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Old 03-25-2008, 04:44 AM   #1
Bytor1100
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Default skipping secondary?

Ever since I started brewing I've always racked into a secondary and let sit for at least 2 weeks. Is it possible to just cold condition the primary for a few days after fermentation has completed and then just rack into a corny and cold condition it without any difference?
Doesn't the secondary just allow the beer to clear?
I also want to try and keep the majority of yeast out of the keg.

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Old 03-25-2008, 07:41 AM   #2
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Yeap, a lot of homebrewers do this.

In most cases you can leave it for up to four weeks in the primary.

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Old 03-25-2008, 08:18 AM   #3
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The beer still clears in the primary without cold conditioning. For a normal gravity beer give it two weeks and then keg it. The keg will be plenty of cold storage. You can probably go 6 weeks before autolysis starts to become an issue.

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Old 03-25-2008, 11:46 AM   #4
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I did just that on my last batch. It went about 3 weeks in the primary and then a day or so before kegging I tossed my bucket into the kegerator. My main reason for doing this wasn't to make sure the beer was as clear as I could, but to get as much yeast as I could out suspension to wash and save.

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Old 03-25-2008, 12:31 PM   #5
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Glad you posted this question!
I did a 2.5 week primary,
and then just a few days on secondary, and
a few days in a corny at room temp, and then
decided to crash it in the keezer. I had second
thoughts afterward, but if I'm reading this right,
then all is well.

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Old 03-25-2008, 12:43 PM   #6
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You not only can leave it in the primary without racking, it is a very good idea to do so. You want the yeast to finish their job, including eating up some of the fermentation byproducts that would otherwise be transferred. The beer will clear every bit as well in the primary as it would in the secondary. Not only that, but every time you transfer your beer, it is another chance for bacteria to get in, another chance for oxygenation, another bit of volume loss. Your beer can go for more weeks that it should ever take for fermentation and be just fine. The old fashioned fears that you are going to pick up off-flavors from decaying yeast are largely unfounded, unless you are leaving it for months instead of weeks.
I never do a secondary, unless I have an unusual circumstance.

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Old 03-25-2008, 03:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alemental
You not only can leave it in the primary without racking, it is a very good idea to do so. You want the yeast to finish their job, including eating up some of the fermentation byproducts that would otherwise be transferred. The beer will clear every bit as well in the primary as it would in the secondary. Not only that, but every time you transfer your beer, it is another chance for bacteria to get in, another chance for oxygenation, another bit of volume loss. Your beer can go for more weeks that it should ever take for fermentation and be just fine. The old fashioned fears that you are going to pick up off-flavors from decaying yeast are largely unfounded, unless you are leaving it for months instead of weeks.
I never do a secondary, unless I have an unusual circumstance.
+1 On this. I left a cream ale in the primary for 6 weeks, at bottling time it was tasty and totally clear. I usually leave it in the primary for about a month-then right to the bottle. It's a pretty popular debate. For me-the simpler the process can be-the better. Why introduce more variables when not necessary?
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:39 PM   #8
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I typicaly leave all my beers in the primary 3-4 weeks, then keg and store until I am ready to put them on tap. This way I can use the carboy I orriginaly bought for a "secondary" as another fermentar and have twice as much fermenting at a time

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Old 03-25-2008, 03:47 PM   #9
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Cool, thanks for the input guys, I'm gonna be playing around with my process now, bwah hah hah

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Old 03-25-2008, 03:50 PM   #10
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The last beer I put in the secondary per the 1-2-3 process still wasn't done fermenting after 3 weeks and ended up being overcarbed in the bottle. It was my fault because I forgot to take a FG reading, but that was enough for me to give up on secondaries. Now I will only use them during lagering or certain beers that require them. The keg works as a secondary anyway.

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