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Old 04-29-2011, 05:53 PM   #31
scotchguy
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I have been nose deep in the forums and various online sources for the last few months since starting this hobby. I have read a great deal about the primary vs secondary debate.

Full Primary Pros:
-Simple (less cleanup)
-Reduces the risk of Oxidation
-No noticeable flavor change from resting on the trube for a short duration

Secondary Pros:
-Clearer Beer (debatable for some)
-Less head-space
-Can be stored/aged for long periods of time lower risk for yeast Autolysis
-At this stage, one can add fruit/oak chips among other "stuff"

I by no means claim to be an expert, I am just starting off. This is what i have gathered on the subject from reading several threads. I am sure I am missing other important points.

My major grievance with this debate is that I have yet to find a pro-vs-con view for specific styles of beer. It is always just "in general". My concern is there is no focus on this for say dry hopping. From the books I picked up at my LHBS, most say you need to dry hop in a glass carboy after racking to secondary. If I go by what I read here, I would assume it would be perfectly fine to just toss some pellet hops into my primary (after confirming fermentation is complete).

Maybe someone with experience can enlighten the conversation... is dry hopping more worth while in a the primary or secondary?

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Old 04-29-2011, 06:07 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotchguy View Post
Maybe someone with experience can enlighten the conversation... is dry hopping more worth while in a the primary or secondary?
In my experience, there's no difference.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:29 PM   #33
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Regarding beginner noobish questions:

When I first started brewing, I did not know the brewing vernacular, so I had a hell of a time figuring out what to search FOR to get the info I was seeking.

This seems to be a common issue regarding new brewers, as an experienced brewer I sometimes forget what it was like to struggle to find answers when I really didn't know what it was I was supposed to be looking for.

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Old 04-29-2011, 06:35 PM   #34
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+1 to azscoob.

I still don't know how to look some things up.

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Old 04-29-2011, 08:11 PM   #35
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I’ve been brewing for about a year and a half, with about 20 batches under my belt. Six months ago, I thought I was “experienced”. But with each batch, I realize I’m still noobish in certain ways. Oh well.

There are lots of techniques one must learn in order to consistently brew great beer. BUT, one can brew good beer with only a few simple skills. Rather than ask “yes or no on a secondary?” I would re-frame the question as: what brewing techniques are needed for this recipe?

The only time I tried using a secondary, I bollixed it up by transferring too soon. Had a hard time getting good attenuation. The beer ended up decent, I think, still too early to tell. But it brought home the point that there are good ways and bad ways of doing most anything, and if you aren’t sure about the good ways, you should consider avoiding it until you can handle it. I’m in no rush to use a secondary, but when I do, it will be because the beer I want to make requires it.

Consider the following list of techniques: Secondary fermentation, making a starter, dry hopping, controlling the fermentation temperature (including raising or lowering during the process), partial mash, all-grain mash, partigyle, kegging, kettle caramelization, and others as well. NONE of these are absolutely essential to making a good beer. I would expect that most brewers with some experience know how to do these. But we probably learned them in different orders, based on the recipes we were trying to make.

So, Brewhooker, feel free to ask questions and learn as you go. Cheers!

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Old 05-01-2011, 07:04 PM   #36
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Read all the books from 20 years ago and it was the way to go.

My take: if you don't have enough knowledge or experience to decide for your self and do not have a guru you can trust then go to secondary...

Experiance will let you know if it's worth it or needed.

Certian types of beers will benifit others will not. (Some will be better if you don't)

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Old 05-01-2011, 07:24 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orfy View Post
Read all the books from 20 years ago and it was the way to go.

My take: if you don't have enough knowledge or experience to decide for your self and do not have a guru you can trust then go to secondary...

Experiance will let you know if it's worth it or needed.

Certian types of beers will benifit others will not. (Some will be better if you don't)
I agree fully. Anyone who has been here for more than 5 minutes knows it's an area of contoversy. In fact, just to be able to ask the question proves you are aware that some endorse it and some don't, so it is very unlikely a bunch more words in another thread is going to prove the benefit or lack there of to anyone, brand new brewer, or seasoned vet. The only way to answer it is going to be to try with and without a secondary, preferably with the same recipe, and optimally in the same batch with all other variables controlled. Then you will be able to share with others your experience, and whether YOU believe it makes a difference. Personally I'm a pretty lazy brewer and always looking for a shortcut that won't affect quality. As soon as I heard that many, maybe even most, felt using a secondary wasn't likely to improve the quality of my ales, that was good enough for me so I never posted a "why shouldn't I use a secondary" thread.
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