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Old 09-12-2012, 03:03 PM   #1
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Default Why I secondary - drinking from the bottle

So my biggest pet peeve with homebrew had been that I couldn't drink it from the bottle. Yes this sounds petty, but when you don't homebrew you just have a beer and pitch the bottle. Dead simple. Nothing to clean, nothing to do. Then you're homebrewing and it is, pour the beer, rinse the bottle, save the bottle, drink the beer, wash the glass.

For one of my porters I thought, what the heck, I'll just do a secondary. After two weeks in the primary, I let that one sit in the secondary for four weeks. I primed and bottled. It is shiny and clear (to the extent that a porter can be) and with a trivial amount of settlement in the bottle - comparable to what you find in a commercial bottle-conditioned beer like bells.

Now I'm happy and drinking from bottle again - all thanks to my secondary!

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Old 09-12-2012, 03:09 PM   #2
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I do a secondary because I like to bulk age for up to 6 months some of my beers, depending on the style and ABV. Clarity does indeed improve, but I prefer the flavor profile too.

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Old 09-12-2012, 03:09 PM   #3
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For me, pouring a beer into a glass (homebrewed or otherwise) is all about getting the taste of the beer. If it's bottle-contitioned, then leaving the yeast behind is also important, but it's more about getting all the taste and aroma out of my beverage. In fact, I don't like drinking out of a bottle; It just tastes and smells better out of a glass.

Also, you can get clear beer without leaving the primary fermenter. If you're able, you can cold-crash and it will all drop out in the primary. Even if you can't refrigerate, with a yeast that flocs decently, you can let it sit in the primary for 4-5 weeks without any adverse affects on flavor.

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Old 09-12-2012, 03:12 PM   #4
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I do a secondary because I like to bulk age for up to 6 months some of my beers, depending on the style and ABV. Clarity does indeed improve, but I prefer the flavor profile too.
Are you mostly aging say 1.065-70+ beers? I've often wondered if it would do a bit of good to age a more standard (say 1.045-60) malt-forward beer.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:38 PM   #5
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Are you mostly aging say 1.065-70+ beers? I've often wondered if it would do a bit of good to age a more standard (say 1.045-60) malt-forward beer.
Yes, these beers are up there, sometimes as high as 85 (21 Plato). Having said that, I like to age the standard beers at least 30 days (.082 year--grin) and sometimes 3 months. I find the flavor significantly improved. Caveat is to keep the temperature below 65F for ales (18C for you metric types)
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:49 PM   #6
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I'd still never prefer to drink from a bottle. And to be honest, you *could* drink most homebrew from the bottle without a problem if your process is tweaked.

And I"' still not sure I understand what you do... Are you saying that you bottle homebrew and then drink form the bottle and toss the bottle? Seems like an awful waste of time when you could simply drink from the bottle and then rinse it out and set it aside for the next bottling session. If you toss it you still have to clean a bottle somewhere, and if you buy new, you have to spend $$ on new bottles.

**Disclaimer: I live in a state with bottle deposit, so I can buy returnables for 10 cents each and tossing a bottle is practically unheard of.

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Old 09-12-2012, 04:55 PM   #7
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Why does secondarying mean you can or can't drink out of the bottle? After my usual minimum month in primary I could drink out of the bottle as well if I wanted to. Which I wouldn't.

It's not the act of secondarying or not that's doing it, it's the TIME you're letting the beer clear. You could just as easily achieve the same end with the 6 weeks you are doing in the primary.

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Old 09-12-2012, 04:55 PM   #8
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Why does using a secondary make beer clearer? Is it that you're getting more sediment when siphoning to your bottling bucket when you're doing so from the primary? I get very little sediment when I siphon over.

The main reason I pour my beer into a glass is to better appreciate the aroma of the beer and thereby enhance the flavor. I do it for all beers, homebrew or otherwise and definitely appreciate the difference!

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Old 09-12-2012, 05:09 PM   #9
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It's not the act of secondarying or not that's doing it, it's the TIME you're letting the beer clear. You could just as easily achieve the same end with the 6 weeks you are doing in the primary.
furthermore, by racking to secondary you're kicking things up again and undoing some of the settling that had already occurred in primary.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:22 PM   #10
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...and cue the secondary/no secondary debate...

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