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Old 12-07-2011, 03:02 PM   #11
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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.
Question, did you cold crash the primary before bottling? I agree that only using a primary has made my beer much more clear as well. I've never cold crashed before (no temp control available) but I was thinking of waiting 3-4 weeks in the primary and then racking to the secondary and throwing that in my back room where I think it would stay around 50 degrees for a few days and then bottling. Anyone done this and seen good results?

Or would cold crashing in the primary give the same results?
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:05 PM   #12
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T

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...
The point of a long primary is to AVOID the need for racking to secondary.

If you long primary you will compress the trub and get most of the beer back.

I get little if any sediment in my bottles, simply by opting for a long primary. This is my yeastcake for my Sri Lankin Stout that sat in primary for 5 weeks. Notice how tight the yeast cake is? None of that got racked over to my bottling bucket. And the beer is extremely clear.



That little bit of beer to the right is all of the 5 gallons that DIDN'T get vaccumed off the surface of the tight trub. Note how clear it is, there's little if any floaties in there.

When I put 5 gallons in my fermenter, I tend to get 5 gallons into bottles. The cake itself is like cement, it's about an inch thick and very, very dense, you can't just tilt your bucket and have it fall out. I had to use water pressure to get it to come out.



This is the last little bit of the same beer in the bottling bucket, this is the only sediment that made it though and that was done on purpose, when I rack I always make sure to rub the autosiphon across the bottom of the primary to make sure there's plenty of yeast in suspension to carb the beer, but my bottles are all crystal clear and have little sediment in them.

Half the time I forget to use moss, and you can't tell the difference in clarity.

I get the barest hint of sediment in my bottles....just enough for the yeast to have done the job of carbonating the beer.

And the only filtering my beer gets is through my kidneys.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:02 PM   #13
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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.
You will tend to get a lot of blowoff, or you could do 4 gallon batches. You could do some of Ed's Apfelwein which makes almost no krusen and homebrewtalk members have made more than 21,000 gallons so far.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:16 PM   #14
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I've racked to secondary once out of the several batches I've done now and definitely have yet to see any reason to do it as far as clarity is concerned. Like Revvy said, the yeast cake after 3 weeks in primary is very compact (at least with the dry yeast I've been using), and avoiding the transfer of sediment to the bottling bucket isn't super difficult. Any sediment you do rack will likely settle to the bottom of the bottling bucket anyway by the time you're actually bottling.

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Old 12-07-2011, 04:46 PM   #15
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I read that post in another thread while looking around the site on the same topic. I guess my question is still the same though. If you used the primary for an extended period to get a solid cake and then transferred to the secondary to let it settle again, would it not reduce the sediment further? I was doing it at the advice of my LHBS, whose owner is experienced and I trust. I guess it all just goes back to me giving it a shot for comparison...

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Old 12-07-2011, 05:03 PM   #16
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I read that post in another thread while looking around the site on the same topic. I guess my question is still the same though. If you used the primary for an extended period to get a solid cake and then transferred to the secondary to let it settle again, would it not reduce the sediment further? I was doing it at the advice of my LHBS, whose owner is experienced and I trust. I guess it all just goes back to me giving it a shot for comparison...
Leaving it in the primary for another week or two would have the exact same effect. You actually benefit from leaving it alone.... remember, the more surfaces your beer touches, the greater chance for infection and oxidation. I'm not a super-freak about sanitation like the dude from youtube who uses a SARS mask, but if you rack to secondary you do run a slight risk of picking something up or getting the wet-cardboard taste from oxidation.
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:05 PM   #17
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You're right it does, as with most many things in this hobby, come down to you trying it yourself and doing it whatever way you feel more comfortable. the LHBS owner you speak of sounds like he has been brewing for ages and when you do something for so long you get very set in your ways. I have a brewer buddy who is 25+ years older than I am and when I told him I don't use a secondary he just looked at me like I was an idiot and then proceeded to try to compare our beers for clarity (sadly I forgot to use any finings in the boil and it was my first AG so I had some protein haze and he claimed his was clearer because he used secondary). I have linked him the same thread I linked earlier in this thread and some other info but simply because he has ALWAYS used a secondary he just cannot believe what I am trying to tell him. Not like it matters though, we all make delicious beer and we all do something a little differently.

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Old 12-07-2011, 05:14 PM   #18
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You're right it does, as with most many things in this hobby, come down to you trying it yourself and doing it whatever way you feel more comfortable. the LHBS owner you speak of sounds like he has been brewing for ages and when you do something for so long you get very set in your ways. I have a brewer buddy who is 25+ years older than I am and when I told him I don't use a secondary he just looked at me like I was an idiot and then proceeded to try to compare our beers for clarity (sadly I forgot to use any finings in the boil and it was my first AG so I had some protein haze and he claimed his was clearer because he used secondary). I have linked him the same thread I linked earlier in this thread and some other info but simply because he has ALWAYS used a secondary he just cannot believe what I am trying to tell him. Not like it matters though, we all make delicious beer and we all do something a little differently.
Why do people care so much about clarity anyways?
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:18 PM   #19
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Not like it matters though, we all make delicious beer and we all do something a little differently.
That's the beauty of this hobby
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:39 PM   #20
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Why do people care so much about clarity anyways?
I think mostly for submitting your beer in a competition, they judge the clarity. I also like seeing clarity in my brew because it just looks better. Now there are plenty of beer styles where you're never going to get clarity, but for a blonde or pale ale it is nice to see it clean and clear!
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