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I am transfering my beer to a secondary fermenter (better bottle carboy). Do I need to shake or stir it to help the fermentation in the secondary!

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

"Secondary fermentation" is a misnomer, and is slowly being phased out of home brewing dogma. Typically, your primary fermentation accounts for 90%+ of all the alcohol-producing activity and the "secondary" is done to (supposedly) help clear up the beer and to rouse a little yeast in the event they went to sleep a little to early. The latter is RARELY ever an issue with most yeasts at stable temps (Wit yeast is a notable exception), and the former has been debunked thoroughly. Meaning that beers that sit in primary for an extra 2-3 weeks instead of racking to secondary usually come out clearer and better tasting than their secondaried counterparts.

Secondary is recommended now mostly for lagers, which need to be handled a little differently than most ales, and for fruit beers, where you do primary fermentation without the fruit, then rack to secondary and add fruit, which kicks up active fermentation again.

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Nope. Shaking or stirring before hand will stir up the yeast cake, which you are working so hard to keep out of your finished beer. Stirring or shaking after the transfer could add oxygen into the beer, causing off flavors from oxidization. Just transfer the beer carefully using a siphon and let it sit, the yeast will do the rest.

That being said, many people argue about the value of secondary fermentation at all. Personally I rarely rack to secondary and have never had any issues. Just something to consider for the next batch.

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