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Old 01-17-2013, 02:32 AM   #1
ncbrewnoob
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Default do I need a secondary

I bought a coopers brew kit and the first batch (from coopers) didnt require any boiling and I just left it in the primary for 2 weeks and bottled directly from that. Bottles are still in the dark place and will chill soon. Last week I brewed a American wheat from Northern Brewers. That one required boiling the wort and adding hops etc. Now its in the primary and I'm wondering if I will need a secondary to add the priming sugars. The first Coopers kit used carbonation drops into the bottles during bottling. But this kit has priming sugars. Will I need a secondary (carboy) to add the priming mix to allow it to continue to ferment prior to bottling?? Or can I add the priming mix to the primary fermenter and then bottle from that after another week or so?

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:41 AM   #2
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You need to transfer to a bottling bucket and you add the priming sugar to a couple of cups boiling water, cool slightly, and then pour it in, usually as the beer is transferring. If you add the priming sugar and don't bottle within a couple of hours you are going to lose a ton of carbonation, typically bottling is done immediately after the priming sugar is stirred in.

Bottling buckets are quite cheap, less than $15 including the spigot.

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:44 AM   #3
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The priming sugar is to create carbonation in the bottle. You want to add it to your bottling bucket at the time of bottling. If you add it before, then the yeast will consume the sugar and you won't be able to trap any of the CO2 produced.

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Old 01-17-2013, 02:54 AM   #4
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How long has it been fermenting for? I brew with NB kits also and I wait about 1.5 weeks in primary, then move (or rack) to secondary for about another two weeks simply to clarify, and let the beer mature and age (do not put priming sugar at this stage) just let the beer mellow for a couple weeks. Then on bottling day you have to mix 2/3 cup of the priming sugar with 2 cups of water and boil in a stainless sauce pan for a few min., let cool a bit, add it to your bottling bucket, then rack ( or move ) your beer to the bottling bucket, and bottle. Then 2 weeks at room temp. And one in the fridge.

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Old 01-17-2013, 06:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewMasta View Post
How long has it been fermenting for? I brew with NB kits also and I wait about 1.5 weeks in primary, then move (or rack) to secondary for about another two weeks simply to clarify, and let the beer mature and age (do not put priming sugar at this stage) just let the beer mellow for a couple weeks. Then on bottling day you have to mix 2/3 cup of the priming sugar with 2 cups of water and boil in a stainless sauce pan for a few min., let cool a bit, add it to your bottling bucket, then rack ( or move ) your beer to the bottling bucket, and bottle. Then 2 weeks at room temp. And one in the fridge.
It will clarify in the primary. Leave it there for 3 weeks. While you are waiting get a bottling bucket. Put the priming sugar in the bottom and then rack the beer to the bucket. That action will mix the sugar and the beer. 2-3 weeks in the bottle at approx 70* then a few days in the refer to chill it to drinking temp.

Time has proven you don't need to secondary unless you are adding something like fruit or making a strong brew like a barley wine.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:06 PM   #6
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You don't HAVE to use the sugar they gave you and put it in a bottling bucket. If you want to you can add sugar to the bottles, or buy some priming drops, and then bottle straight from the first one. The benefit to using a bottling bucket, is more equal carbonation to all of the bottles, and you don't have to deal with adding sugar to a ton of bottles. Up to you, I have done it both ways.

And it's up to you on a secondary, it's not 100% necessary.

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Old 01-17-2013, 12:17 PM   #7
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Are you talking about the hardware? Yes, you will need a second vessel - the bucket with spigot is the easiest option for bottling.

If you're talking about the act of secondary-ing your beer, then no, the general consensus it that it's not necessary. It's personal choice however. Some do it some don't. I don't anymore - there's no benefit in my experience.

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Old 01-17-2013, 12:43 PM   #8
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Wow thanks for all the quick responses. Forgive me if I'm still unclear (sorta like my beer right now). My Primary has a spigot and I bottled directly from that on the first batch from Coopers (didnt have to boil or add hops). If the point of the primary is just to add priming sugar mixture and then bottle immediately, could't I just leave it there for another week to clarify then add the sugar and bottle from there? I guess the only thing might be that there will be more sediment in the Primary and that would get all stirred up after adding the priming sugar.
If I do transfer to a bottling bucket it would be easy to just open the spigot and put the secondary under it. Thanks again for the education!

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Old 01-17-2013, 12:47 PM   #9
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I bought the same kit as you.
A secondary is optional, you already have a fermentor with a spigot so you can leave it in the primary and bottle directly from it.
You can add sugars to the bottles directly and then proceed to bottle.

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:09 PM   #10
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My personal opinion, I would not bottle from the spigot in the primary, due to all the yeast and junk on the bottom. I would use a siphon with a bottling wand. Up to you though

Also, primary fermenting buckets are quite cheap without spigots, you should pick one up for primary fermentation.

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