Originally Posted by AJWELLS
I only secondary for dry hopping now. That being said, I do believe it helps clear the beer. I ferment in a closet. When I bottle I have to pick it up and move it. That stirs things up. Less to stir up in a secondary.
You ever notice how kegged beer looks a lot clearer? One reason is that it's been chilled for quite a while. My bottled beers take at least a week in the fridge before they pour crystal clear. Another reason for a secondary is laziness. You can let it sit until you feel like bottling.
Originally Posted by Scooby_Brew
I'd say don't secondary only IF
you know how to rack the beer into your keg or bottles without disturbing the bed and making the beer cloudy again. It's an art, even if you using a racking cane. It's hard not to hit the slurry on the bottom at least once during racking, and that pretty much ruins the clarity of the beer. The last second of racking is probably the most difficult, this is when the racking cane does the slurping noise and stirs up the bottom
If you're a beginner use secondary, you'll enjoy a clearer beer.
It's not an art....guys, we all
move our beers, from the basement lager up to the kitchen, or from the brewing closet up to the table to rack to the bottling bucket. We kick stuff up all the time, and those of us who long primary STILL don't have cloudy beers.
What do you think we do, levitate our fermenters from place on pink fluffy clouds?
First- The longer you primary the tighter the yeast cake gets (That is what Jamil and palmer are talking about in terms of larger volumes of beer in commercial vats pressing down on the yeast and possibly autolyzing, just on a smaller scale for our homebrewing beer volumes.) your yeast is tighter than if you rack to a secondary or only play with your beer after a couple weeks.
It's NOT going to kick up that much, and anything that does is just going to settle back down shortly after. But it's not going to be as much as you all think.
Heck, half the time I forget adding finnings like moss in the boil.
I don't do anything special when racking
or lifting my beers, they get shaken as much as the next guy, and yet for having my beers in primary for a month, I STILL get comments from judges about the clarity of my beers. I don't even cold crash them.
Secondly- when we talk about the "yeast cleaning up after themselves' we're talking about the yeast having plenty of time to go the extra mile and pull a lot more proteins and stuff out of solution which results in overall clarity. Think of it like polishing the beer molecules. The beer as a whole takes on a cleaner, and crisper flavor profile and overall visual clarity, including reducing chill haze proteins.
Then like I said, they are pulled tighter and tighter in the yeast cake over the month or more in secondary.
In fact when racking it to my bottling bucket [b]I rub the bottom of my autosiphon once across the bottom of my primary to kick up a little extra yeast for bottle.
Just to insure that there is plenty of yeast to do the job.
And STILL my beer is pretty clear. It's been called Jewell-like on scoresheets, and I didn't put my beer fermenter in bubble wrap to keep from disturbing the delicate trub at the bottom.
You're over negatizing the process. It's not a special process, you don't have to be an expert racker or experienced brewer to do this, it's the ANTI Complexity trick. Leaving beer longer in primary actually takes more gunk out of the beer, and leaves more behind at racking to a keg or bottling bucket.
It's really foolproof.
The other thing that further leads to clearer beer is long time in the fridge or chill chest if it's a keg. Again more stuff is dragged out of solution and made tighter in the yeastcake/trub.
I found a bottle of beer that had been in the back of the fridge for 3 months and at pouring the sediment in the bottom of the bottle was so tight that I could fully upend the bottle while pouring it, and even smacking the bottom of the bottle a couple times like you do a ketchup bottle, would dislodge it one bit...The beer was like a polished crystal.
It ain't rocket science or complicated.....