Author Topic: The final word on a secondary fermentation  (Read 6535 times)

Offline denny

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2010, 09:02:17 AM »
I've often thought that the pro brewers are paranoid about yeast autolysis more than homebrewers possibly because the amount of pressure on the cone of a tall cylindroconical fermenter is greater than what you would find in a bucket or a carboy.  Do you guys think there's anything to that theory?  That pressure on the yeast accelerates autolysis?

I agree, and if you look at Palmer's answer in Ask the Experts, so does he.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2010, 09:36:57 AM »
I've often thought that the pro brewers are paranoid about yeast autolysis more than homebrewers possibly because the amount of pressure on the cone of a tall cylindroconical fermenter is greater than what you would find in a bucket or a carboy.  Do you guys think there's anything to that theory?  That pressure on the yeast accelerates autolysis?

I agree, and if you look at Palmer's answer in Ask the Experts, so does he.

I just read that answer twice and don't see anything about pressure mentioned.  I guess I missed something.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline micsager

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2010, 09:46:53 AM »
I've been brewing about the same length of time as you.  One thing I've learned, is there is no "final word" on anything when it comes to brewing.  

Having said that, I do not use secondary fermentation. If your flavor reasons are ones that you, yourself have experienced, then you should do secondary.  If you've read about those flavors in a book, I think you try a batch or two without.

 pretty much follow whatever JZ says.  It's never served me wrong, and I love the 4-5 styles that I have settled into.  

Basic Pale
Hoppiness is an IPA from BCS
CDA, black IPA, or whatever name that I developed from a BYO recipe
And Amber from BCS
And in the fall, I have a killer holiday brew.

Every once in a while, I will do something else, but seldom.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 10:18:02 AM by micsager »

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2010, 09:49:51 AM »
I've often thought that the pro brewers are paranoid about yeast autolysis more than homebrewers possibly because the amount of pressure on the cone of a tall cylindroconical fermenter is greater than what you would find in a bucket or a carboy.  Do you guys think there's anything to that theory?  That pressure on the yeast accelerates autolysis?
Hydrostatic pressure is a known stress on yeast, so I'd say it seems probable that high pressure would accelrate cell death.  Highly probable.  :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2010, 10:00:03 AM »
I've often thought that the pro brewers are paranoid about yeast autolysis more than homebrewers possibly because the amount of pressure on the cone of a tall cylindroconical fermenter is greater than what you would find in a bucket or a carboy.  Do you guys think there's anything to that theory?  That pressure on the yeast accelerates autolysis?

I routinely leave my beer in the primary until it's time to keg.

The pressure, depth of yeast in the cone (IIRC), and higher temp of the yeast in the cone are all reasons the pros dump the yeast or transfer.  This was covered in "Yeast", so there are some pretty experienced guys who think there is something to that theory.  ;)
Jeff Rankert
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Offline denny

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2010, 10:27:22 AM »
I've often thought that the pro brewers are paranoid about yeast autolysis more than homebrewers possibly because the amount of pressure on the cone of a tall cylindroconical fermenter is greater than what you would find in a bucket or a carboy.  Do you guys think there's anything to that theory?  That pressure on the yeast accelerates autolysis?

I agree, and if you look at Palmer's answer in Ask the Experts, so does he.

I just read that answer twice and don't see anything about pressure mentioned.  I guess I missed something.

I must have missed something, Jeff!  I was sure that was in there.  Now I've got to figure out where I read it.  But I still personally agree with your hypothesis.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline jeffy

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2010, 10:40:39 AM »
I've often thought that the pro brewers are paranoid about yeast autolysis more than homebrewers possibly because the amount of pressure on the cone of a tall cylindroconical fermenter is greater than what you would find in a bucket or a carboy.  Do you guys think there's anything to that theory?  That pressure on the yeast accelerates autolysis?

I routinely leave my beer in the primary until it's time to keg.

The pressure, depth of yeast in the cone (IIRC), and higher temp of the yeast in the cone are all reasons the pros dump the yeast or transfer.  This was covered in "Yeast", so there are some pretty experienced guys who think there is something to that theory.  ;)

I really need to buy that book.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline bluesman

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2010, 10:59:23 AM »
I use a secondary (glass carboy) for aging barleywine and RIS. I could use a keg but don't like to tie up my kegs for that amount of time. I purge the carboy with CO2 and use an autosiphon for the transfer. I top off the carboy to within 2" of the top and cap it with an airlock.
Ron Price

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2010, 11:16:57 AM »
brewmasternpb,

I've had the same thoughts and I'm definitely skeptical of brewers who seem too lazy to brew properly.  The key here (IMO so take this with a grain of salt) is temperature rather than the vessel.  Having observed brewers who transfer from the primary directly to the serving fridge (keg) I found their beers to lack the melding or aging qualities (at least initially) of beer that had sat in a secondary.  Problem solved; now I skip the secondary carboy and transfer to keg but the keg sits at cellar temps for a minimum of two weeks (longer for bigger beers) before seeing the colder temperature of my serving fridge.  In your case (bottling rather than kegging) that doesn't really help.  Ever thought of buying cheap ball lock kegs and counter pressure filling bottles from a primed keg?

Offline micsager

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2010, 11:23:32 AM »
brewmasternpb,

I've had the same thoughts and I'm definitely skeptical of brewers who seem too lazy to brew properly.  The key here (IMO so take this with a grain of salt) is temperature rather than the vessel.  Having observed brewers who transfer from the primary directly to the serving fridge (keg) I found their beers to lack the melding or aging qualities (at least initially) of beer that had sat in a secondary.  Problem solved; now I skip the secondary carboy and transfer to keg but the keg sits at cellar temps for a minimum of two weeks (longer for bigger beers) before seeing the colder temperature of my serving fridge.  In your case (bottling rather than kegging) that doesn't really help.  Ever thought of buying cheap ball lock kegs and counter pressure filling bottles from a primed keg?

"too lazy to brew properly"  interesting statement.  What makes transferring to secondary "proper?" 

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2010, 11:40:20 AM »
You'll note that I said that I don't use a secondary carboy either.  There are some brewers (none in this discussion) that care more about simplifying brewing than they do about the quality of the end product. If the shoe doesn't fit then don't worry about it.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2010, 11:57:15 AM »
I really need to buy that book.

It is one of the few that I plan to read a second time.  Very good stuff.  I recommend it.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline beersk

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2010, 01:29:25 PM »
I saw The Final Word and thought of the pre-prohibition cocktail...

I don't secondary unless it's a high ABV beer and I want to age it.
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Offline denny

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2010, 02:23:19 PM »
I'm definitely skeptical of brewers who seem too lazy to brew properly.

My motto is "The best beer possible with the least work possible while having the most fun possible".  But I'm curious about how you define "brew properly"?  What is "proper brewing"?  Who defines it?  Why doesn't that definition differ from person to person?
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Offline micsager

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Re: The final word on a secondary fermentation
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2010, 02:57:12 PM »
I'm definitely skeptical of brewers who seem too lazy to brew properly.

My motto is "The best beer possible with the least work possible while having the most fun possible".  But I'm curious about how you define "brew properly"?  What is "proper brewing"?  Who defines it?  Why doesn't that definition differ from person to person?

+1, I used to think continuous sparging was "proper"  LOL.