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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > So many experienced brewers don't go 2ndary
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:48 PM   #1
bellaruche
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Default So many experienced brewers don't go 2ndary

The recipe I am following now calls for adding whole coffee beans in the secondary. If I were to follow the experienced brewers methodology, I would assume popping off my stopper/airlock, taking a hydrometer reading, adding coffee beans, and re-attach stopper/airlock. Am I trackin'? .... Happy New Year & thanks for any replies.

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Old 01-01-2011, 12:01 AM   #2
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I don't usually secondary, but I would if I were going to use coffee.

As for what you have written... that's what I would do if I didn't have any other fermenters.

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Old 01-01-2011, 12:14 AM   #3
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Thanks. I'll siphon off... What is your reasoning for separating from the primary when adding coffee beans. Does the bottom trub affect the chemistry? ... or something similar?
A personal preference? I'm obviously a newbie, but I have the basic malt, barley, hop thing down pat. The spice, herb, bean, (whatever) is what I'm trying to become more proficient at doing. Thanks, again!

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Old 01-01-2011, 12:19 AM   #4
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You would pop off the lid to the fermenter, but yeah, you are trackin' pretty close. By adding whole coffee beans, you really don't need a secondary. I wouldn't think it would add all that much sediment and would be pretty easy to filter out, but then again, I've never used them in a recipe.

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Old 01-01-2011, 12:24 AM   #5
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Regardless of your decision to rack, I recommend cracking the beans before adding them. Whole beans do add some flavor, but if you crack them into a few pieces, the difference is quite pronounced.

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Old 01-01-2011, 12:28 AM   #6
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It's a coffee porter. There's the standard 1/2" of goop on the bottom of my carboy. So, I was curious as to why the recipe I was following called for adding beans in 2ndry. Thank you, sir.

*Crack 'em... that makes sense!

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Old 01-01-2011, 12:34 AM   #7
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They'll float for a few days, but eventually, the beans will sink to the bottom. I probably wouldn't bother racking.

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Old 01-01-2011, 12:44 AM   #8
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I think it depends on how long you've been in the primary, and how long you want to have the flavoring in. If you are already 3-4 weeks in primary, and want 2 weeks of flavoring, you probably want to go to secondary. If it's 2 weeks in primary, 1 week flavoring, you could keep in primary.

My understanding of the theory is that staying on the yeast too long causes off flavors. But the other theory is that in 5 gallon fermenters, there's not enough pressure on the yeast cake to cause the off flavors, so there's no worry. Who knows...

For flavoring, I suppose there's also the question of once the beans fall to the bottom, will the trub prevent the remaining flavor from escaping the beans? By that time, maybe all the flavor is extracted anyway. Again... who knows...

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Old 01-01-2011, 01:09 AM   #9
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One more question, if I may.... A year shelf life is okay for porter, correct? I'm leaving country for a year and am brewing this to come home to. They will be residing in a dark, 68 degree closet.

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Old 01-01-2011, 01:28 AM   #10
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My answer to all of jim's questions is: RDWHAHB.

As long as you bottle before leaving, the beer should keep fine for a year.

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