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Two-stage Fermentations

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Rubes

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Hi all

First post to this forum and all...... Great site!

In kingoftheHarpies airlocked post he mentions the necessity to rack to avoid off flavours from the trub. He indicates that days on the trub will make a big difference to off flavours etc. I generally have been leaving an ale for about 2 weeks on the trub (including the initial fermentation period) and a lager for about 3. This didn't strike me as an overly long time and I thought that the huge numbers of yeast would do wonders for clearing up my initial fermentation by-products. Having said that I haven't been 100% happy with my results and always seem to get a big yeast bite.

From Palmer's online how-to-brew book it seems that you would rack after 3/4 fermentation so I would guess roughly 3 - 4 days for an ale and 5 or 6 for a lager - or around 1018 for a 1044 type standard beer. Once racked he recommends that at least 2 weeks in the secondary would be a minimum. Is this what most folks recommend? Anything more concrete? Does it make that much difference?
 

SJW

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This has be a hot topic on this site of late. For me anyway. I just racked a Stout at 1020 , OG 1040, after 3 days, and found i was stuck with a stuck ferment, i have got it down to 1014 now but i did not need the drama. From now on i am going to split the diff. and let em ferment out for a week or so then rack. I cant see how a week on the yeast cake is going to hurt any.
I will be interested to see what the BEER GODS say about this one.
 

SJW

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And congrat's on your first post, may you have many more.
 

Doc

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In my kit days the advise from my lhbs was to rack at the end of primary fermentation then make up a small solution with finings and three tspns of sugar and add that to the secondary.
The finings to clear the beer and the sugar to give it a little kick to fill the fermenter with CO2. Then leave for a minimum of three days.

These days I rack to secondary after 7-10 days. Not really dependant on where the brew is at, but is when I get some time in that period. This generally works out to around 80% through fermentation anyway. Haven't had any problems.

Beers,
Doc
 

wedge

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i usually rack after a week regardless where the fermentation is at. Then another week in secondary, carefully watched. Then CC for 3- 4 weeks.
 

wee stu

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Doc said:
These days I rack to secondary after 7-10 days. Not really dependant on where the brew is at, but is when I get some time in that period. This generally works out to around 80% through fermentation anyway. Haven't had any problems.
That pretty much describes me too, Doc.

The latest brew, though, suffered over Easter. In-Laws visiting from interstate pumped up the social calendar and the brewing schedule got busted.

A brown ale that was tasting good at day five, eventually got racked at day 15, and was not tasting so great by then. It's in CC now, but my hopes for it are not great, first brew I've really suspected the dreaded vegemite in :( We went away for part of Easter too and it was left to its own devices, temp shot up then too.

Ah well, the garden might like it.
 
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