-25-2008, 06:20 AM   #5
hopsalot's Avatar
Sep 2007
Corpus, Texas
Posts: 1,553
Liked 18 Times on 17 Posts

+1 Co2, secondary in a 5g corny

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