Friday, November 23, 2007

Secondary Fermentation of My DunkelWeizen

I moved my homebrewed DunkelWeizen into the secondary fermentor today. Though I know this step isn’t 100% necessary on wheat beers, I decided to do it. My concern was the size of my primary fermentor. Being 9.5 gallons large and my beer level at 5 gallons, there was a lot of air space that could end up contaminating the beer. The only downside to this move for me is my secondary fermentor is a 6 gallon carboy left over from my wine making kit. But after some thought, I decided that 1 gallon of extra space versus 4.5 gallons was a good move.

Moving beer or wine into a secondary fermentor help with the clearing process. Since DunkelWeizen is a naturally cloudy brew, a lot of people skip this step. Besides clearing up the brew, the secondary fermentation removes the brew from the dead yeast (lees). This may help increase the flavor of the brew and make it less yeasty tasting. Some styles of beers taste better a little yeasty. This is the fun of brewing, finding that perfect combination.

I also tested the specific gravity. I am around a 1.022. I started at a 1.054 and need to get down around a 1.010 before I bottle. This should be by next weekend. I am hoping for next Friday night.

Here are some photos of the move to secondary fermentation.

Moving the Brew from Primary to Secondary FermentorThe Secondary Fermentor Filling UpThe Hydrometer Reading. Around a 1.022The Secondary Fermentor with Brew Belt To Keep It Warm


Scott1419 said...

Being new to brewing, I am interested in secondary fermintaion.

Can a simple siphon be used to transfer the beer to the second carboy. Does exposure to air in this prcess hinder taste or action?

Also should temperature in the secondary fermintation stage be lower.



Jeff Louella said...

A simple siphon is fine. Just make everything is clean and sanitary.

I've moved away from secondary fermentation on most beers. I usually do it on the higher gravity beers.

If you do it, try not to let anything splash. It will add oxygen and stale your beer quicker.

If you are using a secondary to clear the beer, I would do it colder.

I go from primary to keg, then chill down the keg to 40. The yeast drops, then my first pint of beer has some yeast in it. But after that, it is clear.