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Old 12-01-2011, 11:48 PM   #1
Redman1340
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Default Secondary fermenter

I'm at day 5 in my primary. There is a little action in the airlock, but not a lot. Is it ready for the secondary or do I wait for no bubbles?

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Old 12-02-2011, 12:01 AM   #2
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Why move it at all? I've racked to secondaries for years due to the belief that long contact with the yeast cake will add off flavor to your beer. I've also left beers in the primary for a few weeks and have never had a problem. There is a great thread on here suggesting that yeast manufacturers are suggesting a long primary and now discouraging against a secondary. Can't figure out how to link you to that thread from this app but search for a recent thread titled "way to much trub in the secondary".

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Old 12-02-2011, 12:05 AM   #3
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The only reason I was going to move it was so I could add some dry hops. Could I just remove my lid and add them and continue to use the same pail? And if so, how long do I wait to bottle it then?

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Old 12-02-2011, 12:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redman1340 View Post
The only reason I was going to move it was so I could add some dry hops. Could I just remove my lid and add them and continue to use the same pail? And if so, how long do I wait to bottle it then?
I just did that. I used Citra hops and only left them in the fermenter bucket for 4 days but when I bottled today I almost got knocked over by the aroma. I had let the fermenter sit for 2 weeks prior to adding the hops.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:33 AM   #5
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I very rarely even take a gravity reading until about a week and a half, which leaves a couple days to take another and then into bottles if it's ready at two. If it needs longer it stays in the primary. The only time I ever use secondaries is if I need to for some reason be it dry hopping, lagering, or in attempts to rouse lazy yeast.

Even after activity stops, there are still good things happening in there. Let it sit. My vote is a minimum of two weeks in the primary...every time.

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Old 12-02-2011, 12:49 AM   #6
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How long do you wait to move to the secondary to add the dry hops?

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Old 12-02-2011, 01:02 AM   #7
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If it's done at two weeks I do it then, no sooner. If it needs longer, I do it when it's done. Get yourself a hydrometer if you don't have one yet. You don't have to be super anal about gravities but it's good to watch your gravity readings to know when your beer is done fermenting, not your airlock. You don't want to dry hop with any activity left otherwise your yeast will be fartin away all your hop aroma.

I know lots of people like to move their beer the second it's done fermenting, and that's fine. This is just the way I do it and it's made some great ass beer.

Oh and two weeks dry hop if you can stand to wait.

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Old 12-02-2011, 01:14 AM   #8
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Did you mean leave the dry hops in for two weeks?

Is there really a set time to leave in a fermenter? I mean could you leave it in to long?

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Old 12-02-2011, 01:22 AM   #9
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You can dry hop in the primary. You should not rush your beer. The yeast continue working after fermentation has stopped. They will clear the beer and clean up any off flavors created during fermentation. 3-4 weeks is common. Adding the dry hops at 5-7 days before bottling is common. I have an Amber Ale just finished with 1oz. of Centennial hops for 7 days and the aroma is fantastic.

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Old 12-02-2011, 01:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redman1340 View Post
Did you mean leave the dry hops in for two weeks?

Is there really a set time to leave in a fermenter? I mean could you leave it in to long?
A month is commonly regarded as the optimum for primary. If you have a high gravity recipe that needs longer ageing then you should probably use a secondary. Some beers like Barleywine take 6 months or more to age properly.

IMO, I would say that 2 weeks of dryhopping would be about maximum. Longer than that will not add anything to your beer. As the beer ages the hop aroma and flavor will mellow out.
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