hist-brewing: Re: racking

Bob Davis brewer at enter.net
Tue Nov 27 17:25:33 PST 2001

j/kbooth wrote:
> I think that the idea that multiple rackings will increase settlement
> is a myth.

Oops.  I never intended to imply that *more* would settle.  I meant to
say that *some* will settle out each time.

> 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.

It is my experience that autolysis is very much possible, with as little
as three days on a yeast bed after active fermentation has ceased.
[shrug] That's the problem with empirical evidence, I suppose. :)
> The more racking you do the more contamination you add to the process, and
> the more oxygen.  Both are bad when beer is aging.

Too true.  Better heads than mine have mentioned methods to avoid this
nastiness in this very forum.  I wish to agree with you, and emphasise
the point -- avoid excessive aeration!

> 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
> procedure.

I rack my ales at least once (more often for those I wish to age longer,
like barley wines, since I believe in bulk ageing), and don't make
lagers at all.  Like I said, I've had autolysis/yeast-bite in the past,
and this fix works for me.  
> 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.

Preach it, brother!  I always hate to lose hard-earned beer to ANY

Robert Davis: Brewer, Living Historian
Dolor est fugax. Gloria perennis. Puellae
cicatricibus gaudent.

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