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Old 08-23-2009, 02:09 AM   #1
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Default Transfer Trub to Secondary?

I use a large 10g primary with a loose fitting lid. I always rack to a secondary after 4 or 5 days when the krausen drops and most visible signs of fermentation are gone. I leave all the trub in the primary when siphoning then discard it.

It seems like most who use a primary with an airlock feel there are benefits to keeping the beer on the trub (i.e. the beer in the primary) for extended periods of time. Does this mean I should transfer as much of the trub as possible to my secondary before affixing the airlock? Is there any benefit to doing so? Am I losing anything with my current method? I've kind of been on the 1-2-3 program to date.

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Old 08-23-2009, 02:19 AM   #2
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The point of staying longer in the primary is to stay on the yeast, not the trub. Moving after 4-5 days puts you at serious risk of a stuck ferment. If its a couple points shy of finishing and you move it to secondary, it will probably never finish. Myself, I primary for a minimum of 10 days, and never move to secondary without 2 matching hydrometer readings.

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Old 08-23-2009, 02:35 AM   #3
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Always check your gravity when monitoring fermentation. Time, airlock and visuals are NOT good indicators of progress.

When you hit your target then transfer. As far as transferring the trub you should just leave it behind in the primary.

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Old 08-23-2009, 02:43 AM   #4
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Yeah my beer has been good so far just transferring when the target FG is hit. I just thought after reading so much about really long periods in the primary that I might be missing out on something with my primary fermentation typically being finished in four or five days. I figured maybe flavour was affected somehow by extra time on the yeast cake.

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Old 08-23-2009, 03:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osagedr View Post
Yeah my beer has been good so far just transferring when the target FG is hit. I just thought after reading so much about really long periods in the primary that I might be missing out on something with my primary fermentation typically being finished in four or five days. I figured maybe flavour was affected somehow by extra time on the yeast cake.
I think (I'm no expert) what you are seeing is people who think that a secondary isn't necessary. It's not that sitting on the trub is or yeast cake is good, it's more like that it's not as bad as some references say that it is. I think there is a sticky on the topic if you want to see the pro/cons for the debate.

I'm totally new but my general understanding is that a secondary will help avoid issues with sitting on the trub, but many think you may not be able to notice the difference for most cases. So what many people do is ignore a secondary. That doesn't mean a secondary won't help and won't provide a noticeable difference in some cases, just not all the time.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:25 AM   #6
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The reason we leave it on the yeast after FG is reached is to have the yeast clean up the beer. Yeast, when left to finish its job, will clean up its waste (off flavors). It makes for very clear, clean tasting beer.

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Old 08-23-2009, 03:36 AM   #7
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I've quite using a secondary on all my beers except ones that I plan to age for an extended period of time - and even those I'm experimenting with just aging them in the keg

remember that ever time you move your beer you are exposing it to the risk of contamination

I think the argument for not using a secondary is the risk of contamination or oxidation versus the risk of the yeast dieing and causing an off flavor

I have had good results with leaving my beer in the primary for up to 4 weeks and then cold conditioning them in a keg

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Old 08-23-2009, 07:14 AM   #8
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What's the point of transferring to a secondary if you transfer the trub with the beer?

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Old 08-23-2009, 01:32 PM   #9
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What's the point of transferring to a secondary if you transfer the trub with the beer?
Near as I can figure, to maintain the benefit of the yeast "cleaning up the beer" as described above by another poster while getting the beer under airlock to protect it from oxidation.
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:41 PM   #10
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Now after reading this article I figure what I'm doing is okay. When I transfer after the krausen disappears there is still a lot of active yeast in the secondary. I know I typically have a lot of trub at the bottom of my secondary on bottling day. I wonder if more time in the secondary after only four or five days in the primary is a good idea. I started two batches yesterday; I think I'll give them a week in the primary and maybe a month in the secondary before bottling.

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