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Old 12-31-2012, 07:53 PM   #1
whitefoam
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Default How dark and cool should it be for the secondary fermenter (carboy)

I am brewing an amber ale. The instructions I have say to store the carboy (to which I racked the beer from the primary) in a cool and dark place. How dark should it be? I placed the carboy in a corner that gets indirect sunlight that is not intense at this time of year in the winter. There are shades on the window that while allowing some light through, they decrease the intensity of it. Is it OK not to cover the carboy in this case?

Also, while the instructions say to keep the carboy in a cool place, I read on the forums that it's OK to keep it at the same temperature the primary was in (65-75F) because there might still be some light yeast activity. I will keep the beer in the carboy for 10 days. Does the recommendation of keeping the secondary fermenter in a cool place apply more for carboys that are kept for a longer time (longer than 2 weeks)? I'm planning to keep it in the same room at 70 degrees.


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Old 12-31-2012, 07:58 PM   #2
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You really don't need to do a secondary for an amber ale, in my humble opinion. You want that fresh hop aroma that tends to fade over time. But if you'd like to store it longer and are worried about the light, put a shirt over the carboy. And as far as temperature goes, once the height of fermentation has occurred you don't really need to be too concerned about temperature control.

Hope that helps


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Old 12-31-2012, 08:06 PM   #3
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Primary and Secondary should be DARK. Like a closet dark.

Cool is more important for primary.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:12 PM   #4
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Thanks for your answers! When is a carboy really needed? I saw that some people just use one container for all the brewing. I was told that a carboy will help keep the sediment out of the beer and will prevent off flavours.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
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BS. lol. Tons of it evidently comes from HBS owners.

I use strictly Ale Pails or stainless steel corny kegs.

Glass is fine, except for the fact that 5 gallons of liquid in a glass container can be unwieldy and dangerous if you need to move it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitefoam View Post
Thanks for your answers! When is a carboy really needed? I saw that some people just use one container for all the brewing. I was told that a carboy will help keep the sediment out of the beer and will prevent off flavours.
You need a carboy for looong fermentation, like you might for a barleywine, for racking onto wood chips or some thing like that. Otherwise your primary will suffice. Given time in the primary the yeast will settle just as it would in secondary and with a little care in racking to the bottling bucket the beer will remain clear. The supposed off flavors do not present a problem in a reasonable length of primary. I've heard of one person's beer being left for 8 months without those off flavors so that gives you some indication of how long it must take.


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