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Old 04-29-2009, 05:23 AM   #1
ejabbott
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Default Does a witbier need to be racked to secondary?

I've been brewing AG for over a year now and just brewed my first witbier. When I racked to the carboy I realized that I didn't really know when to keg it. Normally I wait for the yeast to settle, but obviously you wouldn't want this for a wit.

Does a witbier need to be racked to secondary at all? If so, for how long?

Also, I often cold condition a beer while in the secondary for a few days to help things settle out and so it's pre-cooled for carbonation when I keg it. Would a wit benefit from cold conditioning?

Thanks!

Eric

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Old 04-29-2009, 05:37 AM   #2
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If you're not oaking, adding fruit, or adding souring cultures, there's not any beer that needs a secondary. I stopped bothering with secondaries a while ago, and my beer has improved in both quality and clarity since. My advice, give it a nice long primary (4 weeks or so) and bottle or keg from there.

Hope that helped, and welcome to HBT!

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Old 04-29-2009, 10:14 AM   #3
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A lot of people will say that doing secondary will help improve clarity. IMHO, having a long primary + the carbing will do as good if not better.

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Old 04-29-2009, 12:58 PM   #4
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since it probably has alot of wheat in it it being a witbier and all I would recomend 2 weeks in primary make sure your gravity is hit and then bottle.... you will want to drink it young.... its good to be a beer pedophile on wheats

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Old 04-29-2009, 05:22 PM   #5
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since it probably has alot of wheat in it it being a witbier and all I would recomend 2 weeks in primary make sure your gravity is hit and then bottle.... you will want to drink it young.... its good to be a beer pedophile on wheats
So ... like ... why does everyone say this? I made the Garden of Wheat'n Hefeweizen (from Randy Mosher's book) last year about this time. I was looking through my inventory the other night when I noticed a bottle of homebrew marked "HW". It still had nice clove flavor, it was refreshing, and drinkable. And I didn't get any off-flavors that would indicate contamination or spoilage. Was it different than it was a year ago? Yes, certainly... but it wasn't different in a bad way -- it was smoother and clear (it was hazy last summer). And that was a year old wheat beer. So I'm not sure why everyone keeps saying to consume their wheat beers so young... Anyone?
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:24 PM   #6
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So ... like ... why does everyone say this? I made the Garden of Wheat'n Hefeweizen last year about this time. I was looking through my inventory the other night when I noticed a bottle of homebrew marked "HW". It still had nice clove flavor, it was refreshing, and drinkable. And I didn't get any off-flavors that would indicate contamination or spoilage. Was it different than it was a year ago? Yes, certainly... but it wasn't different in a bad way -- it was smoother and clear (it was hazy last summer). And that was a year old wheat beer. So I'm not sure why everyone keeps saying to consume their wheat beers so young... Anyone?
Some folks say that wheat beers don't age well. Some folks say that scrambled eggs are better than eggs over-easy. It's purely opinion.
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:29 PM   #7
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If you are going to keg it - yes do a secondary. unless you really like to pour the first 5-6 glasses of nasty yeast sludge.

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Old 04-29-2009, 05:48 PM   #8
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dont do a secondary, you want a wit to be cloudy

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Old 04-29-2009, 06:01 PM   #9
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Like some others have said, you don't ever *have* to use a secondary at all. Having said that, I typically do for most beers, but I never use a secondary for wheats.

You want them to be a bit cloudy. 3-4 weeks in primary and my wheats are going to the kegerator.

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Old 04-29-2009, 06:36 PM   #10
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If you are going to keg it - yes do a secondary. unless you really like to pour the first 5-6 glasses of nasty yeast sludge.
I have brewed multiple wit beers with out ever using a secondary and I keg. As long as you don't go crazy while siphoning and stir up the trub I see no problem skipping the secondary and cold crashing.

Also I have never had to pour more than a quarter to a half of a glass out from my first pour. Granted if you move the keg around you do kick up some stuff but it's not the end of the world.

As far as aging goes you said the year old one tasted fine but it was clear clear. I like my wit beers cloudy amd yeasty so I would rather drink them before everything settles out.

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