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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Transferring Halvtreds to Secondary

Halvtreds at 3 weeks
I find that I mostly post about brewing but don't spend to much time discussing/update what happens after I pitch the yeast.  This will be a quick post about transferring to secondary complete with some tips I've picked up.

When we last left Halvtreds it was a few days in primary at 55 degrees.  I generally start all of my lagers at 55 degrees, I know some people throw it down straight to "lagering temps" in the 30s - 40s but I question where they learned this.  My lagering techniques come from two sources, Shawn and his years of brewing and Gregory J. Noonan's New Brewing Lager Beer which Shawn recommended I read.

My lagering schedule looks like this.  8-10 days primary fermentation at 55 degrees.  Once primary fermentation has slowed I perform my diacetyl rest by raise the temp to 68 degree for a couple of days.  This helps the yeast clean up any diacetyl in the beer, something that because of their low fermentation temperatures lager are more prone to.  After a few days I rack it into secondary and set it to 50 ramping it down to 45.  After another period of time I start to lager it by bringing the temp slowly from 45 to 40-30s.

Shot of my siphon screen
What is diacetyl and why don't I want it in my beer? Diacetyl is a byproduct of fermentation that can impart a buttery flavor in your beer. In ales the higher fermentation temperatures generally clean up unwanted diactyl. This is why the diacetyl rest is beneficial in lager brewing. 

Back to Halvtreds.  Primary had slowed after 10 days so I started my diacetyl rest at 66-68 for about 4 days.  After that I knew I didn't have time to transfer so I returned it to 55 degrees.  The following week I quickly took an hour and moved it to secondary.   

A couple of tricks I've picked up that I use in secondary (and tertiary) transfers are; I flush the secondary vessel with CO2 from my keezer prior to filling it and I tie a sanitized nylon bag to the end of my auto siphon.

Now that it's in secondary I wait to see if I can score some East Coast Yeast, if not then I'll select a White Labs version and start the souring phase.



More Pictures
Siphoning away
Great color
Definitely have a good amount of this beer


  1. I didn't know anyone tries to ferment lagers in the 30s or 40s.

    My lager technique is pretty similar to yours. I do primary fermentation at around 55. I let it raise to 68 (give or take) for a few days. I don't "lager" in secondary, though. I just go ahead and rack it into the keg and let it stay at 40 (or so) until I can't wait any longer.

    Of course, I've never done a sour lager. (never done a sour at all ... I have to fix that sometime).

  2. Gotta go with what Maestro Noonan preached...he was a genius regarding lagers...R.I.P.


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