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Old 01-03-2013, 12:20 AM   #1
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Default When to move to secondary

So I'm relatively new to home brew. I've done a Christmas Porter, a raspberry and have a stout in my secondary. I've been pleased with the porter and raspberry. I've done all of these from established recipes. I follow the directions as far as the amount of time they sit in the primary and secondary, but I noticed with the stout that the fermenting seemed to end sooner than the recipe called for. When should I move it over? When the recipe indicates or when the airlock is no longer bubbling?

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Old 01-03-2013, 12:24 AM   #2
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You do not really need to move the beer to a secondary unless you are adding something like fruit or wood at that point. Just let it sit in the primary for 2 to three weeks and make sure it has reached final gravity before bottling.

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Old 01-03-2013, 12:28 AM   #3
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There are lots of threads about this very topic. Many brewers, including myself, don't use a secondary at all, unless they wish to bulk age their beer, or add some sort of adjunct, such as oak chips or fruit.

However, you want to wait until primary fermentation is complete -- when specific gravity remains constant for three days. Some brewers may wish to wait several days after that to allow more yeast to fall out, others might cold crash to accomplish the same thing.

I like to simply wait a week or two after primary fermentation, to allow the yeast to clean up any off-flavors it may have created, then go straight to keg.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:33 AM   #4
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Yes. Like Wayne said.

All brew kits and brew shops lean towards a secondary. They call it secondary fermentation. But is not any type of secondary ferment. Maybe at one time many years ago it was a good thing to do to get beer off the yeast cake for the reason of autolysis.. That is a byproduct of the past. Not many homebrewers transfer their beer to a secondary these days.

Let your brew sit in the fermenter for 3 or 4 weeks. Then wrack to a bottling bucket and pour gently into bottles. Put the bottles in a warm place for 2-3 weeks and then into a fridge for a week and drink. Homebrewers don't have the turnaround time professional breweries do. But a homebrewer is totally capable of make great beer.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:00 AM   #5
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Unlike a lot of people on this forum I choose to secondary almost all of my beers. I usually let them sit in primary for 10-14 days then transfer to secondary for at least a week to let the rest of the "stuff" drop out of suspension. I am always surprised at the amount of trub I get even after secondary. I just like to take the extra time to let the beer clean up a bit. If I am in a hurry to keg one then I skip secondary but that's only if I need it for a party or something.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:05 AM   #6
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Like it's already been said, you don't have to. But, if like me, you only have a plastic fermenting bucket which doubles as your bottling bucket and a glass carboy for secondary 'fermenting' then I'll be moving mine.

I could always put it in the glass carboy first of all though I guess...
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by forstmeister View Post
I skip secondary but that's only if I need it for a party or something.
Would love to hear what 'or something' could be.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:00 AM   #8
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I understand that these days a secondary is not necessary. But why when somebody mentions that they use a secondary for majority of their beers they are instantly frowned upon on this forum? I am a new member on here and this was the first thing I noticed.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:20 AM   #9
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Because they lack patience. Clear, good beer vs. speed of bottling/kegging are not always compatible!
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:48 AM   #10
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They aren't frowned on. I've never noticed people being shunned for using a secondary. I occasionally secondary a beer. But that is very few and far between nowadays.



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