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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > no secondary really is great
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:01 PM   #1
WhineinAlbany
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Default no secondary really is great

I have always used a secondary and decided this time around to only use a primary. Works great! I've never seen my batch so clear. I tried it on the AHS Texas blonde kit. Can't wait to taste it! Now I just need more primaries. I have 2 primaries (1-6.5 gal carboy and 1-6w gal carboy) and 2-5 gal carboys.

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Old 12-06-2011, 09:17 PM   #2
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I only used my secondary once and it was on my first brew. Now seeing it sit there for so long it has made me want to brew a barleywine or start using to make cider or apfelwein since it gets such rave reviews and only requires at 5 gallon carboy for a 5 gallon batch.

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Old 12-06-2011, 11:04 PM   #3
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So you are saying that it is clearer with only the primary compared to when you used a secondary? I guess I don't understand how that could be. Can someone explain?

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Old 12-07-2011, 12:23 AM   #4
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Leaving it in the primary will make a tighter yeast cake and when you transfer you are putting more things back into suspension that will then again need to settle. There is plenty more to it than that but here (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/sec...-weigh-176837/) is some good info on why we used to be told it was necessary and why now we are being told otherwise.

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Old 12-07-2011, 12:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddball
So you are saying that it is clearer with only the primary compared to when you used a secondary? I guess I don't understand how that could be. Can someone explain?
Yes, never been clearer and I even use whirlfloc in every batch
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H-ost View Post
Leaving it in the primary will make a tighter yeast cake and when you transfer you are putting more things back into suspension that will then again need to settle. There is plenty more to it than that but here (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/sec...-weigh-176837/) is some good info on why we used to be told it was necessary and why now we are being told otherwise.
Thanks for the clarification. The funny thing is I have the latest edition of both Charlie and John's books but have only read Charlie's all the way through and parts of John's.

But.... just to play devil's advocate, wouldn't you put the same amount of sediment back into suspension when transferring to the bottling bucket straight from the primary? Currently, I have been leaving my batches in the primary for about 3-4 weeks and then transferring to the secondary (apparently misinformed) for about a week or sometimes two before bottling. Every time I get a another layer of sediment that would have ended up in my bottles had I bottled then.
I guess I just need to try it out for comparison...
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:33 AM   #7
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I just need to get the beer away from the cr@p on the sides and top of the primaries, as well as the BOTTOM. Seems to make sense to me. The secondaries are much cleaner and the beer exposed to much less carnage.

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Old 12-07-2011, 06:10 AM   #8
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@RumRiverBrewer The "crap" on the sides and top of the primary is residue from krausening, and that "crap" on the bottom is the precious yeast. Moving the beer off the yeast cake to secondary does nothing really to improve the beer, sure it will clear up some and you will get some sediment on the bottom, but no huge taste or clarity benefit. The longer the beer sits on the primary yeast cake, the longer a healthy amount of yeast can eat up the sugars and clean up after themselves. There is a large thread on this, but I must say I was skeptical until I read it and heard Yooper and Revvy both chime in, I tried it for my first IPA and the beer was a lot clearer and better flavor too. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 12-07-2011, 06:41 AM   #9
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The only time I use a secondary is if there's something I want to add or take away. For instance, the raspberries in my Matanuska Wildberry Ale only stay in the beer for a week, then I rack the beer into the secondary.

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Old 12-07-2011, 03:19 PM   #10
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Can you still use the 5 gal carboys as primaries though? With a blowoff tube that is since there won't be much head space.

I'm in the same boat as you. I am thinking about going away from the secondary based on all of the comments on the board regarding better tasting beer in the primary bucket alone for 3-4 weeks. But I want to use my 5 gal carboy instead of letting it sit there! Planning to use it as a primary with a blowoff tube.

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