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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > When to rack into secondary?
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:42 PM   #1
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Default When to rack into secondary?

I have an Irish Red Ale in primary that I did on friday night, the airlock has been bubbling like crazy, but has really slown down. the instructions say 5-7 days before racking to secondary, would it be crazy to rack it now?

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:46 PM   #2
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What's the purpose of the secondary for this beer? If it is simply to clear the beer, I would let primary fermentation complete first. Take a couple of SG readings several days apart. When the SG is stable, rack to secondary.

In reality, a lot of folks skip the secondary altogether, despite what a recipe might call for.

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:47 PM   #3
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Not another one. Ok, if you had done any research AT ALL on this forum, this probably the MOST discussed topic on this board. At least 95% of the people here say do not rack to secondary, just leave it in the primary for 3 weeks, then bottle it.

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:50 PM   #4
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This is the first I am hearing of skipping the secondary.

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Shaneoco1981 View Post
Not another one. Ok, if you had done any research AT ALL on this forum, this probably the MOST discussed topic on this board. At least 95% of the people here say do not rack to secondary, just leave it in the primary for 3 weeks, then bottle it.
+1 million....
I would only rack to secondary if adding fruit or some type of specialty recipe. In fact, I can't remember the last time I did.
There are those who love the pristine, uncloudy beer but me, I just want it to taste good. If it's a bit cloudy, I could care less. However, it's your beer, so do with it what you want.
3 weeks in the primary almost always shows my beer ready to bottle. No explosions in over a decade.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:52 PM   #6
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Jesus shaneco take it easy. That's why its called beginners forum. You're supposed to help these guys not criticize. As far a a secondary I only use it for dry hopping and long bulk aging. If you are not doing any of these , three weeks on the primary should be fine. Check your gravity a few times. If it is the same then its done.

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fadeux View Post
This is the first I am hearing of skipping the secondary.
It's mentioned all the time on these forums, at least that's what I am finding from my scavenging.

You will get 100 different answers and since I've been brewing for just a couple of months I suspect mine is way down the pecking order....but I use just a primary. I am currently fermenting a brew that says to rack to a secondary and my LHBS owner agreed it was the correct thing to do, and he also told me to pitch in the champagne yeast at that time too i.e., after 7 days rather than 3 weeks like the recipe (Thomas Hardy's Ale - Clone Brews 2nd edition) says.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:54 PM   #8
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95% is pretty high, really. I will admit that most will agree that secondaries are not necessary, but quite a few of us still use them for various reasons.

If you are not adding fruit, wood chips, or bulk aging a big beer, a secondary is not necessary... some feel that it gives you clearer beer. Secondary is NOT for fermenting - it is for clarifying, aging, etc.

Regardless, though, racking after three days is not a great idea. Just because the vigorous fermentation is done does not mean that the beer is ready. Most here advocate a minimum of two weeks in primary (many say three).

The ONLY way to know if fermentation is done is to take a gravity reading, then take another in two days. If they match, fermentation is done.

I recently did an article that covers a LOT of the newbie questions, you might find it useful: Common Sense for Homebrewers.

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:54 PM   #9
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I think it's a style issue. Do it of you want to. I just moved a Belgian I've had in primary for a month to a secondary, but only because I thought it might help clearing it up. I just popped the first bottle of a wheat beer i skipped the secondary on and it tasted and looked just fine.

Again, just do what you feel and experiment. As a general rule I wouldn't rack until the bubbles stop and og is stable. You wouldn't bottle a beer that isn't done with primary would you?

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Old 04-09-2012, 08:57 PM   #10
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The biggest reason I want to rack it into my carboy is then I can start another recipe in primary. sorry to those people who feel I wasted their time, but you're the ones who clicked the thread.

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