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Old 08-25-2006, 02:00 AM   #1
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Default Secondary fermentation = bottling?

I hear people doing secondary fermenting, but what is the purpose? is that where you pour it from your big carboy into another one and let it sit there again, then bottle it after that?

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Old 08-25-2006, 02:26 AM   #2
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The purpose is to further clarify the beer and get some extra age under its belt. If you were to let the beer sit in the primary to long (this time frame is debatable)then the yeast that has settled on the bottom will nolonger ferment but give the beer "off" flavors. this is why you transfer to a secondary.

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Old 08-25-2006, 02:31 AM   #3
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Note "transfer," not "pour." You need to siphon (quietly) from one to the other, so that you do not oygenate the beer (which will cause off-flavors down the line). Pouring from one container to another would also stir up the trub in the primary, which would render moot the whole reason t move it in the first place.

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Old 08-25-2006, 02:35 AM   #4
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Basically, you just syphon the beer into another sterilized contianer with an airlock..leaving the yeast gunk undisturbed on the bottom of the fermenter.....you do not add more yeast/sugar or anything like that to the secondary.

Having a secondary also frees up the primary for another batch !

Most people use the 1-2-3 rule..1 week in primary-2, weeks in secondary, 3 weeks in bottle.

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Old 08-25-2006, 05:20 AM   #5
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thanks guys, cleared things right up!

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Old 08-25-2006, 07:26 AM   #6
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Yeah, I use the 1-2-whenever the hell I want rule.

I don't see the need to wait 3 weeks before cracking open a bottle. I'll usually have a test or two after the first week, just to make sure things are progressing nicely, and once week two hits it's fair game. I mean, it's already five weeks old, and I'm only going to drink a small percentage of it before the third week hits anyway, so who cares?

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Old 08-25-2006, 02:10 PM   #7
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Call it a clearing or bright tank & the problem with "secondary fermentation" goes away. Some day I'll figure out why homebrewers call it a secondary, maybe it's a hold-over from wine making.

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Old 08-25-2006, 03:00 PM   #8
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Along those lines, I've always wondered whether you need to purposely rack a little bit of trub when you're bottling, so that there's something in the bottles to ferment the priming sugars and carbonate. That's what I do...just a small amount at the end. I've worried that, after 2 weeks of sitting in secondary, there's not enough yeast suspended in the liquid to produce sufficient carbo.

Is this right? My "sensei" who taught me how to brew says he also purposely racks a little bit of trub. Thoughts?

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Old 08-25-2006, 03:35 PM   #9
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More yeast than you can imagine is suspended in your beer. If you have a proper racking cane you'll get a LOT of yeast that is suspended more toward the bottom.

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Old 08-25-2006, 05:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Call it a clearing or bright tank & the problem with "secondary fermentation" goes away. Some day I'll figure out why homebrewers call it a secondary, maybe it's a hold-over from wine making.

I try to think of it as my "secondary fermenter" rather than secondary fermentation. No new fermentation is going to begin, unless you roused the yeast or something. The same slow, endstage fermentation is continuing and you just moved it to a clean vessel. Without explaining it to myself this way, the terminology would start bugging me. Maybe I'm anal. Probably.
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