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Old 09-11-2008, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default Is a second ferment necessary every time?

I'm getting ready to do my second batch ever, and I'm thinking of just throwing the wort in the carboy first, rather than having it in a bucket for 2 weeks and then the carboy.

Should I continue to do a second ferment, or let my laziness prevail?

Thanks!


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Old 09-11-2008, 05:43 PM   #2
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Really? Find the guy that convinced you a secondary is an extra "Ferment" and kick him right in his business!

NO!

Leave your beer in the primary (Use the Bucket) for 7 - 21 days, and skip the secondary.
Use the Carboy for Apfelwein
The next thing you need to do....train yourself to Pornounce "Secondary" it is phonetically said...Kleer-ing Tank


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Old 09-11-2008, 05:44 PM   #3
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Be careful if its a 5 gallon carboy.. you run the risk of a blow off. You can use a blowoff tube set up and that should take care of it, but if its an active fermentation than it wont matter and it will probably explode anyway..
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:46 PM   #4
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Yeah, secondaries, or clearing tanks, are really not necessary with most styles of ales.
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:59 PM   #5
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You will only get a second fermentation if you introduce new sugar to the wort (e.g. adding fruit) or if you add new bugs that can eat stuff that the yeast can't (e.g. Lambic cultures or airborne "infections"). Otherwise, transferring will simply get the beer off the yeast, which isn't necessarily a good idea. Unless you have a good reason to transfer, I wouldn't bother with it.
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveStLoo View Post
Be careful if its a 5 gallon carboy.. you run the risk of a blow off. You can use a blowoff tube set up and that should take care of it, but if its an active fermentation than it wont matter and it will probably explode anyway..
Whoa, this scares me. I guess that's why a transfer from bucket to carboy is really needed, because the bucket can handle the initial fermentation, and the 5 gal carboy can't.

Good to know.

So maybe I'll just leave it in the bucket the whole time.

Is that a bad idea for any reason?


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Old 09-11-2008, 06:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Whoa, this scares me. I guess that's why a transfer from bucket to carboy is really needed, because the bucket can handle the initial fermentation, and the 5 gal carboy can't.
To clarify, the glass carboy is not going to explode hurling bits of glass all over the place. If the air lock gets clogged with fermentation funk, it could build up enough pressure to launch the airlock out of the carboy- painting your ceiling in the process. I regular ferment in both 6 gallon Better Bottles and 7 gallon Ale Pails.

AS far as leaving it in primary? Mostly definitely not a problem. About the only time that I ever secondary is if I am dry-hopping, which I usually do in the keg anyway. The longer the beer sits on the yeast, the better. I usually have 'em sit in primary for 3-4 weeks, then off to the bottle or keg.
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:27 PM   #8
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Nah - there are plenty of rather experienced and highly skilled brewers who never use a secondary fermenter.

Point of distinction - it is a "secondary fermenter" not a "secondary fermentation".

The theory is that you can help the yeast and trub precipitate out and clear the beer more efficiently by racking off to a second vessel. Its really more useful in winemaking where you can get some significant differences from leaving the juice on the lees in primary for longer periods before racking the juice off. Not such a big deal with beer, and often leaving the beer on the greater volume of yeast that's in the primary can have a beneficial effect on your beer in terms of cleaning up off flavors and stuff.

In the meantime, with all that said, I use secondarys for all my beer. 90% of the reason is to free up my primary fermenters for the next batch. If you're using an open top primary its a good idea to use a secondary to avoid things (bugs, microbes, children, etc) falling into it and also because after most of the active fermentation subsides its harder for the beer to maintain a protective CO2 blanket to avoid oxidation. Otherwise, I'm of the opinion that it isn't a big deal.

The reason that is commonly cited for moving the beer out of primary is autolysis - which is a point where the yeast basically die/eat themselves and create nasty (REALLY nasty) things in the process. I can assure you that you will never see autolysis. In fact - if you tried to purposefully get your yeast to that point it would take you the better part of a year and I would bet you that you still couldn't do it. IGNORE any autolysis warnings.

If you're going to rack into secondary, make sure you have your sanitation procedures dialed-in and wait until the krausen falls and move it to a vessel with limited head space - like 5g of beer in a 5g carboy. After the krausen falls there's little danger of blow off.

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Old 09-14-2008, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
About the only time that I ever secondary is if I am dry-hopping.
Fiddlesticks, the IPA recipe I'm making now calls for dryhopping. Is it a bad idea to throw pellets into the primary bucket to dry hop?
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Old 09-14-2008, 04:30 PM   #10
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Not really, no. Plenty of people do that all the time.

Cheers,

Bob


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