Author Topic: Secondary options  (Read 1437 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Secondary options
« on: January 12, 2014, 08:26:03 AM »
Thinking ahead to next week, I'm looking at the below instructions from my kit...

"After 5-7 days of fermentation, add 1 oz. Ahtanum, 1 oz Amarillo and 1 oz. Simcoe hops. You can add the hops directly to the sanitized secondary fermenter and rack on top of the hops – you’ll get more from the hops this way. If you are using a single stage fermenting system, then leave the beer in the fermenter for two weeks total and carefully add the hops to the primary fermenter. Allow this to age for 7-10 days. Optionally, you can use a spare fine nylon bag to hold the dry hops, but this is not required."

I've never used a secondary (I have a 5 gallon carboy for this) and I'm wondering will the beer be better going this route vs. adding these hops straight to the primary?

I'm curious if the quality of the end result will outweigh the risk of infection.

Offline hokerer

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 08:46:32 AM »
Thinking ahead to next week, I'm looking at the below instructions from my kit...

"After 5-7 days of fermentation, add 1 oz. Ahtanum, 1 oz Amarillo and 1 oz. Simcoe hops. You can add the hops directly to the sanitized secondary fermenter and rack on top of the hops – you’ll get more from the hops this way. If you are using a single stage fermenting system, then leave the beer in the fermenter for two weeks total and carefully add the hops to the primary fermenter. Allow this to age for 7-10 days. Optionally, you can use a spare fine nylon bag to hold the dry hops, but this is not required."

I've never used a secondary (I have a 5 gallon carboy for this) and I'm wondering will the beer be better going this route vs. adding these hops straight to the primary?

I'm curious if the quality of the end result will outweigh the risk of infection.

Just add them to the primary.  I've done it both ways and you can't tell any difference in the end result.  The simplicity of only using a primary wins out.
Joe

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 08:48:43 AM »
My experience is that my beer is best left undisturbed.  Adding dry hops to the primary would be my preference (one less racking - so a lower likelihood of contamination).  Sometimes, however, reasons exist for using a secondary (where harvesting yeast from the primary, fruit is added, extended aging, spicing, or a true secondary fermentation of some other additive).
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Offline yso191

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 08:50:05 AM »
Very few home brewers use a secondary fermenter.  There are specific times where it is good to do so, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

Here is what I do: As fermentation is subsiding, but I can still see airlock activity (usually day 4), I just dump all of my dry-hopping hops into the fermenter.  I wait seven days and then keg or bottle. 

Some guys wait until fermentation is completely over.  My guess is that the timing there doesn't matter much.
Steve
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Offline pinnah

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 09:06:29 AM »
Some guys wait until fermentation is completely over.  My guess is that the timing there doesn't matter much.

I wait until fermentation is complete and the yeast has dropped. I think you get the most out of your dry hop that way.

Another reason to use a secondary (other than all the ones ynotbrusome provided) is: If you want to brew another batch right away in that 6 gallon carboy it helps to have it available.  :)

Have fun!

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 09:33:43 AM »

Very few home brewers use a secondary fermenter.  There are specific times where it is good to do so, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

Not according to a recent AHA poll.

I only secondary when I want the yeast or for extended aging.

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2014, 09:36:52 AM »
So I can dump them straight into the primary after a week? The instructions mention waiting 2 weeks, then adding. Although going this route, it seems as if I would have to wait 3 weeks to bottle.

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2014, 09:45:23 AM »

So I can dump them straight into the primary after a week? The instructions mention waiting 2 weeks, then adding. Although going this route, it seems as if I would have to wait 3 weeks to bottle.

I would wait until you know it is finished, then add the dry hops. Minimal airlock activity will work, but you should measure.

Offline euge

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 09:58:05 AM »
If I dry hop it is done in kegs with a hop-sock. This is fished out after a week or two. Sometimes I leave it in...
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2014, 12:04:15 PM »
If I dry hop it is done in kegs with a hop-sock. This is fished out after a week or two. Sometimes I leave it in...

My approach, typically, too.  You can use a stainless tea ball for each ounce and suspend them with light fishing lines or just drop them in....
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Offline dkfick

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2014, 12:27:09 PM »
It's been my experience that dry hopping in the primary will give you a reduced aroma vs dry hopping in a secondary or keg.  I've read from many sources that the yeast cells absorb many of the volatile hop oils you want in the aroma from your dry hop addition.  I've even heard of breweries actually filtering their beer prior to the dry hop to get better hop aromas.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2014, 02:02:12 PM »
It's been my experience that dry hopping in the primary will give you a reduced aroma vs dry hopping in a secondary or keg.  I've read from many sources that the yeast cells absorb many of the volatile hop oils you want in the aroma from your dry hop addition.  I've even heard of breweries actually filtering their beer prior to the dry hop to get better hop aromas.

Hence the suggestions above to wait until the yeast drops and then add them.  The yeast in the trub at the bottom of the fermenter isn't going to absorb those oils, it's what little yeast remains in solution.  And whether you rack to secondary or not, you'll still have the same amount of "oil absorbing" yeast cells present.
Joe

Offline dkfick

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2014, 05:45:45 PM »
It's been my experience that dry hopping in the primary will give you a reduced aroma vs dry hopping in a secondary or keg.  I've read from many sources that the yeast cells absorb many of the volatile hop oils you want in the aroma from your dry hop addition.  I've even heard of breweries actually filtering their beer prior to the dry hop to get better hop aromas.

Hence the suggestions above to wait until the yeast drops and then add them.  The yeast in the trub at the bottom of the fermenter isn't going to absorb those oils, it's what little yeast remains in solution.  And whether you rack to secondary or not, you'll still have the same amount of "oil absorbing" yeast cells present.
Not according to my experience and those of people i've spoken with... Unless you have a conical and remove that yeast in the bottom.  I'm not sure what makes you think yeast in the bottom of a fermenter would all of a sudden not absorb things in solution...
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Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2014, 06:03:03 PM »
Obviously, unless you filter there will always be yeast in the beer (whether enough to actually see it is another matter), but the amount of yeast in suspension plays a definite role in dry hopping. I brewed the exact IPA recipe last year twice in a row with the same bulk hops, one dry hopped after peak krausen (like I used to do), the other dry hopped in secondary 3 weeks after brewing when the beer was pretty clear. There was a big difference in hop quality - the one done in secondary had better, more abundant hop character that lasted longer. Clearly that beer had yeast in it since I don't (and wouldn't) filter.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Secondary options
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2014, 06:05:03 PM »
Once airlock activity is done (no bubbles, not just no bubbling) I take my first terminal gravity reading and sample for acetaldehyde. I drop in my hops in a loose fitting fine mesh bag. 4 days later I do a second terminal gravity reading to make sure it's done done. If it is I cold crash to 32° for 2-3 days. Then rack to keg or bottling bucket.

I get as much hop aroma than hopping in the keg without the over hopped last few pints.