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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Do you use a secondary fermenter
View Poll Results: Do you use a secondary fermenter/carboy?
Yes 54 54.55%
No 45 45.45%
Voters: 99. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:33 AM   #1
earwig
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Default Do you use a secondary fermenter

I am wondering how many of you use a secondary fermenter/carboy. I keep finding recommendations online saying they are fairly necessary but then I read forum posts or see videos where the brewer doesn't use one at all. If you do or do not use one, and feel like explaining why you do or do not use one... please do! I just brewed my first batch... a dark stout and I'm not using one this time. Thanks!

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:37 AM   #2
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I have to vote yes, because I do secondary, but I am in the NO SECONDARY camp.

I don't think secondary is helpful, much less necessary, but I don't always have time to bottle. If I am bent on brewing, I move a batch to secondary, usually to re-use the yeast cake.

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:38 AM   #3
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Im with you, I dont know why people dont use them...I leave the beer on the yeast for 3 weeks normally, then rack to secondary, I know its not absolutly necessary, its just the way Ive always done it. I normally leave it in the secondary for another 2 weeks, then cold crash for 2 days and bottle\keg
seems to work for me, but would like to know reasons\opinions for only using primary

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:39 AM   #4
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I put no.

My real answer is sometimes. For a normal ale its still no. Just 3-4 weeks in primary then to a keg. Its just too much trouble having to rack so much. In recent years, its pretty much been accepted that the reasons homebrew books of yore suggest a secondary are pretty much moot.

My only exceptions are for really big beers that need long term bulk aging. I don't really want to age a beer for months on end on all that yeast and trub. I don't use fruit, but that would be another reason to secondary. I dry hop in the keg, but if you bottle, that would be another reason.

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies so far. I should have included a "Sometimes" option...dang.

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:50 AM   #6
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I'd vote "sometimes" if it were an option, but also fall into the "It's not needed most of the time" camp. 90% of my beers aren't that big so a month in primary is just fine before hitting the bottle or keg. I had a winter warmer that spent nearly 3 months in a secondary after sitting a month in primary. Occasionally I'll move to secondary to dry hop, but even that is usually a stretch.

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:22 AM   #7
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For me it depends on the beer. Most ales I ferment about 10 days, rack to secondary (harvesting the yeast) for 10 days, and then bottle. Some ales I don't use secondary and just primary for 2 weeks. The hydrometer is your friend. But I agree about not fermenting in the primary for more than 2 weeks. I just hate the thought of my beer fermenting on top of all that trub. Of course, I use a secondary for all of my lagers. It's usually primary for 2 weeks, secondary for 3 weeks to months.

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:30 AM   #8
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I secondary virtually everything, although it is obviously not always necessary. I feel it works better on my system to secondary when dry hopping (occasionally even tertiary if I am using gelatin), and always feel I get cleaner tasting beer if I pull it off the trub after a couple weeks, then bulk age for a couple more.

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:36 AM   #9
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I guess I use 'em cause I got 'em and it frees up a primary for a new brew day. Where I live temperatures can vary as much as 70-80 degrees F between nite and day in my garage so I have a chest freezer to stabilize temps. I can only fit 5 6 gallon PET primaries in it but if I rack I can squeeze 4 5 g secondaries and 2 5 g primaries.

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:37 AM   #10
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I voted Yes, although it isn't set in stone that I will use it. As with many others on here, it depends on the beer/circumstances. I mainly use it to dryhop and or lager. If I am making a small ale I don't waste my time.

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