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Old 01-03-2013, 02:56 AM   #11
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I agree with Gasman. It's not frowned upon, just not something many of us feel necessary on a routine basis. Opinions might get high flung on this subject. I think many of us who did secondary and then found out it was not really necessary, mostly hype. Maybe we are a bit touchy about the subject and when a new brewer gets led into believing the only way they can make good beer and starts talking about secondary... It's just an old path to travel and gets old.

Happy brewing to you for sure. You'll find many different avenues to travel in beer making. Ask 10 brewers the same question and don't be surprised with more than one answer.

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:03 AM   #12
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Happy brewing to you for sure. You'll find many different avenues to travel in beer making. Ask 10 brewers the same question and don't be surprised with more than one answer.
Ask 10, and you'll probably end up with 11 opinions.....
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:06 AM   #13
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Can I use my bottling bucket as a secondary after 2 - 3 weeks in the primary? Then add sugars & bottle straight from that same bucket without another transfer?

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:09 AM   #14
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secondary use is one subject where people get a bit TOO high and mighty here!

There are many paths to good beer. There many reasons to use secondary vessels.....there are many reasons not to use them. They CAN both be right....and good beer can be made either way.

Now, as for the OP: If you choose to secondary: it should be done several days after fermentation is complete. Taking gravity readings is the only true way to know fermentation is done (another subject likely to elicit long ranty responses)

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:25 AM   #15
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There are many paths to good beer. There many reasons to use secondary vessels.....there are many reasons not to use them. They CAN both be right....and good beer can be made either way.
The only reasons I've read so far as to why one shouldn't rack to secondary is because there is a increased risk of contamination and/or oxygenating the beer during transfer. If the brewer is very careful and uses a little common sense then these two threats should not be an issue imo. But hey, I'm new, and maybe I haven't done enough research yet.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:38 AM   #16
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Can I use my bottling bucket as a secondary after 2 - 3 weeks in the primary? Then add sugars & bottle straight from that same bucket without another transfer?
After that amount of time you don't even need to secondary, if its been a few days since FG just bottle it. Another thing is your going to have trub coming out of the spigot and into your bottles.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:13 AM   #17
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Can I use my bottling bucket as a secondary after 2 - 3 weeks in the primary? Then add sugars & bottle straight from that same bucket without another transfer?
You will have to poor the priming sugar on top of your beer and then stir, which will also move around the trub and get into your bottles.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:29 AM   #18
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I've noticed that secondaries are almost a religous topic too. So my best effort at answering the OP question and explaining why at the same time:

Yeast was weak at pitching: Likely secondary (Get off trub)
Dry Hopping/Fruit Addition: Sometimes secondary (Don't scrub aroma)
High ABV: Sometimes secondary (Benifits from aging)
Bulk aging: Usually Secondary (Smoothing, often with dark beers)
Dry Hopping during primary: Usually secondary (Avoid over-hopping flavors)
Need primary fermenter: Must secondary
Anything else: Use judgement between aging/off-flavor risk
(Not all possibilities)

As for when, it doesn't really matter. If the primary is still going yoour contamination and oxidation risk is low so rack to any size vessel (within reason). If you're after primary your oxidation risk is high, so rack to a vessel almost exactly your batch size. Usually around 1-3 months there is no need to rack, either the aging has started or the damage has been done by autolysis.
This is not an end-all be-all, just my obvservations on why this topic is so split.

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Old 01-03-2013, 05:55 AM   #19
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Another thing is your going to have trub coming out of the spigot and into your bottles.
I am a lazy brewer: I go straight from primary to kegs. I put the kegs on CO2 and let them sit for a couple of weeks. First glass pretty much takes care of any trub that settled in the keg.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:59 AM   #20
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I secondary on some beers and others not. I recently made a phenomenal pilsner that sat in the same fermentor for 2+ months through primary, diacetyl rest, and lagering. On other batches that need to be dryhopped or have adjuncts added I'll rack to secondary in 7-10 days.
It depends on what you expect the end product to be and what suits your tastes.
There are arguments for both methods. My advice is secondary when you feel like it and don't when you don't but don't get too hung up on either doing it one way it the other.

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