Poll - Who Racks off Beer to a Second FV

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Do you rack off your fermented beer to a second FV for few days before packaging?

  • Never

    Votes: 69 75.8%
  • Sometimes

    Votes: 15 16.5%
  • Always

    Votes: 7 7.7%

  • Total voters
    91
  • Poll closed .

terrym

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I wondered how many other brewers on here rack off their beer to a second FV for a few days before they eventually package for whatever reason (but most likely to help get clearer beer into bottles or kegs). Note this is not the same as transfer to a bottling bucket

I used to do it on most beers but increasingly never bothered. However recently a few murky brews using CML Cali Common yeast with more than enough time for it to settle especially after two or three days in the cold made me try it again. So for this last beer using this yeast I racked off into a second FV when the primary was nearing its end, but not done, on the basis that I wanted some CO2 above the beer rather than just air, which would otherwise have been the case had the primary actually finished. Anyway it worked clear beer going forward so I shall be doing it again on poorly flocculating yeasts but not on beers using yeasts like Notty.

I know many don’t like the idea of racking off due to perceptions of infection or oxidation, and racking off is a bit unfashionable now, but it apparently works for me in selected situations.
 

Slid

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I rack to secondary after two weeks for a further week. I found initially that drinking a lot of the yeast gave me gout-like symptoms and researching this led to me routinely racking all beers. Since then, no gout-like symptoms.
 

An Ankoù

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I always rack off towards the end of fermentation, let the beer finish fermenting and then dry hop and, if there's a fridge free, cold crash. I don't batch prime, though. Beers that look as if they'd never clear usually drop bright in secondary.
 

jjsh

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I've never done it to be honest, so I can't give a valid opinion as to if it is worth it. Perhaps I should give it a go, in the name of research?
 

obscure

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I am lazy and frankly racking just seems a pain, I tend to go for one to two weeks in primary then transfer straight to keg or bottle. It works for me and I get a beer which I enjoy drinking which in my view is what matters.
 

dwhite60

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For beer there was a time that I did, always . Then I tried a few batches without. Didn't notice any appreciable difference so I stopped completely.

Wine and Mead I still do. Depending on how the yeast settles it may get a tertiary. If it goes to tertiary it's going to get finings. I'm not that patient.

All the Best,
D. White
 

chthon

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Beer seems to clear faster when I rack it to secondary. I also do this because I start my fermentations in an open vessel (although covered with a wet, disinfected cheese cloth). I then rack after 2,5 days to a week to a closed fermenter with an airlock. I always make sure that part of the original wort is kept so that further fermentation pushes out the rest of the oxygen.

Part of the secondary fermentation is also that, if necessary, I can keep it longer for condition or more flocculation. For a kristallweizen (actually a Leffe clone), I racked it when the fermentation slowed down, kept it a week still at ambient temperature, then put it in the garage for another month to become clear.

When I brewed my WV/St.-Bernardus clone, it kept it for six weeks in secondary over the summer, before bottling it mid August, so that it could be tasted beginning September.

For me, going to secondary is really a functional part of the process.
 

Victor Churchill

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I used to, quite a while ago, lon before I discovered bottling buckets or wands.
I recall I read on a Coopers kit can that it was recommended and that it was "how it's done in Australia". :-)
This was starting in a regular bucket with slightly loose lid, then rack to a FV with airlock after about half a week, for about another week.

I've not done it for a while, but am inclined to give it another go.

Would you then also re-rack into a bottling bucket for batch priming? Or even for easy-kegging? What do folks think?
 
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Keruso

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I don’t bother but if you transfer to secondary after primary fermentation completes then it’s not going to ferment further, it’s more likely to be conditioning prior to packaging which may improve the result.
 

Cwrw666

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Only time I've ever done it was when I transferred to a PB, primed and a few weeks later found it flat as a pancake. Primed again, same result and yet again, all the time thinking it was the seal leaking. Eventually gave up and bottled. Beer was fine. Barrel had a tiny crack in the top. I know this isn't what the OP is about but the effect is the same.
 

foxy

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I would rack into secondary about 90% of the time, just before fermentation has finished. The reasons dry hopping in secondary, dropping the beer brighter and, (no scientific evidence) but it seems to stir the yeast into action to knock the beer down 1 or 2 points lower. Could be wishful thinking, I haven't done a side by side so I don't really know.
Transferring into an already purged fermenter, purged with the venting co2 removes the risk of oxygen uptake.
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Bagged dry hops at the ready.
 

chthon

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For those wanting to take the plunge, something that I absolutely don't want to spend money on is CO2. I brew minimalistic. So I can't purge my secondary vessels.

Always keep some wort for transfer to secondary. Boil it and let it cool, put it first in your fermenter, put the hose of your racking cane in this wort (well, I do have an auto racking cane) and start the transfer.

I always keep some of my beers for a year to check what the influence of time is. I have never encountered one which tasted oxidised. Some loss of taste sometimes, yes.

The idea for me is here: if you are careful, then you really don't have anything to fear from the oxidation spectre.

Disclaimer: I always bottle, so my beers referment in the bottle, and when cleaning them before bottling, I rinse them with a meta-bisulfate solution, which might leave traces of meta-bisulfite in the bottle. I can't prove that any of these two things does have an influence against oxidation.
 

jceg316

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Always keep some wort for transfer to secondary. Boil it and let it cool, put it first in your fermenter, put the hose of your racking cane in this wort (well, I do have an auto racking cane) and start the transfer.
Do you mean to use the wort to batch prime? If so this is something I'd like to try doing. I'm a bit worried about keeping wort out for 2 weeks though. Even in sanitary conditions I don't think I could keep it perfect and something might start fermenting it.

I bottle straight from the fermenter. The least amount of movement the beer does the better, and I'm introducing less things which need to be sanitised to the beer. All my FVs have taps on so don't need a siphon. I do think my beers are tasting better now that I've stopped transferring, and other people have commented on this too. I cold crash most my beers to get all sediment to stick to the bottom of the FV, never really had an issue with clarity or too much sediment.
 

chthon

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Do you mean to use the wort to batch prime? If so this is something I'd like to try doing. I'm a bit worried about keeping wort out for 2 weeks though. Even in sanitary conditions I don't think I could keep it perfect and something might start fermenting it.

I bottle straight from the fermenter. The least amount of movement the beer does the better, and I'm introducing less things which need to be sanitised to the beer. All my FVs have taps on so don't need a siphon. I do think my beers are tasting better now that I've stopped transferring, and other people have commented on this too. I cold crash most my beers to get all sediment to stick to the bottom of the FV, never really had an issue with clarity or too much sediment.
No, it's not batch priming, it is just letting the fermentation go on a bit so that the rest of the air in the secondary vessel is pushed out, and possible oxygen remains are removed by active yeast.

And I always freeze wort that needs to be kept, because indeed, it might get fermented even in the fridge.

I might have an advantage here because I work on a scale of at most 10 litres.
 

samale

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Do you mean to use the wort to batch prime? If so this is something I'd like to try doing. I'm a bit worried about keeping wort out for 2 weeks though. Even in sanitary conditions I don't think I could keep it perfect and something might start fermenting it.

I bottle straight from the fermenter. The least amount of movement the beer does the better, and I'm introducing less things which need to be sanitised to the beer. All my FVs have taps on so don't need a siphon. I do think my beers are tasting better now that I've stopped transferring, and other people have commented on this too. I cold crash most my beers to get all sediment to stick to the bottom of the FV, never really had an issue with clarity or too much sediment.
This is how I prime my beer. I freeze the wort for 2 weeks until I am ready to bottle
 

jceg316

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it is just letting the fermentation go on a bit so that the rest of the air in the secondary vessel is pushed out
I get you, that's a pretty clever move. Do you know how much this changes ABV?

This is how I prime my beer. I freeze the wort for 2 weeks until I am ready to bottle
Do you use this as a priming calculator? https://www.brewersfriend.com/gyle-and-krausen-priming-calculator/ Do you think it produces noticeably better results than using caster sugar on bottling day?
 

samale

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I get you, that's a pretty clever move. Do you know how much this changes ABV?


Do you use this as a priming calculator? https://www.brewersfriend.com/gyle-and-krausen-priming-calculator/ Do you think it produces noticeably better results than using caster sugar on bottling day?
I used to use carbonation drops when doing kits once I went all grain which is about 4 years ago I started freezing the wort. I got this from a friend who owns a braumeister. So for a 23 litres I freezer 1.5 litres. If it's stronger I go less. Most of my brews are between 5-6 %
 
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