Ferment on one container only ?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Beer Lover

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Drunk on the Outer Banks
I know you old timers probably seen this ? a million times but I need to know. Everybody's got to start sometime right? For those of you who don't know me my name is Ben and I'm from the Tidewater area of Va and this definantely looks like the place to learn. It s 5:00 somewhere and that place is here all the time! Anyway, I saw a post that indicated you should ferment in your primary only. I'm brewing my first batch (oatmeal stout) and was planning on going 2ndary after a week and letting it set for 2 weeks or so in the secondary. Is this the correct thing to do or should I take a couple readings and make sure fermentation is complete beore stage 2? If so, what are the pro's/con's. Thanks fellow beer consumers.
 

Judd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2007
Messages
279
Reaction score
2
Location
Halifax, Canada
This is my favourite controversial brewing topic! There is a man, whose name I don't remember, who has won all sorts of brewing competitions, and swears that the secret to his success is single-vessel fermentation. He claims that the reports of off-flavours from yeast in your secondary are myths, and all you get from not racking to secondary is a cleaner, clearer beer and less hassle. When we heard this, my roommates and i decided to give it a try. It has made absolutely zero difference. There was NO change between beers that we racked to secondary, and those we left in the primary. However, it is a whole lot easier to just put it in a carboy and wait a couple of weeks. Definitely, though, it's important to take hydrometer readings, to make sure everything is in order.
Also, if you are adding something in the secondary stage, like hops or fruit, I would say always rack to a secondary fermenter, because stirring up the trub can give you some weird flavours. Of course, I've had pretty limited experience with all this.
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
25
Location
South River, NJ
IDK... I can't see how racking to secondary will result in more yeast in the beer. You are removing an enormous amount of yeast from the fermenter when you rack. I can't see how taking finished beer off the cake and putting it in a sanitized bucket will create off flavors. If anything it will prevent autolysis flavors.
 
OP
B

Beer Lover

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
Location
Drunk on the Outer Banks
So Judd are you saying in your experiment that there wasn't any difference in going 2ndary after fermention was complete vs dumping in a week regardless and letting it finish longer in the 2nd? See I was thinkin if I rack after one week and let it sit longer in the 2nd the beer would be cleaner and it wouldn't hurt anything. Now that being said, in the in past all I've known about beer is how to drink it. I'm just trying to come up with a sytem like 1 week in primary 2 in 2nd bottle, repeat. etc. Now I know thats not going to be the case, there are just too many variables to condider, but it would be nice though! Everything is going to plan with my first batch I just needed to put this out there when I read someone's post advising to do all fermentation in 1 container. Got me thinking maybe I need to reconsider 2nd staging in a week regardless and possibly give it more time. What do you think?
 

Judd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2007
Messages
279
Reaction score
2
Location
Halifax, Canada
I guess that's basically what I'm saying. What it amounts to is that I didn't notice any difference between fermenting it for one week and then racking it to secondary, and just leaving it in primary for 3 weeks. I don't really have a system. Once it finishes fermentation, and it's cleared up and there's no mare activity, and it seems like it's been a pretty long time, I put it right into bottles. Seems to work fine.
 

Kai

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
643
Reaction score
8
Location
Halifax, Canada
Judd said:
This is my favourite controversial brewing topic! There is a man, whose name I don't remember, who has won all sorts of brewing competitions, and swears that the secret to his success is single-vessel fermentation. He claims that the reports of off-flavours from yeast in your secondary are myths, and all you get from not racking to secondary is a cleaner, clearer beer and less hassle.
Jamil Zainasheff. Look him up. He's got some handy tools and does a killer radio show for the brewing network.
 

anderj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
331
Reaction score
5
Location
Boise, ID
Beer Lover said:
.... I'm just trying to come up with a sytem like 1 week in primary 2 in 2nd bottle, repeat. etc. ......
You will find that this changes depending on style, I really like the extra time spent in the secondary. Just think of it as aging one big ass bottle of beer. I believe time always helps a beer come into balance.
 

Catfish

Art by David Shrigley
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Messages
840
Reaction score
18
Location
Nishinomiya, Japan
sirsloop said:
IDK... I can't see how racking to secondary will result in more yeast in the beer. You are removing an enormous amount of yeast from the fermenter when you rack. I can't see how taking finished beer off the cake and putting it in a sanitized bucket will create off flavors. If anything it will prevent autolysis flavors.
It takes a lot longer than three weeks to begin autolysis, don't worry about it. You are much more likely to create off flavors from oxygen pick up, bad sanitation (hoses or secondary vessel), or racking too soon (mmmm green apple and diacetyl).

My rule for timing is even easier than the 1 week primary, 2 weeks secondary:
3 weeks primary.:)

If you have time to sanitize beer and rack it to secondary, you have time to brew a whole new batch. :drunk:
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
25
Location
South River, NJ
yeh.. i'm all for keeping the brew in primary. 4 weeks no problemo but some beers just need to go into a secondary to clear out a little bit. Im talkin 4 weeks primary, 2 weeks secondary, crash cool, keg.
 
Top