R is for Racking

R is for Racking


To be honest, I have no idea why they call it ‘racking.’ There’s no rack involved.

Racking is the process of moving the mostly-fermented beer from one fermentation tank to another. In the process, debris from the brewing and fermentation are left behind in the first tank, and can’t add off-flavors to the beer as it finishes fermenting in the secondary tank.

Racking is not necessary for brewing, but in general results in a clearer, better-tasting beer.

Racking the beer with my world-famous chair set-up
Racking my Sam Adams Summer Ale clone with my world-famous chair set-up

Primary fermentation is the fermentation that takes place in the tank, carboy, or jug that you start fermentation right after brewing. It’s during primary fermentation that the kraeusen rises and falls and most of the fermentation takes place. This typically lasts one to two weeks. Then the beer is racked to a clean carboy to finish fermentation for another week or two before bottling or kegging.

I’m participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. The goal is to write a post prompted by a letter of the alphabet on each day of April (except Sunday). My theme this year is brewing. Visit my other A to Z posts by clicking here.

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