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Racking

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GMK

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Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone else out there does/tries the following after Racking:

Tasting the wort after it has been Racked.
Dry hoping into the secondary after racking.
Adding any Gypsum, lactose to the secondary.

Food for thought.
 

bL@De

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Dry hoping I have read a little about and have been contemplating whether to give it a shot.

As for tasting the wort, I generally try it when I rack it or once it has finished fermentation, generally very bitter but you can tell from there whether you are wasting your time bottling. As yet I haven't had any infections so I've been lucky, then again I wouldn't know what to taste for if it were off.
 

Doc

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I've only recently started tasting the goods when racking to secondary and kegging.
I must admit I now look forward to trying the beer before it is finished.

Doc
 

RegBadgery

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I like tasting the brew during fermentation. I take samples for hydrometer readings so it's a good opportunity to taste how things are going. After taking the reading I have a taste and sometimes put the rest of sample in the fridge.

I've not added gypsum or lactose to the secondary. What's your intent in making these additions?

cheers
reg
 

GMK

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Adding Gypsum (Calcium Carbonate) is used to soften the water.
This takes the edge of the bitterness and malt profile if it is too Hoppy or too malt. Excellent in Lagers.
For example - Pilsner Urquell has one the highest IBU's (International Bittering Units) of any commercial beer, but as the water (makes up 95% of your beer) is extremely soft, the IBU's dont taste in your face.

Adding Chalk ( Calcium Sulphate) is used to harden the water.
This aids in accentuating the malt and hop profile of your beer. Especially good for IPA's, Dark ales & Stouts.

Lactose is used to sweeten it.
I add this sometimes to try and balance the beer taste.

Dry Hopping:
All my beers are dry hopped with pellets. Generaaly Cascade and sometimes Kent Goldings.

My method is as follows-
Place Handfull of hops into a stainless steel mug. Pour boiling water over hops to fill up mug.
Leave for 1 min. Stir hops around and add to Secondary.
I usually rack for two weeks, trying the wort after a week to see how it is going and whether it needs anything else. :chug:
 

RegBadgery

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Wondering why you add boiling water to the hops before adding them to the secondary. I've dry hopped many times by adding directly to the wort.

cheers
reg
 

RegBadgery

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Also - I would have thought that if you're going to add gypsum, you'd add it to the primary rather than the secondary. Have you noticed different results through adding to secondary rather than primary?

cheers
reg
 

GMK

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I add boiling water to the Hops to allow the Hop oil and alpha compounds to be released.
Then pitch it into the wort.

I do add some Calcium in the boil, again helps with hop extraction.

By adding into the secondary, the beer has finished Primary fermentation and all the crap is left behind.
This allows me to get a better taste of what the final beer will be like.

I currently have a somewhat overhopped double batch of Munich Helles that has been racked for the past two weeks.
I am going to rack it again this weekend and add some more Gypsum 25gms and Lactose approx 150gms to taste.
I will then let it settle for another week. I will taste the wort next Tuesday to see if it still needs something.

Hope this helps.
 

SIMO

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All i can say is that any salts should be added in the mash to get maximum effect. (this is where salts do all their work) Adjusting ph,hardness etc thus effecting the way the malt/hops balance in the finished beer. Sodium chloride is more soluble than calcium salts for water softning after the mash.
If you have to add them later then you should have a good look at the recipe and compensate the ibu's and water chemistry then.
Start with the water you want and the recipe you know will give the specs you want for the beer.

http://www.beertools.com is a good recipe calculator.

I somtimes dry hop in a weighted hop bag (i chuck em in dry) this gives a different taste than the add to boiling water approach. MSB's IPA is a good example of dry hopping with Fuggles to a maturing beer.

Hop bags help to not get hop particles/hazes in the finished beer especially with pellet hops.

I taste/smell/hold up to light in glass my beer more than i use the hydrometer.
This is like the wine technique and it works really well for knowing when to bottle.
When it tastes/smells/looks right, thats the time to bottle.

Cheers those are my thoughts

SiMo

:rolleyes:
 

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