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Old 07-11-2010, 06:43 AM   #121
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Every time I rack the beer from the primary into the next vessel I always somehow disturb the slurry on the bottom and land up with a hazy beer. I use an auto siphon. That's why I like to use the secondary, I just have a hard time getting a clear beer without it.



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Old 07-11-2010, 07:43 PM   #122
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I'm with you, Scooby, and it's not like I haven't done the 4 weeks in primary thing too. But I'm not dogmatic about it, I'm pragmatic...I do what works. If I'm not getting the clearing I want in primary, I have no problem with racking to a secondary. It's results that count, not rules.



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Old 07-22-2010, 02:58 AM   #123
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I'm going to kick this horse again.....

I have always used secondaries, ever since I started brewing. The seed of doubt was planted in my head on this forum that perhaps it isn't worth it. I continued to use them anyway because I needed things in the 5 gallon carboys so that I could put three of them into my ferm chamber at the same time (not possible with three 6.5's).

However, I finally found my "stride" with my brewing schedule and now really need two fermenters in the fridge at the same time, so I decided to cast the secondaries aside and roll for a while. The last two batches I have kegged and and tapped plus one more batch in the fermenter are my "no secondary" experiments.

I am not pleased.

My new beers are significantly less clear after 6 weeks (4 weeks in primary @ 65*F, 2 weeks in keg @ about 45*F) when compared to the batches that I secondaried (2 weeks in primary, 2 weeks secondary, 2 weeks in keg).

That settles the debate for me personally.

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Old 07-22-2010, 03:06 AM   #124
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So it all boils down to clairity?

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Old 07-22-2010, 04:05 AM   #125
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I can't really address the flavor... yet.

Let me clarify about clarity. I always get chill haze in my beers for the first couple weeks at serving temp. After that they will clear up completely. However, the beers I have now that I did not secondary have more than just chill haze issues going on; They still have a lot of yeast left in suspension.

I'm sure they will eventually clear, but since they are in kegs already, I'll be sucking yeast cake into my glass for a while before that happens. Maybe I should I have left them in primary longer than a month, but I am not going to make a change to my process that will require me to wait even longer for my yeast to settle.

So, I can't comment on whether the flavor will eventually be better or worse, because right now these things just taste like yeast.

So, I guess my opinion is that not using a secondary (for me) seems to mean that I need to keep my beers in fermenters longer than 1 month. Using a secondary gets me where I want in just 1 month, so I am going to keep using them.

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Old 07-22-2010, 12:26 PM   #126
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Would the above situation be improved if you racked to a tertiary - say a bottling bucket - instead of directly into the keg from the primary? Or would you be convinced that there'd still be too much yeast in suspension -ultimately hindering clarity?

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Old 07-22-2010, 01:50 PM   #127
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Quote:
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Would the above situation be improved if you racked to a tertiary - say a bottling bucket - instead of directly into the keg from the primary? Or would you be convinced that there'd still be too much yeast in suspension -ultimately hindering clarity?
I'm not following you here. If I rack from primary into some other container before going to the keg, then that other container is a "secondary".... which is what I prefer to do.
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:07 PM   #128
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Quote:
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I'm not following you here. If I rack from primary into some other container before going to the keg, then that other container is a "secondary".... which is what I prefer to do.
Well, I guess technically it'd be a secondary. When I think of using a secondary, I usually think it in terms of conditioning for a period of time, rather than immediately into the keg right afterwards.

Maybe a temporary-secondary?
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:26 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasslands View Post
Well, I guess technically it'd be a secondary. When I think of using a secondary, I usually think it in terms of conditioning for a period of time, rather than immediately into the keg right afterwards.

Maybe a temporary-secondary?
Oh... Ok. I see what you mean.

The only way racking into something before the keg will help is if you give it some time to let the yeast settle before moving into the keg. "Immediately" moving into the keg won't really do anything.

I can literally watch the beer clear when I use a secondary. A couple of days after racking I start to accumulate sediment on the bottom and I can watch a line basically move down the carboy where there is cloudy beer towards the bottom and much clearer beer at the top.

When I was in the middle of these experiments with no secondaries, I had two beers in the ferm chamber that were less than 1 week apart in the process. One went to secondary as normal (this was the 'older' beer) and the other was left in primary. I could see the one in secondary clearing as described above, but the one in primary did not follow suite.
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:48 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
I can literally watch the beer clear when I use a secondary. A couple of days after racking I start to accumulate sediment on the bottom and I can watch a line basically move down the carboy where there is cloudy beer towards the bottom and much clearer beer at the top.
That's the same thing that drove me back to using a secondary more often than not.


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