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Old 05-11-2013, 03:10 AM   #1
CButterworth
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Default temperature for secondary fermentation

I have a Timmy Taylor's Best Bitter clone in primary fermentation. However next Saturday, I go away on vacation for two weeks (sort of an emergency to visit family in the UK).

I know that 8 days of primary fermentation may not be enough, but I was thinking that I would rack into a corny fitted with airlock and possibly do a secondary in my keezer.

What temp would be best for a secondary. I am using Safale s-04. My keezer sits at 54F, while my basement sits probably in the mid-60's. However, with summer on its way, the Denver area could see between the 40 and 80's for daytime highs.

Personally, I'd have thought that a fairly constant 54 for the secondary would be fine - BUT I maybe totally incorrect about this.

Any ideas?

Charlie

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Old 05-11-2013, 03:45 AM   #2
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I think I would take my chance on PRIMARY in the basement. The higher temperatures are not so critical after fermentation is done. I would be more worried that you transfer before fermentation is done if you did the secondary. If you are kegging I guess it is less worrisome than bottling too early and creating bottle bombs.

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Old 05-11-2013, 03:54 AM   #3
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At 8 days it will likely be done if you pitched a good amount of yeast. Your basement temps are perfect, but you don't have to do a secondary unless you really want to. Ideally you could just carry your primary down to the basement, and then rack to the keg when you get back. Either way would be fine, though.

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Old 05-11-2013, 04:36 AM   #4
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Secondary is only for when the beer has hit FG (same gravity for 3+ days). Cold temps are fine, will help the beer clear.

To be conservative, I'd leave it in primary, it won't hurt.

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Old 05-11-2013, 04:39 AM   #5
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54 for secondary is a bad idea. If anything you want your secondary temps (for ales) to be higher than your fermentation temps. Most of the lazy yeast have flocced out near the end of fermentation and reducing the temp is just going to drop more of the yeast. Just leave it in the basement and keg later.

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Old 06-05-2013, 01:15 PM   #6
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An update:

I left the beer in the primary at whatever temp my basement was at. Came back from the UK last Sunday and only looked at the beer on Monday.

I sanitized my Corny and all that. When I took the lid off the primary bucket, I saw that a brown scum had formed over the top of the beer. My first thought was mold. I carefully brushed some aside and saw a good looking, clear beer. There were no nasty smells. So, I tasted it and kegged it.

Upon first taste, I thought that it was nothing like Taylor's Landlord (having consumed a couple a few days before), then realized that I had made the Taylors Best Bitter clone :-)

I suppose the scum could be dead yeast floating to the top of the bucket and drying out.

Other than that, the beer tastes great and will be even better with a touch of carbonation (1.6 volumes).

Thanks for the advice,
Charlie

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