Reracking to primary

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Active Member
Jan 11, 2008
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Middle of nowhere, FL
I do not have a secondary ferm vessel. Is it worth racking off to my bottle bucket, cleaning my primary(and only) and putting it back. or is it just not worth the risk. Im thinking not worth the risk.

What would you rack it to while you were cleaning the primary?

I am a noob here, but I wouldn't think it was worth it.
no, it wouldn't be worth it in my opinion. Just leave it in the primary fermenter for three weeks, and then bottle. Of course, you didn't say what type of beer it is, so this is just a general though.
saison is the current beer, but this was more for the next batch. From what i understand saison dupot does not even use a secondary, they do it in the bottle, so that is what im going to try. They ferment at 85-90 for a week then off to the bottles for 6 weeks. Im trying to stick to that, but i am 8 days in and still bubbling like crazy. I am not interested in making bottle bombs.
I would just let it sit in the primary until you are ready to bottle it. Then carefully transfer it to the bottling bucket so you don't disturb the trub.
On the same note, my first batch went like this:

1) I poured the wort into my bottling bucket (which is just a primary fermenter with a spigot, right?) to mix it with colder water.

2) I opened the spigot and poured it all into my 6.5g glass carboy and then pitched my yeast.

When it is time to secondary, my plans are:

1) Rack to the bottling/primary bucket.

2) Clean out the glass carboy.

3) Rack back to the glass carboy for secondary/clearing.

Is there something wrong with this attitude?
Why didn't you just leave it in the bottling bucket to primary and then transfer to secondary carboy?
Because it's my first ever brew and I'm a n00b so I wanted to watch it.

Comments on my secondary plans?
You might as well since you will need to get it into the bottling bucket at the end anyway. Either that or just go get another 5 gallon carboy for secondary. Everytime you move the brew there is a certain risk of infection and oxidation.
Well, I'm thinking it could be ok, but I personally wouldn't bother. I would either let it sit for 3 weeks and then rack into the bottling bucket, or get another carboy (a 5 gallon one) and rack it. You really want to keep the beer from getting oxygenated, and racking it twice just to clean the yeast out of the bottom is exposing it unnecessarily. You'd rack it a third time to the bottling bucket to bottle it, and I think that's just not the best idea. Probably won't hurt it, but more risk than benefit in my opinion.
If that's the case, what's really the point of moving it to a secondary? Why not just leave it in the primary the whole time? How does moving it to a secondary help clear it more than just leaving it in the primary for an extended period of time?
NitrouStang96 said:
If that's the case, what's really the point of moving it to a secondary? Why not just leave it in the primary the whole time? How does moving it to a secondary help clear it more than just leaving it in the primary for an extended period of time?

Well, now you've just hit on one of the biggest debates here on HBT! Some of us NEVER use a clearing tank. Just leave it in the primary for 3 weeks or so and bottle.

I was a winemaker first, and got into the habit of racking into a carboy when the major fermentation is done. And there are definitely some advantages to this- once you rack it into the clearing tank (the pro breweries call this the "bright tank"), it can stay there a long, long, time since you've removed it from the yeast cake. When I lager, I leave it in the carboy for maybe 2-3 months. If you do that in the primary fermentator, you risk autolysis (when the yeast consume all the fermentables and then begin to rot). Allowing extra time for conditioning makes better beer, in my opinion. Here's a little more on this: (Read the next page, too)

So, I've always used a clearing tank, and been happy with it. But I have many carboys, and can take my beers out of the primary and put them in the carboys for any length of time. Then I have my primary fermenters free to brew again. Also, my beers are super clear. Whether that would have happened just in the primary fermenter, I don't know. Also, for dry hopping, the secondary is great.
theoriginalryan said:
bottling bucket.

Just secondary in the bottling bucket and leave the sediment on the bottom when bottling. You could also primary in the bottling bucket and secondary in your regular bucket. Just make sure the bottling bucket is 6+ gallons...
Quick question related to this thread. I was racking into my secondary and my siphon hose was about 3 inches too short to fully reach the bottom. So, i started the siphon, clamped the hose, picked the carboy up enough, and removed the clamp. About half a gallon of beer was in the carboy when i dropped it. I reclamped the siphon and checked the integrity of the carboy. It was fine, no cracks or fractures or anything. The beer that was in it did get pretty violently shaken up though. Will this lead to any flavor/quality issues later on. The rest of the racking was smooth and eventless.
my guess would be that you where lucky your carboy didnt explode, and the beer should be fine. Even if it did get some Oxy in it, probably wouldn't be to much. The other option would have been, which is probably to late now, dump the half a gallon, its not really that much, less the a 6 pack.