First Fermentation in glass carboy, worth transferring to a secondary?

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Cinnadon

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Hello everyone! Thank you in advance for any help!

New user here, and I apologize if I'm asking something incredibly stupid.

So I'm on my third brew currently, and this time because of my own ignorance, I decided to do my first fermentation in a 5 gallon glass carboy. I'm currently on day 6 and still seeing a healthy amount of CO2 bubbling through the airlock.

My question is, the brew kit I used calls for a 2nd addition of hops while transferring for a secondary fermentation. I currently only have 1 glass carboy and 2 other plastic fermentation buckets. I know there is debate on the usefulness of a secondary fermentation, and with all I've read I cannot really form an opinion as I have brewed so little. Should I just pop the 2nd batch of hops in the glass carboy and reseal the airlock? Or is it worth it for me to transfer to a plastic fermentation bucket and drop the other hops in? I was going to wait another 24 to 48 hours for the CO2 to relax a bit before hand, but not sure if I should drop them in now?

The recipe I'm using is linked below (sorry if I'm breaking a rule posting a link). It is a Black IPA (brewers best)

Thank you again!


http://www.brewersbestkits.com/assets/1064_blackipa_recipe.pdf
 
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Cinnadon

Cinnadon

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There's a consensus to avoid secondary vessels. There's no benefit and it only increases oxidation and risk of contamination.

Kit instructions are outdated and/or just designed to make you buy more stuff.

Welcome to HBT!
Thank you for the warm welcome and advice! I greatly appreciate it!

Do you think it would be best to wait 24 hours and add the remainder of the hops and call it a day for a couple weeks?

Thank you again!
 

tellyho

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All of the kit recipes seem to recommend secondary. This is generally considered to be outdated brewing practice. I can't remember the last time I moved beer to secondary. Do everything in primary and package when you're happy with it.
 

RPh_Guy

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Oxygen is the enemy of beer. Once you open the fermenter to add hops, the clock starts ticking and the longer it goes, the worse oxidation becomes. ... Unless there is still enough fermentation to purge the oxygen from the fermenter or if you use CO2 to do it yourself.

My advice is to dry hop toward the tail end of fermention -- around day 3-5 and then package when fermentation completes or around 2 days after adding the hops. Bump up the temperature a few degrees when you add the hops to make sure fermention completes. Also make sure the final gravity is an expected value before packaging.

Cheers
 

RM-MN

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I typically let the beer ferment until it reaches final gravity, then just dump the hops into the primary fermenter. I do take a hydrometer sample to determine that fermentation has completed, probably on day 6 or so. Dry hopping can be as short as 3 days or as long as 14 depending on what else I am doing.

With your fermenter bucket empty this might be a good time to start your next beer. The current one will be done and ready to bottle soon but it needs some time in the bottles before it is ready to drink, about 3 weeks. When it is gone, the next beer will be done, bottled, and matured so you don't have to wait for it.
 

IslandLizard

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Agreed, omit secondaries, most beers don't need them. Any oxidation is detrimental, especially with hoppy beers.

Wait with dry hopping until either your fermentation has tapered off quite bit or when it's done. Adding dry hops 3-5 days before packaging is usually best, that's enough time to extract all the flavors and aromas. There are some exceptions (e.g., NEIPAs), while 7-10 days on dry hops shouldn't cause any problems either. But the longer it sits more aroma gets lost, and may develop grassy flavors.

Especially when you're bottling you have to make sure the beer is done fermenting and at her expected FG.

How much headspace do you have? Adding dry hops will cause foaming, so don't add them all at once, just a little first until you see what happens.
Adding them loose gives best and quickest extraction. If the next day a green hoppy mat lies on top of the beer, give it a very slow and gentle stir with the back end of your long plastic brew spoon for say 5-10 seconds max. Don't whip it, you don't want to beat air in there.
 
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Cinnadon

Cinnadon

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Thank you all so much for your replies!

Island Lizard, I currently have around 4 or 5 inches of headspace remaining, so I will definitely be careful when adding the remaining hops.

I will take all of your advice and wait a couple more days to dry hop, I'll be monitoring fermentation and try to do it at the right time, I'm currently debating day 8 or 10 (unless that is way too late) as I'm on day 6 right now. Currently I'm still seeing alot of activity in the airlock, I know its not the best method to determine fermentation, but it was just my thought process.

and thank you RM-MN! I was thinking of what to do next since I have the empty jug, I will brew my next batch when I get the time over the next couple of days.

Thank you all again!
 

Jag75

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I have found that dry hopping 5 days before packaging has been the sweet spot. Yeah what these guys said about secondary.

Welcome to the forum . Great place to learn and sharpen your brewing skills .
 
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No dumb questions here. Ask away. I'll pile on with the previous good advice.
  • Omit secondary.
  • Ferment ales for 2 weeks, then pkg (bottle or keg). I know they can be done earlier than that, but there is no penalty for leaving it in the fermentor an extra few days, especially if you want to cold crash with gelatin (for clearing purposes) for the last few. The penalty for bottling early is exploding bottles - take it from me, it's not a fun experience.
  • I don't like to leave the dryhops in the fermentor for more than 7 days. I usually add around day 10, then keg on day 14. Ish. I've definitely had the dryhops add to the flavor too much - I'm looking for aroma mostly from them, so I think shorter is better.
Welcome to the forum. Happy to have you onboard.
 
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