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Transferring to secondary

I know lots of brewers seriously question the need for a secondary fermentation. I am jumping on that train as far as I can, but I have a beer in my primary that I intend to add fruit to. For this reason alone, I am going to do a secondary fermenter to help get as much fruit/beer contact as I can.

So my plan was to pour my pasteurized fruit into the bottom of my glass carboy, then rack with an auto siphon on top of the fruit. Then, I would let the yeast create more CO2 from the fruit sugars, and then I would swirl the carboy around a little, to help the fruit mix around in the liquid once there is no oxygen left in the headspace.

But, obviously something could go wrong. The beer will be exposed to oxygen during the transfer process, which could destroy the beer (unlikely but always possible). Or any oxygen in the headspace could ruin my brew as I try to agitate the fruit. My idea was… How could I purge the headspace with CO2? I don’t own a kegging/forced carb setup, but I do own a soda stream that no one uses. Could I possibly use this to push CO2 into the carboy after the beer and fruit is inside, thus hopefully pushing oxygen out? Or is this all a pipe dream and a waste of time?

I’ve read about the sterilized marble idea and that doesn’t excite me at all. My only true options are soda stream or to just let it ride and hope for the best.

Transferring to secondary on top of fruit should restart fermentation which should scrub oxygen from the beer. Should not destroy the beer.

I don’t think agitation would be necessary either.

Take this as you will since I have never attempted a secondary with fruit.


I second the quiet transfer to secondary on top of the fruit and no additional agitation required. The secondary Fermentation alone will mix things up.

I’m not sure about the soda stream mechanism but if you could purge the carboy with CO2 prior to racking the beer that is ideal.

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I have purged with a Sodastream. I wouldn’t worry about it though. I have yet to experience oxidation of anything but hop oils.

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I think I’m just paranoid thanks to my adventires in conicals. Never had an oxidation problem before, even when dry hopping things like vanilla beans or bourbon/oak into a secondary… but now I can’t stop worrying about it.

I agree that it should be fine. A shot of CO2 would be nice to purge the carboy. Now I generally give the thing a little swirl when it slows down but don’t agitate. It’s more off gassing than anything probably not needed with beer but it’s a habit from making wine I guess

Well I can say the worrying was for nothing. After adding the strawberries and then racking on top of them, there is a brand new krausen. I knew the yeast would attack the new natural sugars, but I never expected this much!

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