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Old 01-07-2010, 01:37 AM   #11
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Well Revvy, maybe not everyone is as "good" at racking off a yeast cake then you...me being one of them! When I do keg straight from primary I get a much cloudier beer with a good amount of yeast residue at the bottom of my keg when it's finished. So for me, the secondary racking makes it much easier for me to get a clearer beer.


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WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where do people come up with some if this stuff?

Where do I come up with it??? From my own experience...Not one thing I said is "wrong" in my eyes. Sorry for disagreeing with your methods oh holy one!

As for the JP quote...I would agree that bottling\kegging after a beer has been in the primary for 2-3 weeks is better than after just 1. That's pretty common knowledge. But that says nothing about racking it to secondary and waiting another 1-2 and what happens.

I'm sure the OP wanted a couple of opinions and that's what I was trying to provide...
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:57 AM   #12
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+1 to everything Revvy has said so far. When I started becoming more patient and letting my beer ferment longer, the quality of the beer I was producing increased dramatically. Although smaller, I noticed another jump in quality when I quit using secondaries. It has me believing that the yeast do a better job cleaning up after themselves if left on the yeast cake. I do a 3-4 week primary for almost all of my brews now, and couldn't be happier with the results so far.

As far as clarity goes, I've seen an improvement since I stopped using a secondary, but it could just be that my techniques have improved. Or maybe leaving the beer undisturbed for the entire fermentation and conditioning period allows the yeast to settle out better? IMHO good starch conversion, a good cold break, and careful racking each have at least 10X more of an effect on clarity than using a secondary does. I will say that if you are sloppy when racking that it's less problematic when using a secondary, because there's less stuff to stir up.

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Old 01-07-2010, 07:03 AM   #13
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WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where do people come up with some if this stuff?



I don't don't EVER cold crash, I leave my beer for a month in primary and I have had judges describe my beer as extremely clear and "jewel like"....AND half the time I forget to add any moss.

Appearance ALWAYS scores high on my beers as well as taste. But there not one contest where a judge doesn't make a comment on the clarity of my beers.

That's precisely why I don't secondary....because my beers are much better than when I secondary.

After a month in primary your beer is crystal clear, very clean and crisp tasting. And when you rack to bottle you leave behind a really dense yeast/trub cake.

Believe me, after three years of doing the long primary/ no secondary I find no need to go back to doing it any other way. The quality of my beers has upped 10 ten fold.

Even John Palmer talks about this in How To Bew;
Preach on Brother!!
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:19 AM   #14
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for me, i only have 5 gallon carboys. so i ferment in ale pails, then after 7-10 days transfer to carboy for the duration until kegged. people talk about buckets not being permeable to oxygen, but old wives tale or not.. i KNOW glass is and will last as long as all my stainless equipment, as i handle it correctly to assure safety. now if i ever get 6 gal bb's, ill leave it in (ill trust pete up to 6 mos oxygen free) until keg time.


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Yes, Better-Bottle PET carboys are slightly more permeable than glass; however, it would be a mistake to assume that using a glass carboy will guarantee superior results. The traces of oxygen that penetrate Better-Bottle PET carboys are incredibly difficult to measure and insignificant when compared with the amounts of oxygen diffusing through, or leaking past, air locks (especially liquid-filled air locks), stoppers (especially silicone stoppers), most common types of flexible tubing, and the staves of oak barrels. Moreover, oxygen diffuses into, and reacts with, wine and beer so quickly that removing a closure from a carboy, even briefly, for testing and making adjustments can allow a great deal of oxygen to enter. Wine and beer essentially suck up oxygen. And racking from one open carboy to another open carboy with a siphon, a pretty standard approach when glass carboys are used, will add a great deal of oxygen in an uncontrolled manner.
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:09 PM   #15
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I'm sure the OP wanted a couple of opinions and that's what I was trying to provide...
True i did, and i had no idea there would be so many. I think i'm actually more confused now than i was to start with.

I've been going off of Papazian's book, but it seems like it might be a little old/out-of-date based on what i've been reading here. This is the first place i'd heard of yeast essentially cleaning up after itself. Papazian seems to think if left alone for too long it will be the cause of, not solution to, off yeast flavor. Maybe that's only if left in primary for over 4 weeks?

Based on what i've read here and on my local homebrew club forum, MEGA, i'm going to leave it alone for a total of three weeks, and then bottle, regardless of f.g. reading, unless of course it's too high, which i can't imagine happening after that much time.

ryan
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:22 PM   #16
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To avoid fighting, both approaches work.

My own experience:
I use a primary only, but it's glass. Since I do wine as well as beer, I only have 6 gallon carboys. I don't own a 5 gallon carboy anymore(last one broke). I just brew the beer in the 6 gallon carboy as a primary for 3-4 weeks, then keg and/or bottle. Makes clean tasting beer!

Lot's of headspace without CO2 production equals exposure to O2. During active fermenting, a lot of CO2 is given off, and it protects the beer. Keeping the beer in primary the whole time under airlock does that for you. The O2 gets pushed out, while the CO2 blankets the beer. When a secondary is used, typically it's moved while still fermenting(1 week) so that there is still some CO2 production, and into 5 gallon containers so there is less headspace = less O2.

In winemaking, when we go to secondary, which is AFTER almost all fermentation is complete, we "top up" within a couple of inches of the neck(when using carboys). As we sometimes leave the wine in a long time and rack multiple times over several months, we try to minimize O2 exposure as much as possible. Like with beer, O2 is great to get the yeast started, but not good when the yeast are done.

Extra racking can cause more O2 to get into beer. This is one of the several reasons many people have chosen to stay in primary only. It's easier, there is less O2 exposure, there is less cleaning/sterilizing, and it produces good beer. We used to think you needed to do 2-stage to get quality beer. As one who has brewed off and on since the 70's, I've seen many myths get broken and I think this is one. I think perhaps the yeast wasn't as clean back then, and we also didn't leave the beer in long enough (at least I didn't).

But both techniques can produce award winning beer, if one is careful and uses common sense. With single stage, you should leave it in long enough to clear, and rack more carefully off the sediment. With two stage, you need to pay attention to the increased opportunity for O2 exposure due to the extra racking. Good beer is good beer, no matter how you get there.

RDWHAHB,

Rich

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Old 01-07-2010, 04:24 PM   #17
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I stopped racking to secondary in 1989 (about the time I realized that the secret to good beer started with tossing the "instructions" that came with my first beer kit in the trash.) Since then I only go to secondary if the O.G. is over 1.080 or so, and fermentation is taking forever. I have left beers in Primary for 6 or 7 weeks, and they have been some of my best, and clearest. (I also never use moss or other clarifiers.) Don't keg or bottle straight out of Primary though, siphon to a bucket first.

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Old 01-07-2010, 04:42 PM   #18
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What if you are using a bucket for primary fermentation? Would it still be fine to leave it in there the whole time?

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Old 01-07-2010, 04:52 PM   #19
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What if you are using a bucket for primary fermentation? Would it still be fine to leave it in there the whole time?
Yes..................I primarily use buckets.
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Yes..................I primarily use buckets.
Good news to save money, haha. I'd like to buy some better bottles, but I'd rather buy 2 buckets instead.
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