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Old 11-11-2012, 09:09 PM   #11
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There is really no reason to move it to secondary unless you are looking for better odds of getting an infection or oxidizing your beer.
Even if the instructions call for a secondary?
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:13 PM   #12
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Unless you're adding fruit,oaking,or maybe the zest & spices like a dry hop. I do stuff like that in secondary. But I dry hop in primary after it settles out clear.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:14 PM   #13
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Even if the instructions call for a secondary?
A "secondary" is a misnomer, and it comes from winemaking techniques. It's better called a "clearing vessel", or in breweries it's called a "bright tank".

In some cases a true secondary fermentation occurs- say, when adding fruit, or more fermentables. But it most cases when brewing, a "secondary" is a clearing vessel.

It used to be though that it was important to get the beer off of the spent yeast ASAP, to prevent off-flavors. But through many years of homebrewers and others getting better quality yeast, and changing up some of the techniques, moving to a clearing vessel is something that is less commonly done.

I almost never use a clearing vessel, instructions or not. The beer is fine in the fermenter, until packaging. I normally even dryhop right in the fermenter ("primary").
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:57 PM   #14
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Right. Will rack and bottle on Tuesday and pray like a madman!

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Old 11-11-2012, 11:12 PM   #15
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Right. Will rack and bottle on Tuesday and pray like a madman!
A couple of things that may be worth mentioning-

There are several phases of fermentation. One is the lag phase. That's when you pitch the yeast and it seems that nothing is happening. But inside the fermenter, the yeast are using oxygen and then reproducing. Then comes active fermentation, when the bulk of the fermentation happens. After that, the yeast finish up the fermentation by slowing consuming the rest of the fermentable sugars. They are still active, and still scrounging around for consumables and that is when they go back and "clean up" some things they normally don't eat- like their own waste products (like diacetyl).

After that time, then they will start to clump together and fall out of the beer ("flocculate"). The beer will start to clear, as gravity does it's work. That's the point at which it's ok to bottle, which could be at day 10 or day 25 in fermentation.

The reason I mention all that is that you want to make sure to get to that point before bottling. What I use as a rule of thumb is to let the beer sit at fermentation temperature for at least three days after FG has been reached. That means the beer is done, and the diacetyl "clean up" phase is done, and the beer is starting to clear.

If the beer isn't fairly clear when you go to bottle (no suspended solids or floaties), then it's just not ready to bottle.

If you bottle too early, before fermentation ends, you risk bottle bombs. But even bottling after the bulk of fermentation is over may mean that you get more crud in your bottles, or the yeast haven't finished the clean up phase.

I know it is hard, but if Tuesday is less than two weeks after brewday, I'd really encourage you to wait a bit.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:48 PM   #16
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A couple of things that may be worth mentioning-

There are several phases of fermentation. One is the lag phase. That's when you pitch the yeast and it seems that nothing is happening. But inside the fermenter, the yeast are using oxygen and then reproducing. Then comes active fermentation, when the bulk of the fermentation happens. After that, the yeast finish up the fermentation by slowing consuming the rest of the fermentable sugars. They are still active, and still scrounging around for consumables and that is when they go back and "clean up" some things they normally don't eat- like their own waste products (like diacetyl).

After that time, then they will start to clump together and fall out of the beer ("flocculate"). The beer will start to clear, as gravity does it's work. That's the point at which it's ok to bottle, which could be at day 10 or day 25 in fermentation.

The reason I mention all that is that you want to make sure to get to that point before bottling. What I use as a rule of thumb is to let the beer sit at fermentation temperature for at least three days after FG has been reached. That means the beer is done, and the diacetyl "clean up" phase is done, and the beer is starting to clear.

If the beer isn't fairly clear when you go to bottle (no suspended solids or floaties), then it's just not ready to bottle.

If you bottle too early, before fermentation ends, you risk bottle bombs. But even bottling after the bulk of fermentation is over may mean that you get more crud in your bottles, or the yeast haven't finished the clean up phase.

I know it is hard, but if Tuesday is less than two weeks after brewday, I'd really encourage you to wait a bit.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:23 AM   #17
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Aside from some spices that are floating on the top - the brew is clear at this point. no floaties, nothing moving. I have no issue waiting a bit longer - this all just seemed to go by so quick.

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Old 12-27-2012, 05:40 AM   #18
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I wanted to report that both batches of beer came off without a hitch. I have learned a great theological lesson. Beer is more forgiving than some people. Perhaps we should strive to be like beer?

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