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When is too early to rack to secondary?

I’m sitting on 5 gallons of Cream Ale (brewed Friday), and I’d like to brew a 10 gallon batch of Pale Ale this Friday and use the yeast from the Cream Ale. I’m sure the fermentation (details: S-05, 1.047, 58F) will be pretty much done by Friday; however, I don’t want to rack it too soon and spoil the batch.

To this end, I was going to rack to a secondary to give the yeast another week or so to do any cleanup, etc.

Is there a problem with this approach?

I would recommend no less than 2 weeks in primary. Having said that, you could sanitize a long spoon and maybe scoop off some of the yeast cake and use that for your new beer. Have never done that before… but I’d give it a shot if you’re dead set on brewing this weekend.

Since it’s US-05, why risk messing up the first batch to save $7 for two fresh packs for the new batch?

Two reasons:

  1. I’m cheap :lol:

  2. if you add in the cost of shipping ($8 for 2 packs of yeast) or driving ($3.25/gal, and I’m at least 1/2 hour away from my closest LHBS), it’s more expensive

My thought was that, if I racked it and included some of the yeast that’s dropped out of suspension, it might work. But maybe someone’s already done that and ruined a batch, so I thought I’d ask…
:cheers:

SOP is to measure the SG not look at a calendar. If the SG reading doesn’t indicate its done, then don’t rack. If it is done, rack.

IME, calendars are best for remembering birthdays and anniversarys, not determining if the batch is ready for racking.

:cheers:

[quote=“StormyBrew”]SOP is to measure the SG not look at a calendar. If the SG reading doesn’t indicate its done, then don’t rack. If it is done, rack.

IME, calendars are best for remembering birthdays and anniversarys, not determining if the batch is ready for racking.

:cheers: [/quote]

This is very true, but don’t minimize the fact that most home brewers would agree that 1 week in primary isn’t long enough for most beers. A constant gravity reading tells that the yeast has converted as much of the sugar as they can/will, but doesn’t take into consideration conditioning time. Now maybe there will be enough yeast left in suspension (after racking to secondary) to ‘clean up’ after themselves, but why take the risk? Just go buy another fermentor. Buckets are cheap. And there’s absolutely no reason to have only 1 fermentor. I think we can ALL agree to that.

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