Author Topic: racked beer over from primary fermenter  (Read 4306 times)

Offline justinl

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racked beer over from primary fermenter
« on: October 16, 2011, 07:50:54 PM »
after a week, fermentation was complete, well no bubbles anyway. So i racked over to a bottling bucket where it will sit for the next week. I was careful not to air-raid, not sure if i should have racked it over yet. hope its fine, any help?
Thanks,
Justin.

Offline DaveinPa

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Re: racked beer over from primary fermenter
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2011, 06:02:30 PM »
A week is fine.  A lot of people here don't bother with a secondary.  I usually do it when activity slows to nearly a stop.  Make sure all things that will contact the beer are fully sanitized.  When you transfer, put the hose in the bottom of the recieving carboy so the beer enters under the liquid surface.  Then relax and leave it do it's thing for another 3 weeks.

Offline justinl

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Re: racked beer over from primary fermenter
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2011, 09:45:45 PM »
three weeks, no kidding why so long? maybe I'm all f-ed up but i was planning on bottling after the week. just going bye the recipe.so many questions in my head now.

Offline sbbish

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Re: racked beer over from primary fermenter
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2011, 02:42:57 PM »
three weeks, no kidding why so long? maybe I'm all f-ed up but i was planning on bottling after the week. just going bye the recipe.so many questions in my head now.

There's no set length of time to wait. You just want to make sure fermentation is complete, otherwise you might end up with "bottle bombs".

The best way to know when to bottle is to start taking daily hydrometer readings when you think fermentation is complete. If you go two or three days in a row without the specific gravity changing, then fermentation is complete and you can bottle.

Sometimes I've been able to bottle after a week. Sometimes I needed to wait two or three.

Scott

Offline DaveinPa

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Re: racked beer over from primary fermenter
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2011, 02:52:25 PM »
There really is no right or wrong way.  But if you are bottling that soon, why bother with a secondary?  Just leave it in the primary longer.  You do want to make sure your beer is done fermenting or you may pop your beer bottles from over pressure.  I use a secondary to allow the beer to age as a batch beofre kegging.  After two weeks in the secondary I go into the beer fridge to cold crash it for another week.  This allows the finer solids to drop out for a cleaner beer.

Everything you do affects your beer in some way.  Some things affect it more than others, some in good ways, some in bad.  I would recommend you read How to Brew by John Palmer.  He has the book on line so you can read it for free.  It expalins everything in easy to read terms and will answer a  lot of your questions.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 03:34:26 PM by DaveinPa »

Offline jomebrew

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Re: racked beer over from primary fermenter
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2011, 10:38:24 AM »
Regardless of how or why, you want to expose the beer to as little oxygen as possible.  A bottling bucket or plastic fermenting bucket allow oxygen to reach the beer.  This will substantially reduce the beers shelf life and hasten the staling compounds. 

Once exposed, you cannot reverse oxidization.  You can slow it by keeping beer cold but once started, it is a downward slope.   You can reduce the quality from lasting months to weeks.

Beer is not immune to bacterial infection after fermentation.  It is a hostile environment but bacterial like acetobacter can thrive in the presence of oxygen and ethanol.  Exposure to air risks risks both becoming present on the beer.   Acetobacter takes about a month to convert the ethanol to acid and make a vinegar solution.

Being as cautious as possible to limit the exposure to air mitigates the risk of infection.  If infection is likely, drink fast and often.

/joe

« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 08:41:00 AM by jomebrew »

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: racked beer over from primary fermenter
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2011, 04:51:15 PM »
If you're using a plastic bucket for a secondary you probably shouldn't let it sit for more than four weeks. As joe said, plastic will allow oxygen to pass through. 

The textbook reason for using a secondary is to avoid autolysis. That's when the yeast commits suicide after sitting too long without food, and makes your brew taste like a burnt tire. For this to happen you'd need to let the brew sit on the primary yeast cake for a while after primary fermentation is done.  I've never had it happen and I've let batches sit in the primary for over a month.

Another purpose of using a secondary is to allow as much yeast to settle so the brew is clear.  That can take a few weeks or more.  If you don't care about clarity or don't plan to give it at least three weeks, there really isn't much advantage to using a secondary.

If you ever lager it is to your advantage to rack into a secondary and then use that for cold storage.

Anyway, I do use a secondary (glass).  Just this past weekend I kegged a batch that I racked back in July.  No sign of autolysis, and super clear.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson