The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Secondary fermentation in bottling bucket?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-25-2009, 10:35 PM   #1
jasonsimoneau
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Thief River Falls, MN
Posts: 15
Default Secondary fermentation in bottling bucket?

I am a first-time home brewer and have a kit with a 6.5 gallon primary fermentation bucket and a 6.5 gallon bottling bucket. I had a porter in the primary for 9 days and the hydrometer read exactly on the finishing gravity of the specified value on the kit. I have some home brew co-workers and they all suggested to do a secondary for purity and clarity (even in a porter?), so I just transferred all but the bottom 2" to my bottling bucket and put the lid with the airlock on it. Is this alright to do or should I put it back in my primary fermentation bucket? I just figured that it would be easier come bottling time than having to transfer back to the bottling bucket again. Lastly, I read in several posts on other sites that it's good to put the secondary in a cooler area to help with settling, so I put mine in my basement where it's around 63 F. Please tell me if I'm on the right track or not. Thanks!

__________________
jasonsimoneau is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-25-2009, 10:45 PM   #2
android
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ames, Iowa
Posts: 3,117
Liked 37 Times on 31 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

you'll be fine with what you did. normally, you can just leave it in the primary for another week or two at least and then just bottle from there. just remember to mix in the priming sugar when bottling time comes.

the cooler area is fine, since the fermentation is done, cooling it will only help to clarify it, you won't be affecting the yeast at all.

it's all good.

__________________
primary: APA

ebay temp controller | thermostat temp controller
android is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-25-2009, 10:49 PM   #3
SurfBrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 18
Default

+1 on making sure you mix in the priming sugar.

__________________
SurfBrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-25-2009, 10:52 PM   #4
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 60,032
Liked 4196 Times on 3055 Posts
Likes Given: 778

Default

Well, what you did is not wrong. But, when it's time to bottle, you're going to want to rack your beer out of there and mix it with the priming solution. If you just add the priming solution to the bottling bucket, you'll have to stir it up. That will risk aerating the beer, as well as resuspending all of the stuff that took two weeks to settle out.

I'd suggest racking into another vessel for bottling.

__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-25-2009, 10:55 PM   #5
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: 40,801
Liked 2707 Times on 1626 Posts
Likes Given: 3483

Default

Besides the fact that, as android mentioned, you don't really need to use a secondary vessel, if you did choose to use one, your bottling bucket is not a good idea.

The purpose of a brite tank (your secondary) is to help clear the beer, but in order to integrate the priming solution with the beer, you would then have to stir the beer, rather than rack on top of it. This would then kick up all the stuff you patiently let settle on the bottom. This sort of cancels out all that you did with secondarying.


You will find that many of us leave our beers in primary for 3-4 weeks, skip secondary and bottle. Just search for the 10,000 threads under "long Primary" or "no secondary" and you will see all the resaons why we do it, and the explanations behind...There's at least one thread a day on the topic, so it's really not hard to find the discussion pretty much hashed to death.

but if you choose to secondary you should wait til your Hydrometer tells you fermentation is complete.

If I do secondary (which is only when I am adding fruit or oak) I wait 14 days then rack for another 2 weeks...then I bottle.

But that's only if I am dry hopping or adding oak or fruit, which I rarely do, so for me it's a month than bottle,

Honestly you will find your beer will be the best if you ignore the kit instructions, and don't rush it.

But Even Palmer says you should wait with kits...

Quote:
Originally Posted by How To Brew
Leaving an ale beer in the primary fermentor for a total of 2-3 weeks (instead of just the one week most canned kits recommend), will provide time for the conditioning reactions and improve the beer. This extra time will also let more sediment settle out before bottling, resulting in a clearer beer and easier pouring. And, three weeks in the primary fermentor is usually not enough time for off-flavors to occur.
Now as to your use of the term "secondary fermenter." "Secondary fermenter" is actually a misnomer and a mistake many brewers don't grasp....the secondary has nothing to do with he process of "secondary fermentation" which is part of the normal yeast life cycle, one of the stages of fermentation. Which is done in your bucket or carboy.

You shouldn't rack a beer to secondary until fermentation is complete...no fermentation should be happening in your secondary.

The secondary we are referring to is also called a "brite tank" it is the carboy where people move their beer to clear, or to add fruit, or hops for dry hopping... and to let the yeast and other things fall down...I

Here's John Palmer's explanation of the Secondary fermentation Phase

Quote:
The fermentation of malt sugars into beer is a complicated biochemical process. It is more than just the conversion of sugar to alcohol, which can be regarded as the primary activity. Total fermentation is better defined as three phases, the Adaptation or Lagtime phase, the Primary or Attenuative phase and a Secondary or Conditioning phase. The yeast do not end Phase 2 before beginning Phase 3, the processes occur in parallel, but the conditioning processes occur more slowly. As the majority of simple sugars are consumed, more and more of the yeast will transition to eating the larger, more complex sugars and early yeast by-products. This is why beer (and wine) improves with age to a degree, as long as they are on the yeast. Beer that has been filtered or pasteurized will not benefit from aging.

The reactions that take place during the conditioning phase are primarily a function of the yeast. The vigorous primary stage is over, the majority of the wort sugars have been converted to alcohol, and a lot of the yeast cells are going dormant - but some are still active.

The Secondary Phase allows for the slow reduction of the remaining fermentables. The yeast have eaten most all of the easily fermentable sugars and now start to turn their attention elsewhere. The yeast start to work on the heavier sugars like maltotriose. Also, the yeast clean up some of the byproducts they produced during the fast-paced primary phase. ...
It's easy to see how confusing the terms are...that's why we try to get outta the habit of saying secondary fermentation...and just say secondary...or bright tank (mostly just secondary, dropping fermenter or fermentation, since fermentation should be finished before you rack it to the secondary. After the hydrometer reading stays the same for 3 days.

New brewers often rack way too early, and often interrupt the secondary phase because of this, and that is why you often see panic threads about Krausens forming in secondary, because the yeast was really still in the primary phase of fermentation when it was moved.

And it starts building a krauzen house again....

If you do choose to use a "bright tank" it's best to wait til fermentation is complete, you know that by taking 2 gravity readings over a 3 day period. If the grav hasn't changed, then you can rack it without having a krausen develop...though sometimes it does anyway.

If that wasn't clear, Donman sums it up pretty well;

Quote:
dontman
I thought Palmer was actually pretty good about differentiating between Secondary Fermenting and Secondary Fermentation. I found Papazian to be less so. When I read Papazian the first time I was left with the exact impressions that you have and when I look at my brew logs from 1992 I was regularly doing 4 and 5 day primaries and then secondary. He actually made me feel like the sooner off the yeast cake the better.

You are confusing secondary fermentation with secondary fermenter. Very easy to do.

Secondary fermentation occurs while the yeast is still in solution immediately after the conversion of sugars to alcohol. During that time there is tons of proteins and partially digested sugars in solution in addition to the waste products of the yeast, plus any esters and fusel they create while they ferment. During secondary fermentation the yeast will clean up these esters, and the fusels, and reabsorb a lot of their waste products.

Once this process is complete if you choose THEN you can rack to the Secondary Fermenter. This is a also called a bright tank or clearing tank and it is where the sedimentation occurs. This is where the most of the proteins and other detritus fall out of solution and the beer clears. Yes, the yeast is still present in this tank but because the vast majority has been left behind in the primary tank any benefit from the yeast at this stage is greatly diminished.
So if you haven't figured it out, NOTHING should be happening in the Secondary (brite tank) except you beer clearing......
__________________

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 05-25-2009, 11:22 PM   #6
jasonsimoneau
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Thief River Falls, MN
Posts: 15
Default

Thanks everybody. I have the priming sugar but didn't think about the process of adding it to the beer while it's in the bottling bucket (rookie mistake). I'll borrow a bottling bucket from my co-worker and just transfer into his when it's time to bottle. I believe it is done fermenting because I checked the S.G in the primary twice in 2 days and it didn't change. Plus, it read exactly what the recipe said it should be. Next time I'll leave it in the primary for 1-2 more weeks and just bottle from there. Thanks again - I love this site!

__________________
jasonsimoneau is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-26-2009, 07:20 AM   #7
daveotero
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Westminster, CO, Colorado
Posts: 94
Default

Glad I found this thread. I just finished my first boil about 24 hours ago and my wort is happily turning into beer in the primary as I type.

I'm making a ginger beer that calls for adding ginger to the secondary and I haven't decided exactly how to do that yet. Like the OP I only have a primary and a bottling bucket. My LHBS suggested racking to the bottling bucket, cleaning / sanitizing the primary, then racking back to the primary. That sounds like a whole lot of extra cleaning / sanitizing and much greater chance for oxidation or infection. Is this my best option (other than buying a secondary obviously)? How about using the bottling bucket as a secondary and when priming times comes, adding the sugars with a VERY gentle stir and waiting an hour or two for the solution to disperse?

I've read a decent amount here about not using a secondary and just leaving it in the primary for longer to clear up. That argument makes since to me (of course with absolutely no real experience at this point) but everyone also mentions using a secondary for fruit or dry hopping. What's the problem with just adding these to the primary? The only thing i can think of is that the additions would possibly sink to the bottom and get caught up in the trub and not circulate and flavor the beer correctly. Is this a real threat? Is there some other downside I'm not for-seeing?

This is my first post by the way. Ive been lurking for a while and it's a great place to feed my new found obsession. Thanks for all the great reading and info!

__________________
daveotero is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-26-2009, 05:28 PM   #8
ifishsum
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 1,457
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Default

Welcome daveotero!

The biggest reason I see for using a secondary for adding fruit or dry hops is because both of those things will significantly increase the amount of primary trub, and could make it difficult to rack off cleanly. Your ginger should be safe to just add to the primary after a couple of weeks (during the time frame it would have been in secondary) because it shouldn't amount to a huge volume, and I think I'd prefer that to using the bottling bucket as a secondary and/or racking it twice. I'm one who prefers to secondary most of my beers, but I have the carboys to do it in - and if I didn't have those I don't think I would. Using the bottling bucket as a secondary pretty much defeats the purpose of doing it in the first place - unless you rack the beer back out at bottling time, clean it up and then rack it back in for bottling. That would be a PITA, and also increase your chances for oxidation and contamination.

__________________
"If you're gonna be an ape, be a hairy one" - Spyder

Primary 2: Edwort's Robust Porter
Secondary 1: LW Pale Ale
Secondary 1: Blackened Soul RIS
Kegged: Dead Guy Ale
Kegged: Rye Pale Ale
Kegged: Haus Pale Ale
Kegged: Nut Brown Ale
Kegged: Afrikan Amber
Kegged: Jock Scott Ale
Kegged: Afrikan Amber

Last edited by ifishsum; 05-26-2009 at 05:32 PM.
ifishsum is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-26-2009, 06:26 PM   #9
android
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ames, Iowa
Posts: 3,117
Liked 37 Times on 31 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

forgot all about the stuff that will settle out and be resuspended once stirred!

__________________
primary: APA

ebay temp controller | thermostat temp controller
android is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-26-2009, 07:09 PM   #10
yeasty
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: bottom of a bottle
Posts: 353
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

what about using a bottling bucket with a spigot as a fermentor and then putting it in a swamp cooler ? spigot ok under water ??

__________________
yeasty 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
Bottling Bucket as Secondary...? harriw Cider Forum 5 10-02-2009 08:23 PM
Bottling bucket as a secondary??? Sarrsipius Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 03-10-2009 02:55 PM
From secondary into bottling bucket pjk49202@yahoo.com Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 05-12-2008 02:15 AM
secondary = bottling bucket??? ahoym8e Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 02-05-2006 02:27 PM
Secondary AND a bottling bucket??? DocBob Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 8 01-29-2006 02:18 AM