Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Secondary ferm?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-18-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
MichaelSterling
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 50
Default Secondary ferm?

can some one explane what i am going to do on this step? and what is happening? do i need to add anything?

__________________
MichaelSterling is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2010, 08:29 PM   #2
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,804
Liked 2728 Times on 1636 Posts
Likes Given: 3485

Default

Are you talking about racking your beer to a secondary for the purposes of clearing your beer, or the process of secondary fermentation that is one of the life cycle of the yeast, and that is just a stage that the yeast goes through on its own? Or the third way the secondary fermentation is used, and that is when you are adding fruit to your beer.

Secondary fermentation is a misnomer, since no fermentaion SHOULD happen in the secondary. THe secondary is to clear your beer, though many of us no longer use a secondary, but instead opt for the long primary, leaving our beers in primary to clear up, and feel that our beer is much better for it.

If you want to read more about the various ideas about secondary and no secondary and the beliefs about WHEN one should secondary, Read this and the accompanying links in the article, and then you can make up your own mind as to what to do.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/multiple-questions-about-secondary-fermentation-140978/#post1601829

And this is where some of the latest info is on the subject of NOT racking to secondary.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/secondary-not-john-palmer-jamil-zainasheff-weigh-176837/

Besides, like I said it's a pretty moot point these days. This is the latest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Palmer


Tom from Michigan asks:
I have a few questions about secondary fermentations. I've read both pros and cons for 2nd fermentations and it is driving me crazy what to do. One, are they necessary for lower Gravity beers?
Two, what is the dividing line between low gravity and high gravity beers? Is it 1.060 and higher?
Three, I have an American Brown Ale in the primary right now, a SG of 1.058, Should I secondary ferment this or not?
Your advice is appreciated, thanks for all you do!

Allen from New York asks:

John, please talk about why or why not you would NOT use a secondary fermenter (bright tank?) and why or why not a primary only fermentation is a good idea. In other words, give some clarification or reason why primary only is fine, versus the old theory of primary then secondary normal gravity ale fermentations.

Palmer answers:

These are good questions – When and why would you need to use a secondary fermenter? First some background – I used to recommend racking a beer to a secondary fermenter. My recommendation was based on the premise that (20 years ago) larger (higher gravity) beers took longer to ferment completely, and that getting the beer off the yeast reduced the risk of yeast autolysis (ie., meaty or rubbery off-flavors) and it allowed more time for flocculation and clarification, reducing the amount of yeast and trub carryover to the bottle. Twenty years ago, a homebrewed beer typically had better flavor, or perhaps less risk of off-flavors, if it was racked off the trub and clarified before bottling. Today that is not the case.

The risk inherent to any beer transfer, whether it is fermenter-to-fermenter or fermenter-to-bottles, is oxidation and staling. Any oxygen exposure after fermentation will lead to staling, and the more exposure, and the warmer the storage temperature, the faster the beer will go stale.

Racking to a secondary fermenter used to be recommended because staling was simply a fact of life – like death and taxes. But the risk of autolysis was real and worth avoiding – like cholera. In other words, you know you are going to die eventually, but death by cholera is worth avoiding.

But then modern medicine appeared, or in our case, better yeast and better yeast-handling information. Suddenly, death by autolysis is rare for a beer because of two factors: the freshness and health of the yeast being pitched has drastically improved, and proper pitching rates are better understood. The yeast no longer drop dead and burst like Mr. Creosote from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life when fermentation is complete – they are able to hibernate and wait for the next fermentation to come around. The beer has time to clarify in the primary fermenter without generating off-flavors. With autolysis no longer a concern, staling becomes the main problem. The shelf life of a beer can be greatly enhanced by avoiding oxygen exposure and storing the beer cold (after it has had time to carbonate).

Therefore I, and Jamil and White Labs and Wyeast Labs, do not recommend racking to a secondary fermenter for ANY ale, except when conducting an actual second fermentation, such as adding fruit or souring. Racking to prevent autolysis is not necessary, and therefore the risk of oxidation is completely avoidable. Even lagers do not require racking to a second fermenter before lagering. With the right pitching rate, using fresh healthy yeast, and proper aeration of the wort prior to pitching, the fermentation of the beer will be complete within 3-8 days (bigger = longer). This time period includes the secondary or conditioning phase of fermentation when the yeast clean up acetaldehyde and diacetyl. The real purpose of lagering a beer is to use the colder temperatures to encourage the yeast to flocculate and promote the precipitation and sedimentation of microparticles and haze.

So, the new rule of thumb: don’t rack a beer to a secondary, ever, unless you are going to conduct a secondary fermentation.
Yes it's confusing, but really not. Most of us just leave our beers in primary for a month and bottle.
__________________

Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Revvy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2010, 08:31 PM   #3
PT Ray
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,372
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Default

A true secondary fermentation could be a couple things. Basically you're adding another fermentable after post fermentation. That could adding fruit to a secondary or adding priming sugar before bottling. I would say you are refering to bottling.

__________________
PT Ray is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2010, 08:39 PM   #4
MichaelSterling
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 50
Default

so just leaving it there does not bring you ABV up? how do i get a stronger beer?

__________________
MichaelSterling is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
PT Ray
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,372
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelSterling View Post
so just leaving it there does not bring you ABV up? how do i get a stronger beer?
Recipe formulation. What are you looking at making?
__________________
PT Ray is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2010, 08:43 PM   #6
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,804
Liked 2728 Times on 1636 Posts
Likes Given: 3485

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelSterling View Post
so just leaving it there does not bring you ABV up? how do i get a stronger beer?
No....secondary doesn't boost the abv...adding more fermentables does....but doing it willy nilly without balancing out the recipe just makes for crappy beer.

If you want a higher abv beer, next time get a recipe or kit for a higher grav beer.
__________________

Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Revvy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2010, 08:44 PM   #7
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,804
Liked 2728 Times on 1636 Posts
Likes Given: 3485

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PT Ray View Post
Recipe formulation. What are you looking at making?
Yup, it's not about just slopping a bunch of stuff together, it's really about how everything works together.

If you want a higher abv beer, then make your next kit higher. It really isn't about the booze, but the flavor that most of us care about. We're not brewing to get whacked, but to make great tasting beer.

For example a mild IS a great tasting beer, despite it's low alcohol content. Because there's not a high alcohol backbone, you can really get some nice subtle flavors it it.

Besides, Beer recipes are a balance...and if you add to one variable, that will affect other parts of it...For example if you decide to raise the gravity of a balanced beer...a beer where the hops balance out the sweetness...and you raise the maltniness of it without alaso balancing the hops, then your beer may end up being way too cloyingly sweet. Or if you just add sugar willy nilly it could become overly dry, or cidery.

SO I would just brew this, and enjoy it, don't worry if you get buzzed or not, and make your next batch as high as you want.

My take on this is that there is a difference between true experimentation and throwing things together "willy nilly." I have noticed on here is that a lot of noobs think what they are doing is experimentation, when in reality they are just throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall and hoping it sticks.

Throwing a bunch of stuff in your fermenter and seeing what you get at the end, and ending up making an "is my beer ruined" thread is not the same thing as experimenting.

To me, in order to experiment truly, you have to have an understanding of the fundamentals. You have to know how the process works somewhat. You have to have an understanding of how different ingredients or processes affect the final product. You may even need to know, or at least understand something about beer styles, and what goes into making one beer a Porter and another a pale ale. And where your concoction will fall on the continuoum.


To me it's like cooking or even Jazz. But going back to the cooking analogy. Coming up with a balanced and tasty recipe takes some understanding of things...just like cooking...dumping a cup of salt will more than likely ruin a recipe...so if you cook, you KNOW not to do that...it's the same with brewing...you get an idea with experience and looking at recipes, brewing and playing with software how things work..what flavors work with each other, etc...

That to me is the essence of creating...I have gotten to a point where I understand what I am doing, I get how ingredients work or don't work with each other, so I am not just throwing a bunch of stuff together to see what I get.

I have an idea of what I want it to taste like, and my challenge then is to get the right combination of ingredients to match what is in my head. That's also pretty much how I come up with new food recipes as well.

You'll get there....a LOT sooner, if you focus on the fundamentals, and get your processes in order...rather than just playing around.

You'll also save more money that way.....
__________________

Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Revvy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2010, 08:47 PM   #8
MichaelSterling
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bellingham, WA
Posts: 50
Default

thanks for the answers

__________________
MichaelSterling is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2010, 08:57 PM   #9
northernlad
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NW
Posts: 1,602
Liked 18 Times on 17 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Revvy, a little clarification on what the boys said about secondary please.
They say, and I agree, that no beer needs to be transfered unless adding additional fermentables, but they are not clear about dry hopping.
I have dry hopped in my primary, and dry hopped in my secondary and I lean toward primary dry hopping yielding a better product. In addition, I found that the hops were neatly packed at the bottom of the primary while I always struggle with bits dry hopping in secondary.
What are your thoughts about this since what they have to say is vague on the subject?
Waht about you Yooper? I am confident you havesome thought as well.

__________________
northernlad is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-18-2010, 09:17 PM   #10
Shinglejohn
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 482
Liked 10 Times on 7 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Revvy, do you type these out 10 times a day? or do you have them saved somewhere?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Yup, it's not about just slopping a bunch of stuff together, it's really about how everything works together.

If you want a higher abv beer, then make your next kit higher. It really isn't about the booze, but the flavor that most of us care about. We're not brewing to get whacked, but to make great tasting beer.

For example a mild IS a great tasting beer, despite it's low alcohol content. Because there's not a high alcohol backbone, you can really get some nice subtle flavors it it.

Besides, Beer recipes are a balance...and if you add to one variable, that will affect other parts of it...For example if you decide to raise the gravity of a balanced beer...a beer where the hops balance out the sweetness...and you raise the maltniness of it without alaso balancing the hops, then your beer may end up being way too cloyingly sweet. Or if you just add sugar willy nilly it could become overly dry, or cidery.

SO I would just brew this, and enjoy it, don't worry if you get buzzed or not, and make your next batch as high as you want.

My take on this is that there is a difference between true experimentation and throwing things together "willy nilly." I have noticed on here is that a lot of noobs think what they are doing is experimentation, when in reality they are just throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall and hoping it sticks.

Throwing a bunch of stuff in your fermenter and seeing what you get at the end, and ending up making an "is my beer ruined" thread is not the same thing as experimenting.

To me, in order to experiment truly, you have to have an understanding of the fundamentals. You have to know how the process works somewhat. You have to have an understanding of how different ingredients or processes affect the final product. You may even need to know, or at least understand something about beer styles, and what goes into making one beer a Porter and another a pale ale. And where your concoction will fall on the continuoum.


To me it's like cooking or even Jazz. But going back to the cooking analogy. Coming up with a balanced and tasty recipe takes some understanding of things...just like cooking...dumping a cup of salt will more than likely ruin a recipe...so if you cook, you KNOW not to do that...it's the same with brewing...you get an idea with experience and looking at recipes, brewing and playing with software how things work..what flavors work with each other, etc...

That to me is the essence of creating...I have gotten to a point where I understand what I am doing, I get how ingredients work or don't work with each other, so I am not just throwing a bunch of stuff together to see what I get.

I have an idea of what I want it to taste like, and my challenge then is to get the right combination of ingredients to match what is in my head. That's also pretty much how I come up with new food recipes as well.

You'll get there....a LOT sooner, if you focus on the fundamentals, and get your processes in order...rather than just playing around.

You'll also save more money that way.....
__________________
Shinglejohn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
secondary ferm vs. kegging DodginBUIs Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 11-13-2010 01:58 PM
Gravity and Secondary Ferm. tetrylone Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 11-22-2008 05:32 AM
Primary / Secondary Ferm. Options kazmiekr Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 06-20-2007 03:09 PM
Secondary Ferm. Logic????????? tbone Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 03-07-2007 06:46 PM
6 gal. for secondary ferm aekdbbop Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 09-19-2006 06:21 PM