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Old 08-01-2012, 03:33 PM   #1
howbrewyoudo
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Default Secondary Fermentation

In my brewing arsenal I have two fermenting buckets, but currently only one glass carboy. I have been requested to create two beers for the same event for my father, both of which I would prefer to do a secondary on as well. Due to a lack of notice I feel I am left with a couple options, and I would love to hear what more experienced brewers would recommend. Should I do one beer in the carboy and simply leave the other in the primary for the extra time, do one in the carboy and rack the other to what would be the other empty primary bucket just to separate it from the trub for that extra time, or simply try to find a second beer I will not necessarily need to secondary ferment? Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for the advice.

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Old 08-01-2012, 03:45 PM   #2
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Assuming that you really need to secondary, I would ferment both in the plastic fermenters, then rack one to the carboy, clean the fermenter out, and rack the other over to it. There's really nothing wrong with doing a secondary in plastic. You have enough equipment.

Good luck with your brewing, hope the event goes well. Cheers!

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Old 08-01-2012, 03:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howbrewyoudo View Post
Should I do one beer in the carboy and simply leave the other in the primary for the extra time
This. That way you can find out firsthand whether you think secondary makes a difference or not. Some do, some don't, but its largely considered an unnecessary step nowadays
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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What kind of beer are you fermenting? Unless you are aging a huge gravity beer, adding wood or fruit or something else that requires a secondary vessel, I see no reason you need a secondary fermenter at all. Sorry - I'm not the uber experienced brewer you requested, but secondary fermentation is unnecessary IMO for most beers. You should be totally fine.

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Old 08-01-2012, 06:11 PM   #5
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Regarding the sometimes percieved "need" to secondary: I just recently secondaried a orange-coriander pale ale that was sitting in primary for 3.5 months. Yes, you read that correctly. The only reason I secondaried it at this point is because both my kegs are currently full. Tasted the brew out of primary and I really like it....no weird off flavors or anything like that.

So I guess this little experience teaches me that secondary really isn't all that important. Sure, it has it's uses but not necessary 100% of the time.

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Old 08-01-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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What style off beer is it? What is the base recipe. Secondary may not be necessary.

For me, I just gave in. Ended up buying another carboy. Have 4 carboys and 2 plastics buckets now. Eventually, longer fermentations (2-6 months) and you realize you're out of jugs so if you can swing it, time to add another chamber to the arsenal

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Old 08-01-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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Is there a point where you leave it in a fermenter too long? It seems that you can remove / bottle it to early, but what if you let it sit too long? My first batch is in the fermenter now.

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Old 08-01-2012, 08:41 PM   #8
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Is there a point where you leave it in a fermenter too long? It seems that you can remove / bottle it to early, but what if you let it sit too long? My first batch is in the fermenter now.
Yes, the idea is that your yeast will lyse with time and release flavor nasties.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:51 PM   #9
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Depending on what you are brewing, I would just leave them in the buckets for 3 weeks.

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Old 08-01-2012, 08:56 PM   #10
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Thanks.

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