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Help Me To Improve My Brewing By Using A Secondary For The First Time.

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tigertunes

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Hey guys,

I am homebrewer for about 2 years now, having done about 4 to 6 brews so far and the quality is getting better every single time.

So far I have fermented my brews in the primary and then transferred it straight to bottles with carbonation drops and let it mature/carbonate in the bottle.

I have decided now to reduce the sediment as much as possible, as you can imagine, I get a fair bit of that nasty stuff.

At the moment bottling is still my preferred method, kegging would cost me to many coins to set up and I try not to drink too much too often :)

The plan for my current Stella is to

a) use a secondary fermenter
B) cold crush etc the living hell out of the beer

I have written down some general steps I intend to do this time, maybe someone could comment on my plans

After fermenting is finished:

1) transfer to secondary leave yeast cake behind
2) cold crush for x weeks
4) add polyclar after 1 week into secondary
5) add gelatine 1 week before bottling
6) transfer beer back to first container (cleaned) with x amount of sugar
7) bottle the brew- finished!(?)

Is there a special tool to transfer the beer (twice) to avoid too much contact with oxygen?

How long should the beer rest after it has been mixed again with my (carbonation) sugar?

Thanks for all the help!

Cheers

Oliver
 

Fish13

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I don't rack my beers but i cold crash for a week and then bottle. I find the best way to reduce sediment is to not disturb the yeast cake when going to bottles. Also are kits or grains? If grain are you use whirlfloc or brewbright? If kits then give racking a go.
 

seamad

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Wouldnt bother transferring to a different container for secondary imo. Just drop temp to zero for a week once primary finished. Then add finings if required and transfer to bottling vessel.
 

felten

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I agree with the comments above, you can do all those steps in your primary FV, but you have to be careful not to disturb the yeast cake while racking to the bottling bucket.

Is there a special tool to transfer the beer (twice) to avoid too much contact with oxygen?

How long should the beer rest after it has been mixed again with my (carbonation) sugar?
But anyway, if your primary FV has a tap then you can just use some PVC hose or better yet silicon hose. If you don't have a tap then you can buy a racking cane or an auto siphon and use that to rack. Coil the end of the hose on the bottom of the empty container and keep it under the level of the beer as it fills up, that should help reduce oxygen pickup.

You don't have to rest the beer in the bottling bucket, you should try to bottle ASAP.
 

bum

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4) add polyclar after 1 week into secondary
5) add gelatine 1 week before bottling
I've often seen it suggested that gelatine should be done first then polyclar. I have no science to back this up but (back when such things were discussed here) the more sciencey brewers always said that polyclar is supposed to work better when there is less yeast in suspension.

Personally, I find a careful pour into a jug is the simplest solution if you're worried about the amount of sediment in the bottle. YMMV.
 

tigertunes

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Also are kits or grains?
Kit, but I add hops.


Wouldnt bother transferring to a different container for secondary imo. Just drop temp to zero for a week once primary finished. Then add finings if required and transfer to bottling vessel.
Will do. cheers buddy.


You don't have to rest the beer in the bottling bucket, you should try to bottle ASAP.
Thank you Sir. B)

edit: Is there a difference between a bottling bucket and a normal fementer? Or can I use both?


I've often seen it suggested that gelatine should be done first then polyclar. I have no science to back this up but (back when such things were discussed here) the more sciencey brewers always said that polyclar is supposed to work better when there is less yeast in suspension.
Is there a certain time frame when you put both in, I mean kinda how long needs the gelatine to be in before polyclar gets added?


Personally, I find a careful pour into a jug is the simplest solution if you're worried about the amount of sediment in the bottle. YMMV.
Yeah. I've done that, but I never can get the last bit out without some sediment and a lot of people refuse to touch any beer that has sediment (wife etc). It's a pain having to buy commercial beer for those people...
 

bum

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I never can get the last bit out without some sediment and a lot of people refuse to touch any beer that has sediment (wife etc).
More time in the bottle will harden up the sediment (with many yeasts/recipes) and go some way to getting clearer beer into the glass. Also, if you're bottle conditioning you're going to have to lose the last-drop syndrome or get used to it.

Or, you could do what I do - realise that when someone doesn't want any it means more for you and they can sort themselves out.

[EDIT: improved readability (I hope)]
 

seamad

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A fermenter is fine for bottling, make up a sugar syrup and put that in first then connect hose up to both taps. To avoid oxidation dont splash.

If the wife doesnt like sediment.....a filter and keg is the only way to go :lol:
 

warra48

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Want to improve your brews?

Forget about the so called secondary. You do not need it.

Look at other things first to improve.
 

kario

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I get crystal clear beers with just a cold-crash at 0C for even just a few days.
 

roverfj1200

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What I do is cold crash in the fermenter for a week I then transfer to a 20L plastic jerry with the priming sugar dissolved in 400ml of boiled water by putting a pipe between the taps. I now prime very low as low as 80g per 23L. At this rate of prime the sediment can be mixed in and drunk CPA style.

With in bottle carbonation you can not get away from having sediment so for a clear beer the poor is important.

Cheers
 

Fourstar

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if you are going to cold condition for a fortnight lets say, transferring to secondary and then trasnsferring again after 2 weeks is not doing to do anything for your beer with that short time.

IMO, finish primary fermentation and then cold crash in primary. After your beer is chilled to your set temp, add polyclar and gelatine and leave for the final week.

From there continue as you typically do (transfer to bottling bucket and then bottle). As for a vessel perfect for transferring beer with minimal oxygen pick up, get yourself a keg and CO2. In fact get yourself 4 kegs, then you can do away with bottles. :)
 

Nick JD

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Lately I've been gelatining about 20 minutes before transfering to keg (and it's been at FG for a day or two at ferment temp (12C for Lagers; 20C for ales)) and after force-carbing it takes about 24 hours to become super bright and clear even with stubborn yeasts like US05.

I'm sold on the technique. The secondary benefit is that when I move a fridged keg the sediment in the keg is like concrete and the beer remains super bright.

No waiting, crystal clear beer kegged straight from primary at fermenting temps.
 

freezkat

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The Yank always has to make a comment in support of racking.

I used to go straight from the primary into the bottle and prime the bottle. I had about 3-4mm of sediment in the bottom. I did not cold crash. I just waited till the FG was stable a week. This was K&K

I still go the way of extract but buy un-hopped and mix it up a bit.

I transfer into a glass carboy after a week and wait till I can see the beer is clear.

I use a bottling bucket and batch prime or I pour into a keg and bottle what is left over then bottle prime.

My bottles have about 1.5 to 2mm of sediment now. I have never had an infection racking.

The ability to see the clarity of a beer through glass is worth the work in my opinion
 

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