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Old 07-20-2011, 03:15 AM   #1
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Default Is secondary fermentation necessary with cloudy beers?

Hi All,

I am new to brewing and new to this forum. My first brew is a dunkelweizen. I am using a bucket for primary fermentation and a glass Carboy for the 2nd. With a cloudy beer like a dunkelweizen is it necessary to utilize secondary fermentation? I was told that it is primarily to help clear up the cloudiness in the beer. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-20-2011, 03:30 AM   #2
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Many people on here don't think secondary is necessary on any beer.Some only secondary when dry hopping or adding fruit. Personally, I haven't used a secondary in probably ten batches, and I get clear beer if I'm patient enough. But to answer your original question, def not necessary on a cloudy beer.

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Old 07-20-2011, 03:31 AM   #3
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Nope....no beer requires secondary fermentation. Even beer requiring clarity can obtain it with a good, long primary!!!!

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Old 07-20-2011, 03:31 AM   #4
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I personally never use one I did one time and felt it was a waist of time but that's my 2 cents

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Old 07-20-2011, 02:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the responses. So my only question is, What is the minimum/maximum primary fermentation time period. A little background, It has been fermenting since Sunday. Within 24 hours I had a lot of activity noticeable in the airlock, which lasted 24 hours. I no longer have activity int he airlock and my instructions say 3 days after no activity I should transfer to secondary fermentation container. Thanks for all the help.

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Old 07-20-2011, 02:47 PM   #6
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For what I brew, I go 4-8 weeks on the yeast before it goes to bottle/keg or for extended aging or aging on elements.For bigger brews (above ~10%) it will go longer in primary.

I'm fermenting in stainless steel U9sanke kegs, NOT under pressure) so I have zero concerns about light and air getting to my brews.

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Old 07-20-2011, 10:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefanatic
Thanks for all the responses. So my only question is, What is the minimum/maximum primary fermentation time period. A little background, It has been fermenting since Sunday. Within 24 hours I had a lot of activity noticeable in the airlock, which lasted 24 hours. I no longer have activity int he airlock and my instructions say 3 days after no activity I should transfer to secondary fermentation container. Thanks for all the help.
I let it sit at least 4 weeks. My buddy thinks his is ok after 10 days and then wonders why his beer is so cloudy . I've told him a dozen times to let it relax. This isn't a rush hobby. until you create a pipe line . As soon as I'm done fermenting I'm on my next batch . I have a steady stream of brew. And and steady stream of parties!
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:32 PM   #8
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I would not secondary a German weiss beer. Those beers can be ready with a week in primary and a week in the bottle. No special tricks are needed.

I can't think of a good reason a beer would ever need more than a month in primary.

I have a American rye beer that I'm dry hopping but I don't have enough free secondaries. I dropped the hops into the primaries. Dry hopping works better in secondary. The yeast cake soaks up some of the hop goodness. I wish I had a few more secondaries. I used WLP320 and with the rye this beer will be cloudy no matter what.

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Old 07-21-2011, 01:29 AM   #9
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Two weeks ago I brewed an extract w/grain Old Speckled Hen clone. We just got back from a week's vacation last night and though the airlock is silent, it is still quite hazy. It will be sitting there for a few more weeks at least until it clears. If I get to September and it is STILL hazy (though I doubt it) I'll go ahead and keg it and refrigerate it so that the cooler temps will clarify it more.

I'm not worried and you shouldn't be, either.

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Old 07-21-2011, 03:04 PM   #10
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Do you own a hydrometer? Fermentation is not done just because the airlock stops bubbling. All the airlock shows is that the yeast are producing more CO2 than the airlock can hold back. Far after the airlock stops, there is still a little bit of fermentation and lots of yeast activity still. Yeast will clean up byproducts and help reduce off flavors if you let them stay active for about a week after the end of fermentation.

Fermentation is over when you get a stable hydrometer reading for an extended period of time (typically three days in a row).

For average gravity beers (less than 1.050 OG), a full fermentation and yeast clean up cycle takes about 2-3 weeks in the primary. That's the MINIMUM I would primary. My current rule is that I just leave everything in the primary for at least 4 weeks, no secondary.

Patience is rewarded with better beer in this hobby!

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