In Defense of a Secondary - Home Brew Forums
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:23 PM   #1
KendallAdkins
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So, I am seeing more and more that veteran homebrewers shun the secondary fermentor, and maybe one day I will, too, but here is why I always use one.

There are two reasons, and it's actually more of a 1a and 1b.

It all comes down to my set up.

I have a 5 gallon carboy and a 3 gallon carboy.

I make 3 gallon AG batches.

I use the 5 gallon as my primary so I leave space for an active fermentation
and move to the 3 gallon for further conditioning and to reduce headspace once most of the fermentation is complete, usually about 2 weeks.

The other reason, also related to setup, is that I want that beer the hell out of my primary so I can brew another batch! At the pace I drink, 3 gallons lasts about two weeks (A respectable 2.29 beers a day average).

So with my current setup, I brew a new batch every two weeks, which requires me to use a secondary. Whenever I expand my setup, I may do away with it, but for now, it is the best thing for me.


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Primary: SMaSH Kolsh (Pilsner and Hallertau)
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Bottled: American IPA
In The Fridge: Urban Chestnut STLIPA

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:27 PM   #2
LLBeanJ
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I go out of my way to avoid having to do another transfer. If I was short primary vessels, I'd buy another before I'd put my beer in secondary if it truly was not needed (I usually brew 20+ batches per year and at most, 2 of those will need secondary). But, that's just me.

If it works for you and you're making great beer, then you're doing it right. That's all that matters.



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Old 08-25-2014, 07:30 PM   #3
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As long as good beer comes out the other end, its all good.
Being comfortable with your process is very important.

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Old 08-25-2014, 07:43 PM   #4
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I'm not one of those guys that thinks you'll ruin your beer by doing a secondary - I did them for years before I knew better and never had a noticeably oxidized batch. As long as you're careful with the transfer, there's nothing necessarily "wrong" with a secondary, imho.

I just don't do them anymore because 1) I'm lazy, and 2) I feel like I can get the same benefit by leaving it in primary an extra week and cold-crashing/adding gelatin. Plus I switched to kegging, and that's kind of like a combination of secondary and bottling at the same time anyway.

If doing a secondary works for your process and your pipeline, then kudos. I promise I won't judge you (too harshly) for it.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:58 PM   #5
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I use secondary's to free up my primary, also.

 
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:05 PM   #6
j1n
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the way i see it is just get more primary fermentors. i would find it very annoying to do a secondary for every batch i make.

after 2 weeks i keg my beer. You could just bottle or keg the beer at that time instead of doing a secondary.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:20 PM   #7
KendallAdkins
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I should have noted this on the first post, I have an extremely cheap wife that does not support my brewing hobby, so I can not purchase another primary at this time. Am I the only one with a wife that hates this hobby?
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Primary: SMaSH Kolsh (Pilsner and Hallertau)
Secondary: Oatmeal Coffee Stout
Bottled: American IPA
In The Fridge: Urban Chestnut STLIPA

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Old 08-25-2014, 08:33 PM   #8
j1n
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lol wut?

You cant spend 25$ on another primary?

Why does your wife hate this hobby so much?

My wife doesn't drink at all, any alcohol not just beer. And shes proud that i can make good beer and our friends and family love it. Also id have serious issues with my wife if she controlled my finances that much where i couldn't spend my money on little things here and there. The only hobby my wife hates is ones that are potentially dangerous, like when i had a motorcycle, she hated that.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:47 PM   #9
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I mostly work with ales, so most fermentations I do are two weeks long so I don't need to let my beers sit for very long; the only time I rack to secondary is when I'm dry-hopping or adding something for a secondary fermentation because of that. It's not that I particularly hate the idea of racking to secondary, it's that I don't see a need to disturb my beer to do it. If I was aging beers for months or years I'd certainly rack to a secondary or perhaps if I was doing a lot of lagers, but for your average ale there are zero reasons to do it.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:47 PM   #10
beernutz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KendallAdkins View Post
I should have noted this on the first post, I have an extremely cheap wife that does not support my brewing hobby, so I can not purchase another primary at this time. Am I the only one with a wife that hates this hobby?


Moving the production part of the hobby completely outside while still allowing inside product delivery and consumption greatly reduces spousal disapproval imo.


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