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Old 04-06-2011, 01:38 PM   #1
jlb307's Avatar
Jan 2011
, PA
Posts: 230
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So, I've made the decision after reading a LOT of posts on the subject to skip secondary fermentation and just keep my brew in the primary for up to 4 weeks, even dry hopping in the primary for the last week at a lower temp.
Figured it was better to avoid the risk of contamination/oxidation that way.
I am going to dry hop in the primary now, and not start that until I basically see no activity in the airlock, since I'm using a bucket and that's all I have to go by.
However, since I AM using a bucket, am I not putting my beer at just as much risk of oxidizing or infection when I pop open the lid for however long it takes to add the dry hops or check my gravity?
Any other tips if I'm going to skip using a secondary?

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:44 PM   #2
Jul 2010
SE PA, Pennsylvania
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When your beer is in the primary, there is a "blanket" of CO2 capping the liquid. It would take a bit of effort to remove the entire blanket. You will be fine dry hopping.

I used to add a couple tablespoons of dextrose boiled in water when I dry hopped to augment the CO2 blanket. This was more for my peace of mind than anything else. It really is not necessary. I have dry hopped plenty of batches with no dextrose additions and they have been great.

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Old 04-06-2011, 02:52 PM   #3
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You'll be don't need to use anything, add anything or worry about anything...Just leave the beer in, open it to do what you need to do, and rdwhahb.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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Mar 2009
Triune, TN
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Yeast makes an acidic, alcoholic environment that is covered by a layer of carbon dioxide. Not very hospitable to other microorganisms.

There is nothing wrong with opening the fermenter and taking a sample to test/taste. Heck, I think new brewers should do this more often to get a better understanding of what happens throughout the process. Just take the standard precautions as far as sanitizing anything going into the beer.

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Old 04-06-2011, 03:36 PM   #5
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Dec 2010
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Remember, the airlock is not a magical fermentation meter...

I would let the brew go until it's complete, confirmed by two matching SG readings as well as taste (3-4 weeks, or longer), then dry hop. Dry hop until the level is where you want it, then bottle/keg...
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