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Old 10-12-2012, 03:08 AM   #1
rossscottnz
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Default Secondary fermentaiton question

I am still learning how to brew I tired to make a couple of batches from kits two years ago which failed miserably one tasted like vinegar the other well it tasted absolutely foul as well the result I tipped the lot down the drain and got rid of my brewing gear. I have decided I would like to try again but this time with no kits and try to use all grain brewing.

Now for my question

with transferring/racking to a second fermentation vessel for secondary fermentation do I need to pitch extra yeast or add any extra sugar to the brew?. I know I have to add sugar when priming for carbonation or is this what the secondary fermentation is all about carbing up prior to bottling as well as allowing the beer to clear without yeast tainting the product, the last lot I did two years ago it was primary then add priming sugar to bottles then filling and capping the bottles then store to allow beer to condition, got all excited when it was time to taste my efforts to find I had brewed something the devil himself would refuse to drink.

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Old 10-12-2012, 03:13 AM   #2
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If this is a standard beer (meaning no fruit, oak, other flavorings), don't rack to secondary. Just leave it in the primary for three weeks. Then ensure fermentation is complete with a couple hydrometer readings and bottle.

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Old 10-12-2012, 03:17 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rossscottnz View Post

with transferring/racking to a second fermentation vessel for secondary fermentation do I need to pitch extra yeast or add any extra sugar to the brew?..
No
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
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You can make good beer with the right kits what you need to work on is the process(this applies with any type of brewing). If you want to brew all grain go for it. What I would recommend is read up alot on the how to stickies on the top of the forums all grain or extract,you may also look at http://www.howtobrew.com/sitemap.html .

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Old 10-12-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
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Since your first attempts at brewing failed and they were extract it is important to figure out where you were going wrong before going farther. As mentioned, I highly recommend you read Palmer's "How to Brew" as well! In addition, keep in mind that with AG brewing there are a LOT more variables that go into making beer and a LOT more things that can go wrong in the process.

From your description of failed beers I would first understand what cleaning and sanitizing means to making beer as it sounds as though that is where things went wrong. Personally I would suggest you do another extract kit as they have improved over the last few years and some of them are really great beers! This will also get you back in the groove and a chance to refresh yourself with the process without introducing too many new variables to understand.

While your kit is fermenting you can begin to investigate going AG for your next batch.

Now for your question: It is not technically secondary fermentation. It is the use of a secondary vessel that is primarily used for dry hopping, oaking, adding fruit or simply parking your beer to clear and bulk condition. There should be NO FERMENTATION occurring as you DO NOT MOVE THE BEER OFF THE YEAST until fermentation has been confirmed to be complete. Times have changed and honestly, the majority of brewers today do not even use a secondary vessel. Most prefer longer primaries and you can read lots of threads about this all over this forum.

I'm not trying to discourage you I (all of us here) just want you to succeed the second time around! Cheers!

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Old 10-12-2012, 12:38 PM   #6
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duboman got it right, it sounds like sanitation went wrong the first time around. this time, no need for a secondary in a basic beer unless you think you won't be able to bottle for a long time (3+ months).

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Old 10-12-2012, 12:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossscottnz View Post
I am still learning how to brew I tired to make a couple of batches from kits two years ago which failed miserably one tasted like vinegar the other well it tasted absolutely foul as well the result I tipped the lot down the drain and got rid of my brewing gear. I have decided I would like to try again but this time with no kits and try to use all grain brewing.

If you can't get an extract kit right, you are in no way ready to move to AG.
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
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Welcome to HBT!

It's good that you posted this in the beginner's forum, but you should read this: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/faq-...question-7909/

I assure you I'm only trying to help, so with that being said, I'll try to answer your questions as others have:

"Secondary Fermentation" is a complete misnomer. There's really little to no fermentation occurring unless you move your beer to a second vessel while fermentation is still occurring, which is a really bad idea. It should really just be thought of as a second container that is used to pull your somewhat cleared beer off of the trub (junk in the bottom that's compacted over the first 7-14 days of fermentation, depending on how your yeast decided to work). I like to use secondary vessels for dry hopping, and for brews that had additives like coffee, chocolate, mint, etc. It helps clear up the beer, too. That's always a good thing.

Hope that helps! Now go read that FAQ!

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Old 10-12-2012, 07:26 PM   #9
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Thanks for the answers so far guys Highly appreciated. My screw up with the brew kits when reflecting back on it was 1) lack of patience 2) Lack of understanding of brewing temps and keeping my first two beers at too high of a temperature instead of letting nature take it course 3) using household bleach as a sanitiser and failing to rinse properly to get all residues out. Have been doing a lot of net research and reading books from the library (although these books so far are not in plain straight talking english and tend to beat around the bush getting to the answers I want). Plus the reason I am no longer keen on just add water sugar and yeast kits is I want to be able to taste and smell the hops that were used and not have it taste weak like some freinds beers I have tried in the past that came from kits in a can.

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Old 10-12-2012, 07:35 PM   #10
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Might I suggest extract with steeping grains? I'm an AG brewer, but I've been known to do a partial mash or an extract with grains brew every now and then. They're a lot quicker than AG but you still have the flexibility to make your own recipe (hops and all) and they make really tasty brews. Glad you recognize using bleach wasn't a good idea. Before I discovered my brewing best friend (StarSan), I destroyed 3 batches by not adequately rinsing the bleach off my equipment. Now get in there and make some beer!

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