Author Topic: 2 stage fermentation  (Read 6597 times)

Offline jopakent

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2 stage fermentation
« on: November 18, 2015, 11:51:08 AM »
I brewed on Sunday. I've got two carboys (8 gallon and a 5 gallon) that are currently bubbling away. This is my 4th all grain brew. I'm trying to figure out how to do a 2 stage fermentation. Up to now, I've just done one stage and kept the brew in the carboys until the gravity got down to about 1.010.

I'm concerned about what happens when I transfer the batches to secondary. As I understand the principle behind 2 stage fermentation, I want to get the brew off of the trub after about 4 days, because sitting on the trub, beer can pick up off flavors.

So I'm planning on siphoning off the beer (first to brew buckets and then back into the cleaned carboys) to get the trub out of the equation.

My concern is this. Isn't there active yeast lurking in that trub? Won't I lose part of the fermentation when I lose part of the yeast?

TIA,
JPK

Offline ihikeut

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Re: 2 stage fermentation
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2015, 01:04:28 PM »
I would not transfer to your secondary based on time. The yeast will decide when it time to transfer. Wait until your Gravity reading don't change for three days. It may take as little as 4 days or 5 weeks for the yeast to finish fermenting, depending on type and strain of yeast.  Secondary fermentation if even needed, is mostly to allow your beer to clear. Beer can stay on the trub for a lot longer when 4 days without any off flavors.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: 2 stage fermentation
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2015, 02:40:52 PM »
There really isn't any need to use a secondary. Many professional brewers are now letting the beer go the whole way on the yeast cake.  The potential risk from transfer is contamination and oxidization. But that can be minimized with good sanitation practices and, if you keg and have the CO2 available, purging the secondary with gas before transferring the beer into it.

That said, I often transfer mine into a secondary, but that's only because of the equipment I have. I've got one large glass carboy, six and a half gallons I think, and I use it as my primary. It's got enough head room to handle a vigorous fermentation without having to worry about the krausen clogging up the airlock and making a mess.  If I want to make another batch, and the contents of the primary are mostly fermented but not quite ready to go into a keg (krausen has settled and it's starting to look clear because most of the suspended yeast has settled), I'll transfer it to one of the five gallon carboys. This way it can sit there for a while with minimal head space, and get nice and clear as the yeast settles to the bottom. It's also an opportunity to recycle yeast. If I transfer to the secondary on the same day that I brew, I can take a scoop of sludge from the recently emptied primary and pitch it into the new batch (assuming they're compatible). Takes off like a rocket. The five gallon secondaries also come in handy when making lager. 

Or if I'm not making another batch I'll often just let it stay in the primary until it's ready to go into a keg.
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Offline TAHammerton

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Re: 2 stage fermentation
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2015, 06:16:00 AM »
I used to do secondary all the time, but now I only do it if I have a really good reason. Typically I only use secondary if I am going to dry hop. You can leave on the yeast for a month without worrying about off flavours. If you rack too soon the yeast won't have finished diacytl reduction. I make sure I leave on yeast a week after activity has stopped (total time 2 weeks usually ).
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Offline Stillraining

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Re: 2 stage fermentation
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2015, 10:23:26 AM »
I only have 4 batches under my belt as well and only one All Grain so take this with a grain of salt.
   But I have done the opposite and have moved to single stage fermentation with this batch.  So far it appears to be my best turning out fine, and I currently have a clean beer ready to bottle .
   Prior to this batch  I got an infection or something by allowing to many different things to touch my post boil wort.  My goal now is to eliminate as many things as possible that touches my beer not add things  like you would be doing with what you have planed.

 I thought you had to get the beer off the trub as well until I read this.  It changed my whole outlook on beer brewing.   And FWIW, I'm one of those lazy cynical guys too. ;D

http://brulosophy.com/2014/06/02/the-great-trub-exbeeriment-results-are-in/

PS:  Be sure to read clear to the bottom the actual taste testing by both novice and certified tasters.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 10:36:26 AM by Stillraining »

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: 2 stage fermentation
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2015, 07:11:05 PM »
I only have 4 batches under my belt as well and only one All Grain so take this with a grain of salt.
   But I have done the opposite and have moved to single stage fermentation with this batch.  So far it appears to be my best turning out fine, and I currently have a clean beer ready to bottle .
   Prior to this batch  I got an infection or something by allowing to many different things to touch my post boil wort.  My goal now is to eliminate as many things as possible that touches my beer not add things  like you would be doing with what you have planed.

 I thought you had to get the beer off the trub as well until I read this.  It changed my whole outlook on beer brewing.   And FWIW, I'm one of those lazy cynical guys too. ;D

http://brulosophy.com/2014/06/02/the-great-trub-exbeeriment-results-are-in/

PS:  Be sure to read clear to the bottom the actual taste testing by both novice and certified tasters.

I started a thread on this topic a while back.

http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,13488.msg53509.html#msg53509

I don't worry about what makes it out of boil kettle and into my fermenter when it comes to hot break and cold break material.  I do use disposable hop bags, so that my spent hops stay out of my fermenter, but that is all that I worry about.
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Offline Stillraining

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Re: 2 stage fermentation
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2015, 10:05:55 PM »
I guess the OP wasn't interested in any of our answers.

 

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