Quantcast

Is this true? Secondary...

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

JillC25

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
Location
NJ
I've read serveral instructions on brewing now, and this is the first set that has said anything about making sure the carboy is filling to a certain point. anyone have any comments/suggestions about this? My last batch was about 1" below where the bottle starts to neck up.

From Annap. Homebrew:

"Using your secondary fermentor is easy. Wait until fermentation is complete or nearly complete, and then gently siphon the beer from primary to secondary. Leave as much of the sediment behind as possible. You definitely want the secondary fermentor filled to the narrow part of the neck, so top up with pre-boiled cool water if necessary. Don’t worry about “watering down” the beer, because you’re supposed to have 5 gallons at this point."
 
OP
JillC25

JillC25

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
Location
NJ
rest of it...

"you don’t want any air headspace in a secondary fermentor, because oxygen in that air can contaminate the beer. Although oxygen is necessary before fermentation, after fermentation it will rapidly spoil the beer. This wasn’t a concern in the primary fermentor because so much CO2 is produced there that it blows out all of the air in the headspace. However, now that your beer is in secondary, there’s little or no CO2 being produced, so you can’t count on the air being driven out before it does damage to the beer."
 

El Pistolero

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2005
Messages
3,584
Reaction score
16
Location
Houston
I read that also, and I think it's bunk! CO2 is heavier than O2 so it will quickly replace the O2 sitting on the beer. And you know there must still be some CO2 production going on, because you're bubbler's doing it's thing.
 

Rhoobarb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
3,553
Reaction score
20
Location
Gainesville
I did many, many brews before reading that myself. So, I started topping off for about three batches in both my primary and secondary fermenters. I stopped doing it after I transferred my third batch, a porter, that had, for whatever reason, come up about a gallon short of the five gallon mark. I ended up with a thin porter. Not what I was looking for.

I went back to disregarding the headspace amount. I tend to agree with El Pisto.
 

cowain

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
334
Reaction score
2
Location
Little Rock, AR
That's probably the stupidest thing I've seen. Did that come from a book or a homebrew supply store?

While it is true that oxygen spoils beer, when you put the beer into the secondary FERMENTER there is still fermentation occuring. The oxygen will be replaced by CO2 at least to the extent necessary to form a CO2 barrier as described by El Pistolero.

Good lord. Any effect that O2 would have on the beer at that point wouldn't be as bad as the effect you have by adding water to the damn beer. I mean, come on. If you notice a little extra space in your secondary, you should just remember to add more water at the beginning of the process next time.

Yikes.
 

Toilet Rocker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
846
Reaction score
14
Location
near Asbury Park
This also sounds like it's assuming you have a 5-gal carboy. Imagine filling a 6.5 to the neck? This is also recommended on Defalco's site. Crazy talk.
 
OP
JillC25

JillC25

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
Location
NJ
Interesting interesting.

the info was from the lme brewing instructions from annapolishomebrew.com. I'm assuming 5 gallon carboy...
 
OP
JillC25

JillC25

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
133
Reaction score
0
Location
NJ
YEAH O & A! I was dying this AM. SO much funnier than stern.
 

2nd Street Brewery

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2005
Messages
1,192
Reaction score
3
Location
Castleton NY
Since I still use a plastic bucket as a primary I top that off to 5gals if I am low. You shouldn't lose anything in the fermenter. JMTCW.
 

bikebryan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
556
Reaction score
4
Location
Alexandria, VA
cowain said:
That's probably the stupidest thing I've seen. Did that come from a book or a homebrew supply store?

While it is true that oxygen spoils beer, when you put the beer into the secondary FERMENTER there is still fermentation occuring. The oxygen will be replaced by CO2 at least to the extent necessary to form a CO2 barrier as described by El Pistolero.

Good lord. Any effect that O2 would have on the beer at that point wouldn't be as bad as the effect you have by adding water to the damn beer. I mean, come on. If you notice a little extra space in your secondary, you should just remember to add more water at the beginning of the process next time.

Yikes.
I've never had a batch transferred to secondary that was still fermenting. I check the SG before transferring to secondary, and when it comes out (either to Keg or Bottle) and it has always been the same. To say there is still fermentation going on is not always true. Blanket statements like that can be dangerous.

In most cases (notice, I'm not making an all-inclusive statement here!) any CO2 'produced' in secondary is just dissolved CO2 that is released from the solution when you rack it and move it into storage.
 

AlaskaAl(e)

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
178
Reaction score
3
Location
Bakersfield
I'm of the mind that you should top your carboy off to the amount of the recipe. If your recipe is for 5G then boil as much as you can (up to 5G) and top off to 5 if you come up short after the boil. Adding water at any point after attaining your recipe amount just screws with the whole shootin' match.

Once you get your 5G (or whatever amount you're looking for) in the primary leave it alone. Sure, once you rack it to the secondary you will lose a little bit in the process but topping it back up will do nothing but thin out the wort and screw with your gravity reading.

Okay, the term "secondary fermentation" may be a bit misleading. The vast majorty of your fermentation is going to be done in the primary and if, like bikebryan said, you wait for the gravity to hit the right mark and all that then any amount of CO2 that comes out of the wort once it's in the secondary is probably just off-gasses. However little amount it's likely to be, it's probably enough. I'm sure I'm not the only one here that's had to rack to a secondary now and then that's over 5G and had quite a bit of headspace. In fact, I have pretty much nothing but 6.5G carboys and have never had a problem. My one and only 5G carboy has been taken up for the last 6 months by my Christmas Porter and I haven't had any complaints yet.
 

cowain

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
334
Reaction score
2
Location
Little Rock, AR
bikebryan said:
I've never had a batch transferred to secondary that was still fermenting. I check the SG before transferring to secondary, and when it comes out (either to Keg or Bottle) and it has always been the same. To say there is still fermentation going on is not always true. Blanket statements like that can be dangerous.

In most cases (notice, I'm not making an all-inclusive statement here!) any CO2 'produced' in secondary is just dissolved CO2 that is released from the solution when you rack it and move it into storage.

Hmmm, if fermentation stops in the primary, then how does your beer carbonate in the bottle?

Although the majority of fermentation occurs in the primary, fermentation continues in the secondary and in the bottle, otherwise those who bottled could filter the beer prior to bottling and avoid the sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
 

bikebryan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
556
Reaction score
4
Location
Alexandria, VA
cowain said:
Hmmm, if fermentation stops in the primary, then how does your beer carbonate in the bottle?

Although the majority of fermentation occurs in the primary, fermentation continues in the secondary and in the bottle, otherwise those who bottled could filter the beer prior to bottling and avoid the sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
You are restarting fermentation when bottling. That's why you add some fermentable sugar into the solution in your bottling bucket. Duh!
 

DeRoux's Broux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,959
Reaction score
6
Location
Beaumont
adding water to the secondary will not hurt anything. people have done it for years and had nice, tasty brews (including me). when extract/grain brewing, i got a larger kettle so i could boil a larger voulme, adding to the secondary become less of an issue. since all-grain, it's really not an issue. you can do the calculations to figure your grain absorption, evaporation, calculate for system and transfer loses, and still have 5 gallons in the keg.
secondary fermentation is a homebrew term. usually when you rack, you stir up some sediment that gets to go for a ride through the racking cane and tubing, and gets an extra snack on some sugars left in the green beer. hence a bubble every-once-in-a-while in the secondary. no sugars left at all would mean a yeast capable of 100% attenuation. not likely in an extract homebrew.....
Jill, try it both ways and see for yourself.
 
Top