Beginners Process Improvement

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beatbreaker

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Hi Guys,

Reason why I'm posting is because I've made about 4 kit brews so far and I'm still only using a primary fermenter, and then going from there directly into the bottles. The tastes are ok, but have a very consistent yeasty flavour (and sludge at the bottom of the bottles) so I'm wanting to start racking into different barrels to avoid putting yeast cake at the bottom of my fermenter into the bottles directly.

So my idea is:
Have 2 30L plastic Fermenters with Spigots
Get one of those pump racking canes

The process:
* Make up a brew into Fermenter1 - Leave that for 1 - 2 weeks (when it's ready)
* Rack off into Fermenter2 - Leave for 1 more week
* Using a bottling tube, directly bottle from Fermenter2

That said I've also considered just leaving it in Fermenter1, then wait about 3 weeks, then rack into Fermenter2, then bottle that day.

Which of these options is best? I'm not buying glass carboys as I'm not willing to spill ~$85 on one.
 

GalBrew

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There is no need to rack to a secondary fermenter you are just risking infection. If you want to clear up your beer, get a cheap ass fridge/freezer off ebay hook up a temp controller to it and cold crash your beer at around 0-2 for a few days. Your yeast should mostly drop out to the cake at the bottom of your fermenter leaving clearer beer for bottling. That being said you will still have to wait a month or 2 to get bright beer out your bottles (unless you move to filtering). You can also leave the beer on the yeast cake for at least a month with no flavour issues if you don't want to get a fridge, but it will be the single most important purchase you make. Your beers will be better for it.
 

beatbreaker

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This does sound like good advice, and I've definitely heard this solution before (particularly when I was looking up how to make cider) but I don't think I've got the space for this currently. Also to clarify, how do you get from the Fermenter to the bottles to avoid yeast sediment? Are you using a Spigot, or racking cane?
 

waggastew

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Kill a million birds with one stone and get temp control. Temp control ala a fridge (even a bar fridge if space is the issue) will improve your beers at light speed. The yeast in a crash chilled beer will be sitting on the bottom of the fermentor as a thick layer of sludge. on a 21L batch I can bottle 27 long necks with no yeast going into the bottle, 28 if I don't mind a tiny bit going in.
 

manticle

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People continually overstate the risk associated with racking. Yes there is a risk of infection, as there is with every other step and as with those steps, you can minimise and control that risk.

It comes down to risk versus benefit.

I used to rack to secondary every brew (usually ~3/4 through primary) and noticed reduced sediment in secondary and subsequently bottles. Cold conditioning helps but so does racking.

I don't rack like this any more but I do rack to bulk prime which has a similar result. I also rack if a beer will be lagered or aged for a long time.

Racking is not always necessary and you should understand the risks and benefits and make up your own mind but it is not the devil it is often made out to be.

However, I would suggest that if you rack you either do it a bit before FG or after the beer has had conditioning time with the yeast, not immediately upon hitting FG.
 

GalBrew

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When I used to bottle, I would use a bottle filling wand from a bulk priming bottle and you end up with only a thin layer of sediment on the bottom of the bottle (that was after cold crashing though).
 

givemeamash

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have used secondary and also used the fridge and cold crashed. Found the CC to be my preferred method. I only have a bar fridge which fits a fermenter perfectly. Even measured it up the other day and can get 2 Kerry's in side by side. Westinghouse 90 litre all fridge, 40 bucks
 

woodwormm

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+1 fridge for temp control - single best thing I've ever done for my brewing, or was it Starsan? ... nah i think it was temp control.
 

Screwtop

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No one has yet asked what yeast strain?


Call yourself brewers........mumble.....grumble!!!!!!!

Have you been using kit yeast sachets?

Screwy
 

beatbreaker

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Unfortunately for the time being I won't be getting a fridge, it's just not on the cards yet.

My question to everyone is when bottling, does everyone simply put their beer in a primary, then put it in the fridge, and then bottle with the "filling wand"? No syphoning?

Have you been using kit yeast sachets?
Yes, I had a feeling that this might come up. I'm guessing some kind of good yeast purchase is in order. Saying that if I do go ahead then how do I reuse a good yeast if I'm not syphoning off the top? I'm sure every time I use the spigot out of the primary I'm putting half the yeast cake into my bottles.
 

dougsbrew

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you can rack many times, cold crash(lower temp of fermentor), and transfer the clearest beer to your stubbies,
however soon as you add your carb drops/sugar to your stubbies you are going to have a secondry ferment(natural carbing).
yeast cake is unavoidable if making beer this way. some yeasts it is desirable to have it there (including commercially).
your coppers yeast(im assuming) will only be removed from stubbies if your force carb(no secondry ferment(co2 bottle reg chill etc $$$..))
i think using a different yeast is your cheapest option..hopefully youll stick at it and think $85 bucks invested in brewing is money well spent..
 

beatbreaker

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i think using a different yeast is your cheapest option..hopefully youll stick at it and think $85 bucks invested in brewing is money well spent..
You've made a very good point, and sure I'm totally up for trying out different yeasts - though I don't know where to start as the choice is massive! (Liquid, packet, otherwise)?

Also that still dosen't solve the problem of reusing the yeast, if I'm getting the good stuff I'll need to reuse it at least once per batch - should I syphon, or continue using the tap at the bottom of the fermenter?
 

dougsbrew

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use the tap, most of the yeast after ferment is sitting in bottom of fermentor (coopers yeast).
lots of brewers here use us05/1056, which will also sit on bottom of fermentor (below the tap).
i have been pitching straight ontop of us05 yeastcake(second brew) recently with no ill effects,
not that im doing it to save money, just because its easy for me to do so.
there are many methods of getting the most out of yeast - dasffs, try wolfies splitting liquid yeast thread.
from memmory he gets 5 brews out of one pack liquid yeast, however its another process - creating starters.
 

bum

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Suggesting that good practice can't make good beer with (fresh) kit yeast is bad advice.
 

manticle

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Sorry I'm confused. Using liquid yeast rather than kit yeast means less sediment?

Let's backtrack and see what the OP is actually asking.

Yeasty taste + sediment is the issue.

Leave longer in primary, cold condition, fine and rack are the four options that make sense from where I sit. Combinations also work and are preferable and preferential.
 

bum

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Let's backtrack to the comment that disappeared and the comment it referenced...

[EDIT: bizarre OS-related paste issue]
 

manticle

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You mean the one I wrote about addressing the OP rather than the racking comment which I wrote, then re-read the OP and realised I had addressed both the OP and the racking comment, so deleted because it was useless?

Or something else?

It's been a long day.
 

beatbreaker

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Ok this is sounding a little better, I'll follow along with these options:
Leave longer in primary
I can do that, currently I'm leaving in the brew at 3 weeks in primary, then directly out the tap using the bottling wand.
cold condition,
This may come sometime in the future, but not any time soon.
I have no idea what that is, I'm all ears though.
Willing to try this out, I'm looking at something like this syphon and this fermenter
 

bum

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manticle said:
It's been a long day.
Perhaps it has.

Mine was kinda dull but it has been a long night...

Happy to leave it at that (except to say that the yeast type was fairly easily able to be assumed based on the OP and any inferred negative assumptions made about "quality" of yeast used judge an entire school of brewing).

Would like to point out that my previous post was clearly directed at more than one brewer and all of them are better brewers than I - brewers from whom I have learned much.

[EDIT: added quote, fixed typo]
 

manticle

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beatbreaker said:
Ok this is sounding a little better, I'll follow along with these options:
I can do that, currently I'm leaving in the brew at 3 weeks in primary, then directly out the tap using the bottling wand.
This may come sometime in the future, but not any time soon.
I have no idea what that is, I'm all ears though.
Willing to try this out, I'm looking at something like this syphon and this fermenter
Look up fining beer - gelatine, isinglass are also worth lookjng for in relation to beer.

For now though - kepp it simple, Change one thing at a time and see what difference it makes. If that's racking, then rack and don't believe that you will get an automatic infection. Just do it right and at the right time (and avoid splashing)

Fining is also simple so if you go down that route - stick with that and skip racking - just read about what, how, why and when.
 

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