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Racking Your Brew

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Rod

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I have been racking my brew for about two years

Just recently I read that raking your brew was detrimental to head

I cannot find where I read about it not being good for

I like to rack as I get a cleaner brew but recently was critical of a few batches

I had been adding chocolate grain in varying amounts

one was a low alcohol brew

can coopers , 400g chocolate grains , ( needed a fair bit of aging and still not good )

low alcohol using brewmate calculations

forgive me if I have muddied the water with the low alcohol brew 9 probably not related to racking question

leave it in , kill two birds with one stone
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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If you're racking for clarity, I would suggest cold conditioning to be the better option, along with some gelatin (google search AHB and you'll find all the answers you need).

Also, I'm sure that if you aren't happy with the choco-grain recipe, then there's many that can help you with another recipe that's either a proven kit recipe, or a kit version of a proven AG recipe, to help out.

It might be the style of beer isn't to your taste.

Goomba
 

SaintRoam

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If you're racking for clarity, I would suggest cold conditioning to be the better option, along with some gelatin (google search AHB and you'll find all the answers you need).

Also, I'm sure that if you aren't happy with the choco-grain recipe, then there's many that can help you with another recipe that's either a proven kit recipe, or a kit version of a proven AG recipe, to help out.

It might be the style of beer isn't to your taste.

Goomba
Again, being new to this and just learning the term "racking" im looking at transfer into a second carboy (for clarity I guess more than anything) My Auzzie ale is coming up to being 2 weeks in fermentation this Sunday, Should I transfer it now so it has time to settle before bottling Sunday night? Or should I do it prior to bottling? I'm aware you have to transfer this without getting oxygen or crap into it. Should be okay.
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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What you've written is correct, but I have to ask- do you have temperature control?

If you live like me in SEQ (or anywhere in Qld), you are going to need it, just to get adequate tasting beer for about 9 months of the year. Winter ambient temps are fantastic for brewing, but too short lived.

Most experienced (and even less experienced) brewers do so, using an old freezer (or fridge) acquiring cheaply or freely, along with a temperature controller (such as this).

This has two uses:

1. You can set it to the ideal temp range of your yeast (generally 16-21 deg for ale, 8-12 for lager), and it turns the fridge/freezer on and off to maintain the correct temp of the brew (don't forget - fermenting beer emits heat, so having it, even when ambient temps are about right, is always helpful).

2. You can cold condition. This means dropping the temp of the fermented wort to 2-4 degrees C, which has the effect of dropping out the yeast. It is easier than racking (once you get the above equipment), and gives less opportunity for infection/aeration to kick in.

Another method to get clear beer, is once the beer is down to that temp, using gelatin (do a google search on the site, there is a howto guide somewhere). This clumps the tinier bits of yeast together and drops it out.

Yes, if you get your beer down to 2-4 degrees, you can still bottle. You'll just need to allow the bottles to come up to the ferment temp again, before they will start the carbonating process. For my bottles, I use the temp controller in summer, as I find the 30 degree ambient temps introduce some nasty flavours when they bottle condition.

And yes, there is still enough yeast to carbonate and do its thang.

Goomba
 

warra48

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Why bother racking or transferring to another container? I never do, and have no issues with hazy beer.

Just let fermentation complete, and cold condition your beer for about a week or two, then bottle or keg from primary.
If that doesn't clear your beer, look for solutions elsewhere in your process.
 

manticle

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No real need to rack unless you want to age your beer for a while but I'm scratching my head to work why anyone would think it would affect the foam in the finished beer.

I used to rack everything to secondary and now just rack to bulk prime after CC- clear beer, head's OK.

Don't rack unless you have a really good reason to do so.
 

Rod

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No real need to rack unless you want to age your beer for a while but I'm scratching my head to work why anyone would think it would affect the foam in the finished beer.

I used to rack everything to secondary and now just rack to bulk prime after CC- clear beer, head's OK.

Don't rack unless you have a really good reason to do so.
I age my brew for 4 to 6 months depending on style , stouts at least 6 ( make in Nov and drink in winter )

Your words are similar - don't rack unless you have a good reason to do so ????

I am racking (sic) my brain to remember where i read it

I did not see how it would effect the foam , as you say

maybe just an old brewer moment
 

SaintRoam

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Good call. Not really keen to do the extra work, would rather have the second keg brewing more beer anyways :D
 

manticle

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@Rod:

Yeah but do you age in bulk (ie in the fermenter) or in the bottles?

I mean if you age in bulk.

No effect on head retention to the best of my knowledge or experience.

I say don't rack because there are other ways of getting clear beer that are easier, less messy and less risk to the brew (oxidation, infection etc). Don't get me wrong - I think these risks are sometimes overstated and you can rack, problem free if you use caution and are sanitary but having done it for a while, I'm of the opinion that the risks outweigh the benefits.

Having said that, I do still rack to bulk prime which does leave some sediment behind but clarity in my beers comes from cold, gravity, time and yeast selection.
 

Rod

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@Rod:

Yeah but do you age in bulk (ie in the fermenter) or in the bottles?

I mean if you age in bulk.
I age in bottles @ 20C or more in closed garage , only place I have
 

Rod

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:D

found my reference after some quiet time sitting in the sun reading

Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John J Palmer

Chapter 4 Brewing these recipes p42

quote -

In general , we recommend a single-vessel fermentation for a minimum
of 1 week , and not more than 4 weeks, before packaging.
Racking to a secondary fermenter is not recommended except for beers requiring a
long maturation , such as lagers or beers requiring a second fermentation ,such as sour ales
and fruit beers.


no mention of head

shows a second read of important chapters is worthwhile

I bulk prime so I think I will be happy with that and omit racking part way though fermentation
 

khendrickson

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I will weigh in. I definitely agree with manticle for the most part. I only rack things that I am going to leave in the frementor long periods of time. The winter lagers that I make spend 4-6 weeks in a secondary. However, all the porters and ales I make, almost never go into a secondary, just a bulk prime bucket then into bottles. I try to stay away from secondaries cause I have lost to many to infection. If you are going into a secondary, a suggestion is to fill the next carboy with CO2 before you start.
 

jimmythehuman

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What type of container do you use to rack for bulk priming? Another fermenter with a tap, or an open bucket and use a siphon to bottle?
 

manticle

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From blue willow jerry cube with tap through silicon hose to drum fermenter with tap, through silicon hose & butterfly valve to bottles
 
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