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Old 01-13-2009, 03:50 PM   #1
NewBrew75
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I currently have a Belgian Wit in the secondary, which has been there for a week. It was in the primary for a week aslo. After seeing many advocates of the 1-2-3 method, I'm tempted to leave it in the secondary for another week. However, many threads seem to say that the purpose of leaving it in so long is so that "the yeasties can clean up after themselves". With my Wit, I could care less if it's a clear beer, but does the long secondary help with flavor also?

 
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:13 PM   #2
The Blow Leprechaun
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It helps keep you from drinking the beer until it's matured some.

I guess it depends on how patient you are!

 
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:15 PM   #3
bradsul
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'Cleaning up after themselves' isn't about clear beer (though the extra time also contributes to this). The yeast will actually consume some by-products that they themselves created which will improve the taste of your beer. This is the reason for extended primary fermentation which is what is generally advised now. I would leave it in secondary another week and then bottle/keg.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:58 PM   #4
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A Witbier is one of the last beers I would consider doing a secondary for, unless you are shooting for a Kristall-Wit. Witbiers are supposed to be cloudy, and what you are doing in the secondary is settling out most of the yeast and proteins that are responsible for the cloudiness.

"Rules" like 1-2-3 are really not very useful, except to keep new brewers from making the most basic of mistakes, and that is bottling beer prematurely. Instead, let the beer tell you if and when to do a secondary and when it's ready to bottle. It talks to you via hydrometer readings and your senses when you taste and smell it. Experience will teach you how to understand its language more and more.

In the meantime, I would suggest that 3-0-3 or 2-2-3 are better generic rules than 1-2-3, but that's just my personal opinion.

 
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:08 PM   #5
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My best results so far have come from doing something close to a 3-0-3 method...and the last 3 is in the keg which is at about 40F.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:17 PM   #6
Papinquack
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I've used the 1-2-3 method for all the batches I've made and they turned out perfect. Keeping your brew in the secondary gives the unfermentables time to drop to the bottom thus producing a brew free of floaters. This is really helpful if you screw up moving the primary and some of the krausen ring go's back into the brew. The more batches I make the more I'm flexable with the 1-2-3 method. Certain situations will cause you to let your brew stay in one of the phases a little longer, for exsample; If you use a punk yeast like Munton's, you may not be happy with the gravity when its time to rack so let it stew another day or so, recheck the gravity and if its good proceed if not decide to let it sit or repitch. Another exsample is like I said earlier too many floaters let it sit. And lastly 3 weeks conditioning may be a little to long when you really need a homebrew. 2 weeks is plenty in my book. Bottom line is ,do what is right for the situation and if you dont know HBT has plenty of guys and gals who know their craft!


 
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:33 PM   #7
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Use whatever method works for you. As someone else stated, the 1-2-3 method is mostly for new brewers so that they don't a) bottle too early, b) drink a bottled beer to early or flip out over their beer being "green".

 
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:53 PM   #8
NewBrew75
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It looks like I have a good mixture of answers here. I guess I'm just going to have to try it both ways to start learning how each method affects the beer. Thanks for the help guys.

 
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