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Secondary safety

I have a 5-gallon batch fermenting with Danstar Belle Saison. Planning to rack the beer to secondary with a 3 lb can of orange purée. How much secondary fermentation should I expect? I’m really poking at whether I can use my 5-gallon carboy, or if I should pick up another bucket.

I would use a 6.5 gall carboy. Once you add the puree you do get fermenting action again. Did about four months ago. A cherrie beer. Damm lots of action in the secondary. My 6.5 gall just big enough. Almost had to use the blow over tube again

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You might want to consider orange zest instead of puree. I think you’ll have just sourness once the puree is fermented and very little orange flavor. Or add some peel to some Vodka and throw it in at bottling. If you do go with puree, +1 on the active secondary fermentation.

Could you take a gravity reading to see what you’re going to add as fermentables? It will ferment, and whats left? Maybe before you do this… add some yeast to a pint of orange juice and see what happens… Test spin if you will… Sneezles61

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The purée specs say “1.020-1.060” which is quite the range, but that’s going to be diluted into 5-gallons.

The beer itself is only a week in the fermenter, so I haven’t checked it yet. OG was 1.056

Since it’s a new kit, I’m planning on brewing it once to spec, with the purée, then go back later getting just the ingredients and re-brew subbing zest. The purée is pretty expensive, so this ends up being a “is it worth the cost” experiment. And yes, I think I know the answer, but it would be bad scientific method to admit it… I may consider using BOTH, but it does cloud the answer.

We added a can of cherry purée to a hefe some years ago, I thought it was pretty bad, so I agree with what you’re saying. Anything you add, the yeast gets first crack at. But we also had no temp control, and it mostly just exploded everywhere. Wife liked it though. I have great temp control now, which helps a lot with preventing blow-off. Since she liked that, I’m willing to keep an open mind.

We stumbled across this kit while looking for Petite Orange, to which we usually add fresh zest, that’s always a favorite. Again, keeping an open mind…

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Update:
Transferred 2-days ago. We had some debate, but the approach settled on was to use the 5-gallon BMB, but rig a blow-off tube “just in case”

Took gravity readings before and after adding the purée. 1.005 before and 1.008 after. So that can of juice, looked like maybe a quart and half, but we didn’t measure, added 3 points. There was a fair amount of activity over the last couple days, but not enough to reach the blow-off. So I think we made the right call. I wouldn’t make the blanket statement that it’s OK to use a 5-gallon carboy for an actual secondary fermentation; there are a few considerations.

  • 1.005 before X-fer is pretty well attenuated; a higher finishishing primary would heave been riskier.
  • I have a temp-controlled fermenter, I can hold 66F within a degree or 2; if I let this run into the 70’s it would have been riskier.
  • 3 gravity points isn’t a lot to work with. More fermentables more danger.
  • This was purée. Real fruit bits would have added more volume, further reducing headspace, and the safety margin.

Check the krausen line…

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