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Old 01-25-2010, 05:37 PM   #1
GRHunter
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Default Can I skip the secondary fermentation?

I bought a Brewers Best Weizenbier kit and it recommends a secondary fermentation for clarity and cleaner taste. Being as it's my first batch of beer I really don't want to tack on an extra 2 weeks on to my finish date. So for an impatient newbie is skipping the secondary fermentation really a big deal?


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Old 01-25-2010, 05:41 PM   #2
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You can skip the secondary fermentation, but you shouldn't skip the two weeks. The beer will significantly improve during that time as the yeast is still doing work to your beer. I do 3 weeks in the primary, then bottle.


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Old 01-25-2010, 05:42 PM   #3
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Patience is a virtue. You'll be rewarded for it with a greater taste. Take your hydrometer readings, and if it's stable for 3-4 days, you can bottle.

But people here recommend to not do a secondary fermentation and only primary for 4 weeks. Use the search function to know more.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:42 PM   #4
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Not using a secondary fermenter isn't a big deal if you plan on leaving it in primary longer. Skipping out on a secondary vessel and bottling early is generally going to lead to inferior beer. There are plenty of articles with pages upon pages of discussion detailing the extended primary/no secondary technique, but I doubt anyone around here would encourage you to skip the secondary and bottle early (which is exactly what you'd be doing.)

Just be patient. We all get the urge to rush things, but if you do, your beer will suffer for it. Good things come to those who wait, especially when it comes to beer. Give it time, and it'll be better for the wait.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:47 PM   #5
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Truth. You don't need to rack the beer if you don't want. I tend to, because I like to fine the beer in the second vessel. But plenty of brewers - including me from time to time - just leave the beer in the primary the entire time.

By no means skip the two weeks of bulk aging. Your palate will thank you for it.

Look at it this way: You've just spent a not inconsiderable amount of time, effort and money on brewing better, fresher beer than that which you can buy. Why on earth would you rush a centuries-old process? Yeah, I know - to enjoy your beer more quickly. But in this game patience is the best of all virtues (okay, it runs a very close second to cleanliness, but you get my point).

Have patience, young padawan.

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Old 01-25-2010, 05:51 PM   #6
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you can not skip secondary fermentation but you can skip using a secondary fermenter. most people get these terms confused. primary fermentation is the process of converting sugars to CO2 and alcohol. this process produces lots of byproducts that affect taste. during secondary fermentation the yeast clean up these byproducts. secondary fermentation occurs at the same time and continues after primary fermentation.

the logic behind racking to a secondary is to let the beer clear and drop yeast. allot of people on here, myself included, leave the beer on the yeast in the primary for a minimum of 2 weeks then go straight to bottling. the longer you leave the beer on the yeast the more they can clean up after themselves and a better product you will have. my advice is to wait 2 weeks plus as much as you can stand before bottling.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:26 PM   #7
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I know it is tough... I've only got two batches under my belt and two more sitting here aging and it is super hard not to just go for it. However, that is why I've put myself on a 2 week schedule. Every two weeks I'm moving things over from primary to secondary, or secondary into bottles, or primary into bottles so that I can brew up another batch. I spend way to much money on 6 packs of beer and in about a month I'm going to have 3 beers on tap and 3 in fermentation stages. Its my goal consistently have 2 beers on tap all the time.

So like everyone else is saying...be patient. Start another batch to pass the time...
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:52 PM   #8
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If you use a secondary you open up your primary for another brew. It makes the waiting easier.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwinzing View Post
If you use a secondary you open up your primary for another brew. It makes the waiting easier.
Fantastic advice. This is what I highly recommend. Take that anxiety for a beer and put in into making your next batch. The next thing you know...your beer will be ready to consume.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwinzing View Post
If you use a secondary you open up your primary for another brew. It makes the waiting easier.
Take a week off between batches so you can a: go over your mistakes and plan out batch #2 and b: space out your batches a little bit. Filling up your pipeline like that is a GREAT idea. You will probably want to tear into your 1st batch early, so it will buy your 2nd batch time to mature properly. You just need to have ALOT of bottles ready to go.

Was the karate kid able to bust out that crane kick after 1 lesson? No. Dude had to wax cars and sand floors and paint fences for weeks, but look how his patience paid off.....



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