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When it's time to rack or bottle, do you have to move your fermenter? For instance, my fermenters sit in the closet of my office room until it's time to rack or bottle, at which point I move them to the kitchen counter. This bothers me because I know the shifting process disturbs the trub or sediment, sort of defeating one of the purposes of conditioning.

Do you have a setup where you don't have to move your fermenters before racking or bottling? If so, describe it. If not, how long do you let them sit after moving them before siphoning?

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This is just an idea I've had as I thought about these same things and read your response about the freezer. The temperature control thing is something I've been toying with, have you tried building a platform under your chest freezer to lift it up a foot or two? You may have to use a step stool to get into it, but then you could perhaps put a valve in the bottom of it that could connect to the fermenter in the freezer and not have to move it. I have an old freezer that I may try to modify this way in the next several weeks, if it works I'll let you know. –  user2184 Feb 20 '12 at 20:37

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I have never found moving a secondary around to disturb the stuff at the bottom of the carboy too much. Most of the fluid movement is at the surface and it takes a lot of sloshing to translate that through the entire fluid.

Whenever possible, I have moved the carboy the night before so it would settle out by morning. Or I'd move it in the morning and do my racking at night.

Nowadays, I am pretty much just moving the fermentor out of the fridge and putting it on a work surface only 5-10 feet away. So it doesn't get very jostled.

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Slow and steady. –  Dean Brundage Mar 2 '10 at 17:12
    
Even with slow & steady, the surface will slosh or wave some and if you have a krausen ring, you'll see gunk get pulled into the solution and you can watch it kind of hang out there, slowly falling towards the bottom. –  JackSmith Mar 2 '10 at 18:19
    
just like brewchez said....i move the primary to the counter top and let it sit for 20-30 mins while i sanitize and get set up for the transfer to the secondary... –  Arlo427 Mar 3 '10 at 20:02
    
I use the night before approach myself and it works for me. I usually wrap it with dark towels and wait day or two, sometimes a whole week. My wife is so patient :-) –  Jay Elston Jul 11 '11 at 0:53

I boil in the kitchen, ferment in the basement, and had originally thought about a setup like you describe, filling my primaries on a waist-high rack (Metro shelving) to make the racking process easier on my back and better for the beer.

I would still be considering this if I wasn't considering a chest freezer for temperature control, which pretty much requires me to load and unload from the top, meaning it'll be on the ground and I'll always disturb some sediment. I don't want to go off-topic here, but having considered the options, the trade-off I'm making is somewhat disturbed sediment for better temperature control.

I'm finding there's a lot of these trade-offs as I build out my system. I hate answers that don't answer the question so here's mine:

I manhandle the carboy from floor to laundry table and auto-siphon (with tip) into [secondary|bottling bucket]. I use the bung from the unstoppered carboy to prop it up on one side to get all the beer. I try not to actually slosh and disturb the compacted layers of the yeast cake, but beyond that, I don't bother much. The cloudiness over the top layer is mostly viable yeast, and that's all I usually get.

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