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Old 06-10-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
Apr 2009
washington state
Posts: 26

when is it the best time to rack into secondary

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Old 06-10-2009, 09:44 PM   #2
ChshreCat's Avatar
Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 11,533
Liked 542 Times on 434 Posts

I wait three weeks before going to secondary, assuming the ferment finishes out in a week or less.
"Science + beer = good!"
-Adam Savage

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:14 PM   #3
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts

you can go to secondary when fermentation has completely finished. before that and you could end up stalling fermentation...and if you don't deal with a stuck fermentation properly and bottle anyways, you get bottle bombs.

or just give it 3 weeks in the primary and bottle/keg (at least for most beers)
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:46 PM   #4
Dec 2007
Bryn Mawr, PA
Posts: 744
Liked 22 Times on 22 Posts

Plenty of people believe you don't need a secondary. If I'm not brewing something that calls for an addition at secondarying, I don't use one. The reason is that your bottles/keg basically ARE a secondary. Skipping the secondarying also has the advantage of decreasing the probability of infections.
Primary 1: Hasty IPA
Primary 2:
Secondary: Soured Golden
Kegged: American Wheat
Bottled: Belgian Golden Ale.
Planning: American Amber

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:54 PM   #5
ifishsum's Avatar
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 1,447
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The best time is when it's reached it's FG and has been stable for a few days. I like to wait 2 weeks myself, but I still check to be sure that FG has been reached before I move the beer.

True, a secondary isn't necessary for most styles but I prefer to use one because it frees up my primary vessels, and I also dry hop more than half of my beers. I also get a really clear end product.
"If you're gonna be an ape, be a hairy one" - Spyder

Primary 2: Edwort's Robust Porter
Secondary 1: LW Pale Ale
Secondary 1: Blackened Soul RIS
Kegged: Dead Guy Ale
Kegged: Rye Pale Ale
Kegged: Haus Pale Ale
Kegged: Nut Brown Ale
Kegged: Afrikan Amber
Kegged: Jock Scott Ale
Kegged: Afrikan Amber

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Old 06-10-2009, 11:37 PM   #6
Nov 2008
Vancouver, BC
Posts: 741
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Never is the best time!!!

(that probably wasn't helpful, was it?)
In Process - Russian Imperial Stout, Nelson Sauvin Rye IPA, Mild No.3

In Kegs - Barley Wine, Apfelwein, Wild BlackBerry Wheat, Coffee Oatmeal Porter

Gone - so many :(

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Old 06-11-2009, 02:37 AM   #7
Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class
passedpawn's Avatar
Apr 2009
☼ Clearwater, FL ☼
Posts: 26,240
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Old Rule: 1-2-3 for primary-secondary-bottle.

My Rule 3-0-2. I don't do secondaries anymore unless lagering for extended periods, during which I would like to remove that big trub. BTW, I don't always wait the 2 weeks for bottle. I am very impatient with my creations.

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