Feeding Yeast During Fermentation in Secondary?

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:


Reaction score
Sydney NSW
Hi Guy's,

I've been a member on here since 2009 and this is my first post! I've taken a very long break from brewing and have just gotten back into it again.
To kick start my entry back into brewing I decided to have a go at a Strong Dark Belgian Ale. Its a bit darker to normal (but thats ok) and according to BeerSmith my IBU's are at about 30-35.
Now, this is not a beer i've typically had a lot of experience brewing, and this is my second attempt already because the first one became infected (i believe by some stupid mistakes from me). So I thought i'd ask first before stuffing another beer.

Normally when I brew after mashing and boiling I transfer the entire wort from the kettle into the fermenter. Hot break and all.
I have done this again this brew.
Some people have said that this is bad because it can impart off flavours (a lot of people say this occurs having the beer sit on it over weeks). I have never really had any issues with it because my beers have generally fermented out quite quickly and have been transferred to a secondary after approximately 1 week) I'm aware that some of the break actually has a lot of nutrients for the yeast too which is why I leave it there.

I made a 1.5L yeast starter using White Labs Trappist 500 yeast.

My OG was 1.072 (about, maybe 1.071)
Currently FG is 1.020 as it has been fermenting for about 4 days and slowed right down, but i'm expecting it to go down some more... Currently 6.69% abv.

My questions are these:

I am unsure if it is necessary but was contemplating increasing the ABV of the beer by increasing the starting gravity to about 1.080 OG by adding 500g of Dextrose (I don't have any malt left) to bring the ABV to about 8-9%. I've heard that feeding the yeast later in the fermentation is best as there are a higher yeast count, and they will give off less esters and make the beer taste cleaner. I was going to do that as outlined in this thread here: http://aussiehomebrewer.com/topic/17119-adding-dextrose-after-primary-has-commenced/?hl=%2Badding+%2Bextra+%2Bfermentables

1. Is it worth it based on my hop bitterness? Would the higher alcohol be ideal or not really worth the effort?
2. If you were to do this, would you add it to the primary fermenter again or would you rack it to a secondary before adding sugar?

I was going to syphon off the beer, boil and dissolve the dextrose into the beer then reinstate that back to the fermenter or secondary without creating any splashes etc.

Reason I ask is that I don't want the beer to sit on the trub/yeast cake for too long and risk imparting any off flavours, SO figure I could rack it off to the secondary which will reduce sediment and get it off the trub, this hopefully won't oxygenate the brew, then once it has finished fermenting that second lot of sugars, I can cold condition that secondary then bulk prime and bottle.

What do you guy's think?


Well-Known Member
Reaction score
Typically for a Belgian I have always racked to a secondary and then injected with 10% of the total grain bill with sugar syrup (made by boiling white sugar with equal parts water - boil more if you want a darker beer, less for lighter) rather than harder to ferment sugars to kick off a secondary fermentation once fermentation slows in the primary.

I think you're on the right track though.

1. Belgian's aren't meant to be overly bitter and are typically pretty high in alcohol.
2. Rack to secondary with your technique of throwing all and sundry from the boil in to the fermenter.

I'm sure there are more experienced brewers with a far more established technique than I.

Latest posts