Fermentation and Closed Transfers

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Matt O

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Hey Everyone...
I was hoping to explain my current fermentation procedures and get thoughts/ideas on the needing to change my current process while incorporating a closed transfer setup.

Currently I do my primary fermentation in an SS Brewtech brew bucket with the temperature controller. I keep the controller running for about two weeks or so constantly changing out the frozen water bottles in a cooler on the side.

I then wind up leaving the beer in the brew bucket(s) for two months or so simply out of lack of carboys or laziness.

I will then rack the beer into a glass carboy for secondary fermentation and let that sit for another couple months until there is a free keg and space in my beer refrigerator.

I guess my questions are as follows:

Is my timing on the primary and secondary fermentation problematic? Should I be more strict on the time the beer spends in each before transfer?

After primary fermentation, can I go right from the brew bucket to a keg and do my secondary fermentation in that keg? And then also serve in that keg?

If I cannot serve in that keg, should I go from the brew bucket to a carboy or a keg for secondary fermentation? And should I do both transfers using a closed transfer system?


Thanks to everyone in advance and thanks to everyone who responds to all of these forums...your information has been invaluable!
 

Ralphie0523

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2019
Messages
69
Reaction score
34
Is my timing on the primary and secondary fermentation problematic? Should I be more strict on the time the beer spends in each before transfer?

After primary fermentation, can I go right from the brew bucket to a keg and do my secondary fermentation in that keg? And then also serve in that keg?

If I cannot serve in that keg, should I go from the brew bucket to a carboy or a keg for secondary fermentation? And should I do both transfers using a closed transfer system?


Thanks to everyone in advance and thanks to everyone who responds to all of these forums...your information has been invaluable!
1. I am not a believer in strict timing of transfers. Do the transfers when ready. I don’t do a secondary anymore and haven’t noticed a difference. Life also happens and sometimes it takes some time.

2. If you secondary in a keg definitely use a spunding valve or make sure there is a PRV for safety’s sake. You can secondary in a keg but I again don’t do this anymore. I don’t see a reason why you couldn’t also serve in that keg, the first few pulls might be a bit hazy but afterward should be ok.

3. Not sure how a closed transfer would work with glass. I am not aware of any other way to get the beer out of a glass carboy than to use some type of siphon, negating any closed transfer advantages since you have to open the top. The best way I see to do a closed transfer with the info provided is to secondary in a keg and transfer to another keg under pressure from your CO2 tank. The BrewBucket could work as well but not sure if you have the proper accessories to do this. Again, don’t see a reason you couldn’t secondary in a keg and then just use that to serve.

One other thought:

Sounds like your batch cycle times are on the order of a few months from grain to glass. Nothing wrong with it, but more data and experience is showing that this may not be necessary from a process point of view. But we do have lives so I suspect your situation has other demands that doesn’t always allow you to get to transfers, kegging, etc. Also having a free fermenter/keg/carboy sounds like a challenge as well. Consider what will work best for you and how you brew and consume your beer.
 
OP
M

Matt O

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
I had seen the glass carboy transfers in pic and video and believe I have the spare parts laying around to try that out. I just picked up an additional piece for the brew bucket and will give the closed transfer a shot too when ready. I think i just need to pick up an extra keg or two.

I have been on the fence of just skipping secondary fermentation for a while now and have seen a lot of posts both for and against it. I think I’m going to remove the transfer to a glass carboy before then transferring to a keg step and see the results.

My plan is to now primary ferment in the brew bucket using the temperature controller for the first several weeks and then close transfer to a corny keg and set that aside until its ready to be put in the fridge.

And yes...it is definitely a few months from grain to glass but not on purpose...just when i can find the time between the 5,000 other things going on :)

Thanks and cheers!
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
338
Reaction score
38
Usually closed transfers are used to avoid contact with air. With that said, I'd go with one of two options (assuming you have all the gear you need):

1. Avoid secondary...cold crash and keg...or just keg without cold crashing.
2. Secondary in a keg that you will serve out of as well. You don't need a spunding valve for this, just use a hose off your gas post that goes into some sanitizer solution.
 

GRBC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
287
Reaction score
50
Location
Richmond
I would not suggest using a CO2 tank to push beer out of a glass carboy. Too easy to make a simple mistake and turn that carboy into a glass grenade which could kill you.
 

Blazinlow86

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Messages
1,680
Reaction score
736
I would not suggest using a CO2 tank to push beer out of a glass carboy. Too easy to make a simple mistake and turn that carboy into a glass grenade which could kill you.
Typically you use a rubber carboy cap to avoid that possibility but I have seen some that use a hose clamp on the carboy cap which could be a issue. Cheers
 
Top