Originally Posted by TimLa
I think carbonation drops are a very expensive route to take. If you already have them, may as well use them, but in the future, I'd just use corn sugar.
68 is fine.
Welcome to the collective!
On the topic of using a secondary vessel you can, and probably should, leave most ales in primary until you are ready to package (2-4 weeks). There are a couple of situations where use of a secondary vessel is helpful or perhaps required:
1. If you are adding flavoring agents, oak cubes, etc. it is often easier and may give better results if you get the beer off of the yeast cake and into a secondary vessel.
2. If you are adding fining agents such as gelatin, etc. you need to get the beer cold. This is easiest if you allow the beer to finish fermenting then rack to a 5 gal. carboy for chilling.
3. If you are going to do a long-term aged beer such as a RIS, Barleywine, Old Ale, etc. it probably should be done in a glass
5gal. carboy. The glass eliminates the possibility of o2 permeation through the walls of the vessel and the minimized surface exposure of the beer to o2 in the carboy neck further reduces the possibility of oxidation.
With all that being said, many of us prefer to rack the beer off of the yeast cake rather than leave it set there for more than 3-4 weeks. The yeast adds something to the flavor of the beer. There are a number of people who don't enjoy that added flavor.