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fletcher

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Hi guys,
Just had a few questions about racking (secondary fermenting).
Firstly, are they the same thing?
Secondly, due to space and sizing limitations, I have one Coopers fv and a smaller thin fv that fits into my bar fridge. If I do a secondary fermentation - can I put it in the larger one, quickly clean the smaller one, and put it back in the latter again? How is this done without splashing the crap out of the beer?
Is it just to get the beer off of the yeast cake to prevent off flavours? Is it always needed?
Thanks
 

Helles

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I havent Racked a beer for about 4-5 years
havent had a problem
 

mikeybycrikey

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From what I understand it's not something you ever need to do except if you're brewing a fruit beer. The yeast won't give you off flavours unless you leave it on there for a couple months I think. Plus the more you move the beer around from vessel to vessel the more likely you are to pick up an infection
 

kelbygreen

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never racked never will, Had beer in a fermenter for 7weeks and it was the best lager I have ever made, it also was a K&K although I only done 1 AG lager.
 

jakethesnake559

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link

Check out the link above and you will find heaps of opinions on racking.

Personally, I don't rack my beers.

I brew ales so the beer is off the yeast and into the keg within a few weeks.
If you are concerned about autolysis, you probably won't have an issue unless you are leaving it in the primary for months (lagering).
If you are concerned about clarity, try dropping the temp after primary fermentation has completed.
Leaving it for a week at 3 or 4C will cause the yeast to drop out and give you a clearer beer into the bottle.

Cheers,
Jake.
 

fletcher

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Cheers guys. I'm lagering, but I'll try without first and see how I go
 

kelbygreen

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done I lagered my beer for 5 weeks at 3deg with no ill effect in fact it tasted so much better. months on the cake maybe but I cant see anyone leaving it 3 months. I think I remember some one left beer on the yeast 6 months + as a experiment and had a tiny bit of burnt rubber taste but said it was heaps faint
 

QldKev

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I used to rack to secondary, not anymore. I've never picked up any issues from the yeast cake. I think it is only if you either leave it there for many months, or allow the temps to get too hot (even after the main ferment is over).

QldKev
 

warra48

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I never rack ales, don't see any good reason for doing so.

I brew very few lagers, but the last one I did fermented for 3 weeks at 10C, then was dropped to 2C for another 7 weeks, then bottled straight from primary. It was very very clear, clean, and with no off taste at all.

Save yourself the bother. My view is the same as kelbygreen and QldKev.
 

wbosher

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What about bottling (not kegging)? Do you bulk prime in another vessel, or just bottle straight from the primary FV?

I've heard the bulk prime option is a lot easier, but does introduce another risk of infection.
 

Yob

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What about bottling (not kegging)? Do you bulk prime in another vessel, or just bottle straight from the primary FV?

I've heard the bulk prime option is a lot easier, but does introduce another risk of infection.
usually to another vessel as you dont want to stir up the cake in the primary.

Generally the rule of thumb is to be racking for a reason, whatever it may be... bulk priming is a good one.
 
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Hi guys,
Just had a few questions about racking (secondary fermenting).
Firstly, are they the same thing?
Secondly, due to space and sizing limitations, I have one Coopers fv and a smaller thin fv that fits into my bar fridge. If I do a secondary fermentation - can I put it in the larger one, quickly clean the smaller one, and put it back in the latter again? How is this done without splashing the crap out of the beer?
Is it just to get the beer off of the yeast cake to prevent off flavours? Is it always needed?
Thanks


Hi,

My understanding is that "racking" simply means transferring the beer from the primary fermenter into the secondary fermenter. This is something I do because my primary is taller than my secondary and simply won't fit into my fridge, when I need to chill it.

I don't think there is any such thing as "secondary fermenting" in the context you mean.
Whenever you transfer from one to the other you run the risk of contamination, so the more times you do it the more likely it will happen.
"Splashing" will cause your beer to oxidise. Something you don't want.

To prevent this, ensure your siphon hose is long enough to reach the bottom of the container you are transferring into, so no splashing, also something I always do is give a blast of CO2 into the bottom of my empty container before racking, this will create a protective layer of CO2, so less likelihood of oxidising.
I like to get my beer out of the primary just before it has finished fermenting so that it finishes in the secondary. Personal preference.
 

Nick JD

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I rack to secondary all the time so I can collect the yeast for reuse. Then gelatine and polyclar the secondary vessel which allows me to open the tap to rack to the keg and pour clear beer after force carbonating. 4 days after FG and I'm drinking clear beer.

Can't manage to do this from primary - too much trub slurps into the keg (or blocks the filter if I'm in a real hurry).
 

fletcher

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Ah yeah, I can see what you mean for saving and re-using the yeast. Can you literally just add your new wort straight to the yeast cake?
 

Nick JD

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Ah yeah, I can see what you mean for saving and re-using the yeast. Can you literally just add your new wort strait to the yeast cake?
That would be a massive overpitch (with resulting lack of yeast flavours and probable krausen monster). Many of the good flavours in beer are made when the yeast is breeding up.

I store the yeast in a 300ml PET bottle in the fridge - it's good for a few weeks, so I can brew another couple of different batches in between.

The only time I pitch onto the whole yeast cake is for beers above 1.080 where the previous batch has been < 1.045
 

fletcher

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I'm sure I can find out how to do that; I'd be keen on re-using yeast if possible. I'll have a look for posts though, I'm sure they're here, or if you know, could you please link me one? Cheers Nick! :)
 

fletcher

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Gentleman and a scholar. Thanks mate
 

Mike L'Itorus

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Hi,

My understanding is that "racking" simply means transferring the beer from the primary fermenter into the secondary fermenter. This is something I do because my primary is taller than my secondary and simply won't fit into my fridge, when I need to chill it.

I don't think there is any such thing as "secondary fermenting" in the context you mean.
Whenever you transfer from one to the other you run the risk of contamination, so the more times you do it the more likely it will happen.
"Splashing" will cause your beer to oxidise. Something you don't want.

To prevent this, ensure your siphon hose is long enough to reach the bottom of the container you are transferring into, so no splashing, also something I always do is give a blast of CO2 into the bottom of my empty container before racking, this will create a protective layer of CO2, so less likelihood of oxidising.
I like to get my beer out of the primary just before it has finished fermenting so that it finishes in the secondary. Personal preference.
Briggs, Boulton, Brookes and Stevens would disagree with you on this. Which is why they dedicated a section in chapter 15 ("Beer Maturation and Treatments") to "Principles of Secondary Fermentation" (15.2.1) in their book, Brewing Science and Practice.
 

Bribie G

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I'm with Nick JD on this, whilst racking is not strictly necessary, I rack for three reasons:

  • get the beer off the yeast cake so I can save some yeast
  • do things to the beer (lager, gelatine, polyclar whatever)
  • thus end up with as much clear beer into the keg as possible

I would rather transfer almost bright beer into the keg and find that this is difficult when transferring out of primary. This wasn't such a priority in my bottling days as the first few bottles would be turbid, but then it would start running clear. After bottle conditioning and settling, with careful pouring it was possible to get clear beer into the jug.

However with kegging straight out of primary it's difficult to avoid serving several pints of cloudy beer until it starts running clear. In an 18/19 L volume that's unacceptable IMHO and would equate to throwing away several kegs over the course of a year.
 

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