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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Do I have to use a Secondary?
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Old 10-05-2008, 03:28 PM   #11
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WOW - ANOTHER blast from the past.
Fixed that for you Orfy.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:48 AM   #12
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when you transfer from primary to second, do you or dont you want to airait it? as you are transfering.

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Old 10-06-2008, 04:52 AM   #13
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when you transfer from primary to second, do you or dont you want to airait it? as you are transfering.
Oh dear lord NO!!!
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:15 PM   #14
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when you transfer from primary to second, do you or dont you want to airait it? as you are transfering.
DON'T DO IT, MAN!

Only add oxygen immediately after the boil JUST before pitching the yeast. After that no splashing, shaking, bubbling, vigorous stirring, progressive thinking, etc. Otherwise you can get cwazy off flavors later.

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Old 10-17-2008, 02:06 PM   #15
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When doing a secondary fermentation do I add more yeast?

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Old 10-17-2008, 02:17 PM   #16
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When doing a secondary fermentation do I add more yeast?
No...you don't need to add more yeast...

But we need to clear up something in your use of the term secondary fermentation...

first off "secondary fermentation" is a misnomer and a mistake many brewers don't grasp....the secondary has nothing to do with he process of "secondary fermentation" which is part of the normal yeast life cycles, one of the stages of fermentation.

The secondary we are referring to is also called a "brite tank" it is the carboy where people move their beer to clear, or to add fruit, or hops for dry hopping... and to let the yeast and other things fall down...It's to clear the beer....but if you leave your beer inprimary for several weeks you don't need to worry...

Here's John Palmer's explanation of the Secondary fermentation Phase

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The reactions that take place during the conditioning phase are primarily a function of the yeast. The vigorous primary stage is over, the majority of the wort sugars have been converted to alcohol, and a lot of the yeast cells are going dormant - but some are still active.

The Secondary Phase allows for the slow reduction of the remaining fermentables. The yeast have eaten most all of the easily fermentable sugars and now start to turn their attention elsewhere. The yeast start to work on the heavier sugars like maltotriose. Also, the yeast clean up some of the byproducts they produced during the fast-paced primary phase. But this stage has its dark side too.

Under some conditions, the yeast will also consume some of the compounds in the trub. The "fermentation" of these compounds can produce several off-flavors. In addition, the dormant yeast on the bottom of the fermentor begin excreting more amino and fatty acids. Leaving the post-primary beer on the trub and yeast cake for too long (more than about three weeks) will tend to result in soapy flavors becoming evident. Further, after very long times the yeast begin to die and break down - autolysis, which produces yeasty or rubbery/fatty/meaty flavors and aromas. For these reasons, it can be important to get the beer off of the trub and dormant yeast during the conditioning phase.

There has been a lot of controversy within the homebrewing community on the value of racking beers, particularly ales, to secondary fermentors. Many seasoned homebrewers have declared that there is no real taste benefit and that the dangers of contamination and the cost in additional time are not worth what little benefit there may be. While I will agree that for a new brewer's first, low gravity, pale beer that the risks probably outweigh the benefits; I have always argued that through careful transfer, secondary fermentation is beneficial to nearly all beer styles. But for now, I will advise new brewers to only use a single fermentor until they have gained some experience with racking and sanitation.

Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:40 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by El Pistolero View Post

The above comes from a Ray Daniels article on secondary fermentation
Sounds to me like Mr. Daniels must have never had an Ed's Haus Pale fermented at a nice cool 60 Degrees and left in the primary for 21 days. There is NO off flavors in that one!
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:43 PM   #18
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[COLOR=DarkRed]
The above comes from a Ray Daniels article on secondary fermentation.
again he's referring to the secondary stage of fermentation NOT a secondary container....

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But for homebrewers, the phrase has a different meaning. Here, it more often refers to the final phase of fermentation before bottling. Thus, the activity that goes on inside those plastic buckets can be divided into two phases: primary fermentation and secondary fermentation.
But again, I find that a longer time in primary is better for my beers, they taste better and have a more jewel-like quality (at least that's what one of the bjcp judges called one of them) than when I used to rack to secondary at 7-10 days....
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:35 AM   #19
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Hey Revvy - how long is too long in primary? You advise the longer the better - but can it be left for too long in your opinion (i know other people say yes, 3 weeks is too long, but what do you think?)?. I have a porter in primary for over a month now and Ed Wort's Apfelwien for maybe 2 months (because cleaning bottles is a pita).

I'm also wondering, how long is too long in secondary? Or is there such a thing?

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Old 10-18-2008, 01:08 AM   #20
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Nickhead,

It depends. I wouldn't recommend going over a month in primary, but I have heard of rare cases where people have went much longer with no issues. You have to decide how much risk you want to take.

As for secondary, realistically there isn't a time limit (You can go several months), but if you plan on carbonating you will reach a point where you might need to add more yeast.

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