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Lager - Racking to Secondary

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CowboyShootist

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Greeetings,

well the lager is in the fermentation bucket and bubbling away in the garage. Once this is done I'll rack over to my carboy but I was wondering about the process to do that.

I was under the impression that once you start things fermenting that you want to avoid exposing the brew to any air until you're ready to bottle. Given that I have to unseal the fermentation bucket to get the racking cane in I can't possibly avoid some contact with air.

Is it ok, once fermentation has subsided, to get some exposure to air? It must be since you cannot avoid this prior to bottling. Should I leave the top on the fermentation bucket and put the racking cane through the hole in the lid for the airlock?

On a related note, how do you take hydrometer readings without unsealing the fermentation vessel? To a certain extent you're going to expose the brew to some air if you do that. Again I assume that you wait for the bubbling to subside and then test with the hydrometer to make sure fermentation has finished.

Anything I should be aware of here, other than the obvious sanitation issues?

Thanks in advance.
 

nallanrex

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When you take the lid off of your bucket there is still a cloud of carbon dioxide protecting your beer. If you left it overnight with the lid off it may be a different story;). I would take the lid off and rack to secondary.

When I used a bucket I took the lid off for hydro readings and didn't have any adverse effects. Once the bubbles in the airlock slow down I usually check gravity. But remember if your hydro contradicts what you see the airlock doing, trust the hydro. IE airlock not moving but hydro says your still at 1.027 your beer is not finished and everything is probably ok. Unless it stays at 1.027 for a couple days.

:mug:

-Nick
 

brewer_duke

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It is so much worrying about exposing the surface of the beer to air (which, btw, should be minimalized) but moreso worry about areating the beer itself by splashing it around and such. When you are siphoning and taking a hydrometer reading just be gentle.
But of course the most important thing to worry about is to not worry. Relax, have a homebrew and some fun.
 

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