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Second Primary

I know the title doesn’t make sense. It may make some sense after I explain.

I made a beer a day and a half ago that used leaf hops instead of pellets and had an OG of about 1.100. I filtered out many of the leaves from the wort before putting it in the primary but there’s still a large amount in the primary.

Per MrMalty’s calculator, I need to add 4 packs of Wyeast (I don’t have the equipment to make a starter yet). I added two in at the same time into my 6.5G glass carboy. I planned on waiting to add the other two, two days later (this afternoon) to make sure that the krauzen doesn’t hit the bubbler, forcing me to use the blowoff tube. I also want to keep a relatively normal distribution of yeast in the fermenter instead of having a huge spike (which might creative off flavors?).

My question is, should I siphon the beer into a second 6.5G glass carboy to remove some of the leaf hops before adding more yeast? I’m guessing I wouldn’t have enough yeast in the second-primary. The only thing I’m afraid of is getting off tastes in the beer because of the hop leaves staying in the primary.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The hop debris isn’t going to cause any issues for the relatively short time in primary. I’d rather leave the debris than mess with a transfer to another vessel for no good reason.

If MrMalty said to pitch 4 packs, I would’ve pitched 4 packs to start with. The point of pitching the correct amount of yeast is to avoid off flavors caused by low pitching numbers. In theory you can pitch to much yeast, but I have never heard anyone on these forums comlpaining about it.

That being said, pitch your other two packs into the current fermentor, or save them for another brew. At two days you probably already have so much yeast in there that the extra won’t do much (or save them if you get a stuck fermentation after a couple weeks).

If you can make beer, you can make a starter. Next time you want to make something this big, just brew a one-gallon batch of beer (you can skip the hops) a week or so before the big beer, ferment it out in 4-5 days, then put the fermenter in the fridge (if you don’t have a fridge, don’t sweat it, just make the starter two weeks ahead of time). On brew day, pour off the 'beer" and then pitch the fresh wort on the yeast cake.

You’ll save $20+ on yeast. And if you like, you could always add hops to the starter and get a gallon of beer out of it as well.

Brewers have posted recently that they use 1 gallon plastic milk jugs for starters. Just wash them well.

Otherwise, look for a decent wine in a large bottle. They make great starter vessels. Or, if you can find a glass apple juice jar.

Or make a 5-gallon batch of “low” gravity (~1.045 or so) beer two weeks before you make the big beer, and re-use the yeast cake from the first batch for the second. If you use good yeast management techniques, you can re-pitch the same yeast several consecutive times. Now that’s saving money.

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