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Old 03-27-2007, 08:11 PM   #1
Cass
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Mar 2007
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Just racked to my secondary, wondering how long before it starts fermenting in there. No sign of bubbling yet.

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Old 03-27-2007, 08:15 PM   #2
BrewDey
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You won't likely get the violent bubbling, etc. of the primary..it will be slow and subtle

 
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:15 PM   #3
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It may never bubble at all. The secondary isn't really for fermenting (which ideally has finished in the primary)--it's for clarification and bulk aging. It would probably be less confusing if it were called a clearing tank, or "bright tank" as it's known in commercial brewing lingo.
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:18 PM   #4
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Lets get the terms straight first - homebrewers often refer to a "secondary fermenter" incorrectly. Clearing tank, conditioning tank, or bright tank are more appropriate terms if you are not repitching yeast and trying to actually further ferment your beer.

Ok, off my high horse - if your beer fermented out rather completely in the primary fermenter, it shouldn't restart fermentation after racking. Sometimes it will have a brief moment of activity in its new container because you roused the yeast into action during the transfer, and there is just a bit of fermentable material left in your beer, but that is not a true secondary fermentation.
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:28 PM   #5
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My beers hardly ever ferment out anymore once I rack them. I typically let them finish completely in the primary, then move them over for clearing and aging (since they can stay in the second vessel for a long time without worry). Once I get around to it, I'll keg and carb (or bottle if it is something that needs a lot of time to condition).
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:06 AM   #6
cormi3r
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Is it always necessary to use a secondary (or clearing/brightening/finishing tank)? Or is it mostly for clarity, presentation and/or enhancing flavor characters?

The reason I am asking is because I have read some threads here that have eluded to people bottling directly from the primary.
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:28 AM   #7
Cass
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Ok good, because it still hasn't had any action. It was done fermenting in the primary like 4 days ago, but I waited the entire week before racking to the secondary.

 
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cormi3r
Is it always necessary to use a secondary (or clearing/brightening/finishing tank)? Or is it mostly for clarity, presentation and/or enhancing flavor characters?
It's not necessary at all. You can make beers that are just fine without a secondary carboy. Most people here do use them, though. They do a good job of clearing up your brews. Also, if you rack after a week, there is much less chance of getting any off flavors from the beer sitting on the trub for too long.

 
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:09 PM   #9
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You can bottle from the fermenter. This means a lot more gunk in the bottles and longer settling times once bottled. It doesn't speed up the aging/conditioning process in the slightest, you still have to wait.

I keg from the fermenter, but I'll leave a batch in the fermenter for 3-4 weeks.
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:32 PM   #10
Cass
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Mar 2007
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Ok next question... since this is for clarifying, is it normal for my beer to be dark brown at first? I'm brewing an IPA which is supposed to be golden, but so far its just a dark brown. My wort was golden, but after the primary fermentation, my beer turned a dark brown. Is this normal?

 
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