Author Topic: To do secondary fermintation or not???  (Read 726 times)

Offline mswilliams1975

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To do secondary fermintation or not???
« on: May 16, 2011, 02:55:18 PM »
So in another post of mine a couple of people said not to mess with secondary fermintation and to just leave the beer in the fist stage fermentor for 3 to 4 weeks before bottling. Is this a good practice?
I thought leaving the beer on the sedement that long could cause off flavours? Is the secondary only for trying to seperate the sedement for cleaner looking beer?
Anything worth having is worth hard to achieve.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: To do secondary fermintation or not???
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 03:02:43 PM »
In my experience, autolysis takes longer than 3-4 weeks to become a problem.  The only reason I secondary is if I want to add something to the beer - fruit, dry hops, etc.  Sometimes I just "secondary" in the keg, like with my Spanish cedar pale ale.  I don't worry much about clarity, I use a racking cane and leave the sediment behind.  Any that ends up in the keg will blow off with the first couple of beers anyway.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline chezteth

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Re: To do secondary fermintation or not???
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 03:34:32 PM »
In my experience, autolysis takes longer than 3-4 weeks to become a problem.  The only reason I secondary is if I want to add something to the beer - fruit, dry hops, etc.  Sometimes I just "secondary" in the keg, like with my Spanish cedar pale ale.  I don't worry much about clarity, I use a racking cane and leave the sediment behind.  Any that ends up in the keg will blow off with the first couple of beers anyway.

+1

I do the same.  I used to use a secondary fermentor for all my batches.  Now, only using the primary has resulted in less work and the quality of the beer has stayed the same. 

Offline Malticulous

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Re: To do secondary fermintation or not???
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 04:29:41 PM »
The only reasons to not do one is because you might aerate the beer and it takes some time or you might do it too soon. I don't do it on every batch. I do it most of the time because I lager a lot, I harvest yeast, I use clarifiers, I dry hop, and it frees up a primary so I can brew more beer.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 04:34:32 PM by Malticulous »

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: To do secondary fermintation or not???
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 04:35:55 PM »
Those are good reasons to do one.  I'm not saying don't do one ever, but you should know why you are doing it and have a good reason for doing so.  I don't think fear of autolysis or worries about clarity, which is what most people mention, are generally good reasons to do one.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline hokerer

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Re: To do secondary fermintation or not???
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2011, 07:01:14 PM »
I do the same.  I used to use a secondary fermentor for all my batches.  Now, only using the primary has resulted in less work and the quality of the beer has stayed the same. 

Quality and quantity.  One fewer set of racking losses.
Joe

Offline bluesman

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Re: To do secondary fermintation or not???
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2011, 07:09:02 PM »
I also recommend avoiding a secondary ferment as it's really not necessary for most beers and in fact it has much more downside potential (oxidation, contamination, etc...) than positive affects on the finished beer.

The only time I would use a secondary ferment is for fruit beers, sour beers or aging beers. Otherwise a primary ferment is all that is required, just make sure the beer has settled down to terminal gravity prior to bottling or kegging.
Ron Price

Offline mswilliams1975

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Re: To do secondary fermintation or not???
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2011, 07:32:20 PM »
That is the exasct clarification I was looking for. Again the people here have been a great source of information. Thanks all.

Now which board would be the proper place for me to inquire about waht dry hoping is and why to do it?
Anything worth having is worth hard to achieve.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: To do secondary fermintation or not???
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2011, 11:04:59 PM »
Either ingredients or general homebrewing.

Dry hopping is adding hops on the cold side, generally after fermentation has subsided.  You do it to add hoppy aromatics to your beer, it has a different character than late hops.  Generally used in hoppy beers like pale ales and IPAs, but you can dry hop whatever you want. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline violaleebrews

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Re: To do secondary fermintation or not???
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2011, 05:58:09 PM »
echoing mswilliams for all the helpful people on this website.  y'all rock!

i also love reading the posts with all the misspelled words.  it shows that we're all enjoying our craft  ;D

cheeeers!  al;sdkjfasljkdv,m,xcnxcoijwer!