Risk of Oxidizing

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vsusinga

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Hi everyone. I have one question about racking to secondary. I have read that many brewers rack to secondary after a week. It has not been a week yet and my brew is almost done fermenting. If i wait until it is completely finished to rack to secondary wont i risk oxidizing it?. At my LHBS i was told to rack to secondary when the fermentation slows, not when its finish , so the dead space in secondary will fill with CO2. Any thoughts on this?

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indianajns

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I used to rack all of my beers to secondary and now I only rack beers like Russian Imperial Stouts that have will be in a fermentation chamber for long periods of time to seondary. If you listen to Jamil and other experts they have said there really is no need for a secondary and I agree. If you aren't flushing your secondary carboy with co2 you are exposing it to O2 and a potential infection. I'd be willing to agree that if you move it to secondary early, I'd bet that the yeast will clean up that O2 but again, what are you really gaining?
 

KTRyan

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You don't want to rack until the fermentation is done, i.e. has reached terminal gravity. Your beer will still give some co2, but if you rack early your attenuation is going to be off which will be much more noticeable then slight oxidation. You can mitigate oxidation by racking carefully to the bottom of the carboy, and making sure your secondary fermenter is as close to your beef volume as possible. Also if you keg you can bleed some co2 into your carboy before racking.

If your going to secondary, always wait for primary to finish.
 

hogwash

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1- secondary is not necessary for most beers unless you are bulk aging or dry hopping, and even then lots of folks dry hop in primary
2- if you must secondary, don't rack until the beer is finished fermenting. It will still give off co2 and push out the o2 in the headspace in no time.
3- rack carefully, make sure your siphon house is at the bottom of your secondary vessel and keep splashing and sloshing to a minimum.
4- don't stress too much about oxidizing. Ime, you really have to make a pretty strong effort to oxidize. A little splashing is nothing to get too worked up about.
5- I know I pretty much just reiterated what the above posters wrote.
 

DSorenson

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Interestingly enough, I'm going through a similar situation:
I racked to secondary at 6-7 days, terminal gravity had just about been reached (1.008 for notty... every single time...). This is my first time using secondary because I wanted to use bourbon and bourbon-soaked woodchips. In my experience doing anything in primary there is a chance the siphon could clog, inevitably resulting in kicking up trub. Long story short, it bubbled for three days before stopping. A little math and estimation of bubble size and frequency told me that the one to two quart headspace was either filled completely or mostly filled.

Doesn't stop me from worrying though! :)
 
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vsusinga

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I appreciate the replies everyone! I will definately look into not using a secondary if i dont have to

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