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41

From John Palmer in the "Ask the Experts" section of the AHA forum: Therefore I, and Jamil and White Labs and Wyeast Labs, do not recommend racking to a secondary fermenter for ANY ale, except when conducting an actual second fermentation, such as adding fruit or souring. Racking to prevent autolysis is not necessary, and therefore the risk of oxidation ...


40

The term "secondary fermentation" is misleading since the purpose isn't to continue fermentation. A secondary stage can be used for any combination of things: Clarification: racking to secondary gets the beer off the yeast cake and allows more particulates to fall out of suspension. This is often the only reason I use a secondary stage; I like clear beer. ...


26

It takes three to nine days for yeast to ferment a typical wort. After yeast consumes all the available food (or produces too much toxic alcohol) it goes into a dormant stage, flocculates and drops out of suspension. At this point it does not produce alcohol or CO2. Priming sugar is used to give the yeast a little more fuel so they will wake up and ...


21

Image from HowToBrew Rather than thinking about stages of fermentation I like to look at the lifecycle of yeast. There is a great interview with David Logsdon from Wyeast on the April 5, 2007 episode of Basic Brewing radio. Yeast cells bud in the presence of oxygen. Only yeast cells with a reserve of glycogen have the energy to bud and that glycogen ...


14

Yeast produce different flavors during the various stages of their lifecycle. Overpitching shortens or skips their "growth" phase (maybe a better name is "division" or "budding"). The bulk of a beer's esters are produced during this initial stage, so missing out on a fully-developed life cycle robs an ale of this often desirable quality. A by-product of ...


12

We soak ours in bourbon. Kicks the oak up a notch or two.


12

There are only a few reasons why this might happen. Suck-back due to temperature changes Evaporation Airlock is damaged Somebody is messing with it As it has been mentioned by others, s-locks are better at keeping liquid, but are nearly impossible to clean if you get a blow-out. Three-piece airlocks are easier to clean. I use mostly 3-piece, except for ...


12

Basically, no. Beer yeast can only eat certain kinds of sugars in wort. And once they've exhausted their food supply, they can't ferment any more and they settle to the bottom of the fermenter. What kind of sugars they eat & how much they eat is dependent on the yeast strain, the wort and the fermentation. The one time you might 'over ferment' is if ...


12

You're experiencing a "blow-off". Often, people will replace their airlock with a "blow-off tube", usually one with the same OD as the airlock so it can fit in the same hole on the lid. The worry with continuing to use the airlock is that … especially if one of those airlocks has residual plastic across the bottom of the post that fits into the grommet on ...


12

Absolutely nothing to worry about. A few notes: Active fermentation can certainly die down after 2-3 days. Airlock bubbles can indicate active fermentation. A lack of airlock bubbles does not necessarily indicate a lack of active fermentation. CO2 is sneaky - it can get out a lot of places besides through your airlock liquid. 70F is getting on the warm ...


11

Why don't you just add vodka or something? Fermenting seems a bit elaborate when all you want is basically Mountain Dew with some alcohol in it.


11

The wet t-shirt and swamp cooler method is probably insufficient for temperatures in the mid 90's. Controlling fermentation temperature is one of the best things you can do to make good beer! Like Florida, the temperatures in East Texas get stupid-hot eight months out of the year. Last year I built myself a duck-in cooler powered by a small window air ...


11

For the most consistent results, a spare fridge or chest freeze and a Johnson control is the best setup. No need for a Stopper Thermowell, just tape the temperature probe to the outside of carboy, and cover the probe with a scrap piece of styrofoam and tape -- that way, you ensure you are getting the temperature of the wort rather than the ambient fridge ...


11

Attenuation is a measurement of a beer's drop in specific gravity during fermentation. It is expressed as a percentage of original gravity and calculated by (OG - FG) / OG. We measure apparent attenuation because the alcohol produced during fermentation is lighter than water meaning OG readings are not truly measurements of the sugars in beer. Most often ...


11

It's the CO2 - I've had the same thing happen sniffing the top of a regular bubbler airlock. The CO2 enters the nose and dissolves quickly in the small capillaries creating carbonic acid, which stings. There's no real danger here since you don't stick about long enough to breathe in much CO2.


11

It seems that it was used at New Belgium primarily for yeast storage between brews, not fermentation. AFAIK, New Belgium stopped doing it after a short trial (one batch of Fat Tire) when they found it led to premature staling and off flavors. I know of only one controlled test of it on the homebrew level and the tasters in a blind triangle tasting ...


10

It couldn't hurt Oxygen is one of the two beer spoilers that homebrewers can control. Reducing beer's exposure to it helps achieve maximum flavor stability. However Before going through the trouble and expense ask yourself if you have a problem. Do your beers taste like wet cardboard or stale crackers? Are you going to lay them down for an extraordinarily ...


10

I wouldn't bother. As Jack said, the CO2 given off during fermentation will provide a protective layer between your beer and the evil oxygen. If you want to be really safe, you could not use a secondary at all. I only use them now if I am adding fruit or something to the beer during fermentation. Instead I just leave the beer in the primary for 3–4 weeks ...


10

Factors Influencing Attentuation The apparent attenuation range published by yeast manufacturers shows how the yeast generally perform, under typical fermentation conditions. The following factors will affect the attenuation delivered by the yeast: Fermentability of the wort Maltotriose is only partially fermentable, and dextrins, caramelized sugars, and ...


10

In order to be able to calculate fermentation temperature, an exothermic process, we need to know how much heat (H) is "evolved" as yeasts convert sugars to alcohol. Digging around in the literature I found this article (1). Although its focus is bioethanol production, it does give some figures in terms of joules per mole which we can use to do the ...


10

I don't know, but for the sake of peace of mind, I'd dump the batch if it was me. The primary concern should be the ingestion of a heavy metal, not bacteria. Wort/beer is acidic, and a quick internet search reveals that lead may partially dissolve in carbonated water and other acids, and that contact with food should be avoided. The answer probably depends ...


10

Ideally when using irish moss, very little of it should end up in the fermentor. It's a good idea to let the boil settle for 10-15 minutes after flameout so that the moss and the proteins it's attracted have time to fall to the bottom of the kettle. But even if it does make it to the fermentor, it won't have any significant affect on the yeast: The irish ...


10

Headspace in the carboy is nice to avoid this, but ultimately, a blow-off tube is the answer. By switching out the airlocks, you did the right thing, and ultimately, as long as you didn't let it sit exposed for a long period of time (in the realm of 20+ minutes), the likelihood of infection isn't high. Plus, the krausen (foamy stuff that sits on top of the ...


10

This is no problem at all. To address your questions: "what effect (taste, strength, yeast effects) might I expect from adding the sugar at the start of fermentation?" Priming sugar (almost definitely glucose a.k.a dextrose), being nearly tasteless and highly fermentable (90+%), will increase ABV% without adding either residual (unfermentable) sugar or ...


9

There are two things to consider when racking to secondary: Wait for primary fermentation to finish. The common rule of thumb is to wait until the gravity of the beer doesn't change over the course of three days. This will indicate that the primary fermentation has completed. However, it's helpful to leave your beer in primary a little longer, even after ...


9

Corn syrup Regular olde sucrose Malt extract Brown sugar if you're desperate See A Primer on Priming and How to Brew.


9

I say use any size it fits in. In the secondary, there is unlikely to be any significant foaming unless you add a fermentable flavor such as a fruit juice. A five gallon carboy will serve fine. Concerns about oxygenation in larger carboys, in my opinion, are largely unfounded. Small amounts of fermentation are still occurring in the secondary as well as ...


9

The best is when so much pressure builds up that the airlock is shot to the ceiling and your closet is splattered in fermentation goo. Solutions: use a 6.5 gallon carboy for 5 gallon batches -and/or- use a blow-off tube (examples here)


9

I would just leave it another couple of weeks - that strain is notorious for stalling after a quick start, but it will pick up again. The Wyeast yeast strain guide for 3274 says this: This strain is notorious for a rapid and vigorous start to fermentation, only to stick around 1.035 S.G. Fermentation will finish, given time and warm temperatures. ...


9

I am a very big fan of pressurized fermentation. The benefits I see, in rough order of the value I place on them: 1) Pressurized ferments streamline my process tremendously. This is the big one. Once my wort is chilled, I transfer to a regular corny keg (just under 5 gallons). I keep the fermentation at 5 psi until it starts slowing down, and then I cap to ...



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