Two stage fermentations

Where solids (peels, grains, twigs and stems, other ingredients, etc.) or proteins are present in large quantities, a two-stage fermentation can be very useful, and is traditional for wine production.

An initial "primary" fermentation is carried out, usually in an open fermenter. An open fermenter is usually fitted with a lid to keep the precious fluid clean, but since this is not an effective airlock it can be regarded as being open to the atmosphere. After the initial foaming has died down, or the color and flavor are extracted from the peels or other ingredients, the still-fermenting liquid is carefully siphoned off into a "secondary" fermentation vessel, often a glass carboy. This procedure is called "racking." The remainder of the fermentation takes place away from the air in the protected environment of a carboy, barrel or fermentation tank carefully sealed with an airlock (which may be a firmly secured cork for the last stages of fermentation of sparkling wines).

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