hist-brewing: Re: racking

j/kbooth jameshbooth at worldnet.att.net
Sun Nov 25 14:03:12 PST 2001

> > I have also lagered raspberries at 40 degrees  for 3 weeks in a
> > secondary, leaving the fruit in for 3 weeks.
> > It is important to avoid off flavors from autolysis, caused by leaving
> > your beer on a bed of yeast too long.
> Racking multiple times will alleviate this.  Take a page from the wine
> and mead-maker's playbook and simply rack four or five times.  I use a
> pyramid scheme -- 
> Primary -- max 7 days
> Secondary -- max two weeks
> Tertiary -- max three weeks
> Quaternary -- max four weeks
> &c.
> More nastiness will settle out each time.  There will still be yeast
> enough in the finished "bright" beer for bottle or keg-conditioning --
> something on the order of 103 cells/ml, if I'm not horribly mistaken.
> Sláinte,
>         -Bob

I think that the idea that multiple rackings will increase settlement
is a myth.

There is some concern about thick layers of yeast laying for long periods
of time as occurs in the aging of wine, as for periods of years.
Autolysis is rarely a problem with beer aging as it is months not years.

The more racking you do the more contamination you add to the process, and
the more oxygen.  Both are bad when beer is aging.

Think about it.....how could the process of racking or stirring the beer
contribute to settling out.

I don't rack my ales at all, but bottle out of the primary, and rack my 
lagers once.  This discussion was had on the Homebrewers Digest years ago
and one of the top guru's of home brewing weighed in that this was his

With fruit beers, the use of a sack to contain the fruit and facilitate
removal there of is something I would recommend.  Leaving a 6 inch layer
of liquid in the bottom of expensive fruit beers is hard on my cheap soul.

cheers, jim booth

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