Avoid falling krausen while transferring to secondary?

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lkondolian

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On my 5th batch, here. I've never used a secondary for an ale before, but I just did my first batch with steeping grains and got tons of cold break at the bottom of my primary. (But I also need that particular primary open for later this week.)

So I just racked my ale (at 8 days) into a secondary. It was sort of a disaster: I had to lug my 5 gallon primary downstairs to my sink, which caused the krausen to fall while I was racking, and I couldn't really see where the trub was, so I wound up with a lot of both in my secondary.

So, RDWHAHB of course, but how much of a problem is this? How do you guys avoid the krausen when racking to secondary?
 

WBC

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With ales there is no need for a secondary as it is not fermenting/conditioning that long. 2 weeks in the primary is a good rule of thumb then bottle or keg.
Next time just let it be. :)
 
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How do you guys avoid the krausen when racking to secondary?
I wouldn't even consider racking until well after the krausen had fallen, and had formed a compact sediment on the bottom. Then lower the racking cane until you just see a bit of sediment flowing, lift it until it clears, and lock it in place.
 

carnevoodoo

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I wouldn't even consider racking until well after the krausen had fallen, and had formed a compact sediment on the bottom. Then lower the racking cane until you just see a bit of sediment flowing, lift it until it clears, and lock it in place.
You know, if you're using an autosiphon with one of the camps on the bottom and you lower it slow enough, when you hit bottom you can just leave it. The cap gives it a little room on its own to sit above the yeast, so you'll be fine. No need to pull it back up.

Edit: OP... You should never rack to secondary before the primary fermentation has completed. Let it go until it is done. If you want to secondary, you can do it then.
 
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You know, if you're using an autosiphon with one of the camps on the bottom and you lower it slow enough, when you hit bottom you can just leave it. The cap gives it a little room on its own to sit above the yeast, so you'll be fine. No need to pull it back up.
That's never been my experience, perhaps because I pump all the break material from the kettle into my fermenters, and end up with a thicker sediment layer.
 

Revvy

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If you have krausen still on the beer, then you Shouldn't be racking to secondary anyway...

If you choose to use a secondary (many of us leave our beer in primary for 3 or 4 weeks) wait at LEAST 10-14 days...you should not be secondarying until fermentation is complete anyway...and the best way really to know that is to take hydrometer readings over 3 days.....if the hydro reading are the same (many people check on the 7th and 10th day) then move the beer...

But if you've got krausen the beer's not finished fermenting yet....and even after the krausen has fallen it's a good idea to leave the beer in primary for a bit longer to allow the yeast to finish it's work....fermentation isn't the only theing the yeasties like to do...they are fastidious cleaners...and will go back and eat up any by products of fermentation that can lead to off flavors...such as diacetyl........Let them do their job, and you will be rewareded with better beer.
 

kage

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I have a similar issue. I am beginning to think I racked to secondary too early. I still had krausen. Supposing I racked again once the remaining crud falls? Wouldn't that be like first secondary? What should have been the first secondary I mean.
 

Revvy

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I have a similar issue. I am beginning to think I racked to secondary too early. I still had krausen. Supposing I racked again once the remaining crud falls? Wouldn't that be like first secondary? What should have been the first secondary I mean.
Leave your beers alone!!!!!!!


Don't do anything else...just walk away for a couple weeks, you interupted fermentation and it started again.....Don't move it, don't look at it...don't even think about it.....Let the yeasties do their thing...they are in charge of this, they've been doing this for 5,000 +- years...they are the experts...Let them do their thing!!!!

Believe it or not your only job is putting together a clean factory well stocked with materials, which you did...

When you deal with living microorganisms, you surrender to their timeframe, regardless of what any instructions, or any impatience/excitement might dictate..Don't impose YOUR timeframe on beer brewing...It's not your timeframe it's the yeasties...they're in charge..Believe it or not your only job is putting together a clean factory well stocked with materials, which you did...

When you deal with living microorganisms, you surrender to their timeframe, regardless of what any instructions, or any impatience/excitement might dictate..


It will ferment out and then clear itself in a couple weeks...you don't need to rack it again...you don't need to do anything.....




Like several of us have said....we pitch our yeast and come back 3-4 weeks later and bottle....we don't secondary, we don't rack, we don't swirl...we maybe sniff the airlock....but that's about it....

We Trust our yeasties and bow to their cumulative wisdom and knowledge.....
 
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