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Old 01-28-2013, 12:29 AM   #1
jvotava91
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Default Just brewed my first batch today!

I just brewed by first batch of beer today. It was an amber ale from midwest supplies. I made a small mistake by putting 4 gallons into my kettle which took forever to get to boil. Ended up having to turn on two burners on my stove and put my kettle in the middle but all and all it worked. I do have one question though, the directions say ferment for a week then switch to a secondary fermentor. I know there have been lots of discussion about it but what should I do, follow directions or just let it sit in the primary for longer?

Thanks

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:36 AM   #2
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It's really a preference. The only time I use a secondary is when I want to brew another beer and need the 6 gallon primary. I usually just leave it in the primary for a few weeks and then bottle.

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:14 AM   #3
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Time is your friend in brewing. I normally don't move mine until 3 weeks or so, if I am going to use a secondary. It can be tough to wait, but patience is a good thing for beer.

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:42 AM   #4
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I have made 3 and not used a secondary on any. My thought is if it isn't necessary why risk an infection even if it is small.

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Old 01-28-2013, 01:51 AM   #5
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I'd recommend just leaving it in the primary fermenter for longer (2-3 weeks), make sure you hit your Final Gravity, then bottle. Some people like secondaries, especially to use when dry hopping, or adding flavors from things like fruit. I wouldn't worry about using one for now.

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Old 01-28-2013, 02:05 AM   #6
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No need to secondary that beer, just more hassle and more chance to get an infection. I'd primary for 3 weeks and take grav. readings 2-3 days apart, then bottle.

I've only used a secondary to add fruit or to bulk age high gravity beers.

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Old 01-28-2013, 02:16 AM   #7
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I have wrestled with this question too and read countless threads extolling the virtues of one way or the other. MY consensus is this: No need to secondary if you are using ordinary yeasts and do not need to use the primary for something else. Even if you are dry hopping or adding oak chips, just toss them in the primary at the right time. Never heard of any issues with this, then you're not risking contamination moving your brew. Here's what I do (gleaned from countless posts on here on this subject.

28 days in primary, then bottle. 28 days in bottle. Then drink.

If you are dry hopping for 7 days or whatever, just add those in the primary at the 21 day mark. I know that others will have different schedules or insist you don't have to bottle condition that long, and that's true, they could be ready sooner. But to me, this isn't a race, it's an art (or at least something I take pride in), so let the yeast and time do their thing, and you will always end up with a great result.

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Old 01-28-2013, 02:50 AM   #8
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I am only a few weeks ahead of you, and asking the same question I recurred similar advice. But, for me, I ultimately followed the directions from the kit. That worked well for me not because of the time but because out let me clear the trub in 2 phases which was helpful with my limited experience.

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Old 01-28-2013, 03:57 AM   #9
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Okay looks like I am not going to use the secondary. One other question I have is that when taking a gravity reading how should I go about doing it? Sanitizing it all and just dipping it into the primary? Or should I used a siphon?

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Old 01-28-2013, 04:05 AM   #10
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i sanitize a turkey baster and draw some beer off slowly. be sure to taste and take notes and resist the urge to pour the sample back in.

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