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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > To Secondary or Not To Secondary That is the Question
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:37 PM   #1
Petunia
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Default To Secondary or Not To Secondary That is the Question

Hello Good Folks,

I have an Irish Stout kit. I intend to follow the directions that came with the Coopers kit. It also came with a book and the two disagree on the process.

Q1: My kit came with two ale pails, one with a spigot one without. The Coopers directions skip the secondary going from the primary in 4 to 6 days straight to bottles.

Should I do this or siphon off and use a secondary? If so, for how much longer?

Q2: Can I add my priming sugar to my secondary all at once or do I really have to add it to each individual bottle as I fill them. You’re not supposed to stir up the secondary, right?

Thank you very much, I plan on starting this process tomorrow.

Petunia

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Old 08-03-2007, 07:40 PM   #2
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I think your bucket with a spigot is a bottling bucket.

You should ferment in the NON spigot bucket. Then, on bottling day, mix 3/4 cup of corn sugar (dextrose) in some water, boil it, and let it cool.

When cool, add this mixture to your bottling bucket (sanitized, of course). Then siphon your beer into your bottling bucket, and from there, use the spigot (and a hose, and a bottling wand if you have one) to fill your bottles.

You've just batch primed your beer. No need to add sugar to each bottle.

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Old 08-03-2007, 07:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petunia
Hello Good Folks,

I have an Irish Stout kit. I intend to follow the directions that came with the Coopers kit. It also came with a book and the two disagree on the process.

Q1: My kit came with two ale pails, one with a spigot one without. The Coopers directions skip the secondary going from the primary in 4 to 6 days straight to bottles.

Should I do this or siphon off and use a secondary? If so, for how much longer?

Q2: Can I add my priming sugar to my secondary all at once or do I really have to add it to each individual bottle as I fill them. You’re not supposed to stir up the secondary, right?

Thank you very much, I plan on starting this process tomorrow.

Petunia

Siphon the secondary (or primary) into the bottling bucket and add sugar there. Don't try and add to each bottle, that is a PITA...
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:46 PM   #4
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The choice to secondary or not is entirely up to you. I wouldn't recommend using your bottling bucket as a secondary due to material getting trapped around the spigot and "possibly" causing an infection. Probably not too likely, but I think most here would make the same recommendation, if not for the same reasons.

The advantage to using a secondary is that it will remove far more yeast from your beer, clearing the beer and also cutting down on the yeast layer at the bottom of the bottle. But it's all a matter of preference and definately not necessary for your first beer.

Good Luck

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Old 08-03-2007, 08:04 PM   #5
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I'm not sure I understand the "4-6 days" part. Are they telling you to bottle 4-6 days after brew day?! I have to disagree with them if that is indeed what they are telling you to do. The hydrometer--NOT the calendar--will tell you when fermentation is done, and you don't want to be bottling before then!

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Old 08-03-2007, 08:17 PM   #6
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let it sit in primary at least two weeks...three would be better. you don't need a secondary, but if you want one you should use a glass carboy or a better bottle, NOT plastic.

then siphon to bottling bucket
boil 3/4 cup sugar and add to bottling bucket.
stir well with NO SPLASHING
bottle and cap!

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Old 08-03-2007, 08:53 PM   #7
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I have to agree with the consensus here. You certainly do not have to use a secondary, but you will regret it if you bottle after only 4-6 days in primary.

1 week in primary - 2 weeks in secondary - 3 weeks in bottles.

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Old 08-03-2007, 09:42 PM   #8
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NOT plastic.
I've read this on here a few times and have followed the advice, but why do you not use plastic for the secondary?
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Old 08-03-2007, 10:18 PM   #9
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Plastic (other than PET) is not recomended for secondary, becuase it is oxygen permeable and will oxidize your beer. for the primary fermentation that's not a big deal becuase the yeast is so active, it will consume the oxygen before it can do any harm. But by the time you're in secondary, the yeast is not as active and not in it's growth phase (which is when it consumes oxygen) and so the possibility of oxidations much greater.

as for the secondary vs no secondary debate, I would recomend buying a better bottle and using that for a secondary, then siphoning into the bottling bucket. If you use a secondary, you could do one week in primary. if not, I would recomend more time in primary, for example 2 weeks. Even with more time in the primary fermenter, without a secondary fermenter, you may have a more yeasty flavor.

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Old 08-04-2007, 01:44 AM   #10
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Thanks Everyone!

I am going to use your advice to get this project underway. Looking forward to making this beer, even though I don't usually drink beer. My husband is really looking forward to it!

I'll leave it in the primary for a week. siphon it into a 6.5 carboy for two weeks and then blend it with the 3/4 cup & water syrup and bottle.

One more question, if you don't mind: is the 6.5 glass carboy too big? Will the bottle allow too much surface in contact with oxygen? Other than that I don't have anything big enough for the 5 gallon batch to secondary in.

I really appreciate everyone helping me with this. This will be an enjoyable project.

Petunia

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Primary: High Gravity's Desiree Cream Ale -
Welch's Frozen Concentrate Wine -
Strawberry Wine which is looking beautiful btw -
Apfelwein No. 4
Bottled and getting bubbly --> 3rd batch of Apfelwein
Bottled: Elderberry Wine --> Good Stuff!
Done and Drinking: Irish Stout, American Cream Ale, EdWort's Apfelwein, American Wheat Ale excellent now that it has aged, Raspberry wine: too wonderful for words! Red Ale

www.badpasofinoethics.com

Pantry is getting crowded again
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