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Old 01-25-2009, 11:10 PM   #1
Jan 2009
Posts: 100

What are the benefits of a secondary fermenter? Is it common in a extract brew? How long till I put it in the secondary and how long do I keep it in there? Do I add more yeast? Like I said, I know nothing...Any info on it would be great..

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Old 01-25-2009, 11:12 PM   #2
Jan 2009
Dallas, TX
Posts: 755
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I believe the idea behind the secondary fermenter is it lets the beer clear up.

The general rule on length I've seen around here is 1 week in the primary, 2 weeks in the secondary, and 3 weeks in the bottles.
Dead Felon Brewing

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Old 01-25-2009, 11:14 PM   #3
TimSTi's Avatar
Oct 2008
Staten Island, NY
Posts: 233
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Search my friend. How to Brew - By John Palmer would be another place for you to check out. To make it short and sweet, the benefits are clearer beer. But that can also be achieved by leaving it in the primary for 3-4 weeks. I suggest you read up on that link I posted. It'll teach you everything you need to know.

Primary2: Cream of 3 Crops 2/2
Secondary: Empty
Bottled: Red Ale 11/23 - Imperial Winter Ale 1/5 - Orange/Cascade PA 2/16
Next Up: American Bock - Apfelwein

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Old 01-25-2009, 11:27 PM   #4
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Nurmey's Avatar
Jul 2007
Omaha, NE
Posts: 3,983
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Besides the clearer beer, secondary is great for bulk aging. By the time my beer goes into kegs or bottles, it's well aged with the flavors nicely melded. I think it ages better in bulk than in individual bottles. IMO, bulk aging is nice for all beers but necessary for bigger ones.
Batch 1 Brewing
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:23 AM   #5
ifishsum's Avatar
Aug 2008
Portland OR
Posts: 1,447
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If you're going to use a secondary, you should be sure that the beer has completely finished fermenting in the primary before moving to the secondary container. One week is not always enough IMO, I always give them at least 10 days, then check the gravity before racking. If it's not at or very near my expected FG then it stays in the primary for at least 3-4 more days before checking it again. This ensures that your brew finishes fermenting properly.

Lots of folks take the 1-2-3 guideline as law and transfer their beer to secondary after 1 week, then find out that it wasn't finished and is now stalled. Once you move it off the yeast cake it probably isn't going to ferment much further so let the yeast finish their job before leaving them behind.
"If you're gonna be an ape, be a hairy one" - Spyder

Primary 2: Edwort's Robust Porter
Secondary 1: LW Pale Ale
Secondary 1: Blackened Soul RIS
Kegged: Dead Guy Ale
Kegged: Rye Pale Ale
Kegged: Haus Pale Ale
Kegged: Nut Brown Ale
Kegged: Afrikan Amber
Kegged: Jock Scott Ale
Kegged: Afrikan Amber

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