Belgian beer - secondary ferment in keg?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by klaus.1, Jan 6, 2021.

  1. Klaus.101

    Klaus.101 New Member

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    #1 Klaus.101, Jan 6, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
    Hi everyone

    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I'm very new to this! Hopefully I'm not missing an protocols in asking for help...

    Anyway, I done a few "kits" and am now brewing a Belgian style beer. However, I only have one fermenting bin... is it possible to do the second fermentation (where I add some of the yeast lees from the first ferment) in the pressure barrel instead? The recipe I have says to do it in another bin and then keg after that.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I have never done s secondary, but have also never done a Belgian. Transferring to a secondary is actually intended to get the beer off of the yeast, and wouldn't be done until fermentation was complete.
    Once fermentation is done you can transfer to your keg, and let it condition there.
     
  3. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    About half of my beers are Belgians and I do just what you are suggesting. I even take it one step further and combine the secondary fermentation with natural carbonation.

    I just tapped a Belgian dark strong ale that I had kegged and primed back in September.
     
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  4. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad I qualified that I have never done a Belgian.
     
  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I do bulk aging and secondary fermentations in kegs quite often. Works well for some types of beer. I also do as Bubba does and carbonate a batch in the keg for a week or so using sugar added with the beer, before connecting it to a tap. Works really well for me.

    Though I'm guessing the recipe your using is talking about the concept of a secondary fermenter from a habit homebrewers developed a few decades ago that really isn't necessary any more. When the gravity is stable, move the beer to your keg and either force carbonate it, or keg condition it by adding some sugar to the keg. The beer will clear up naturally once you refrigerate it.
     
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  6. Klaus.101

    Klaus.101 New Member

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    #6 Klaus.101, Jan 7, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
    Thanks all, I really appreciate the responses.

    Just to follow up with one more question: if I transfer to the barrel, add the sugar and lees and leave to secondary ferment, does it matter that the barrel does not have an airlock? Should I open / loosen the lid every now and again to release the pressure, or will it be okay to just close and leave until the gravity is low and stable?
     
  7. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    If I'm leaving it for just a week or two I don't bother. If it's my sours I'll pull the pressure relief valve every month or so.

    Unless you add way too much sugar it's hard to hit the pressure limits of a keg (assuming when you say barrel, you're talking about a stainless steel pressure capable keg).
     
  8. Klaus.101

    Klaus.101 New Member

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    Okay, great. Thanks, that's really helpful. I'm talking about the basic Young's white pressure barrel, but I assume that will work the same way.
     
  9. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    I can't say, but a Corny keg is generally rated to over 100 PSI; The Young's is likely far less, yet I was unable to find any pressure rating for it.

    But here we're talking about carbonation pressure, likely to be less than 20 PSI, which is what the Young's barrel is designed for.
     
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  10. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Had a look at one. It's got a pressure relief valve, so you don't need to purge things. You should be fine, assuming you can get a seal. Another forum has a bunch of threads on not getting a seal, rather than too much pressure.
     

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