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How do I strain when racking to the secondary?

I had my brew day for a Belgian triple IPA 3 days ago, and I just realized I should have probably strained the hop material when tranfering the wort to the primary. Now, after a very nice first 2 1/2 days of fermentation, I am left with quite a bit of hop material floating in the beer and I need to find a way to get the beer into the secondary while straining the material and not oxidizing the brew.

Any suggestions on how to fix this problem? I know I am going to lose a bunch of beer in this process, but I just want the remaining beer to have a chance to be tastey in the end.


You could leave it in primary for a few weeks and then use cheese cloth or a nylon hop bag to strain while you siphon?

I wouldn’t recommend straining after fermentation. Too much risk of oxidizing the beer.

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What would you recommend dannyboy58? My only thought is that I will just be as careful as I can with the siphon and take the beer loss that is inevitable. Maybe between secondary and racking to the bottling bucket I can eliminate a fair amount.

Do you have room in your fridgerator? Do make some if you can, put it in there for a week… Try not to roust it too much… Then you pull it out and rack quietly if you must do a secondary… Sneezles61

What temp should it be cold crashed at and will that mess up the secondary ferm? It’s a huge beer and needs plenty of time to rest in the secondary I’ve read.

I wouldn’t rack it to a secondary for one thing, since you asked. Certainly not after a couple of days of fermentation. I’d let it sit for 3-4 weeks, cold crash it for a couple of days if you have the fridge space to do so, and rack carefully to the last drop. If you gently tilt your fermenter and place something under one side to keep it elevated you’ll likely be able to siphon more beer if the trub/yeast is compacted nicely. Most of the hop material will have settled to the trub layer but what doesn’t won’t be hard to avoid.


Your recipe sheet most likely says to secondary. Most all recipe sheets still say that, but it is not necessary if not doing fruit additions or oaking, etc. Leave the beer in the primary long enough for the trub/yeast layer to compact. Lower your siphon down to the trub/yeast layer as you rack to the bottling bucket. This will minimize picking up excess yeast.

Try a hop catcher if you’er not sure.

This is the amount of hops captured racking an IPA to the bottling bucket.

Would not have made much difference with the beer going into 48 bottles. Primary time will make the biggest difference in the quality of your beer.

Nowadays I’m spending more time on temperature control rather than going to the bottle as fast as possible.

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Secondary in the bottles. How much hops could be in a Belgian anyway. @dannyboy58 is right do a 3 to 4 week primary cold crash then bottle condition for another month.

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The only time I strain is when going to bottling bucket, never to secondary. I use a paint strainer bag that lines the bucket then just slowly lift it out after racking. Make sure you sanitize the bag.

I cold crash at 32… With alcohol in solution it shouldn’t freeze as readily… And yes, do not worry about a secondary… I let my hydrometer tell me when its ready… But I can go to keg… Way simpler than bottling, but costs some up front… Sneezles61

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