Secondary Fermentation Temprature

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Discussion' started by OlsBean, Dec 17, 2017.

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  1. Dec 17, 2017 #1

    OlsBean

    OlsBean

    OlsBean

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    I'm on my second Stout kit and looking for a little help. As this is my second, I've decided to mix it up a little in an attempt to give a little more body by adding some lactose, 300g to be exact.

    I've added the Lactose whilst transferring to a secondary Fermentor. From my research I believe that temperature is not so critical (happy to be corrected) during this stage but as I live in the NE of Scotland and I brew in an outbuilding I am concerned that as it is now Winter and quite cold that it will get too cold. Should I be concerned, perhaps continue to heat the Secondary with a heating belt?

    Any advice or tips would be gratefully received. I had intended to keep the stout in the secondary for 2-4 weeks before batch priming and bottling.

    TIA
     
  2. Dec 17, 2017 #2

    Bigcol49

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    You will get plenty of members commenting who don't transfer to secondary.
    I usually let the primary sit for two weeks, cold crash for several days and then bottle or keg.
    How long was your brew in the primary FV? Did you achieve target gravity?
    If you allowed sufficient time for primary fermentation and achieved your target gravity you could leave the beer in the cold to accelerate settling.
    With a kit I would add lactose at the beginning with all the other ingredients. Maltodextrin is also good for building body and better head retention.
    Both lactose and maltodextrin are unfermentable, so the yeast won't touch them.
     
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  3. Dec 17, 2017 #3

    terrym

    terrym

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    @OlsBean
    I usually rack off to secondary, often in conjunction with a dry hop, with the principal objective of helping the clearing process ready for packaging. I usually leave in the primary for 10 days or more until its virtually finished, then transfer and leave it another four days or more at fermentation temperatures then a final two in the coldest place I have to help the yeast drop . However I don't bother with secondary for stouts since clarity is not so important.
    And I use a water bath for my temperature control.
    How to Set up a Water Bath for your FV - The HomeBrew Forum
     
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  4. Dec 17, 2017 #4

    OlsBean

    OlsBean

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    I know there are risks associated with racking to a secondary, I did debate adding the Lactose at the start but I knew it would skew any gravity readings and I am not experienced enough to compensate for that. I then thought about just adding into the primary once the main fermentation had subsided but I wasn't sure how it would mix without churning everything up. Secondary seemed the best option this time, hopefully it will pay of. The Stout was in the primary FV for 9 days, SG 10.060 (addional 400g Dark Muscavado) and FG 10.012.

    I did not know about Maltodextrin, do you use a combination of both Maltodextrin and Lactose or just one or the other. It really was some extra body/mouth feel I was looking for, my first Stout was OK and I was quite pleased with it but it just lacked that extra bit body, I'm a massive fan of Guinness Foreign and would love to produce something close to that :)

    Thanks for the help.

    Thank you Terrym. How cold is cold, is it possible to go too cold for secondary conditioning, the temperature in my outbuilding (granite walls) rarely gets about 5ºc at this time of year, often it's close to freezing especially at night. I left the heating belt on it last night after transferring and set the thermostat (Inkbird) at 12ºc but ideally I would like to take off the belt to free it up to use on new brew (Bitter) and let this one just sit really cold for a couple of weeks before priming and bottling.
     
  5. Dec 17, 2017 #5

    terrym

    terrym

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    The idea of leaving the beer at fermenting temperatures for a period after the primary fermenatation has virtually finished is to allow the yeast to clean up its own byproducts. This applies whether you rack off or not. If you allow the temperature to fall too soon the yeast goes to sleep and the clean up is less likely to happen. Some yeasts finish the primary very quickly, some don't so you have to use your judgement about when its 'safe' to go to lower temperatures. And when the temperature falls, unless you are lagering, there is no real need to keep the beer at low temperatures for more than a few days.
    Finally if you want to concentrate the flavours a bit more in any beer kit simply brew short, especially if your start point is a 1.5kg can. I make up Coopers 1.7kg one-can stouts and I always brew short to 19 litres.
     
  6. Dec 17, 2017 #6

    Bigcol49

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    I use maltodextrin on its own, in bitters and other ales for example. I would only use lactose in milk stouts.
    As @terrym wrote, brewing short gives a better body - I always brew kits to 20 litres.
     
  7. Dec 17, 2017 #7

    OlsBean

    OlsBean

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    Thank you Gentlemen, all the advice taken on board, I think I'm going to let it run for a few days heated to ensure it has finished up, once I am sure it has finished fermenting, I'll let it cold crash for a few days and bottle just before or just after Christmas.
     

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