It’s time that I write another short blob/blog/whatever 🙂 about making your home brewing experience better with minimal extra steps and effort.
This the 2nd fermentation stage. So after a week or so, maybe even sooner, ( as most fermentation activity will stop in 3-4 days ), you will gently transfer the beer from the Primary container to the Secondary container (the container can be a glass carboy/plastic [food grade] fermentation bucket, or whatever you have to work with. The 2nd fermentation tank will also have a co2 cap, so that nothing bad can get into the container…
I would use some kind of a tube to transfer the beer, and not disturb the primary fermentation tank, this will leave all that nasty brewers yeast at the bottom, where you want it. While there are some benefits of consuming the brewers yeast (vitamins), most people don’t like to see that in their beer and you will almost never see that in the store.
Commercial brewers use in addition filters too and additives as well!
Most of the fermentation takes place in the Primary container, so this is a bit miss-leading, about further fermentation, but there will be a bit of that going on, mostly you won’t notice it.
Most beers can be done with a single-fermentation stage, but once you do the 2nd stage and see all the benefits from that, you will never go back to the single-stage again, trust me!
Here are some of the benefits as I observed it:
- most of the brewers yeast is left over in the primary vessel (left behind)
- whatever does make it into the 2nd stage, will settle at the bottom over time and cake into a harder layer
- the beer will be much clearer, cleaner and crisper!
- you can leave the beer in the 2nd stage for months, if you are not ready for whatever reason to bottle/keg just yet
- fermentation becomes more complete
- much fewer off-flavors
- dry hopping – http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2008/05/21/dry-hopping-enhanced-hops-aroma/
- including additional ingredients to enhance flavors, aroma, smell, etc….
there are other benefits, if you brew lager beer, the word lager literally means” to lay down”, and other stronger beers also need the extra time to age and become more mellow for the flavoring.
When you transfer the beer into the 2nd fermentation stage, it is best not to leave any head-room, (empty-space in the vessel), because air is there and oxygen degrades beer. If you do end up with a little bit off extra space, put a table-spoon of priming sugar into the container, that will react with the yeast and produce a little-bit more alcohol and co2, and the co2 will force out any stale air out of the container, while preventing anything from the outside getting into the vessel.
You can also force in some co2 gas if you keg to force out the oxygen out and cap it.
I also recommend that you do a search on youtube and spend a little-bit more time watching over some videos that other people have made, I would watch a few to get the better idea of what you have to do, sometimes it is better to view a video (when you are just starting out)…
Keep on brewing! :- )