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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Primary or Secondary?
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default Primary or Secondary?

I am ordering a new kit that has a Plastic fermenter and a 5 gal carboy. Which should I use as my primary?

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Old 09-10-2010, 02:15 PM   #2
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The plastic fermenter (6.5-7 Gallon bucket) will be your primary and the the 5gallon will be your secondary if you choose to use a secondary.

You need the extra head space in the Primary during fermentation for the krausen to grow then as little head space as you can get in the secondary to prevent oxidation. You will also be fine to skip the secondary all together and just leave the beer in the primary for 4 weeks. There will be a layer of CO2 produced from fermentation that will fill the head space to cover and protect your beer from oxygen.

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Old 09-10-2010, 02:16 PM   #3
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You use the bucket for your primary. A 5 gallon anything is too small for actual fermentation of 5 gallon batches. But save your self some money and leave off the carboy for a secondary. People are getting out of using secondaries for all but the rarest of things, And opting instead for long primaries. So order something useful as your second vessel, get another primary bucket of a 6 gallon carboy or better bottle, with the headspace to actually be able to ferment another batch of beer in, so you can get your pipeline going.

Before you ask a million inevetible questions about no secondary/long primary, ALL of them have been answered a million times on here already, and just about everyone is answered by me in this thread here. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/sec...-weigh-176837/

You'll find that more and more recipes these days do not advocate moving to a secondary at all, but mention primary for a month, which is starting to reflect the shift in brewing culture that has occurred in the last 4 years, MOSTLY because of many of us on here, skipping secondary, opting for longer primaries, and writing about it. Recipes in BYO have begun stating that in their magazine. I remember the "scandal" it caused i the letters to the editor's section a month later, it was just like how it was here when we began discussing it, except a lot more civil than it was here. But after the Byo/Basic brewing experiment, they started reflecting it in their recipes.

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Old 09-10-2010, 02:22 PM   #4
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In general with this kind of kit I believe the bucket is meant to be the primary and the carboy is the secondary. But, how you use the kit will depend on variables like; what kind of beer are you making, the size of each container, and how you plan on bottling.

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Old 09-10-2010, 02:40 PM   #5
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Great info Revvy. I went to my LHBS and he said that using a secondary was a good practice, so I guess it is an opinion thing weather to use a secondary. I have also read secondary's are helpful for clarifying your beer. (I do not think that will be a issue, starting with Brown ales stouts etc)

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Old 09-10-2010, 03:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sizemj View Post
Great info Revvy. I went to my LHBS and he said that using a secondary was a good practice, so I guess it is an opinion thing weather to use a secondary. I have also read secondary's are helpful for clarifying your beer. (I do not think that will be a issue, starting with Brown ales stouts etc)
It's an outdated opinion, based on old fears about yeast contact. As it is discussed in the above link, that has changed over the last few years. SOme of us have found our beers to actually be Clearer and better tasting by leaving it for a month in primary and skipping secondary. Like I said, here on homebrewtalk we are ahead of the curve on that, and only now are magazines, websites, podcasts, and even books are reflecting that shift in beliefs. Like I said, that thread really covers the latest stuff on it.....
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