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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Duration in secondary?
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Old 11-15-2007, 05:56 PM   #1
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Default Duration in secondary?

I've got an IPA going in a 6.5 gal glass primary for almost a week, and it is ready to transfer. Do I need 2 weeks in the secondary for a total of 3 weeks, or is two weeks total enough assuming the final gravity has been reached and is steady for 3 days?

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Old 11-15-2007, 05:57 PM   #2
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http://homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=43014

if you have the same gravity reading for three days, and it is or is near your FG for the recipe, you can transfer it to secondary for clearing, which can be any length of time, but i guess most use the 2-3 week rule of thumb.

you dont NEED to transfer to secondary, but i would so you can get another batch going
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:31 PM   #3
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General rule of thumb for most ales is 1-2-3. One week primary, 2 weeks secondary, 3 weeks bottles. As long as FG is staying consistent you could bottle now if you wanted (and if its your first batch I'm sure you do).

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Old 11-15-2007, 06:55 PM   #4
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I like to do at least 2 weeks in secondary only because the more time its in the secondary the less time it is in the bottles tempting me to drink it.

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Old 11-15-2007, 07:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker36
General rule of thumb for most ales is 1-2-3. One week primary, 2 weeks secondary, 3 weeks bottles. As long as FG is staying consistent you could bottle now if you wanted (and if its your first batch I'm sure you do).
That's not true. We have no idea what his OG and FG are.

We shouldn't presume the FG is as low as it should be without knowing the numbers. It could be stuck.

For us to give you an honest assessment we need to know your OG and FG.

If your FG is 25% of your OG then I'd say it's ready to rack to the secondary for a couple weeks of clearing.
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:26 PM   #6
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I'll second the 'tempting me to drink it' Sometimes I'll leave it in secondary until I drink enough to have 40+ empties.... Life's tough, you know?

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Old 11-15-2007, 08:31 PM   #7
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Thanks,

I've seen the 1-2-3 rule of thumb before, but have been told by the guys at the local supply shop (Midwest here in Mpls) that the second week in the secondary fermentor is not necessary.

In general, I'll be doing light ales and am just wondering if 1-1-2 (one week pri, one week secondary, two weeks bottle) would be pushing it.

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Old 11-15-2007, 09:05 PM   #8
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The point of secondary is to clear the beer, not ferment. I don't rack to secondary until fermentation is complete, then I rack and use the secondary for clearing and bulk aging (mostly for bulk aging).

Big beers benefit from extra time in secondary IMO but your average light ale may not even need a secondary; you go 2 weeks prime and right to the bottle.

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Old 11-15-2007, 09:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitey
Thanks,

I've seen the 1-2-3 rule of thumb before, but have been told by the guys at the local supply shop (Midwest here in Mpls) that the second week in the secondary fermentor is not necessary.

In general, I'll be doing light ales and am just wondering if 1-1-2 (one week pri, one week secondary, two weeks bottle) would be pushing it.
The FIRST week in the secondary is NOT necessary, either. You can get by without a secondary at all. Just bottle when you're at your expected F.G. and the reading stays the same for a couple of days. The secondary helps blend the flavors and clear your beer. There are people around here that don't do a secondary at all, but you'll find that most of us secondary for at least 2 weeks - some much longer. It will help your beer.
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Old 11-15-2007, 09:32 PM   #10
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The FIRST week in the secondary is NOT necessary, either. You can get by without a secondary at all. Just bottle when you're at your expected F.G. and the reading stays the same for a couple of days. The secondary helps blend the flavors and clear your beer. There are people around here that don't do a secondary at all, but you'll find that most of us secondary for at least 2 weeks - some much longer. It will help your beer.
That's true, but the ones that don't use a secondary have cloudy beers or they have a lot of sediment in their bottles.

The point of a primary is to ferment in. Prior to racking to a secondary your beer should technically be done fermenting...it's beer!

The secondary is used to allow your brew to age, mellow, blend and clear. Most importantly -- clear.

If you use the 123 method your brew is beer, but it's still green.

If you leave it in the primary for 2-3 weeks then secondary for 3-4 weeks your brew will taste better and be more clear when you rack to bottle it.

Another method is to crash cool it. When this is done the yeast falls out of suspension faster. The beer is still young and aging will greatly improve the flavor and the experience will be more enjoyable.

The biggest problem most new brewers have is they have no patience and want to drink it overnight.

Fermentation is a natural process. Let it run it's course.
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