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Secondary Fermentation

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PaulHare

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I've got a batch on the go at the moment and I think its ready for secondary fermentation. I see that all the best brewers (you lot :cool: ) recommend a glass carboy or similar for the secondary.

As far as I can work out this is mainly because there's minimal oxygen in there once you've filled it with beer. As I don't have a glass carboy, and it doesn't look like I can get one mail order in the UK, I thought I'd use my spare fermenting bucket. I know there's another school of thought that's worried about oxygen passing through the plastic and the possible flavouring of your beer from the plastic as well.

I'm aware that the airgap in the top would be large, so I thought maybe I could vent a CO2 cylinder into the fermenter first, and then hopefully this would provide a blanket to prevent the oxygen getting to close to the beer.

Would this work (I can't really see why not) or am I getting a little too fussy about my beer?

Thanks once again for any thoughts/advice.
 

roverz

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Paul,

I have brewed many beer batches with 2 plastic pails for primary and secondary. I would not worry 2 much about the air exposure when moving from the prim to secondary.

when you can pick up a plastic or glass carboy especially for larger gravity brews which will be in the secondary longer.

my .02
 

OBX

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I am in the same boat as Paul Hare - I am ready for the secondary or I can leave it in the primary for another week, but I don't yet have a glass carboy. My options are:

Leave it in the primary for another week

Rack to a second bucket as a secondary

Rack into a plastic carboy that has had only water in it


I am looking for suggestions :confused: :confused:
 

Rhoobarb

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Paul, I think you will be okay going the route you describe.

~~~~~

OBX, I would suggest either racking to that second bucket or your plastic carboy that has had only water. Whichever you decide, make sure and sanitize, sanitize, sanitize! Follow that rule and you'll be okay.

And to everybody; get a glass carboy as soon as you can. :) Summer is getting here soon (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere). Flea markets and yard sales will soon abound - keep an eye out for those big glass bottles!

Secondaries make a real difference IMHO, and glass is my vessel of choice for all my brewing!
 
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PaulHare

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Thanks guys.

I will pick up a glass carboy ASAP, but it won't be in time for this particular batch.
 

OBX

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OBX said:
I took your advice and racked it into the plastic carboy. I hope it turns out OK because it sure tasted GREAT. I need to buy my next kit and I will get a glass carboy as well. :p
 

DonSmitty

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Another newbie question about secondary fermentation. I brewed an IPA last Sunday and the primary fermentation is going well as I still see bubbles. I was planning on leaving it for another week and then racking to a carboy for dry hopping. First question is, should I wait for the bubbles to stop before transferring? and second, should I go into a 5 gal carboy or 6.5 (do I need the extra space because I'm dry hopping).
 

HBngNOK

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..... I see that all the best brewers (you lot :cool: ) recommend a glass carboy or similar for the secondary.

Thanks once again for any thoughts/advice.
:) Actually, a good number of the best brewers don't use a secondary at all. Primary 3~4 weeks, then bottle.
 

RM-MN

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Don't depend on the bubbles to tell you anything. They're just an exchange of gas and they could be in or out. Use a hydrometer to tell when the fermentation is done and don't dry hop until it is. I'd recommend just dry hopping in the primary fermenter. So far it looks as if all the infected batches of beer posted here are from being in secondary and most of them are from too much airspace in the secondary fermenter. By dryhopping in the primary you retain the CO2 blanket to protect your beer from infections.
 

DonSmitty

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Don't depend on the bubbles to tell you anything. They're just an exchange of gas and they could be in or out. Use a hydrometer to tell when the fermentation is done and don't dry hop until it is. I'd recommend just dry hopping in the primary fermenter. So far it looks as if all the infected batches of beer posted here are from being in secondary and most of them are from too much airspace in the secondary fermenter. By dryhopping in the primary you retain the CO2 blanket to protect your beer from infections.
Thanks. I'll definitely rely on the hydrometer reading and consider dry hopping in the primary. But wouldn't the beer benefit by getting off the trub? I'd like to end up with a nice hoppy aroma and a somewhat clear beer.
 

RM-MN

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Actually it appears that beer benefits from staying on the trub. Those yeasties that appear to lie dormant at the bottom of the fermenter must still be working as my beers seem to be cleaner tasting from staying on the trub. I've left one beer in the fermenter for 9 weeks and it was very smooth when I got it carbonated.
 
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