secondary racking question

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Jamie118

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First of all i would like to say sorry if ygis has been askes before but i search and could not find

I am a big newbie when it comes to homebrew

When racking to secondary do i add my priming sugar now ready for when i start to bottle? ??

Many thanks in advance jamie
 

ArcticBear

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Jamie,

you are going to want to hold off on the priming sugar until the moment you are ready to bottle.

Racking to the secondary isnt always necessary unless you want to use it to dry hop or to get a little extra sediment to fall out of your brew.

if you introduce your priming sugar right now you are going to jumpstart fermentation again and dry out the beer a little and then have to add more to get carbonation in the bottles.


just rack into the secondary into a smaller vessel, you want little to no headspace in your secondary fermenter because CO2 production has slowed and you run the risk of bacteria filling the headspace. make sure everything is sanitized properly and rack over. after some sediment has fallen out and you have hit your FG, rack to a bottling bucket while adding your priming sugar, then bottle as normal.

The priming sugar is to allow a little bit of yeast to ferment in the bottles to build up CO2 which will give you the carbonation in the bottle. Because the excess CO2 has nowhere to go (say..out an airlock like in your fermenter) it cannot push the glass and cap (unless waaay to carbonated..look up the term bottle bomb) and forces itself back into the beer where it is absorbed over time
 

NCangler17

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Only add sugar after secondary, and immediately before bottling.
 
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Jamie118

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ArcticBear said:
just rack into the secondary into a smaller vessel, you want little to no headspace in your secondary fermenter because CO2 production has slowed and you run the risk of bacteria filling the headspacermal.
How can u get little headspace if ur racking buckect is the same size as ur frementer one? ??
 

NCangler17

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Don't worry about headspace. Just sanitize the heck out of your secondary vessel right before racking and you'll be fine.
 

cyberlord

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How can u get little headspace if ur racking buckect is the same size as ur frementer one? ??
Because you can not rack 100% of the contents in the primary into the secondary. You have to leave the sediment behind. This can be as much as 1 gallon of a 5 gallon primary, depending on gross lee volume.

When that happens you have to "top off" the secondary, especially if you are going to leave it sit/age for a while.

If you're racking off to bottle right away then headspace is not an issue.
 

ArcticBear

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I normally ferment in 6.5 gallon carboys or plastic buckets. And my secondary is almost always a 5 gallon carboy which leaves just about no headspace.
 
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