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Old 06-06-2012, 11:30 PM   #1
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Default Secondary Fermentation

So im not here to start up the great debate over secondary or no secondary. I understand that secondary is good for infusing flavors after fermentation and also for batches that will definitely sit for a few weeks. So what i am after is your expeirence and opinion on what styles actually benefit from a secondary fermentation.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:57 AM   #2
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Impeial IPA, lambic, fruit, anything with a high gravity which would benefit from extended aging.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:00 AM   #3
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I rack anything that is going to be oaked into a 5 gallon carboy with the oak cubes (spirals/chips/whatever).
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:19 AM   #4
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For me any style is good for secondary, because I managed to get a hold of several cheap carboys - meaning in order to maintain a strong pipeline I need to rack to secondary in order to free up primary space. Thinking about splitting some batches into two carboys if I need to.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:00 AM   #5
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The number #1 reason to rack to secondary is....

So that you can wash your yeast, always pitching the right amount and storing some good yeast nutrient (old yeast that you're ready to throw out) that you can toss into the end of your boil.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grndslm View Post
The number #1 reason to rack to secondary is....

So that you can wash your yeast, always pitching the right amount and storing some good yeast nutrient (old yeast that you're ready to throw out) that you can toss into the end of your boil.
How is racking to a secondary any different than racking to a keg or to a bottling bucket when it comes to washing yeast? Most people use yeast from the primary beacuse it's more flocculent and hasn't been swimming around in a high alcohol environment for as long.

Secondary for me is as previously stated. Dry Hopping, Fruit / Spices, Extended Aging, or lack of kegs.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:40 PM   #7
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I mostly use the secondary, and sometimes a tertiary for aging, fruit beer, and to get as much trub out as possible.

I don't have the space, or the approval from SWMBO for a keg/kegerator system (soooon!). So I want to ensure that when I bottle, it's a pretty clear pour for my friends when I am showing my beers off, thus the extra racking.

I was fortunate to inherit multiple carboys from family though.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopOnHops View Post
So im not here to start up the great debate over secondary or no secondary. I understand that secondary is good for infusing flavors after fermentation and also for batches that will definitely sit for a few weeks. So what i am after is your expeirence and opinion on what styles actually benefit from a secondary fermentation.
Benefit is in the tastebud of the beholder.

I prefer to secondary all of my beers. Well, actually I use a keg as a secondary and then serve from the same keg. I try to get my beers off the yeast within 2 weeks for ales and 3 weeks for lagers.

Over the years I've done lots of batches both ways before deciding which I liked best (finally decided I don't like my "lazy" beers as much and make the time to transfer them on a tighter schedule). The affects of leaving the beer on the yeast are more noticeable in beers that are lighter and that that have less hop flavor and aroma (not necessarily low IBUs though) - I brew a lot of these styles. Once you start ramping up the strong flavors in the beer, the flavors from sitting on the yeast for extra time are less noticeable.

So I would say that the less bold/in your face beers would benefit the most from a secondary.

Of course I wouldn't recommend a traditional secondary for a wheat or a wit.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:05 PM   #9
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I secondary anything that needs to be lagered. Taking the beer off the yeast cake for the actual lagering phase is essential for a nice, clear lager!
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:47 PM   #10
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Long-term bulk aging. I've got a BDS and will soon have a Tripel and BGS that, after 2-3 weeks in primary, I rack to a CO2-purged corny.

OTOH, I have a barleywine that I primaried for 6 weeks and now am bottle-aging until Christmas.

Otherwise, not much use for secondary until I do another fruit beer (no plans for it) or start messing w/ Brett (nervous still).
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