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Old 01-24-2006, 06:26 AM   #1
mayday1019
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Jan 2006
Weymouth, MA
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Hello Everyone,

I am new to brewing and have become addicted to researching homebrews through sites like this as well as reading The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. For the last couple of weeks I have been looking online at the various kits each site offers. Do you guys think secondary fermenter is useful? I know you can make great beer without it, but is that one extra step worth it?

Thank you,

Bob



 
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Old 01-24-2006, 06:31 AM   #2
timdsmith72
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Aug 2005
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Personally...I think it is worth it, yes. I think a lot of guys on here will agree with me. By the same token, some will not. It's really a matter of personal preference. It will give you a much clearer beer. And, I think getting your beer off the yeast cake and letting it sit in the secondary for a week or two helps the beer to mellow also. Again, just my opinion.



 
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Old 01-24-2006, 12:37 PM   #3
Passload
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timdsmith72
Personally...I think it is worth it, yes. I think a lot of guys on here will agree with me. By the same token, some will not. It's really a matter of personal preference. It will give you a much clearer beer. And, I think getting your beer off the yeast cake and letting it sit in the secondary for a week or two helps the beer to mellow also. Again, just my opinion.
I agree that it makes a clearer beer. Racking to a secondary allows the beer to condition longer off of the trub and getting rid of off flavors from the yeast.
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Old 01-24-2006, 12:58 PM   #4
loopmd
 
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I brewed for about 5 years without one. After I got a carboy and started racking to the "secondary" I kicked myself in the butt for not doing it earlier. I think it made a big differance.


loop

 
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Old 01-24-2006, 02:12 PM   #5
mayday1019
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Jan 2006
Weymouth, MA
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Thank you guys. Now this might be a weird question, but can I just buy a second carboy, or is there a specific style for a secondary fermenter?

 
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Old 01-24-2006, 02:16 PM   #6
anthrobe
 
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Yes, you can just buy a glass carboy from any HBS. Most have a 5 gal for the secondary. This helps keep the head space down therefor limiting the amount of oxygen contacting the beer. You could also get a 6.5 gal carboy which in MHO will work the same. I use both for secondaries.
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Old 01-24-2006, 02:18 PM   #7
El Pistolero
 
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Just a plain vanilla 5 gallon carboy with a stopper and airlock.
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Old 01-24-2006, 02:39 PM   #8
timdsmith72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pistolero
Just a plain vanilla 5 gallon carboy with a stopper and airlock.
Exactly. I also have a 6.5 gallon that I user as a secondary for fruit beers. I use 4 to 5 pounds of fresh fruit (depending on the fruit) and there just isn't enough room for all that and 5 gallons of beer in a 5 gal. carboy.

 
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Old 01-24-2006, 02:52 PM   #9
DeRoux's Broux
 
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it's always nice to have an extra 5 and 6.5 gallon carboys around. you never know when you'll have to bulk up the supply!
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Old 01-24-2006, 04:41 PM   #10
jrabenhorst
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Jan 2006
Baton Rouge
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Quick question. I'm brewing for the first time tonight and am questioning whether or not to use a secondary fermenter. If I'm making a basic amber or light ale, would one week be sufficient for primary fermentation, then another for secondary?

Also, I've read a few websites on seconary fermentation and it seems like the sole purpose is to remove the beer from the primary fermenter leaving on the yeast cake in the primary. Is this correct? Thanks



 
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