Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Rebel Rye Porter Extract Kit & Secondary Fermentation

Good morning, all,

I’m going to order the Rebel Rye Porter Extract Kit w/ Specialty Grains kit in the next couple of days, and plan to use my bucket for primary, but had a question about secondary fermentation. I have the 6 gal (or is it 6.5 gal) glass big mouth bubbler. I generally use the big mouth for primary and don’t do any secondary fermentation. However, in this case, I really want to do the secondary fermentation with the wood chips and rye whiskey. Anyone see any true con’s to using the 6 gal big mouth for secondary as opposed to the 5 gal? I believe the general prohibition against using the larger secondary fermentor is the inclusion of additional air/oxygen that the 6 gal has. Anyone brew this kit and go the way I’m suggesting?

I did do a secondary fermentation for NB’s Scottish Wee Heavy this way and that turned out really well after I got help from the forum for getting the bottles to condition. Thanks,

Grant

[quote=“TexasGrant”]Good morning, all,

I’m going to order the Rebel Rye Porter Extract Kit w/ Specialty Grains kit in the next couple of days, and plan to use my bucket for primary, but had a question about secondary fermentation. I have the 6 gal (or is it 6.5 gal) glass big mouth bubbler. I generally use the big mouth for primary and don’t do any secondary fermentation. However, in this case, I really want to do the secondary fermentation with the wood chips and rye whiskey. Anyone see any true con’s to using the 6 gal big mouth for secondary as opposed to the 5 gal? I believe the general prohibition against using the larger secondary fermentor is the inclusion of additional air/oxygen that the 6 gal has. Anyone brew this kit and go the way I’m suggesting?

I did do a secondary fermentation for NB’s Scottish Wee Heavy this way and that turned out really well after I got help from the forum for getting the bottles to condition. Thanks,

Grant[/quote]

I brewed the Rye Porter AG kit May 2013. Racked it to a 5 gal carboy for conditioning. Turned out really good if a little potent with the rye whiskey. Had one just a couple days ago and it had mellowed nicely…Very good!

As you stated, you generally want to condition in a vessel that limits the exposure to oxygen. If you keg you could pump a little CO2 into the head space once you rack the beer into the carboy. Otherwise, you just hope there’s enough CO2 still in solution when you rack to the secondary.

On the other hand, you could just add the whiskey soaked wood to the primary. If I brewed it again that’s what I’d probably do.

You really want to minimize your headspace in secondary for the reasons you mentioned. If you look around the web for pictures of pellicles and infected brews, a very common theme is a larger-than-desired headspace. If you’re going to leave it in secondary for any length of time (several weeks) you definitely want to minimize headspace. For a few weeks, I’ve done the same and not had any problems.

That large headspace can pull in a lot of air through the airlock if you cold crash, not to mention that oxygen can diffuse through the airlock and bung itself given enough time, so a “blanket” of CO2 doesn’t really protect you here.

[quote=“porkchop”]You really want to minimize your headspace in secondary for the reasons you mentioned. If you look around the web for pictures of pellicles and infected brews, a very common theme is a larger-than-desired headspace. If you’re going to leave it in secondary for any length of time (several weeks) you definitely want to minimize headspace. For a few weeks, I’ve done the same and not had any problems.

That large headspace can pull in a lot of air through the airlock if you cold crash, not to mention that oxygen can diffuse through the airlock and bung itself given enough time, so a “blanket” of CO2 doesn’t really protect you here.[/quote]
Have to disagree with your last line there porkchop.

A blanket of CO2 is all you need. It’s heavier than air and will settle over the surface of the beer protecting it just fine.

[quote=“dannyboy58”]
Have to disagree with your last line there porkchop.

A blanket of CO2 is all you need. It’s heavier than air and will settle over the surface of the beer protecting it just fine.[/quote]

Oh, absolutely, it works fine in the short term. The problem is that CO2 and air readily mix when in the same container, so while in the short term the CO2 will sit at the bottom, they will eventually diffuse together until you have an equal mixture through the entire vessel. It’s not like oil and water where the two layers will stay separate indefinitely.

This is why it works so well to purge a bucket, keg, or carboy with CO2 before racking, as it does protect from O2 in the short term. More than a few weeks, though, you’ll run the risk of getting too much O2 in your headspace to possibly cause problems.

Thanks, all, for the caution. That’s what I’m nervous about. Love the idea of just adding the chips/whiskey to primary. I’ll probably do that - or, of course, I could just get a 5 gal big mouth. Thanks again,

Grant

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com