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Is there a fool proof way to transfer to a secondary?

Seems like many are not in favor of secondary fermentation due to the risk of infection and oxidation. Anyone out there in favor of secondary fermentation? If so, any fool proof ways to avoid infection or oxidation when transferring?
Thanks!

Those crying wolf over beer spoiling most likely haven’t had issues but just regurgitating what others have told them. Transferring to secondary or even tertiary isn’t rocket science. Sanitize everything that will touch your beer thoroughly, and avoid any splashing. :cheers:

I’m all for secondary. When I jumped to 10gal batches I would use 2 carboys. Once I left one in primary and racked the other to secondary. The secondary cleared quickly while the primary never cleared fully. YMMV.
As far as concern I agree with the above and feel that there is little risk. Sanitize everything well and use a long enough racking hose so it goes all the way down to the bottom of the carboy to prevent splashing.

I have experienced oxidation due to beer transfer. That’s why I leave it in the primary, then go right to keg - where I can immediately hit it with CO2. I’m not saying it always happens, just that it has.

I’ve never done this since I don’t keg but some people purge the oxygen out of a carboy with some CO2. I never had an issue from racking to a secondary. IMHO the risk is worth it. Avoid splashing and make sure you sanitize everything. Some people rack just before primary fermentation is complete to make sure the headspace displaced with CO2 as quick as possible.

Sure there is increased risk of oxidation and infection from poor practices, but IMO secondary just isn’t worth the extra step unless you’re dry hopping, adding fruit or aging for several months. Secondary does nothing magical that won’t happen in bottle/keg.

When the Basic Brewing guys did an experiment like this, they found that the secondary cleared much more rapidly. The catch was that there was no difference in the packaged beer.

Agreed. I no longer use secondaries except when adding fruit. I never had problems with oxidation or infection back when I was using a secondary, but I stopped simply because it is extra work that doesn’t do anything I can detect to make the beer better.

I secondary a lot because I’ve been brewing back-to-back and re-using the yeast cake. Plus I found like others have mentioned that using a secondary seems to help clear the beer better. I did one beer so far that I left in the primary the whole time, a brown ale. Despite care racking it to the bottling bucket, it was cloudy as all get out. The first several bottles I opened and consumed were very cloudy too. Now a month and a half later, with care it will come out fairly clear from a bottle, but there is a VERY thick layer of yeast and such in the bottom of the bottle that doesn’t was out very easy. I’d rather chance the secondary at this point, I like a clear beer and easier clean-up.

I just sanitize things really well, stick the tube down to the bottom of the secondary and go.

Not saying the people who say not to secondary are wrong in any way, it’s just my preference. And it works for me because of brewing batches close together to re-use yeast.

It’s not fear of infection… it is just pointless for most beers

Foolproof way to secondary? Sure, don’t secondary. It’s almost never necessary.

[quote=“lil_Blue_Ford”]I secondary a lot because I’ve been brewing back-to-back and re-using the yeast cake. Plus I found like others have mentioned that using a secondary seems to help clear the beer better. I did one beer so far that I left in the primary the whole time, a brown ale. Despite care racking it to the bottling bucket, it was cloudy as all get out. The first several bottles I opened and consumed were very cloudy too. Now a month and a half later, with care it will come out fairly clear from a bottle, but there is a VERY thick layer of yeast and such in the bottom of the bottle that doesn’t was out very easy. I’d rather chance the secondary at this point, I like a clear beer and easier clean-up.

I just sanitize things really well, stick the tube down to the bottom of the secondary and go.

Not saying the people who say not to secondary are wrong in any way, it’s just my preference. And it works for me because of brewing batches close together to re-use yeast.[/quote]

you are just simply racking to much yeast from the primary to the bottling bucket

I’m for secondary. I Guess I’m Anal about DMS or Diacetyl, but for 25 yrs I’ve 2-3 wk primary and 1-2 wk secondary mainly to clear, plus I’m in no hurry, and that’s for those that I don’t cold crash. I sanitize
[ Star San ] everything the beer touches, and can honestly say nothing has ever had Infection, oxidation, nothing bad. So if you want you can say I’ve been lucky for 25 yrs. That’s been my procedure
and it works for me. Like I say everybody is different, so do what works for you.

[quote=“grainbelt”][quote=“lil_Blue_Ford”]I secondary a lot because I’ve been brewing back-to-back and re-using the yeast cake. Plus I found like others have mentioned that using a secondary seems to help clear the beer better. I did one beer so far that I left in the primary the whole time, a brown ale. Despite care racking it to the bottling bucket, it was cloudy as all get out. The first several bottles I opened and consumed were very cloudy too. Now a month and a half later, with care it will come out fairly clear from a bottle, but there is a VERY thick layer of yeast and such in the bottom of the bottle that doesn’t was out very easy. I’d rather chance the secondary at this point, I like a clear beer and easier clean-up.

I just sanitize things really well, stick the tube down to the bottom of the secondary and go.

Not saying the people who say not to secondary are wrong in any way, it’s just my preference. And it works for me because of brewing batches close together to re-use yeast.[/quote]

you are just simply racking to much yeast from the primary to the bottling bucket[/quote]

I kind of figured that might be the case. I’m sure it would be easier for me to rack beer if I had an extra person to help hold onto things but my German Shepherd isn’t exactly much of a help. :lol:

It doesn’t really matter anyway, I’ve found that I have to keep a steady stream of beer in the pipeline to keep ahead of the consumption rate. When I brewed the brown ale that I didn’t secondary, I took a month off of brewing, figured I’d have plenty of beer. Brewed a half-batch American Amber and after racking it to the secondary and pitching my next brown on the yeast cake, I cleaned up my fermenting room and found that there was only a case and a half of beer left. Not sure where it all went to (I don’t drink that much!), but apparently I need to keep the fermenters full, lol.

I also have a question about secondary and i figured that this was the place to ask, rather than starting a new thread. I have the siphon that comes with the starter kit here at NB, but I can never seem to get the thing to work for very long. Anyone have any tips or recommendations for better equipment. Thanks.

When the Basic Brewing guys did an experiment like this, they found that the secondary cleared much more rapidly. The catch was that there was no difference in the packaged beer.[/quote]
We’ve already had this convo. :wink: Another catch was they bottle conditioned correct? This means they restarted a fermentation thus putting the yeast back into suspension.

[quote=“Loopie Beer”]
We’ve already had this convo. :wink: Another catch was they bottle conditioned correct? This means they restarted a fermentation thus putting the yeast back into suspension.[/quote]
Yeah. That’s how most homebrewers package their beer, though.

If you’re kegging, your keg is essentially a stainless steel secondary that goes into cold storage, which is more effective than a traditional secondary at clearing beer anyway. So I fail to see the point of a secondary. I even dry hop in my keg. We’ve probably had this convo too. :slight_smile:

I have no problem with someone else choosing to rack more times than they need to. Just not something I see the point of doing myself.

[quote=“lil_Blue_Ford”][quote=“grainbelt”][quote=“lil_Blue_Ford”]I secondary a lot because I’ve been brewing back-to-back and re-using the yeast cake. Plus I found like others have mentioned that using a secondary seems to help clear the beer better. I did one beer so far that I left in the primary the whole time, a brown ale. Despite care racking it to the bottling bucket, it was cloudy as all get out. The first several bottles I opened and consumed were very cloudy too. Now a month and a half later, with care it will come out fairly clear from a bottle, but there is a VERY thick layer of yeast and such in the bottom of the bottle that doesn’t was out very easy. I’d rather chance the secondary at this point, I like a clear beer and easier clean-up.

I just sanitize things really well, stick the tube down to the bottom of the secondary and go.

Not saying the people who say not to secondary are wrong in any way, it’s just my preference. And it works for me because of brewing batches close together to re-use yeast.[/quote]

you are just simply racking to much yeast from the primary to the bottling bucket[/quote]

I kind of figured that might be the case. I’m sure it would be easier for me to rack beer if I had an extra person to help hold onto things but my German Shepherd isn’t exactly much of a help. :lol:

It doesn’t really matter anyway, I’ve found that I have to keep a steady stream of beer in the pipeline to keep ahead of the consumption rate. When I brewed the brown ale that I didn’t secondary, I took a month off of brewing, figured I’d have plenty of beer. Brewed a half-batch American Amber and after racking it to the secondary and pitching my next brown on the yeast cake, I cleaned up my fermenting room and found that there was only a case and a half of beer left. Not sure where it all went to (I don’t drink that much!), but apparently I need to keep the fermenters full, lol.[/quote]

They make clips go attach to fermenters. Lower you siphon right above yeast cake start it and let it go there is plenty of yeast in suspension to carb.

I like to bulk age certain beers and since I keg I have co2 tank, I made up a simple hose that connects easy and then purge the carboy.
This helps if your going to age a beer. If not don’t worry about it. “try not to splash”. :wink:

[quote=“Old Guy”]I’m for secondary. I Guess I’m Anal about DMS or Diacetyl, but for 25 yrs I’ve 2-3 wk primary and 1-2 wk secondary mainly to clear, plus I’m in no hurry, and that’s for those that I don’t cold crash. I sanitize
[ Star San ] everything the beer touches, and can honestly say nothing has ever had Infection, oxidation, nothing bad. So if you want you can say I’ve been lucky for 25 yrs. That’s been my procedure
and it works for me. Like I say everybody is different, so do what works for you.[/quote]
I agree 100% with you Old Guy that’s us homebrewers, are rare breed, Indeed!

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