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Grumpy's Brewhaus Racking Advise

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SJW

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I know we keep going over this guy's but i just saw this on the Grumpy's site and it seems goes against what i thought was the go:


Here at the Brewhaus we rack each beer as soon as fermentation is complete (at final gravity) to:
Rouse the beer & ensure a thorough fermentation
Produce a cleaner, clearer beer
Reduce the risk of autolysis


I thought it was better to rack just after the Krausen has fallen in or at about 3/4 ferment.
I just racked my Coopers Sparkling Ale after day 3 @ 1018 from an OG of 1052 and its still bubbling away. I don't understand why waiting till 100% fermentation to rack can be a better solution?
What do u guy's think :blink:
 

Gough

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Personally I wait till fermentation has finished or is near as dammit to finished before racking. I've only had one stuck ferment in my brewing 'career' and it was when I tried racking at half gravity... :angry:

Each to their own I guess. :)

Shawn.
 

johnno

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Yeah, I cant see the point in racking till the ferment has finished either.
I always wit till its finished and then some before I rack to secondary.
\cheers
 

Hoops

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I rack after about a week-10 days when the majority of fermentation is complete when the layer of yeast has formed at the bottom
 

Murray

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SJW said:
I know we keep going over this guy's but i just saw this on the Grumpy's site and i goes against a lot of what we all do on this site:


Here at the Brewhaus we rack each beer as soon as fermentation is complete (at final gravity) to:
Rouse the beer & ensure a thorough fermentation
Produce a cleaner, clearer beer
Reduce the risk of autolysis


I thought it was better to rack just after the Krausen has fallen in or at about 3/4 ferment.
I just racked my Coopers Sparkling Ale after day 3 @ 1018 from an OG of 1052 and its still bubbling away. I don't understand why waiting till 100% fermentation to rack can be a better solution?
What do u guy's think :blink:
Out of curiosity's sake, what is the reasoning for racking before the finish of fermentation?
 

Justin

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Same as the others here. I don't move the brew until it's finished, otherwise you risk getting a stuck ferment and by racking at half gravity you are loosing the benefit of racking anyway, which is to get the beer off the big yeast cake and end up with a clearer beer. Racking at half grav means your going to have a big yeast cake in the secondary anyway. Wait till it's done, then the yeast will be starting to drop out of suspension, then transfer into a second fermenter and CC it. This gives a smaller yeast cacke in the second fermenter and less chance of autolysis (never had it) and a clear beer.
 

SteveSA

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Gough Posted on Apr 23 2004, 10:57 AM
Personally I wait till fermentation has finished or is near as dammit to finished before racking. I've only had one stuck ferment in my brewing 'career' and it was when I tried racking at half gravity...
Exactly the same here Shawn...

Only one stuck ferment - using a Kolsch yeast that stuck twice in the same ferment. :angry: Very frustrating. Now I wait til the end of the ferment.

Steve
 

THE DRUNK ARAB

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Grumpy's originally recommended racking at day 3. They have revised their outlook to rack beer at end of fermentation.

C&B
TDA
 

SJW

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Well, i need to bring this up with the bloke at my local HBS.Who insist's on racking at 3/4 ferm.
I found this on another forum that seems to support 3/4 or so racking:

RACK.jpg
 

wardy

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Twice i have racked before fermentation finished, and both times i had stuck ferments. They got going after a couple of days with a bit more heat, but their SG never came as low as i wented. Consequently they were very syrupy for around 3 months, after that they became drinkable. I definately agree with Justin. If you are going to condition for a couple of weeks in Secondary, you want as little yeast cake as possible... therefore rack at the end of ferment to dispense of most of the larger part of the yeast cake. I definately think conditioning in secondary has a greater influence over the character of the beer than bottle conditioning alone.
 

RobW

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Like a lot of these things you do what works for you. Racking at 3/4 ferment obviously works for your hbs guy but a lot of brewers had stuck ferments when Grumpys originally said to do it at 3 days/half gravity. They revised their recommendation & I think you'll find most people now leave it until fermentation finishes to rack.
 

Murray

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That graph only holds true if you want to minimise the amount of sedimented yeast in contact with the beer. There are benefits to leaving the beer standing on the yeast cake after fermentation however, as off-flavours from fermentation by-products are cleaned up by the yeast.

Also the graph doesn't deal with the risk of stuck fermentation that seems to be the biggest problem by concensus.
 

SJW

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I know i'm asking for a smack in the chops but,
I just rang my HBS i was told that the idea of racking at 3/4 was to expell the dormant yeast and leave the good yeast in suspension to continue making alcohol.
Then i asked about the stuck fermentation side of things, and he could not understand why you would get a stuck ferment if you was only removing the dormant yeast off the bottom (yeast cake), the active yeast in suspension doing the work would still be there after racking so there is no reason for it to get "STUCK".
He also said that a lot of people think it is stuck as there is often no or very little airlock activity. I asked him to explain this and was told that by this stage of fermentation a large part of airlock activity is from c02 in the wort that is greatly reduced during the racking process, thus no or little airlock activity after racking but she will keep on fermenting.
So f*%$@d if i know.
I guess everyone has there own way of doing things. But next time i will wait for 100% and see how that goes. But my Sparkling Ale is still bubbling the airlock 24 hours after racking at day 3. So i guess i got lucky ?????????
So i guess i could ask what advantage is there in racking at 100% ferm? you may as well bottle or CC.
Until i get a stuck ferment i will maintain that you rack at 3/4 to get the wort off the dormant yeast and let the active yeast finish there job without the risk of off flavours or autolysis.
 

Murray

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SJW said:
I know i'm asking for a smack in the chops but,
I just rang my HBS i was told that the idea of racking at 3/4 was to expell the dormant yeast and leave the good yeast in suspension to continue making alcohol.
Then i asked about the stuck fermentation side of things, and he could not understand why you would get a stuck ferment if you was only removing the dormant yeast off the bottom (yeast cake), the active yeast in suspension doing the work would still be there after racking so there is no reason for it to get "STUCK".
He also said that a lot of people think it is stuck as there is often no or very little airlock activity. I asked him to explain this and was told that by this stage of fermentation a large part of airlock activity is from c02 in the wort that is greatly reduced during the racking process, thus no or little airlock activity after racking but she will keep on fermenting.
So f*%$@d if i know.
I guess everyone has there own way of doing things. But next time i will wait for 100% and see how that goes. But my Sparkling Ale is still bubbling the airlock 24 hours after racking at day 3. So i guess i got lucky ?????????
No-one is going to smack you around for stating your opinion.

A couple of points -

Most people here are experienced enough to know not to rely on airlock activity as a guide to fermentation. People identify their stuck ferments by the finishing gravity.

I'm unsure of the science of stuck ferments, all I know is that there seems to be a correlation between racking early and stuck ferments as evidenced by people's statements on this and other boards. This isn't to say that early racking will result in stuck ferments. The two times I tried racking at half gravity I had no problems with fermentation finishing. Racking after two weeks in the primary gave me better flavour and clarity however.

I did have an idea on the cause of stuck ferments though. I have noticed that there is an equilibrium between yeast sedimentation and yeast re-entering suspension from observing starters. This equilibrium is influenced by factors such as temperature, fermentables, yeast concentration, oxygenation, movement (obviously) and head pressure. Now, removing the yeast cake by racking will likely shift the equilibrium to replace a yeast bed from the yeast left in suspension, therefore dramatically decreasing the conentration of yeast in suspension. Just a thought.
 

deebee

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FWII:

It doesn't take long to pick out the members of this forum who know what they're doing. I would trust their voices (even if they say slightly different things) long before I would trust homebrew shop advice.

No offence to homebrew shop owners on this forum who, by and large, obviously know their stuff.
 

Boots

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I rack at the end of fermentation (or very close to) for a number of reasons:

1 - Unless you ferment at 30Degrees, 7odd days on a yeast cake isn't going to do much (if anything) to a beer. From what I hear Autolysis wouldn't ordinarily start causing off flavours for at least a few weeks (I'm sure everyone has left a beer in primary for two weeks with no ill effects)

2 - I don't want to waste beer (or effort) taking multiple SG readings during the fermentation. I wait till the bubbles stop, leave it a day or two, and rack it.

3 - After fermentation is complete, there would still be enough Co2 in solution, which would come out of soultion on racking, to provide *some* protection from the air in the fermenter head space.

Having said that though, as others have said. Try each way a few times, and do what you think is best. There's no rules B)
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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I drop my ales at day 1, i.e. let the ale run out of one fermenter into another with some splashing aerating. According to Dr Cone of Lallemand that (second) aeration 14-18 hours after pitching will allow the yeast cells to repair their cell walls cratered by budding. Also, a lot of crud is left behind, resulting in a cleaner beer.

I then leave the beer in the fermenter for two weeks. According to Dr Chris White of White Labs this gives the yeast time to drop, the yeast cake to clean your beer of DMS, diacetyl etc. A small beer, like an OG 1037 second runnings ale I will bottle straight out of primary after 2 to 4 weeks, bigger beers are then racked to a cube for cold conditioning.

For summer brewing yes I would rack at day 3 with some aeration to get the beer of the yeast cake, but then again I do not brew in summer

Jovial Monk
 

SJW

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I do think that we are all talking about the same thing to certain degree wheather we rack at 3/4 or "very close to" .
I did a quick search on the net on "HOMEBREW RACKING TIMES" and there seams to be a hell of a lot of info leaning towards the original info Grumpy's had using the 3/4 method. ie. from the PALMER HOUSE BREWERY site

As the primary phase winds down, a majority of the yeast start settling out and the krausen starts to subside. If you are going to transfer the beer off of the trub and primary yeast cake, this is the proper time to do so. Take care to avoid aerating the beer during the transfer. At this point in the fermentation process, any exposure to oxygen will only contribute to staling reactions in the beer, or worse, expose it to contamination


I think Jovial Monk has covered all bases here. And it just goes to show that everyone has there own way of doing things and most of the time we all end up with a good load of booze.
 

AndrewQLD

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Hi SJW,

I think that what your HBS said is true to a certain point.

>>I just rang my HBS i was told that the idea of racking at 3/4 was to expell the dormant yeast and leave the good yeast in suspension to continue making alcohol.>>

However don't forget that some strains of yeast are HIGHLY Flocculant, in other words "they clump together and drop out of suspension very early in the ferment".
This does not mean they are dormant, just that they have settled to the bottom. If you racked too early you would be removing the beer from a large amount of yeast that is still active.

Racking into secondary is usually used to condition the beer, so that it is not sitting on a large yeast cake which if left for an extended period will create off flavours due to yeast autolosys.

Don't sweat the issue, try both methods and see what you prefer, and stick to that.

I rack after 100% fermentation, or as close as I can get to my final gravity, and I do this only so I don't have to stress about a stuck ferment.

Regards Andrew
 

Hopeye

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The only time I racked after 3 days was to get the yeast going again (stuck ferment ??)(airlock bubbled for 1 day then stopped, I took SG and then again after 24 hours and SG was the same.... 1.030 - OG was 1.052). After I racked it took off like a rocket and finished with a FG 1.004.
 
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