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Old 02-26-2007, 12:27 AM   #1
SayWhat1
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Default Help with secondary fermenter.

I'm fermenting my first batch of homebrew now and to get started I just bought a standard starter kit with a 6.5 gal primary fermenter and it came with a 6.5gal bottling bucket.

I started off with a dark honey porter because from what I've read dark beers are more forgiving with off flavors and the like. Anyway, the recipe tells you to transfer to a glass carboy to condition for a week after the primary fermentation is done. I'm just wondering if leaving it in the primary for two weeks would be okay or should I rack to my bottling bucket after a week and stick my lid and airlock on that for a week before bottling?

I could go buy a glass carboy because I still have a few more days before my week in the primary is up, but I'm cheep and I didn't want to buy any more equiptment until I've got a couple brews under my belt.

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Old 02-26-2007, 12:43 AM   #2
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Most people use the 1-2-3 technique....1 week in primary 2 weeks in secondary (which should be called a clearing tank!) and 3 weeks in bottles before they drink..

It sounds like your bottling bucket could easily be a clearing tank although to tell you the truth I've been thinking about forgoing the secondary myself lately....my guess would be 3 weeks in primary instead of 1 week primary and 2 weeks in the clearing tank.

The worry is off flavors from being on the yeast too long but I've heard it takes a REALLY long time for this to happen.

please just know that these are my opinions and other people have different thoughts and that odds are I'm wrong...

take it easy and happy brewing!

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Old 02-26-2007, 02:12 AM   #3
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GreenHornet is right. I suggest that for now atleast, untill you start brewing more hardocre / obsessivley you will be fine to leave the yeast in the primary for 2 or even 3 weeks. The only reason you do not want to leave yeast in the primary ontop of itself is autolysis (mass yeast suicide) but I know of only ONE case of that ever happening, and that was because the guy left his beer in primary for around 6 months... People very succesfully leave their beers in primary for 2-3 weeks, some brews even take that long to ferment, so for now, you do not need to rack it into a carboy, untill like you said you have a few more brews under your belt!

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Old 02-26-2007, 03:53 AM   #4
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I guess I'll just leave it in the primary then.

I think I changed my mind about the equipment though. After I taste this batch I have fermenting now I'll buy something to help me out with the next one and I'll just keep doing that until I get a decent set up.

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Old 02-26-2007, 03:57 AM   #5
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autolysis thats how you spell it! I was going to put that in my post but I totally couldn't spell it!!

what do you mean SayWhat1? does it taste good or bad?

3 weeks shouldn't be a problem....like i said i've been thinking about doing this just bc i'm lazy!

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Old 02-26-2007, 04:49 AM   #6
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lol GreenHornet, I wasnt even sure I had it spelled right! but yeah, you should be fine letting it sit in primary for 2-3 weeks. Just make sure not to forget about it!

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Old 02-26-2007, 05:11 AM   #7
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Greenhornet, I mean like I'll buy a 5 gal carboy after I drink most of this batch and I'll brew another batch then I'll buy some other piece of equipment. I havn't ruined my first beer yet, but there's still plenty of time for that.


Ha, I won't forget about it. It's my very first batch. I can barely keep my eyes off it. I find myself going and just watching the airlock bubble every couple of hours. Lately, though, it's been slowing down and I'm getting more excited because that just means I'm that much closer to tasting my first homebrew.

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Old 02-26-2007, 05:38 AM   #8
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ahahahha, just wait till your SWMBO catches you in there with a "mix tape" of the "greatest beer songs" in the cupboard with your fermenter, singing it songs like an un-born child...

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Old 02-26-2007, 05:45 AM   #9
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Oh, no. Primary fermenter is in the bedroom closet. I can't have it as far away as the pantry or basement...

Ahh, the joys of being single. You know, all except for the part about not having home cooked meals.

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Old 02-26-2007, 05:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SayWhat1
I'm fermenting my first batch of homebrew now and to get started I just bought a standard starter kit with a 6.5 gal primary fermenter and it came with a 6.5gal bottling bucket.

I started off with a dark honey porter because from what I've read dark beers are more forgiving with off flavors and the like. Anyway, the recipe tells you to transfer to a glass carboy to condition for a week after the primary fermentation is done. I'm just wondering if leaving it in the primary for two weeks would be okay or should I rack to my bottling bucket after a week and stick my lid and airlock on that for a week before bottling?

I could go buy a glass carboy because I still have a few more days before my week in the primary is up, but I'm cheep and I didn't want to buy any more equiptment until I've got a couple brews under my belt.
The point of transferring to secondary is to get the beer off of the trub, so it will clear. Your beer will clear some in primary, but you will suck up a lot of junk when you transfer it to your bottling bucket, and cloud it up again. If you don't mind it being cloudy and having a little more yeast in it, then do that. It will still be drinkable.

Letting it settle out in your bottling bucket my help a little, but you're still going to suck a lot of junk off the bottom.

If you want it clear, go buy the carboy, and let it settle out there.

All three options will yield drinkable beer.....it's up to you to decide what you want to bottle.
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