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Your Thoughts On Racking Please

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jakethesnake559

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Hi fellow brewers, I need some advice...
Brewed this last weekend (recipe may or may not be relevant):

BIAB APA (maxi-BIAB to be more specific, my pot is only 24L and I wanted 20L into fermenter).

4800g Simpsons Ale - Maris Otter
1000g JWM Light Munich
300g Weyermann Carahell
100g JWM Malted Wheat

20g Chinook 60min
20g Cascade 10min
20g Citra (hop tea into fermenter)

Wyeast American Ale 1056

The hop additions are a timed like that because I no-chill into a cube.
It started at 1.058 and has finished at 1.008 in the space of a week at 18c (a bit quicker than I thought).

Anyway, some stuff has come up and I need to head away for 2 weeks from this friday.

Usually, I transfer directly from my primary into the keg and drop the fermenting fridge down to about 6c...wait a couple of weeks then start drinking (sometimes earlier :icon_cheers: ). But I got to thinking about maybe doing something differently this time to improve the beer, given I'm away from home anyway.

I'm interested to hear any suggestions.
Or should I just do what I normally do?

Cheers,
Jake.
 

freezkat

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Hi fellow brewers, I need some advice...
Brewed this last weekend (recipe may or may not be relevant):

BIAB APA (maxi-BIAB to be more specific, my pot is only 24L and I wanted 20L into fermenter).

4800g Simpsons Ale - Maris Otter
1000g JWM Light Munich
300g Weyermann Carahell
100g JWM Malted Wheat

20g Chinook 60min
20g Cascade 10min
20g Citra (hop tea into fermenter)

Wyeast American Ale 1056

The hop additions are a timed like that because I no-chill into a cube.
It started at 1.058 and has finished at 1.008 in the space of a week at 18c (a bit quicker than I thought).

Anyway, some stuff has come up and I need to head away for 2 weeks from this friday.

Usually, I transfer directly from my primary into the keg and drop the fermenting fridge down to about 6c...wait a couple of weeks then start drinking (sometimes earlier :icon_cheers: ). But I got to thinking about maybe doing something differently this time to improve the beer, given I'm away from home anyway.

I'm interested to hear any suggestions.
Or should I just do what I normally do?

Cheers,
Jake.
I rack all the time. I use glass secondaries. I can see when the beer is done fermenting and how clear it is getting. Back when I single staged I had triple the sediment in my bottled beer.

If everything is clean you can leave the beer for a long time in a secondary. If you left it in a keg, all that sediment would be the first thing out of the tap
 

yum beer

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leave it for now and go directly to keg on wed/thurs or even friday depending on what time you have available.

or.... transfer to secondary and leave in fridge till you get back then keg.



no problem either way.
cleaner beer using secondary.
 

Cocko

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Firstly, let me say, what a beautifully crafted post, seriously! Leaves not much to ask/need to know for assessing your situation to reply with an answer.... :icon_cheers:

I can not give a positive view on racking, as I have never done it, but I am sure there is a reason for it... edit [as now mentioned by freezkat]

Have your other beers needed something more? As in, if it ain't broke....

IMO - racking brings an extra step, also an extra stage to risk infection.

I would say, condition in the keg.

2c.
 

jakethesnake559

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Thanks Freezkat, Yum Beer & Cocko...I wish my beer was as well crafted as my post :lol: !!

I generally condition (and sometimes dry hop) in the keg in the interest of simplicity.
No major issues apart from the odd hop debris and a bit of cloudyness.

If I put this one in a carboy for a couple of weeks, sounds like I might be able improve in these areas.
And I've got some time away from it...so I won't be trying to drink it ;) .

What temp should I set the fridge to when I'm away, if it's at 18c, will it help any residual yeast to clean things up?
Or just drop it down to 4c?

Thanks again guys - all valuable info as usual.
Jake.
 

kelbygreen

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I find racking not needed if you are storing it months on end then maybe think about it. I have done a lager 4 weeks to ferment and 5 weeks in primary CC and it was clear as a bell and tasted so damn good (it was K&K) it tasted better then my AG lager I done but I rushed that and kegged after 4 weeks in the fermenter it was well gone in a few weeks. Still very nice just not as crisp and clean as the K&K. Oh prob helped the K&K was bottled so spent 4 weeks in bottle lol.

Make sure its finished off if it is then the yeast should be done cleaning up by friday. Just chill and wait weather its in the fermenter or keg it wont matter, If you keg it at least you could drink it when you come back without force carbing. A brew will clear at 18deg it will just take longer.
 

iralosavic

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If your sanitation procedures are sound, then I'd rack to secondary. I think each to their own, but Im with freezcat - I tend to get lower final sediment when conditioning away from the primary yeast cake and trub. I also use a glass carboy for this. Whether or not I bothered would depend on how long I plan to condition for. I'd usually cold crash in primary for a couple of weeks first, then rack for another couple at least. Mind you, a lot of these processes are fairly redundant with current access to filtration and fining agents - I just dont have a high turn around of beer, so I'm happy relying on good old time and cold. I've never had an infection I might add. Some people may argue it's not worth racking for two weeks and they may be right too. I've never conditioned in secondary before first chilling primary for a couple of weeks, which alone drops a lot of crap out. I'd aim for 0c if possible. Load up with ice or something...
 

steve78

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Couldn't be simpler mate, crash chill the primary to 2 degrees C, and leave for about a week, but at least a few days, then drop into the keg. Polyclar if you want to at least 48 hours before transfer. Doing this gets out a surprising amount of sediment, and at that temp for that period of time, the yeast will not impart any off flavours, and will save you racking the beer off. I do this all the time, and its great, usually for 1-2 weeks. I have also transferred this to a secondary and chilled, and got pretty much f**k all more sediment out, so it definintely works, and is far less labour intensive, just crash chill the fridge and rack whenever you are ready to
 

pk.sax

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I'm with Steve above, cc the fermenter itself to something fairly cold like 1-2C. The yeast will be very inactive and bythe time you return it will have dropped out beautifully.

I could comment in ~ a week as I've left had a keg of hefe and a keg of somewhat cloudy English pale back home that's not been disturbed for two weeks now. I'll have to go check how clear they got.
 

Wolfy

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Usually, I transfer directly from my primary into the keg and drop the fermenting fridge down to about 6c...wait a couple of weeks then start drinking (sometimes earlier :icon_cheers: ). But I got to thinking about maybe doing something differently this time to improve the beer, given I'm away from home anyway.

I'm interested to hear any suggestions.
Or should I just do what I normally do?
Why are you thinking you need to change your usual procedure?

Two weeks away is not going to have any noticeable effect on the yeast - which is often the reason people give for racking their beer.
If it was going to be a month or more then you might consider racking due to yeast-issues, but two weeks is nothing to worry about IMHO.
 

Trippers

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I would rack it to sencondary and store it out of areas that could potentially get warm. Racking it will remove it off the lees and ensure that it doesnt pick up any off flavours from sitting on the yeast cake. In saying that i have left beers in primary for 3 weeks without nay major side affects. Racking it owuld be the safe option. Just minimise splashing and oxygen pick up during the transfer. Ejoy your time away.
 

peaky

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I wouldn't rack the beer. It's only been in the fermenter for a week. It's at 1008 now, if it's still sitting at 1008 on Friday chill the fermenter to 1 degree and leave it for the 2 weeks you are away. When you come back transfer to keg. Too easy.

I used to rack every beer, these days I don't bother, I get less sediment these days due to selecting higher flocculating yeasts and chilling in the primary....
 

Liam_snorkel

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chill & filter it now, you could tuck into the keg by tomorrow and polish it off by friday if you try really hard. ^_^
 

Matt89

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CC now to 1-2C then if you want to make it even more clearer use gelatine 2 days before you keg to attract the yeast out of suspension, although CC will just about do the same anyway

racking is a risk of infection and just another vessel you have to clean/sanitise

it will be perfect by the time you get back keg, carb and drink! :)
 

Nick JD

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Racking is weird.

I can't get the same kind of clarity without getting the beer off the primary yeast cake.
 

Gar

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I'm too lazy to rack beer unless I'm bulk priming to bottle, I'm sure secondary is beneficial to clarity but I just cold crash for 5 or 6 days and then tap-a-draft or bottle the bugger...
 

DUANNE

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no need to rack imo. if you cold condition long enough and dont bang the fermenter around to much before kegging bugger all sediment will make it through. racking to a conditioning carboy will just increase chances of oxidation and infection. the main argument to racking is to avoid autolysis which will take much longer than two weeks. i have a 12% barley wine thats been ccing at -1.5 for six weeks on primary due to not having an empty keg and not drinking fast enough wich is tasting great with no autolysis meaty or brothy vegemite flavours at all. only one example but makes my mind easy into the future with leaving lighter beers ccing without fear.
 

freezkat

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no need to rack imo. if you cold condition long enough and dont bang the fermenter around to much before kegging bugger all sediment will make it through. racking to a conditioning carboy will just increase chances of oxidation and infection. the main argument to racking is to avoid autolysis which will take much longer than two weeks. i have a 12% barley wine thats been ccing at -1.5 for six weeks on primary due to not having an empty keg and not drinking fast enough wich is tasting great with no autolysis meaty or brothy vegemite flavours at all. only one example but makes my mind easy into the future with leaving lighter beers ccing without fear.
only infection I ever got was in the primary trying to reuse yeast that I stored poorly
 

DUANNE

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only infection I ever got was in the primary trying to reuse yeast that I stored poorly

yeah but on the same score every time i secondary now i get a bad infection. i only secodary sour and brett beers though ;)
 

Steve@PMF82

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Yeah i would just be leaving it in primary and cold condition and you will come back to some really nice beer ready to keg or bottle.
 
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