Another Secondary Fermentor Question

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Active Member
Feb 3, 2008
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Hi Folks,

Sorry to ask another secondary fermenter question, I know it seems to pop up all the time on this forum.

I am on my third batch of home brew. The first two batches I just left in the fermenter for two weeks and bottled via the tap on the end of the fermentor. For first attempts I am really pleased with them, but I did notice that the bottles had varying amounts of sediment in the end of them.

From what I am reading on this site the best way to clear the beer is to use a secondary fermenter. I am thinking of giving it a go with the batch that is currently in my fermenter, but I'd like to make sure I have the right end of the stick before I do so I don't end up ruining the beer.

To use a secondary fermenter do I simply fill the secondary from the primary using the tap on the fermentor or do I have to siphon ?

Should I leave some beer in the primary to reduce the amount of sediment ?

At the moment I am using canned beer kits, I have read a lot about finings (Irish moss etc.) , is there anyway to use them with beer kits ? Can they be used at the time of secondary fermentation ?

Sorry for such a long email I am just not sure how the secondary fermenter can make such a difference ?



Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2007
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First, its not a secondary 'fermenter'. Its a secondary 'vessel', 'tank'...or just 'secondary'. No fermentation should be taking place in secondary.

Typically a bucket with a spigot is for bottling, not fermenting. as long as you pay strict attention to sanitizing that spigot inside and out, taking care to remove it and clean it thoroughly between each batch, you can use it. However on some buckets it is very low, and you'll drain some of the yeast cake into secondary, which is what you want to avoid.

I would invest in an auto-siphon. Siphoning is your friend, since most secondary's don't have a spigot (unless you've got a 5gal better bottle w/ drain). Secondary needs to be glass or PET buckets.

You will indeed lose some beer, sacrificing a few ounces to avoid trub and yeast. You can tip the bucket carefully to maximize your yield.

Irish moss is useful. use 1 tsp. added about 20 minutes from the end of your boil. secondary finings are typically isinglass or gelatin. I only use irish moss.


Aug 27, 2006
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People's Republic of Cambridge
+1 to everything malkore said. Also, no matter what you do, if you are bottle conditioning you are going to have yeast sediment in the bottom. The sediment is a by-product of the natural carbonation as the yeast ferment the priming sugar and drop out.