How to rack?

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river rat

Feb 28, 2005
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I am on my 5th batch of beer and am wanting to start racking my batches. I have 4 plastic primaries that I use, can I use one of them as a secondary? How should I go about doing this without contaminating my beer. Thanks, the rat.
I recommend buying a glass carboy for secondary. I guess you could use a plastic bucket, glass is preferred. Then you can see the yeast and other stuff settle out and clear. Do your primarys have spigots on them? I ask because if they dont and you rack to a bottling bucket, you rack to secondary the same way. You may just be using the spigots to transfer though.

Anyways, buy a racking cane, or you could just use siphon hose, but a canes easier IMO. Youll need about 6 ' of hose. Sanitize EVERYTHING first. Put the racking cane in the primary, fill the hose with sanitizing solution, hook it to the racking cane, let the hose down into a bowl or something and let it go for a second until its all beer coming out, pinch it and then stick it into the secondary and it will fill it up. Hope tha thelps.
I second the suggestion of glass for secondary. Plastic allows oxygen to permeate and is less suitable for the longer time spent in secondary. A plastic bucket will work, but I'd spring for a carboy. Get a 6 gallon one.

The way Tophe described racking is exactly how I do it. Fill the cane and hose with sanitizer and use that to start a siphon. They also make these siphon-starter pump things that make starting a siphon easier still. Cheers! :D
Glass is easier to sterilize, my plastic buckets are starting to get small scratches that might hold on to the nasty stuff. Plus I can see the beer doing it's thing, but of course I never look at it in the light :D

By the way, I was having an off night the other night. :eek:

RiverRat, good to see you over here on this forum, everyone has been very helpful!

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