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Old 01-04-2013, 02:58 PM   #1
smokehouse
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Default beer fermenting question

I did my first brew a few days ago. A Hefeweizen. The directions said to let the beer settle for 3-4 days after i don't see anymore bubbles, generally a week total. I bought another kit of a different Hefeweizen to experiment with by putting some fruit flavor in there for the wife. These directions say to ferment for one week and then transfer over to a second fermenter for another week. My question is should I ferment my first batch in a second fermenter even though the directions say not too?
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: beer fermenting question

Without getting too technical... it's up to you

A batch of yeast is only going to eat so much of the sugar that you put into the beer. When the yeast is done it settles to the bottom. Flavor wise, with the time frame you are talking about, it doesn't matter if it finishes in the first fermenter or the second one. Many people use the secondary to extend the process and get some additional clarity. With a Hefe you aren't worried about clarity, so it really is up to you.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: beer fermenting question

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Originally Posted by Salvelinus View Post
Without getting too technical... it's up to you

A batch of yeast is only going to eat so much of the sugar that you put into the beer. When the yeast is done it settles to the bottom. Flavor wise, with the time frame you are talking about, it doesn't matter if it finishes in the first fermenter or the second one. Many people use the secondary to extend the process and get some additional clarity. With a Hefe you aren't worried about clarity, so it really is up to you.
Those were my thoughts too. When I brewed years ago, I would rack to a secondary for a clearer beer and lessen the yeast flavor it might pick up from the yeast cake on the bottom. But a Hefe isn't supposed to be clear, so I would only do it to remove as much of the yeast that you don't want in the keg/bottles.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: beer fermenting question

I did a second rack with the 1 and only hef i brewed. I always have 2 racks.. This latest beer I am doing will be ready to bottle tomorrow, I am going to rack again to get as much of the settlement out.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: beer fermenting question

Also depends on how much equipment you have to rotate through and how quickly you want to get that second hefe started, especially if you only have 1 bucket and 1 carboy. If you're adding actual fruit to hefe #2, you'll ideally have that in the secondary for some period of time so racking hefe #1 wouldn't be a bad idea.

For me, I'd probably just leave hefe #1 in the primary for another week, take a reading and then bottle. Either way, the beer won't suffer as long as you use good technique.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: beer fermenting question

Important thing when racking multiple times is to keep everything absolutely sanitary. Even the slightest lapse can introduce unwanted bacteria. Everyone who home brews for a good long while falls victim.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: beer fermenting question

For the one you are adding fruit to, you will want to rack to a secondary. The yeast in primary can scrub some of the flavors from the fruit if you put the fruit in the primary. For me personally, unless I am adding fruit, dry hopping, or lagering, I don't transfer to a secondary. I usually let all my ales sit on the yeast cake for at least 2-3 weeks.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: beer fermenting question

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmw6300 View Post
For the one you are adding fruit to, you will want to rack to a secondary. The yeast in primary can scrub some of the flavors from the fruit if you put the fruit in the primary. For me personally, unless I am adding fruit, dry hopping, or lagering, I don't transfer to a secondary. I usually let all my ales sit on the yeast cake for at least 2-3 weeks.
So you add the fruit once you are in the secondary?

I just brewed a Pumpkin Ale, but only did a primary. I have not tasted it, but I am wondering if the yeast could have taken much of the fruit flavor?
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: beer fermenting question

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So you add the fruit once you are in the secondary?
Correct. I brewed a Blonde Ale two summers ago and racked it on to 3 lbs. of frozen strawberries. By being frozen, the cells of the fruit were broken which allows more of the flavors to be released. Also, since they were frozen, all the nastys were killed off.

Being that fruit contains some sugars that can be converted by yeast to alcohol, you may have a small second fermentation once you rack on to the fruit. It won't be anything like your primary fermentation but don't be alarmed if the airlock starts bubbling.
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