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verynewtohomebrew

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Hello again all

Firstly thanks to all those who helped me out with my previous post "How much is enough"

Now I have another racking related question. When I rack my beer I move it from my primary fermenter to a secondary. At this stage I do not dry hop or make any changes to my wort.

So basically I want to know why I should move the wort. If it is just going to be in another identical container then why move it, the only thing i can think of is that by removing it from the primary I leave behind a fair amount of sediment.

So if anyone can shed some light on the subject that will be much appreciated.

Also can I use office style water dispenser bottles (20L) as a secondary if I rack because I have access to a vast quantity of these and my HBS sells a nice rubber stopper (that fits) for the top with a hole for a airlock too!

Ah the addictive bug of HB has one looking everywhere for anything that may be handy when making some brew!!!

Thanks again guys

Mike B)
 

PostModern

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You got it mostly right as to why to rack. Getting the beer off the yeast cake and sediment and into a second clean vessel means that more sediment can drop out of suspension giving a clearer end product. The beer in the secondary still contains yeast in suspension and this live yeast is still looking for things to eat. If there are dead yeast cells there, the live cells will be tempted to eat them, leading to autolysis which produces some very very off tastes and aromas.

Beer conditions best in bulk. A week in secondary is like 2 weeks in the bottle. Also, it's conditioning without the dead yeast and tastes better.

I see no reason why you couldn't age the brews in water bottles. You would want to leave them somewhere dark tho, to prevent light-strike. Just make 100% sure that they're sterile.
 

verynewtohomebrew

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Yeah the light was one of my concerns as well as the fact there not going to be easy to clean solid gunk off them as they only have a relativly small openeing but i suppose people use carboys and they have a small 'mouth' so there must be a bottle brush or somehting made to clean them.

as far as light goes i could paint the out side black or as you say put in the dark somewhere

so i will continue to rack my beer as my results so far have been really good

I wonder what primary fermentation would look like in a clear fermenter!!!!

Might be worth a try so I can watch it

:D
 

RegBadgery

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Racking to secondary and leaving all the bit's of spent hops and gumpf (can be lots of gumpf if you brew from grain) from the primary leaves a nice clean layer of yeast at the bottom of secondary - good for a direct pitch when next you brew (if you get the timing right).

cheers
reg
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Except where the beer temp is way north of 20C, leave your beer in the primary for two weeks. I got this straight from Dr Chris White of White Labs. During the second week, a lot of yeast drops out, the yeast cake is cleaning your beer of diacetyl and the like and unwanted volatiles can come out of the beer and permeate out to the atmosphere.

Then, preferably, rack to a secondary where the headspace is minimal, to avoid oxidation, and place the secondary in a nice cold fridge, 0.5C is perfect, for at least two weeks.

There is a variation of this: dropping

On about day two of the ferment, rack the fermenting wort into a new primary, preferably with some aeration (splashing) to get the yeast to become more active. A lot of trub, hob debris and cold break is thus left behind. i used to do this regularly, and will begin doing this again next year.

Racking is definitely WITHOUT aeration!






Oh, and to get the 20L water bottles clean, that brewers friend BLEACH will be invaluable. Buy a 2L bottle of unscented White King and hide it in your brewery.









Jovial Monk
 

RegBadgery

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I tried a bit of dropping recently and I found it fascinating to see a lovely new clean creamy yeast head form on the 'dropped' wort. Yes, I thought - it really does work - (and with a grain brew, you get to leave a lot of gumpf behind early in the brewing cycle).

cheers
reg
 

Wozza

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Whoa, two contradictory opinions here from a couple of the experts.

Post Modern reckons rack into secondary to prevent problems re autolysis and Jovial reckons that 2 weeks in primary is okey dokey, backed up by White Labs.

I must admit I've always done the first and it's the first time that I've seen the latter suggested. Any further opinions on this?

Verynewtohomebrew (you gotta get a shorter handle, mate) - you must be keen. I just noticed that your post 21st BD post (?) was two in the morning. I also tried using one of those water containers for a secondary, but you're right, it was a real bastard to get clean. I had to fill the thing up with 25L of cleaner and soak it for a day or so and there was still gunk in there. Went in the too hard basket and I threw it out.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Autolysis hns where there is a lot of yeast and a lot of yeast

Not much heat in winter. . .so 2 week secondary is OK
Small beers (under OG 1040) just bottle from primary

Bigger beers, cold condition




Jovial Monk
 

PostModern

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Wozza said:
Post Modern reckons rack into secondary to prevent problems re autolysis and Jovial reckons that 2 weeks in primary is okey dokey, backed up by White Labs.
I don't hold myself up to be an expert :)

In any case, I've had beers in primary longer than 2 weeks with no problems.

However, I have a brew in primary now that's been there 10 days and my "brewer's nerve" is twitching... must rack, must rack, must rack....

I've only ever encountered the veiled evil of autolysis once... that was a lager racked too early and left too warm and too long in secondary... Vegemite anyone?
 

verynewtohomebrew

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Well I will continue to rack my beer my last one was done when the primary ferment had stopped at around 1.006 but this time ive racked a little earlier 1.009 as I was a little worried about my beer sitting around with minimal co2 on top so I racked a little earlier so that a little co2 would build up on top. I am using a camping stlye water container that holds 20L so it has minimial head space as well.

I have left my wort in primary for 2 weeks (i got sent away for a days work turned out to 2 weeks) and bottled when i got home suprisingly the beer was clearish and very nice but it didnt hold up well in bottles started getting a smokey taste, but im told that could be an infection problem.

Wozza yes a name change is a must as now im only relativlynewtohomebrew!!!!! B)
 

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