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Do I need to rack?

I brewed the Northern Brewer Bacon Red Ale this past weekend, only my second brew ever so I’m still new. My first batch, a scotch ale, called for racking from the primary fermenter to the carboy after a week, however with this recipe it says nothing about racking the beer.

Can the wort simply stay in the fermenter for two weeks and go straight to bottling or should i still rack it to the carboy? It should be noted that the only yeast included with the recipe was put in when the wort went into the fermenter, so there won’t be any additional added if it was racked.

Some people like to rack to secondary, but I would say most don’t bother anymore. Try it yourself and see what you think. I use a secondary maybe once a year. :cheers:

I and many others would agree that racking to secondary is only necessary when making post fermentation additions (fruit, wood, booze, etc), dry hopping (although I’ll often just toss the hops directly in the primary), aging a beer, or harvesting yeast.

Others routinely use a secondary as part of their process. There is no wrong or right answer, but you are creating some chance of oxidation or another problems if racking to secondary.

Keep it in the primary at least 2 weeks, 3 weeks would be better, then bottle. The only way to know for sure when fermentation is complete is testing the specific gravity with a hydrometer. If you don’t have a hydrometer be patient and leave it 3 weeks before bottling. You’ll be glad you did.

just my 2 pennies

On and off homebrewer for several years, a little shy of a decade. My opinion is that if your total time will exceed four weeks (and I’ve pushed this limit outward), or if you intend to age with something for substantial time (dryhopping being a good example), then you want a secondary. Fewer than four weeks, you’ll be better off skipping the secondary. As dannyboy says, a third week in the primary for any beer is a good idea to ensure the fermentation has finished (though the best verification is with successive hydrometer readings that measure at the same gravity).

I always rack and I always have a substantial amount of sediment in the secondary that is left behind when I rack again to keg or bottle. I generally let the beer stay in primary 2 - 3 weeks.

I brewed the Bacon Smoked Red Ale two weeks ago and bottled it from the primary. I used the White Labs - California yeast. When I opened the primary after two weeks the krausen had not dropped but with being new to the game I didn’t know if it was still ok to bottle. I did and wonder if you had the same results or did you leave it in the primary longer. Hope it turns out ok.

Cornsqueeze, a general rule for fermentation is that if you’re not sure if it is done, there is no harm in giving it more time. If it is not done and you bottled early, you are risking bottle bombs.

To the OP: It is up to you if you want to rack or not. Some people swear their beer is better if they use a secondary, others say there is no benefit and it is better to just keep the beer for the total time in the primary. I’m in the later camp.

The beer has been in the bottle for a week now. Is it safe to open the closet yet? :stuck_out_tongue:

It takes between 1 and 2 weeks typically to fully bottle condition, assuming temperatures around 70.

[quote=“jrobinson1705”]I brewed the Northern Brewer Bacon Red Ale this past weekend, only my second brew ever so I’m still new. My first batch, a scotch ale, called for racking from the primary fermenter to the carboy after a week, however with this recipe it says nothing about racking the beer.

Can the wort simply stay in the fermenter for two weeks and go straight to bottling or should i still rack it to the carboy? It should be noted that the only yeast included with the recipe was put in when the wort went into the fermenter, so there won’t be any additional added if it was racked.[/quote]

You are fine to go from primary to bottling

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