I Don’t Know Ale… Part 2 (Racking & Dry Hopping)

Fast forward about 10-12 days after the bulk of the fermenting is done.  It is time to get the trub (gross stuff at the bottom of the primary fermenter) off the beer so it does not impart off flavors to our beer.  This step is called racking.

Here are the steps of racking beer into the secondary fermentor, with pictures to follow:

  1. Wash and sanitize a 5 gallon and 3 gallon carboy.  Remember we made 8 gallons.
  2. Using an auto-siphon start filling your carboys.  We like to start with the 5 then move to the 3.
  3. Once both are full, re-airlock, and condition in the secondary fermentor until it starts to clarify.  Usually a week or two depending on the sytle of beer brewed.  For this specific style it will take about a week, then we will dry hop it.  Will explain that next.
I Don't Know Ale in primary fermenter.  Ready to be racked over to secondary.

I Don’t Know Ale in primary fermenter. Ready to be racked over to secondary.

Sanitized carboy's ready for action.

Sanitized carboy’s ready for action.

Filling the 5 gallon carboy, then we repeat for the 3 gallon.

Filling the 5 gallon carboy, then we repeat for the 3 gallon.

All set, to condition in secondary fermenter.  Don't the look so good?

All set, to condition in secondary fermenter. Don’t they look so pretty?

*****DRY HOPPING******

This is actually the first beer we have dry hopped.  Dry hopping means adding hops after the brew process in the secondary fermenter.  About 9 days  after we racked this beer to the secondary it had clarified nicely.  Thus is was time for the hops.  We added 1 oz of citra hops, so .625OZ to 5 gallon and .375OZ to 3 gallon.  The hops were measured out in sanitized nylon paint bags and dropped into carboys.  The hops are to sit for exactly 1 week then we bottle.  So we made sure we did it on a weekend because bottling takes a bit of time.  I am hoping to be able to keg soon!  Pictures below of beer…

Hops going in.

Hops going in.

Hops in, 7 days later it will be bottling time.

Hops in, 7 days later it will be bottling time.

Note: I just wanted to show a side by side of what the beer looked like the day we racked into the secondary to the day we added the hops, you can see what I mean by clarification.  A lot more of the yeast that was in suspension settled out.

Side by side, notice the clarification?

Side by side, notice the clarification?

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions… Next up bottling!  Enjoy ~ Megan

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