Fermentation Process

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fishcrazy06

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Alright right now I have my first batch of beer in the primary fermenter. What I am wondering is if its better to just leave it in the primary or move it over to secondary. What are positives and negatives from leaving it in primary and/or moving it into secondary.

Another question I have is how "long" should you leave it in the primary? Once again what are the pros/cons of doing it one way or another?

Only reason I ask is that I have one friend that leaves it in Primary for about a week and a half and then it goes into bottles for 2-3 weeks before being complete.

I have yet another friend who does Primary for 1 week. Secondary for 2-4 weeks and then to bottles for 3-4 weeks.

I have had both of their brews and they taste good to me. I am not sure which is the right/wrong way or the better way. So if anyone could enlighten me on this I would really appreciate it.

Thanks
 

GreggZ

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I wont secondary unless there is a need for dry hopping, fruit, or if its a big beer that I want to bulk age. I feel the risk of exposing your wort to oxygen and allowing it to come in contact with possibly infected equipment, out weighs the benefits of a secondary. I think there was a post here a couple of days ago about john palmer even stating that secondaries are not needed anymore.
 

ASantiago

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+1

This is one of those topics that border on religious wars. Both camps (to secondary or not?) have their pro arguments for their methods.

My take is that the less you muck around with the beer, the better. I don't believe all the talk about how an extra couple of weeks sitting on the yeast/trub/miscellaneous caca cake can affect the beer negatively. I only use a secondary when dry hopping or doing other things for which I want the beer in a new container without all the other stuff.

You'll get arguments pro and con all that. If you ask me, leave it in the primary for as long as you need to and give it time. Patience makes the best beer.
 

blawjr

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I think it all really comes down to preference. Or how much you want to interact with your beer. I almost always leave mine in primary for 2 weeks and then transfer to secondary for 2 more weeks. Then I bottle condition for another 2 - 4 weeks. Thats partially because I need to make room for another fermenter in my chamber, but I won't lie, I'd probably do it anyways. Experiment and see what you prefer, ultimately you're way is the right way for you.
 
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fishcrazy06

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Thanks for the replies I appreciate it. I am going to do it the one way this time around then maybe try it another way the next time around. Thanks for all the input I appreciate it.
 

azbrews

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+1

This is one of those topics that border on religious wars. Both camps (to secondary or not?) have their pro arguments for their methods.

My take is that the less you muck around with the beer, the better. I don't believe all the talk about how an extra couple of weeks sitting on the yeast/trub/miscellaneous caca cake can affect the beer negatively. I only use a secondary when dry hopping or doing other things for which I want the beer in a new container without all the other stuff.

You'll get arguments pro and con all that. If you ask me, leave it in the primary for as long as you need to and give it time. Patience makes the best beer.

Amen. this can start a war...but...the less you mess with your beer the happier it is.
 

63belair

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Looks like everyone has addresed most of the questions you asked already, but as far as:

"how long should I leave it in primary" - Use your hydrometer. Once the gravity reached final gravity and stayed consistent for a couple days in a row, you're good to go!

Enjoy and good luck!
 
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fishcrazy06

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Thanks for all the replies. I should have stated that I am doing Extract brewing to start out as well. Not sure if that really matters or not.
 

ASantiago

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Extract has no impact on this. Grain or extract, you end up with wort and that's what goes into the fermenter.

I'll take the role of the broken record and say: Leave it alone in the primary for at least 2 weeks, if not 3. Let the yeast do its thing. Heed the "Do Not Disturb" sign they put up.
 

osagedr

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Just kegged a beer yesterday that was 34 days in the primary.

Having said that when I do lagers they might hit 1.020 in five days or a week, get a d-rest for a couple of days, get off the yeast cake, and be in a secondary (i.e. lagering) for months.
 
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fishcrazy06

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Yes definately a heated topic I see. I have done some searching and reading and have come to the conclusion its a 50/50 road I do believe. I guess I will try it one way and then another the next time and go from there. Thanks for all the replies I appreciate it. A very helpful group of people here to say the least.
 
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