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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > skipping the secondary
View Poll Results: Do you use a secondary fermenter?
Always skip a secondary fermenter 45 17.65%
Never skip a secondary fermenter 141 55.29%
Only use a secondary when dry hopping 20 7.84%
Other 49 19.22%
Voters: 255. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-19-2007, 03:19 PM   #31
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I never rack to 2ndary....except for the experiment I'm running right now. I don't think it's worth the trouble IF you can get the beer off the yeast in less than 4 weeks. I also cold crash before I keg/bottle and this step is what clears the beer the most.

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Old 03-19-2007, 09:01 PM   #32
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I bottle. I tried one batch without a secondary and never will I do it again. It's not that the beer was cloudy when poured, it's that the yeast cake was quite gross on the bottom of the bottle and people who don't know how to properly pour a beer are going to have a pretty gross glass of brew and, well, that reflects poorly on me. Unless you can bottle directly from wherever your primary is sitting, I wouldn't move the carboy 3 feet and then think about sticking a siphon in there. Even sitting still, just getting the autosiphon in there disturbs too much crud for my tastes.

Just my $0.02.

In Process: Mango Beer, Homebrewers Pale Ale
Bottled/Kegged:Spicy Light Rye, Rice-adjunct Pale Ale, Mild Bourbon Porter, Roasty Stout, Basic Light Mead, Bourbon County Stout Clone
Up Next: Berlinerweiss, Chocolate Raspberry Ale, and American IPA
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:37 AM   #33
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I don't secondary anymore either. If you leave the beer in the primary, it will clear. I bottle condition and I don't get any more sediment in my bottles than when I wasted my time with the secondary.

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Old 03-21-2007, 05:40 AM   #34
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I voted other because I kind of still use a secondary. I rack my beer from primary straight to a keg. Sometimes I carb it immediately, sometimes I let it age, but I rarely rack it again after that. I guess in some instances you could call what I do a "secondary".

On Tap: Lake Walk Pale Ale -- Eternity (Raspberry Stout) -- Nutrocker -- Donnybrook Dark
Primary: Lake Walk Pale Ale
Secondary: Summit IPA
Up Next: Smoked Porter -- Pub Ale -- Watermelon Wheat
Gone But Not Forgotten:
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:00 AM   #35
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I use a secondary on two occasions, primarily (harhar). If I'm dryhopping, or if I'm using a yeast type that isn't very flocculent. For me, that's usually the chico strain. It tends to take longer to fall out and I'm usually dryhopping those beers anyway. So it works out nice. Bitters, browns and stouts, no secondary. I don't make many Wits or HWs.

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Old 03-21-2007, 06:06 AM   #36
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I've only skipped it once and thats because I didn't own one at the time.

When I bottled after 2 weeks in the primary, it was still 5 weeks until it was drinkable.

Planning: Agave Witbock, Raisin Beer
Primary: GF Hazelnut Stout
Tertiary: Cranberry-Pom pLambic (est. bottle date: 03/01/08)
Drinking: Cab.Sav/Merlot Wine, Grand Cru, Hazelnut Stout #3, Ordinary Bitter
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:06 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by AleHole
From what research I have done it seems like the only people that do skip a secondary are people that are kegging.
Incorrect. Even in the answers here, this is not the case. Beware of absolutes in brewing because there are darn few of them.

I said I always skip a secondary. The one exception (for dry hopping) does not apply, but there are others, and once in a while for some pther special purpose, I will use a secondary and sometimes a tertiary. However, for my house brew, it goes two weeks in the primary then right to bottles.

I pay great attention to hot and cold breaks and I use Irish Moss. These provide me with sufficient clarity.
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:13 PM   #38
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I secondary about half of my beers, usually some combination of the following reasons:

1. I need to free up a primary fermentor.
2. It's a lighter colored beer and hasn't cleared yet.
3. It's an old ale or other high SG style that I want to condition longer.
4. It's a lager.
5. My keg conditioning chest is full.

Usually I will secondary darker beers and wheat beers in the keg. I have found, even after a long primary, that I will drop a half inch or so of yeast and sediment out in secondary. I do take a lot of care to sanitize well and not splash so I haven't had a problem with contamination or oxidization yet.

This is the ORIGINAL Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. Nature's choicest products provide its prized flavor. Only the finest of hops and grains are used. Selected as America's Best in 1893.
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:26 PM   #39
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I bottle and never use a secondary. I actually use the fermentap on 2 carboys. I start draining trub out a couple days after fermentation, but never completely remove all of the trub or yeast cake. I rarely leave a beer in the fermenter for more than 2 weeks. I'll cold crash it 2 to 3 days before bottling and am fine with the clarity of my beers. They aren't as clear as a filtered commercial beer but they are pretty darn clear. I just don't want to deal with moving the beer to another vessel if I don't have to. The less it gets handled, the better.

I'm about to start kegging and the only thing I'll do different is force carbonate and age it a little longer in the keg.

Drinking on the keg: BPA, Brown Ale, Dry Mead, Wee Heavy aged on Oak, CAP
Drinking in the Bottle:
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:56 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
I always use a secondary, even with my Hefe Weizens.

At least with a HW you can add the amount of yeast you want to make it cloudy again. Mush like a good German HW.

Here's a pic of my last Pale Ale...
Holy crap that is one clear beer!! Mine are never that clear, what are you doing?!


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