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Old 03-24-2009, 10:55 PM   #1
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Default racking to a secondary? really?

ive heard that racking to a secondary really isnt worth the risk of oxidation/contamination... is this true or is it worth it?



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Old 03-24-2009, 10:57 PM   #2
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It depends. I don't do it very often, but not because of risk of contamination or oxidation. I just think that it's not necessary for most lower OG ales. Three weeks in the fermenter is enough for me usually, assuming that fermentation had been finished for a while and the beer had a week or two to clear up some.



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Old 03-24-2009, 10:58 PM   #3
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This is one of those grey areas around here. Some people don't rack to secondary at all and just leave it in the primary the entire time. Others rack to secondary 3 or so days after fermentation is done. Me personally, I rack to secondary to clear up the beer.

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Old 03-24-2009, 10:59 PM   #4
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You'll hear tons of different answers in just a few minutes. I "personally" use a secondary, but I guess it's all personal preference. I wait at least two weeks and then transfer out of the primary to a secondary for an additional week. This allows for a somewhat clearer final product. As long as you are sanitary during your transfer process, you should have no problems going over to a secondary.

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Old 03-24-2009, 11:08 PM   #5
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For me it depends on the beer. If it's something I'm struggling to clear, or if I need to dry-hop or add fruit/oak/etc, I'll secondary. If not, I might if it's high-gravity or I want to free up the primary for another brew. Usually I won't.

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Old 03-24-2009, 11:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsmith179 View Post
You'll hear tons of different answers in just a few minutes. I "personally" use a secondary, but I guess it's all personal preference. I wait at least two weeks and then transfer out of the primary to a secondary for an additional week. This allows for a somewhat clearer final product. As long as you are sanitary during your transfer process, you should have no problems going over to a secondary.

This is exactly what i usually do.
But this last batch in process right now I'm trying it with no secondary racking at all just to see if there is any significant differences or advantages to do so or not.

So far i already see one advantage of the "no secondary" option, which is, less work, less cleaning and sanitizing.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:16 PM   #7
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Risk of oxidation ~0%
Risk of contamination - 0-100% depends on your sanitation

Need - no.

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Old 03-24-2009, 11:36 PM   #8
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I made a patch of Cascades/ Orange Pale ale from the recipe section, using just a primary. I dry hopped in the primary and every thing. I left it in there for about a month. It was clear when I kegged it. I aged it in the keg for another 3 weeks.

Its the best beer iv ever brewed to date.

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Old 03-25-2009, 01:55 AM   #9
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This is one of my favorite debates. I've tried both methods. I like to use a secondary because it tends to produce beers that look and taste cleaner. As a bonus, using a secondary usually prevents having yeast sediment at the bottom of the beer bottles. On the negative side, I really think it takes longer to carbonate beer that has been in a secondary for very long - maybe a lot of yeast settles out of the brew or just becomes less active due to aging in the high alcohol environment. One other item that warrants discussion is the flocculence of the yeast strain. Some yeasts (S05 is a good example) flocculate out pretty well, so they would be well suited to using without a secondary.

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Old 03-25-2009, 02:00 AM   #10
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I guess my answer wasn't really complete- I "cheat" because I keg most of my beers so that's one reason I'm happy skipping a secondary. I can leave the beer in the keg for a few weeks until I tap it, and end up with crystal clear, well conditioned beer. If I was still bottling, I'd either do a secondary or a much longer primary. If I was doing a "big" beer, I'd definitely secondary it.



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