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Extended secondary and repitching yeast

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Beerontwowheels, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Hey guys - I plan on bottling a RIS this weekend that has been in secondary for 4 months. I plan on using the same yeast (one vial of wlp002) as was used during primary.

    I plan on pitching the yeast into the carboy and then racking off to the bottling bucket. I figure this is the surest way to incorporate the yeast throughtout the mixture without introducing a lot of oxygen (i.e. Stirring).

    Any concerns here? Better methods? I put a lot of 'time' into this one and I'm excited to have it turn out right.

    If after bottling, I keep the bottles around 65-70 for two weeks, is there any chance the new yeast will create any off flavors while munching on the priming sugar? (I ask because I had a barleywine that I pitched S04 (in after a secondary and it went to shit. Tasted great before adding the new yeast, but had off flavors once carb'd)
  2. Caveat: I have never personally added yeast at bottling to any of my beers.

    Adding yeast at bottling should not cause any off flavors. I am unsure what happened to your batch of Barleywine.

    The amount of fermentation that occurs during bottle conditioning (which is a true secondary fermentation) is small. No noticeable flavors should be produced and the only noticeable aspect should be the carbonation process for the case of a beer that has been conditioned for 4 months.

    Most folks just add some dry yeast to the bottling bucket; the amount mentioned is to use less than a packet of yeast (e.g., some people use ½ packet). Which yeast selected for the bottling process is unimportant since again the only ‘effect’ is carbonation.

    As regards the topic of: “I plan on pitching the yeast into the carboy and then racking off to the bottling bucket. I figure this is the surest way to incorporate the yeast throughtout the mixture without introducing a lot of oxygen (i.e. Stirring).” Since you are adding priming sugar to the bottling bucket, and you really should stir to ensure proper mixture of the priming sugar, adding the yeast to the bottling bucket is OK.

    Let’s discuss oxidation a bit. Gentle stirring of the priming sugar solution (and bottling yeast in this case) should not be a problem. As I mentioned, stir gently to ensure proper mixing. During the bottle conditioning process the yeast will utilize residual oxygen as part of the true secondary fermentation process.

  3. I've always allowed the act of racking into the bottling bucket to be a kind of 'natural' stirring. It has it's own kind of whirlpooling going on, so I never saw the need to stir. Carbonation has always turned out well.

    Do others homebrew bottlers also stir? Just curious.

    Thanks for the feedback Jack.
  4. Xul

    Xul Advocate (530) California May 18, 2008

    I usually give a couple gentle stirs after racking into the bottling bucket, and maybe once in the middle of bottling if I'm running a bit slow in filling bottles, but I'm generally a believer that putting the priming solution in the bucket first will create enough natural mixing as the beer siphons in. The gentle stirring is just an insurance policy that nothing is settling or separating while I'm bottling.
  5. I would encourage you to read this past thread concerning stirring and inconsistent carbonation: http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/no-carbonation-possible-solutions.51944/#post-674140

    I have only not stirred once and that batch had inconsistent carbonation problems.

    If you consistently get good mixture of the priming sugar solution by just siphoning on top of it, then I guess that method works for you. Because of my one bad experience I recommend that stirring should be used.

    As a FYI, below are the instructions I got from my LHBS (way back in 1995):

    “10) Just about now your siphon is finished. Raise your bottling bucket to waist-high and give a couple stirs to distribute the corn sugar.”

  6. premierpro

    premierpro Savant (315) Michigan Mar 21, 2009

    I have never aged beer in a bucket for mor then 4-5 weeks and have never had to add more yeast. I would add your new yeast and your desolved sugar to your secondary fermenter with a gentle stir then rack to your bottling bucket.
  7. Thanks again, guys. I'll give it a gentle stir after adding yeast and p. sugar.

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