Triple-Stage Fermentation

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

Moderator: slothrob

Triple-Stage Fermentation

Postby Jargent » Fri Aug 17, 2001 3:42 am

Hey there.
I'm relatively new to home-brewing, getting ready to start on my fourth batch. Still working from receipe kits rather than individual purchased ingredients.
One of the kits I'm looking at is a Belgian beer that calls for a three-stage fermentation. I've succussfully done two-stage, but haven't even seen three-stage referenced in any of the books I'm reading. My assumption is I'll just siphon it into another bucket or carboy and treat it like a 2nd fermentation, though I suspect I'll add some ingredient for the 3rd go-around.
Is this a proper assumption? Is there anything else I should know/be worried about?
Jargent
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 7:37 am

Tertiary Fermentation

Postby KBrau » Fri Aug 17, 2001 10:23 am

While some recipes do call for a tertiary fermentation they are generally not necessary. The only occasions I can think of are if you have a very high gravity beer that takes a very long time to ferment or if you notice an awful lot of sediment during a secondary. Every time you transport your beer to another vessel you are increasing your risk of contamination so if it isn't necessary I would avoid it. Your assumption is correct however that you can just rack it over and treat it like a secondary fermentation. Also if you decide to do a tertiary fermentation, I would not use a plastic bucket as it is permeable by oxygen and can cause the oxidation of your beer. Use a carboy if at all possible.
User avatar
KBrau
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:13 pm
Location: Melville, NY

High Gravity Beer

Postby Jargent » Fri Aug 17, 2001 12:00 pm

Thanks for the comments. The beer I'm trying to brew is a Belgian beer with a pretty high gravity, the target alcohol level is 8.2%. I'm going to try and see if I can get by with two fermentations, but I'll have to see where the gravity is after the 2nd.
As for the carboy issue, I don't have one, but I'd be willing to pick up one (but not two for now). Would it be most important at the 2nd or 3rd fermentation?
Jargent
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 7:37 am

Carboy

Postby KBrau » Sat Aug 18, 2001 10:47 am

I would have to say that if you are ever doing a fermentation other than a primary it should always be done in a carboy. Plastic buckets are OK for Primary because the beer is usually vigorously fermenting and producing lots of CO2 which will purge oxygen, but as the fermentation slows down oxidation becomes more of a threat. If you are aiming for 8.2% than I don't think that that you will need a tertiary fermentation. Generally it is used to avoid a problem called Yeast Autolysis, which is when yeast are sitting around too long and begin to consume themselves causing off flavors in your beer. This mainly would occur mainly in High gravity barley wines or other similar brews. You should be fine. Remember also that you are brewing for fun, so just try to enjoy yourself. Whenever I start to worry about how my beer is coming along or about some other problem I may be having with a fermentation, I just pour myself a homebrew and suddenly it doesn't seem so important.
User avatar
KBrau
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:13 pm
Location: Melville, NY

Pitch a generous starter

Postby jeff » Sat Aug 18, 2001 5:55 pm

I recently brewed a Belgian Tripel which fermented out quite well with two stage fermentation. I used a 6.5 gallon carboy for the primary, and a 5 gallon carboy for the secondary. A generous amount of yeast slurry is the key to complete fermentation. This means that you should culture some up well ahead of time and pitch it when it is good and active. My batch finished over 9% ABV in the end.
To help with bottle conditioning, you can add a small amount of fresh yeast to the beer just before bottling. High gravity beers sometimes take a while to carbonate. It helps but is not necessary.
User avatar
jeff
Imperial Stout
Imperial Stout
 
Posts: 1413
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2000 9:16 pm
Location: Hollywood, SC


Return to Techniques, Methods, Tips & How To

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests

cron