Transfer - Primary to Secondary

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Sep 30, 2007
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1st timmer. Ok I am getting ready to transfer from primary to secondary and looking for suggestions on the method. I am fermenting in 6 gallon pales using grape guice shipped from cali. I hear conflicting stories on what to do so I am looking for a good process. (I stirred twice in the beginning of my primary fermentation but not again)


1) How do I know when it is time to transfer to the secondary

2) Do I stir the primary before I transfer in oder to transfer all the lees (some say yes some say no)? I think this may provide an off taste b/c you will be sitting in the same dead yeast. But then I heard the fermentation may stall

3) Do I siphon into my carboy reducing the amount of oxygen or pour through the funnel.

Within Secondary

1) How long should I be in this stage

2) Do Oak that this stage

3) Do I use sulfites.

4) Anything else that I am missing?

Thanks for your help.


Senior Member
Nov 5, 2006
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Different winemakers will answer these questions differently. I make kits rather than pails of juice, but here's my kick at the can.

1) when to transfer...when sg has dropped beloiw 1.010, preferably closer to 1.000

2) if sg down around 1.000, not necessary to stir, although you may wish to transfer as much as possible

3) syphon preferred over funnel. Funnel method has two problems...oxidize wine, and weight of primary. Assuming you have a funnel wide enough

Second set of questions...

1) how long in this stage - minimum time is fermentation complete - maximim time ????

2) oak tming varies between winemakers

3) sulfites at this stage MAY slow or stall fermentation

4) .....