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Rack or not

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AndyRN

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Sorry, I know this has been asked before; however, I could not find a good post. I am brewing my first batch of beer today and I'm trying to think ahead. I'm trying to decide if I should rack my beer or not. Could someone give me advice on this or post a link to good thread on this topic? I'm brewing Autumn Amber Ale from Midwest.

Wish me luck.
 

RM-MN

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Your Autumn Amber won't gain anything by being racked to secondary and may lose to oxidation or infection. The old rule of thumb was 1-2-3 because they though that the yeast would cause off flavors and you should rack to secondary to get it off the cake. We now know that this isn't the case at homebrew quantities and that the beer will clear just as well in the primary given the same amount of total time. Let your beer stay in the primary for 2 to 3 weeks, then use your hydrometer to verify that it is done. When you are certain it has completed fermenting as verified by two matching hydrometer readings a couple days apart you can bottle. By being careful you can leave all the yeast and trub behind when you rack to the bottling bucket.
 
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AndyRN

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Thanks. Is racking the same as 2 stage fermentation? I have seen some kits, stouts that recommend 2 stage fermentation.
 

Munchkin

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Thanks. Is racking the same as 2 stage fermentation? I have seen some kits, stouts that recommend 2 stage fermentation.
Racking to secondary is not considered a secondary fermentation. All you are doing is racking to another vessel. If you rack to early, you could potentially also risk an incomplete fermentation, especially when brewing higher gravity beers.
 

Beer is good

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I recently made the decision to stop racking to secondaries. The only reason I did it in the past was because everything I read said not doing so will cause off flavors. If I were brewing 5 gallon batches I would probably rack to secondaries just so I wouldn't have to buy a bunch of 6.5 gallon carboys.
 

unionrdr

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Unless I'm oaking or adding fruit, I don't bother with secondary. Let the beer get down to a stable FG. Then give it another 3-7 days to clean up any by products of fermentation & settle out clear or slightly misty before bottling.
 

SeeMont

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My little experience has shown me that if I get a good active fermentation that lasts about 5 to 6 days with a good krausen, I can pretty well be assured that I will get a good stable final gravity reading after three weeks in primary. If I have a delayed slow fermentation (only a couple), these are the batches that i check and recheck and be extra careful. For what it's worth
 
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I secondary all my beers after primary is complete. It provides an easy way to check the SG & taste the beer for any issues. It's also a convenient way to do dry hopping, add extra flavor ingredients, plus helps clarify the beer.
I also keg condition before cold crashing. Time here is partly determined by room available in my kegerator.
Careful handling plus careful sanitation & avoiding splashing avoid negative consequences.
Patience!!



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