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Old 07-27-2007, 12:37 PM   #1
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Default Primary > Secondary

I'm planning to brew again soon but I have a small problem ... currently all my carboys but one are in use and they are not going to be empty anytime soon. When I change the brew (haven't decided yet what I will brew) from primary into secondary I am still not going to have an additional carboy. I thought about racking everything into my priming bucket, clean out the carboy, and rack everything back into it. I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not. What do you guys think? Am I gonna 'hurt' the brew by doing it that way instead of just from one carboy into another?

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Old 07-27-2007, 01:10 PM   #2
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Why not just skip the secondary for one of your brews and let it hang in the primary longer?

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Old 07-27-2007, 01:12 PM   #3
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You could certainly do that. I wouldnt, but you definitely could. What I would do if I was you is make a wheat beer. Make something that doesnt need a secondary. Make a Hefe for example and let it go 2-3 weeks in primary, bottle and drink in two weeks.

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Old 07-27-2007, 01:51 PM   #4
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Yeah that was my backup plan ... make a beer without the secondary (maybe a hefeweizen). I mean I could just buy another carboy, too........ ;-)

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Old 07-27-2007, 01:54 PM   #5
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The need for a secondary is highly exaggerated. You can easily skip the secondary for most brews. In fact, many advanced homebrewers are now seeing the advantages of NOT using a secondary, and there is currently a paradigm shift going on toward eliminating the use of a secondary for most beers. Just look at the dozens of recent threads about the topic to see.

Personally, I only secondary if I need to age a beer or I am doing a post-ferment addition (e.g., fruit, oak chips, lots of dry hopping, etc.). Otherwise, I let most beers sit in the primary for 3-4 weeks then bottle or keg.

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Old 07-27-2007, 02:27 PM   #6
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I'm part of the no-secondary crowd. The only thing I find good with secondaries is strictly clarity. Had no affect on taste, I did a comparison.

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Old 07-27-2007, 06:10 PM   #7
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Ditto, I rack to the keg after 3-4 weeks and rarely have a clarity problem.

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Old 07-27-2007, 06:24 PM   #8
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I also ditto the no secondary sentiment. When I let my beer sit in the primary for 3-4 weeks and rack without disturbing to the bottling bucket or keg, my beer is just as clear as when I use to secondary.

In my experience the oxidation from the extra transfer to secondary does more harm than good.

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Old 07-27-2007, 07:43 PM   #9
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Like most posters above, I rarely use a secondary, only for style I feel will benefit from the clearing, or if it will be lagered or batch aged. I would actually recommend you making a style you have in the past and enjoyed through the primary-secondary process so you can truly see how the no secondary way actually produces the same (if not better) beer.

Palmer has gone on record within the last year stating he wishes he did not praise the 1-2-3 system so highly in his book. He is now using the primary only process almost exclusively.

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Old 07-27-2007, 07:46 PM   #10
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Call me old-fashioned, but I secondary everything except my weizens.

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