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DM3MD157 01-25-2013 05:06 AM

Questions about Secondary Fermentation
 
So my first batch (NB Dead Ringer IPA) is currently in the bottling bucket for primary fermentation at 66 degrees. I have a 6 gallon carboy that I plan on using as the secondary. I called NB up to ask some questions. The first time I called, the rep told me that a 6 gallon carboy is fine for 5 gallons when used as a secondary. He also said that I only have to leave the wort in the primary for 7 days. When I called NB again to ask a question, the new rep told me that I should NOT use the 6 gallon carboy as a secondary because it would ruin the beer, and that I should leave the wort in the primary for 3 weeks because I'm brewing at 66 degrees! The instructions say to primary for 1-2 weeks, and secondary for 2-4 weeks.

I am getting a lot of conflicting information. When I searched for the 5 gallon brew in a 6 gallon carboy on this forum, I also get some conflicting information. I can get a 5 gallon carboy if needed, but I don't want to get it if I don't need it! Also, some say that better bottles are better than glass? What about the chance of scratches and bacteria growing in them?

basilchef 01-25-2013 05:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DM3MD157 (Post 4824259)
So my first batch (NB Dead Ringer IPA) is currently in the bottling bucket for primary fermentation at 66 degrees. I have a 6 gallon carboy that I plan on using as the secondary. I called NB up to ask some questions. The first time I called, the rep told me that a 6 gallon carboy is fine for 5 gallons when used as a secondary. He also said that I only have to leave the wort in the primary for 7 days. When I called NB again to ask a question, the new rep told me that I should NOT use the 6 gallon carboy as a secondary because it would ruin the beer, and that I should leave the wort in the primary for 3 weeks because I'm brewing at 66 degrees! The instructions say to primary for 1-2 weeks, and secondary for 2-4 weeks.

I am getting a lot of conflicting information. When I searched for the 5 gallon brew in a 6 gallon carboy on this forum, I also get some conflicting information. I can get a 5 gallon carboy if needed, but I don't want to get it if I don't need it! Also, some say that better bottles are better than glass? What about the chance of scratches and bacteria growing in them?

Your fine putting it in a six gallon. I do it ever time. The co2 will fill the head space.

DM3MD157 01-25-2013 06:10 AM

How long should I primary and secondary for my IPA at 66 degrees?

edb 01-25-2013 06:21 AM

There is no exact time for how long to leave your beer in the primary. Technically even if you dont see the airlock doing anything it can still be fermenting. I myself have skipped the secondary and I leave my beer in the primary for a minimum week after the airlock stops (usually I go about 3 weeks in the primary). The only real way to know is to take daily readings when it stops bubbling.

I dont do readings because a. I dont want to waste the beer b. dont want to constantly have to sanitize and expose my beer to potential germs, c. I'm lazy :)

DM3MD157 01-25-2013 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edb (Post 4824372)
There is no exact time for how long to leave your beer in the primary. Technically even if you dont see the airlock doing anything it can still be fermenting. I myself have skipped the secondary and I leave my beer in the primary for a minimum week after the airlock stops (usually I go about 3 weeks in the primary). The only real way to know is to take daily readings when it stops bubbling.

I dont do readings because a. I dont want to waste the beer b. dont want to constantly have to sanitize and expose my beer to potential germs, c. I'm lazy :)

So you ferment in the primary for three weeks then bottle, not using a secondary?

edb 01-25-2013 06:54 AM

Yep the only time I would use a secondary is if I was going to add something to beer, dry hop etc.. Since I've started kegging I just dry hop in the keg using a hop bag and I pop the keg open and pull it out when I need to.

Really though as you get the hang of it siphoning off from your primary and dont pull up any trub you really wont need to do a secondary for clearer beer. If you do pull some trub up just continue siphoning to your bottling bucket, stir in your priming sugar (for bottling) put your lid on it the bucket and bottle it the following day. That will act like a secondary and help clear the trub you picked up. Just dont move around your bucket too much, you dont want to disturb the sediment.

pacosarae 01-25-2013 06:56 AM

The only real way to know is to take daily readings when it stops bubbling. http://www.sdra.info/a17.jpg

Pelican521 01-25-2013 12:22 PM

DM3, I too am on my first batch of beer and my EPA kit's instructions were similar. 1 week in primary and 2-3 in the secondary where I'm going to dryhop.

I didn't bother taking OG reading but after 5 or so days the bubbling stopped so I left it in the primary a few more days to finish up. Total 8 days in primary.

Then I racked to my secondary, FG was reached at that point and it was pretty damn clear as well. Smelled and tasted great too. A little watery, but I'm told carbing and time will help.

That was Monday so I'll let it sit for a few more days then dry hop for 5 days and then bottle.

I'm no pro (first batch), but learned a lot from these good people here.

RM-MN 01-25-2013 12:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edb (Post 4824410)
Yep the only time I would use a secondary is if I was going to add something to beer, dry hop etc.. Since I've started kegging I just dry hop in the keg using a hop bag and I pop the keg open and pull it out when I need to.

Really though as you get the hang of it siphoning off from your primary and dont pull up any trub you really wont need to do a secondary for clearer beer. If you do pull some trub up just continue siphoning to your bottling bucket, stir in your priming sugar (for bottling) put your lid on it the bucket and bottle it the following day. That will act like a secondary and help clear the trub you picked up. Just dont move around your bucket too much, you dont want to disturb the sediment.

You don't have to wait that long. The yeast that have settled in the primary will settle much faster than that in the bottling bucket. Mine settles in less than half an hour. Once I've added the priming sugar I don't want to let the yeast have any more time than necessary to eat the sugars outside the bottles. I want the beer in the bottles immediately or as soon as I can. Any yeast that does get in the bottles will settle in there pretty fast too.

RM-MN 01-25-2013 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pelican521 (Post 4824671)
DM3, I too am on my first batch of beer and my EPA kit's instructions were similar. 1 week in primary and 2-3 in the secondary where I'm going to dryhop.

I didn't bother taking OG reading but after 5 or so days the bubbling stopped so I left it in the primary a few more days to finish up. Total 8 days in primary.

Then I racked to my secondary, FG was reached at that point and it was pretty damn clear as well. Smelled and tasted great too. A little watery, but I'm told carbing and time will help.

That was Monday so I'll let it sit for a few more days then dry hop for 5 days and then bottle.

I'm no pro (first batch), but learned a lot from these good people here.

You wouldn't have to have moved it to secondary to dry hop even. Lots of us have started doing the dry hop right in the primary with good results. We just leave the beer long enough (usually 10 days to 2 weeks) that it is done with the ferment and the yeast's cleanup phase and then drop the hops right into the primary, wait a few days, and then bottle or keg.


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