Some do Some don't... - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Some do Some don't...

Thread Tools
Old 01-05-2012, 12:01 AM   #1
Mustard and Relish
GrillaRays's Avatar
Jan 2012
Tulsa ...700 miles southwest of Chicago
Posts: 63
Liked 8 Times on 5 Posts

I've read in books, discussion boards, and even kit instructions different takes on racking their beer to a second carboy. Some see a benefit and transfer after a prescribed timeframe, and others just go straight to bottling. What's your experience?

Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 12:03 AM   #2
runningweird's Avatar
Dec 2009
State Line, PA, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,073
Liked 93 Times on 69 Posts

lots of debate on this site.

My way of doing things is not to secondary unless I am adding something later on - like fruit or spices or aging a really big beer over a long period of time.

so most of my beers - even big belgians - don't get a secondary.
My 6 Tap Long Draw Tower Build:

Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 02:25 AM   #3
Sep 2011
Beaverton, OR
Posts: 1,929
Liked 296 Times on 209 Posts

I almost never go to 2ndary because it's too much work. I did go one time to test dry hopping from the bottom instead of in a bag and saw no difference in taste.
-Retired Homebrewer

Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 02:26 AM   #4
sudsmcgee's Avatar
May 2010
Western Chicago Burbs, IL
Posts: 1,515
Liked 51 Times on 43 Posts

I have never done a secondary in my life, although I've only made a few hundred gallons of beer, so I have limited experience.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 03:20 AM   #5
aseg's Avatar
Jan 2011
Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 142

Wow - helluva question to ask here! I say this: if you are going to use a secondary, wait a minimum of two weeks before you move it.

I rack to secondary for a myriad of reasons. The most common reason is space. Additions of fruit, hops, oak..... All are also good reasons to use a 2nd.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 03:27 AM   #6
Jun 2009
Austin, TX
Posts: 1,537
Liked 14 Times on 14 Posts

Secondary was to avoid autolysis. With healthier yeast these days, autolysis is not an issue after only 1 month on top of the yeast cake.

I still use a secondary when I'm using a fining like gelatin, dry hopping, or other flavor contributors such as fruit or oak. I also will throw a brew in secondary after fermentation has slowed if I need the bigger carboy for a new batch.
Up next: beer
Fermenting: beer
Conditioning: and more beer

Total gallons in 2012: 10

Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 03:29 AM   #7
Beer Gnome
Teromous's Avatar
Sep 2009
Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 2,973
Liked 575 Times on 315 Posts

Depends on whether or not the beer needs a secondary, really. Am I clarifying it further, am I using a second yeast strain, am I adding oak, am I racking off fruit, am I racking on fruit, is the beer naturally hazy, do I have a keg free or a carboy, am I dry hopping...there are far to many factors to consider, and there really is no definite answer that encompasses every scenario. As a general answer, you don't really have to use a secondary, but there are a number of benefits to using one, if you are able to.

bighorn_brew Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 04:09 AM   #8
DogTail's Avatar
Sep 2011
Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 52

If there is no need for Lagering then really there is no need for a secondary... assuming you're not going to leave it in the primary for more than 6 weeks and that's pushing it. IMO

Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 11:26 AM   #9
Calichusetts's Avatar
Nov 2011
Plymouth, MA
Posts: 3,018
Liked 506 Times on 303 Posts

I secondary now, didn't when I started...mainly for dry-hopping but its also easier to clean the primaries

Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 11:40 AM   #10
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,945
Liked 3223 Times on 1903 Posts

I suggest you read THIS thread, it's become the "uber discussion" on this topic.

To Secondary or Not? John Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff Weigh In .

Most everyone on this forum has already ventured their opinions on the subject many many many many many many many many many many times, and most of them have ended up in the above thread. If you really do want opinions, and even some facts and citations, and articles, podcasts and other things on this topic, hit that thread, then make up your own mind.
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

NordeastBrewer77 Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Forum Jump