Fermentation Question

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goossens9

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So this is only my second batch I've ever made and I'm going off a recipe for a wheat beer out of a magazine. The recipe says to allow the beer to ferment for 4 weeks (which seems like a long time). Anyway, they dont mention wheather or not to transfer it to a secondary fermenter. So it has been 3 weeks in the primary fermenter now. My question is, should I transfer it to my secondary fermenter now and let it sit in there for the last week or should I transfer it after the 4 weeks are up or should I even transfer it to my secondary fermenter at all? Please let me know your thoughts on this. Thanks!
 

Revvy

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Zooom101

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I agree with the two above posts. The reason that secondary fermenters were used in the first place was so that you could get the beer off of the yeast. This is a problem in tall vessels because of the hydrostatic pressure on the yeast that sit at the bottom of the vessel. In homebrewing, buckets and carboys are wide and short compared to the larger commercial brewing fermentation vessels. The pressure on yeast in a bucket or carboy is not high enough to cause yeast lysis (rupture of cell membrane and leaking of yeast guts).

It is also known that the longer your beer sits on the live yeast the more "conditioned" your beer will be. Once the yeast break down all of the easily fermentable sugars they then start to break down undesirable by-products of fermentation. This is advantageous to the brewer because it cuts down on off-flavors.

So the answer to your question is: One month is not a long time to keep beer in a primary. Your beer will taste better the longer it is in the primary (as long as the temp doesn't rise higher than ~78 F.) Secondary fermenters are of no use to home-brewers except for dry-hopping, fruit beers, and lagering.

Hope this is enlightening. Much appreciation to Palmer and Zainasheff for most of my beer knowledge.

Billy
 
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