Quantcast

Best Secondary Fermenter?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

ChadS

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Hi, I recently purchased the 7 gal SS brew bucket fermenter which I’m using for my primary. Would it be worth getting another to use as a secondary fermenter or would a carboy still be best since it has reduced headspace? I like the idea of being able to bottle using gravity rather than a siphon since the SS has a valve on the bottom, but not if it will affect the quality of my beer.
 

millatime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
60
Reaction score
31
Not sure about the brewbucket and the room it has for trub, etc. But I just leave everything sit in my SS 7gal Chronical and get 99% of the beer out using the racking port. I'm still quite new but from what I have heard for the styles I am brewing its better to let it sit then try to transfer it, unless you need a secondary for a specific reason for your brew.
 

Alex4mula

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
459
Reaction score
208
I'm very new to brewing but read many times that most beers do not need to transfer for secondary. The main purpose of your conical bottom is to keep the trub lower than the output valve. I just got an Anvil unit of similar design for that. I think if a brew something that would need secondary then I would do primary on this one and secondary in a carboy or some other less expensive unit if $$ was an issue.
 

CascadesBrewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
1,009
Reaction score
609
Location
VA, USA
For many years I was a "1 week in primary and 1 week in secondary" kind of guy. When I got back into brewing after a break, I evaluated my process. With all the "a secondary does more harm than good" advice I gave up on using a secondary and I do not see myself going back to using a secondary (well, maybe for the Russian Imperial Stout in my fermenter...but I will likely leave it in the primary for a bit and move it to a keg for aging).

I have the benefit of kegging which means that a little stuff in my beer will settle in the keg and I can move the beer to a keg, even if fermentation is not 100% done. I just picked up a 3 gal Fermonster with a spigot with the plans that it would support small batches and I could bottle directly from the fermenter.

I would recommend you try not using a secondary and bottling directly from the brewbucket and see how that goes.

The biggest advantage (at least in theory) for me using a secondary was that I would free up my 6.5 gal carboy for the next batch after I moved the beer to my 5 gal carboy. I am finding that in reality that by the time I am ready to brew my next batch (1 to 2 weeks) the beer in the fermenter is ready to go into a keg...and I can let the beer sit in the keg for a while if needed.
 

Mitch S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
78
Reaction score
28
Location
North Texas
The general consensus is that secondary fermenters are not necessary for 95% of what you brew. The few types that require dry hopping may benefit from it but you still risk contamination/oxygenation.

If you are looking to clear up your beer, whirl-pooling before transferring to the fermenter and the use of clarifying aids would be a better option.

Also, the brew bucket is designed so trub sinks below the valve, which will increase the clarity of your beer. I'm trying to save the funds for one myself.
 

ProblemChild

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2017
Messages
672
Reaction score
294
For items that need a secondary, I have started using 5-gal kegs and adjusted volumes accordingly. Works wonderfully. If you have three kegs, you can secondary in one and force transfer into the other (after purging of course). Just run off th ebit of trub first and direct transfer or filter in-line. Great results and all closed loop transfers save for racking to secondary

This makes it easy to lager in a keezer BTW.
 

OG-wan Kenobi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
1,025
Reaction score
1,898
Location
Long Island
In your case your

Best Secondary Fermenter?

Is your primary fermenter, you have a nice unit use it for both just let it sit on the yeast and rack it off when your ready
 
OP
C

ChadS

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Thank you all for the input. And please keep them coming! Another question, I’ve seen the actual SS conical and they have a dump valve for the yeast so it can be used as the secondary fermenter as well. The SS brew pot has a racking arm, but no dump valve. Will it affect my beer if I just let it sit on the yeast for several weeks like that? I’m making a German Alt Ale and they recommend secondary fermentation.
 

Mitch S

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
78
Reaction score
28
Location
North Texas
Thank you all for the input. And please keep them coming! Another question, I’ve seen the actual SS conical and they have a dump valve for the yeast so it can be used as the secondary fermenter as well. The SS brew pot has a racking arm, but no dump valve. Will it affect my beer if I just let it sit on the yeast for several weeks like that? I’m making a German Alt Ale and they recommend secondary fermentation.
Some will say yes, others no. I say leave it where it is. Worst case, it isn't 100% what you wanted and you try again with different techniques. Keep in mind, you still need some yeast for carbonating if bottling.
 

MaxStout

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2013
Messages
10,718
Reaction score
6,641
I agree that your primary is the best secondary. Keep the beer in it until it is ready and package from there. The belief that "you need to get the beer off the cake" has been debunked, insofar as home brewing is concerned. Yeast autolysis isn't an issue at the low hydraulic pressures from home brew fermenters. It's a concern of pro brewers with huge conicals. Unless you plan to age for, say, more than 6 months, leave it where it is and don't rack to secondary. The Brew Bucket will leave a nice, tight cake at the bottom and it's easy to rack right off that.
 

millatime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
60
Reaction score
31
Thank you all for the input. And please keep them coming! Another question, I’ve seen the actual SS conical and they have a dump valve for the yeast so it can be used as the secondary fermenter as well. The SS brew pot has a racking arm, but no dump valve. Will it affect my beer if I just let it sit on the yeast for several weeks like that? I’m making a German Alt Ale and they recommend secondary fermentation.
I have 2 SS conicals going usually at a time. I let my ales sit on the cake almost 100% of the time, and the racking arm is in a good spot to get all the liquid out. If for some reason theres a ton of grain stuffs,trub,yeast i'll empty it out of the trub dump. But all my ales come out great letting it just sit. Some for over 6 weeks, etc. Hope that helps.

When the recipe calls for secondary fermentation 1-2 weeks, i just let it sit there. :)
 
Last edited:

millatime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
60
Reaction score
31
Yeah, Im about to do my first lager. I'll probably get that one off the yeast at some point, but we'll see.
 

Soulshine2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
2,127
Reaction score
980
Location
Grant
Hi, I recently purchased the 7 gal SS brew bucket fermenter which I’m using for my primary. Would it be worth getting another to use as a secondary fermenter or would a carboy still be best since it has reduced headspace? I like the idea of being able to bottle using gravity rather than a siphon since the SS has a valve on the bottom, but not if it will affect the quality of my beer.
I use a 6.5 gallon bottling bucket and also gravity out of the spigot to fill my bottles (bottling wand)
I don't use a secondary . I just let it do its thing in the carboy primary. Then gravity feed to the bucket to prime and bottle
 

shoengine

Whale Noun Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
819
Reaction score
448
Location
Pacific Northwest
I think the whole "secondary" vessel is misleading. Almost all fermentation should take place in the primary. The exception would be if souring a beer that has already had a sacc strain working on it. However, conditioning is still commonly done. Pro brewers sometimes use brite tanks amd barrels. Home brewers commonly use kegs and bottles and sometimes barrels. I transfer to a second vessel for most of my brews, usually for cold crashing or lagering, and then generally I dispense into a third vessel, bottles.

Most people agree though: the minimum of transfers the better.
 
Top