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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Is a secondary really necessary (or helpful) for most ales?
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:13 AM   #11
JacktheKnife
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Gentlemen,


"A secondary never hurt any brew... "
Homebrewer_99


"The ale 'should be' reracked off the 'primary trub'
when the Krousen falls. Then left in the secondary for 7 days,
and bottled."

Since I make basically the 'same thing' every time
I hardly ever use a hydrometer anymore.
{8Lbs D.M.E. with speciality grains steeped in.}
'Mein acht pfund Hammerbier'

By 'should be',
I, 'of course',
don't mean that
'it should be'!
But just basically that it can be done that way.
And that I do that it way, probably because 'Kelly' at the Homebrew Headquarters, Dallas,
told me to do it that way,
{old Kelly knows his business.}

There is a 2" - 3" layer of trub in the bottom of the primary after reracking, and nearly as much in the secondary.
I don't want that sxxx in my ale.
Stuff floating around in my ale!
Yuck!

I always have used a secondary.
For 15 years!
It makes ale which is clearer and has less crud in it.
Crud which I would consider aesthetically objectionable
to see floating around in my ale.

It is hot summer weather in Texas now.
I am outa beer however and money too!
So as I was cleaning out the knife shop today
{the barn}
and getting ready for fall.
{I have 53 knives I started 2 years ago before I was assaulted
by a gang of cowards and my spine crushed.
But my law work is done and the matter is out of my hands.
Four people, three of them cops,
will die in prison. They messed with the wrong man.}
But I will get these 53 skinners and stabbers finished by X-mas
and then 'I can really go to Disneyland!'

Meaning, of course,
that I can 'git ignert and go coon hunting'.
Me and Sandymay



J. Winters VonKnife
http://jacksknifeshop.tripod.com/

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Old 07-27-2008, 09:19 AM   #12
Orfy
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Quote:
"The ale 'should be' reracked off the 'primary trub'
when the Krousen falls. Then left in the secondary for 7 days,
and bottled."
Sorry I don't agree that that.

If you are going with that method then I think those time scales are too short for all but the smallest of beers.
Even then it's pushing it.
Each beer is different, even if you extend those times then it may still not be right for some brews.
For some beers I do not use secondary.

If you do not have the experience to decide for yourself then I would use one.
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:20 AM   #13
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Is it necessary to use an airlock for your secondary? Since fermentation is done, I figure transfering only awakens a bit of the yeast.

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Old 07-27-2008, 09:23 AM   #14
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Simple answer, yes it is.

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Old 07-29-2008, 04:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbulger View Post
IF you keg: well the keg is pretty much a secondary anyways. ??does that make sense???
Technically it is conditioning since its being stored longer. However, I don't want my first two pints to be trub. Now I do use kegs as conditioning vessels but I tranfer to a clean keg for dispensing.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:52 AM   #16
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The secondary is also the spot for doing additional clarification, such as adding Isinglass or gelatin.

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Old 08-13-2008, 10:04 AM   #17
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I currenty have 2 primaries, 2 carboys and 2 kegs. In order of brewed, everything gets transfered when a keg kicks it. That is my schedule. So everything gets a secondary, usually for close to a month, but sometimes less, it all depends on the beer intake of that time period. My beers are defiantly not worse for it.

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Old 08-13-2008, 12:05 PM   #18
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So there answer your question - it's up to you - there is no definite answer. All a matter of taste.

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Bottled! Award winning East India Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Milk Stout, Saison fermenting at a nice controlled 85 degrees (up from 70) as it should be - weird isn't it.

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Old 08-13-2008, 12:46 PM   #19
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I use a secondary mainly to guard myself against my own impatience.
I ferment in pails, so I can't see my beer. After 2 weeks I'm really aching to see it again, but it's too soon to bottle, and anyway, if I bottled it, I would end up drinking it green through my lack of patience. So I rack it to secondary, that way I am forced to keep my grabby hands away from it while it ages some.

So, in other words, I guess whatever suits you best is best for your beer?

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Old 08-13-2008, 01:38 PM   #20
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OK - I use a secondary just to give me something to do and to free up a 6.5g carboy for another brew.

I've tried NOT using a secondary but as OhioBrit says

Quote:
guard myself against my own impatience
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