Quantcast

secondary fermentation question

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

TDorty3

Active Member
Joined
May 14, 2005
Messages
27
Reaction score
1
Location
Erie, Pennsylvania
This is my first batch.

Last night I transferred my beer from primary fermenter (bucket) to secondary (glass carboy).

As the carboy was getting filled closer and closer to the top with my future beer I knew it wouldn't all fit. There was about 3/4 inch of beer on the bottom of the bucket that didn't make it.

I also noticed there was a lot of yeast in this section.

Is it bad that I didn't get the last yeasty part? I know some yeast is required for carbonation. I hope there's enough in there.

Other than that everything else went fine. This was the first time I siphoned anything and I was proud of myself.

I will admit, I enjoyed the taste of the beer in my mouth as I got the siphon going. I could feel the alcohol, if you know what I mean. It's pretty light too.

Thanks for all your help fellow brewers.

-tim
 

OBX

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2005
Messages
65
Reaction score
1
Location
Outer Banks, NC
You should not use your mouth to suck the beer from the primary unless you had something covering your mouth. That is a great source of contamination.

You don't want to rack in the yeast that has settled on the bottom of the primary into the secondary. You want to leave all that behind and that is the reason you are moving it to the secondary. Leaving a little beer behind is not bad - you just can't get it all without racking in a little of the yeast cake too and you want to avoid that. There will always be some yeast left floating in the beer after 4-6 days in the primary and there is not much fermentation going on in the secondary at this point anyway. There is some, but the main reason to go to a secondary is to get the beer off the yeast cake, at the bottom of the primary, and to allow it to clear for 1-2 weeks in the secondary.

After the secondary you will prime before bottling. This is just adding 4oz of corn sugar and a quart of boiled water into the bucket used for bottling before racking the beer from the secondary into the bottling bucket. There will still be pleanty of yeast in the beer to eat up the priming sugar and carbonate the bottle.
 

andre the giant

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2005
Messages
539
Reaction score
5
Location
Southeast Missouri, USA
Brother OBX speaks the truth... In the future, to start the siphon, you might want to purchase a siphon starter, you just sterilize it, put it in, pump it a couple times and your siphon is going. An alternative is to fill the siphon tube with water, hold your thumb over both ends to keep the water in, quickly take your thumb off one end and put it in the primary or upper container, then put the other end in the lower/receiving container and remove your thumb. The weight of the water will get the siphon started without exposing your beer to all the nasty bacteria that live in our mouths. Of course, your thumb has bacteria on it too, and it's pretty much impossible to completely sterilize anything we use for brewing, but try to "keep it clean."

Like OBX says, you WANT to remove the beer from the yeast and sediment at the bottom of the primary, so you did a good thing by leaving it behind.

Are you learning anything from this experience? Isn't it fun? The next time you brew, you'll have much less to worry about.
 

DeRoux's Broux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,959
Reaction score
6
Location
Beaumont
TDorty3 said:
This is my first batch.

Last night I transferred my beer from primary fermenter (bucket) to secondary (glass carboy).

As the carboy was getting filled closer and closer to the top with my future beer I knew it wouldn't all fit. There was about 3/4 inch of beer on the bottom of the bucket that didn't make it.

I also noticed there was a lot of yeast in this section.

Is it bad that I didn't get the last yeasty part? I know some yeast is required for carbonation. I hope there's enough in there.

Other than that everything else went fine. This was the first time I siphoned anything and I was proud of myself.

I will admit, I enjoyed the taste of the beer in my mouth as I got the siphon going. I could feel the alcohol, if you know what I mean. It's pretty light too.

Thanks for all your help fellow brewers.

-tim
tim, i have siphoned by mouth for years and never had contamination problems. i always take a hefty swig of vodka before i siphon. kills everything. :p

it's good that you ran out of room in your carboy. leave all that trub behind in the primary. that'll help keep your beer clear, and taste better. the goal is 5 good, clear gallons of beer. when i brew, i have a calculation i do that allows for water loss in the grains, loss in my brew system, loss at transfers, boiling, etc. i always end up w/ about 5.5 galklons when i transfer to my primary. 99.9% of the time when i rack to my secondary, i have about 1" of fermented beer in my primary, above the yeast cake.

but, you can prime your siphon hose, or buy an auto siphon. i prefer the VODKA! :D
cheers!
DeRoux's Broux
 

homebrewer_99

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
19,578
Reaction score
1,193
Location
I-80, Exit 27 (near the Quad Cities)
DeRoux's Broux said:
i have a calculation i do that allows for water loss in the grains, loss in my brew system, loss at transfers, boiling, etc. i always end up w/ about 5.5 galklons when i transfer to my primary. 99.9% of the time when i rack to my secondary, i have about 1" of fermented beer in my primary, above the yeast cake.

but, you can prime your siphon hose, or buy an auto siphon. i prefer the VODKA! :D cheers! DeRoux's Broux
All good info, but look at it this way...after the vodka is long gone he'll still have his auto-siphon!

(I don't care for vodka myself :( ).
 

DeRoux's Broux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,959
Reaction score
6
Location
Beaumont
homebrewer_99 said:
...after the vodka is long gone he'll still have his auto-siphon!

(I don't care for vodka myself :( ).
not at my dig's! :D we're always prepared for emergencies.....you never know when we'll get snowed in here in Southeast Texas! :p
 

uglygoat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
2,765
Reaction score
10
Location
Clebland, OH
i use my mouth every time i syphon. no problems yet... (taps head) knock on wood... ;)
 

Latest posts

Top