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Old 09-29-2009, 01:40 PM   #1
WollenBrew
 
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I see a lot of guys that don't use a secondary anymore, which seems to make sense for a lot of brews. However, the Scottish Wee Heavy that I currently have in my primary is a 3 month (minimum) beer from start to finish. I'm sure I'll get responses that go either way on this, but would you guys and gals (I know you're out there) recommend that I transfer to secondary on this one? If yes, how long should I let it sit in the primary? How long in the secondary? (i.e. when to bottle).

If the answer is no, how long should I let it sit in the primary? (Just leave it until I get two identical hydrometer readings, then bottle?)

Anyway, I'd really like some opinions on this.

Thanks!

 
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:53 PM   #2

The thing is.... bottling your beer is almost an identicle process compared to secondary. The only difference is in secondary, you have a chance for more yeast to settle out. I'd leave it in primary for a month, bottle, then let it bottle condition for at least 3-4 months.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:55 PM   #3
HotbreakHotel
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I'll go as long as 3 weeks, but other people say they go as long as 4-5 weeks with good results.

For 3 months I really think you should transfer, whether it's after 2 weeks or 5 weeks. The length of time, IMO, would depend on your starting gravity (longer for higher gravity) and how clean your fermentation comes out (leaving it on the primary is way, way more effective for cleaning up yeast esters).

 
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:58 PM   #4
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For something like a Wee Heavy, I'll secondary. I've got the equipment, my technique is adequate so that I don't really worry excessively about infection, and I'd rather bulk age than do it in 50 bottles.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:03 PM   #5
WollenBrew
 
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I should have probably posted this... My OG on this beer was 1.093. So, yes, a bit higher on this one...

 
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:02 PM   #6
corvax13
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If you need the space for your pipeline, then go to secondary. If not, then you can leave it in the primary for a good amount of time (6-8 weeks) and bottle straight from there, leaving it in the bottles another couple months. Either way, it's a big beer and its going to have to age, regardless of whether its in the primary, secondary or bottles. I feel bulk aging is more beneficial, but that's just my preference.

You are probably going to get a wide range of responses here, and probably most of them will be right - its just a matter of preference, go with your gut instinct.
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:45 PM   #7
nolabelbrewing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WollenBrew View Post
If the answer is no, how long should I let it sit in the primary? (Just leave it until I get two identical hydrometer readings, then bottle?)
I would suggest moving to a 2ndary if you have the equipment.
Your OG is so high @ 1.092, and I suspect if you brewed according to tradition and boiled for 2 hours or longer, your ending OG is probably even higher; your primary fermentation could last up to two weeks if you are keeping your cellar temps in the 60-64 range. I would wait about 48 hours after you feel your primary has completed itself(just watch the airlock, hydrometers are work and a waste of beer) and transfer to a 2ndary for rest. That time period will allow the yeast to reabsorb nasty chemicals it leaves in the beer, but will give you time to get it off the yeast before they die and re release the chemicals back into the beer.

Depending on your cellar conditions you can 2ndary a 1.100 beer for 6-8 months without an issue, and I might even suggest re capping with an airlock in the summer time when the temp rises in your cellar into the 70's. Fermentation will continue and you will see lower hydrometer readings after the summer season.

When it comes time to bottle, I would suggest pitching a fresh vial of yeast, giving your bottling bucket a good stir, and only using a half cup of corn sugar per 5 gallons. Traditionally the ale would have been served with extremely low carbonation anyway, and guessing upon your hop rates and the time cellared I'm not sure that you have much hop aroma to show off. Pitching the fresh yeast is up to you, and will cause some yeast haze, and settling in the bottom of your bottles. If you don't pitch fresh yeast, try to suck some up from your 2ndary come bottling time with your siphon, and condition your bottles in a warmer 75 degree part of your house. I would bottle 4-6 weeks before the October season, and plan on drinking this beer in a years time.

g/l

~J~

 
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:50 PM   #8
karmabrew
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Recipe?

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Old 11-01-2009, 05:08 PM   #9
Conodor
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Wee Heavy's my favorite... Recipe please!
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:32 AM   #10
WollenBrew
 
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I used the Northern Brewer Extract Kit.

http://legacy.northernbrewer.com/doc...html/1161.html
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