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Old 11-05-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
stevefromga2000
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Default secondary fermenter

i have a batch in my primary right now and my instructions tell me to leave the wort in the primary for 1 week then to move it to the secondary for 2 more weeks. when i put it into the secondary, am i supposed to add anything? the instructions don't mention anything, so i don't think i should. but i'm confused about the reason to put it into the secondary anyways without adding something. as usual, thank you ahead of time

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Old 11-05-2011, 07:37 PM   #2
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I would ignore the instructions to rack to the second vessel. Leave it in primary for 3 weeks, then pull a sample, test with the hydrometer and taste it (the sample).

What are you making? Depending on what the brew is, what yeast you're using, and the temperature the wort/beer is fermenting at you could need more, or less, time than the instructions say. This is why I hate them so much. If you have super-tight fermentation temperature control, your brew/batch could be ready for bottle/kegs in far less time. But that still depends on what you're making.

There's tons of postings about people racking, or not racking, as per the instructions. IMO, those instructions (for beer) are outdated methods UNLESS you need to move the brew onto, or off of, a flavor element that works best when off the yeast cake. Or when you plan to use extended aging on a batch (more than a couple of months).

For reference, I've had batches sitting on the yeast for almost 8 weeks (range is usually 4-7 weeks) so far. Never once has a batch had any issue or been anything less than great. I have racked a couple/few batches onto oak chips/cubes (prefer cubes) and also had great results. Of course, you need to be careful when racking so that you don't oxidize the beer, or pick up something nasty (that you don't want). While it's still in primary, you have the benefits of the layer of CO2 over the beer keeping things out.

Things I don't rack to add to a batch includes dry/whole hops as well as flavor elements that can stay in there (such as maple syrup).

I would also advise, when it's time, weighing your priming sugar, and using one of the online calculation tools to figure out how much you should add. This site is just one of the better tools to help you figure out how much to prime with.

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Old 11-05-2011, 11:29 PM   #3
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don't use a secondary unless you are dry hopping. leave it int the primary for a week after the hydrometer stops changing and you will get less yeast in the bottom of your beer bottles.

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Old 11-05-2011, 11:40 PM   #4
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Agree with both prior posts. Another reason to use a secondary fermenter is when you need to add fruit to your beers.

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Old 11-05-2011, 11:44 PM   #5
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primary only

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Old 11-05-2011, 11:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevefromga2000 View Post
i have a batch in my primary right now and my instructions tell me to leave the wort in the primary for 1 week then to move it to the secondary for 2 more weeks. when i put it into the secondary, am i supposed to add anything? the instructions don't mention anything, so i don't think i should. but i'm confused about the reason to put it into the secondary anyways without adding something. as usual, thank you ahead of time
Although I agree with the other posts in that you don't need to move it to a secondary, I will actually answer the question you posted.

When you rack to the secondary, you want to leave the yeast cake and other waste material behind. You also want to rack to the secondary with as little oxygen added as possible. (In other words, put the sanitized tube into the bottom of the secondary so the beer transfers without splashing around). You don't need to add anything else, but be aware that fermentation may not be complete unless you verified so by taking two hydrometer readings one day apart (that were the same result).
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:03 PM   #7
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thank you for all the answers. they have all helped. i'm going to just leave it in my primary. i am making an ale that i am trying to turn into a pumpkin ale. i'm just doing some experimenting with it, so i was glad to get answers to some of my questions on here. thank you all very much, it's appreciated

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