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Going straight from secondary to bottling...

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arover

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Convenience aside, I'm wondering what the advantage is to siphoning my beer back from secondary to primary, mixing in priming sugar, and then bottling? I've seen several places, including my kit instructions, recommend it. I mean, I can see how this may ultimately make a cleaner brew, removing what has settled on the bottom of the secondary before stirring in the sugar...but will there really be that much? I ask because I see it as a waste to just have my primary sitting there for a whole few weeks just to be used for bottling. I'm eager to get my 2nd batch going so I can have a nice flow of beer brewing...Can't I just pour the priming sugar in my secondary and shake the whole carboy up before bottling?

I guess I should also ask, should I wait to see how my first batch turns out before starting my second? From what I've read, it seems to be common for people to get multiple batches going at once, even for first-time brewers.

Edit: After reading, I see that this would ultimately defeat the purpose of using the secondary (That is, mixing up what I left there to clear). I guess my only other choice is to buy a 2nd bucket for bottling...Which I don't really feel like doing right now...
 

Bert

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Most people use a bottling bucket.

If you add the priming sugar directly to your secondary you will reintroduce everything that settled out by mixing in the sugar - mostly defeating the purpose of using a secondary in the first place.
 

BuzzCraft

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for god's sake, don't leave your primary idle! get a bottling bucket. if you want to siphon instead of using the spigot on a bottling bucket, just get another bucket (or another carboy, depending on what you're using).

you could put sugar in the secondary, but one of the points of the secondary is to let more yeast drop out. however, the biggest problem with your suggestion of shaking the secondary is introducing oxygen into your fermented beer....depending on when you racked to the secondary (i.e. whether it was still actively fermenting or not) the headspace may or may not be all CO2.
 

FlyGuy

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You can definitely bottle directly from the secondary, without using a bottling bucket. In fact, I have bottled directly from the primary without using a bottling bucket. But there are some issues that you allude to:
  • You definitely want to siphon into your bottles without disturbing the yeast and trub at the bottom of the fermenter. That means you can't mix your priming sugar inside the fermenter itself. Instead, get some Muntons carbonation drops or Coopers carbonation drops (not as good). Pop those in your bottles, and siphon away!
  • If you are really careful, you can also measure out a precise amount of priming sugar into each bottle directly (but it is a PITA and typically leads to variable carbonation in your bottles).
  • Be sure to get strong siphon-clip or some other clamp to hold your racking cane in place at the top of the fermenter. I like to use a 2" spring clamp to do the job. The idea is to suspend the tip of your racking cane just above the trub/yeast at the bottom of the fermenter.
Having said all of that, a bottling bucket with a spigot is probably one of the better investments you can make as a homebrewer. Just spend the 12 or 15 bucks it cost. You won't regret it.
 
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arover

arover

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Hmmm...Looks like I'll get the 2nd batch going now...I'll just buy a 2nd bucket later. I just don't have an extra 13 bucks on hand to get another plastic food-grade bucket. I'm curious why you recommend suspending the racking cane though...I didn't think it mattered?
 

springer

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Any food grade bucket will work. Doesn't have to be a bottling bucket with a spigot just use your racking cane and a bottle filler.
 

springer

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Hmmm...Looks like I'll get the 2nd batch going now...I'll just buy a 2nd bucket later. I just don't have an extra 13 bucks on hand to get another plastic food-grade bucket. I'm curious why you recommend suspending the racking cane though...I didn't think it mattered?

well you want to leave the trub on the bottom of the secondary so the racking cane should be suspended over the bottom and not touching the trub. Go to HD and buy a homer bucket its under 5$ and works fine as a bottle bucket they are #2 and Revvy commented that they are in fact food grade just not marked as such because of the cost involved with the FDA
 
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arover

arover

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A food grade bucket will still run about 15 bucks...and that's an extra 15 bucks (on top of what I've shelled for other equipment) that I'm not willing to give up atm :p
 
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arover

arover

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well you want to leave the trub on the bottom of the secondary. Go to HD and buy a homer bucket its under 5$ and works fine as a bottle bucket they are #2 and Revvy commented that they are in fact food grade just not marked as such because of the cost involved with the FDA
THAT'S the information I was hoping someone would tell me! :D Thanks!
 

Corkster

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Hmmm...Looks like I'll get the 2nd batch going now...I'll just buy a 2nd bucket later. I just don't have an extra 13 bucks on hand to get another plastic food-grade bucket. I'm curious why you recommend suspending the racking cane though...I didn't think it mattered?
to avoid sucking up the trub on the bottom of your fermenter.......

this is especially important if you are bottling straight out of the primary where all the crud has settled......
 
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arover

arover

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HBT...I'd be so lost without you :p

Anyways, I'm thinking of picking up a Cream Ale for my 2nd brew kit. The only thing is I think Cream Ales are supposed to be fermented at lower temps like a lager?
 
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arover

arover

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If there are any wine shops where they make wine on premises, often they will have a pile of old buckets. Depends on if the kits t hey use come in a bucket.

A bottling bucket is like what? 10 bucks?
That's 10 bucks I'm going to need to go see The Watchmen. ;)
Plus there's paying for the lady.

...movies are so expensive.
 

springer

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HBT...I'd be so lost without you :p

Anyways, I'm thinking of picking up a Cream Ale for my 2nd brew kit. The only thing is I think Cream Ales are supposed to be fermented at lower temps like a lager?

Most ales are done between 64-68° depending on the yeast so some form of temp control is used just search "swap bucket" there will be plenty of info on how to do cheaply .You most likely have everything you need around the house to do one
 

rsmith179

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Very interesting... I thought I was maybe doing something wrong by using the Homer bucket from Home Depot as my bottling bucket. Went and picked on up for $5.00 and spent another $2.00 on my spigot. Less than $8.00 all together and I have a nice bottling bucket. I wish we knew for sure if they were food-grade or not, but honestly, my beer is only in there for less than an hour anyways by the time I'm done bottling.
 

Corkster

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I wish we knew for sure if they were food-grade or not
If Revvy says it's ok.. I'm inclined to believe him.....

But then again.. If Revvy said that beer made from monkey poop was the best, I'd go shopping for a monkey....
 
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arover

arover

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Now that I think about it though, week two of my would-be next batch in the primary I'm going to be gone...which means there's going to be no temperature regulation in the house. At how low of temperatures can the yeast survive? This place probably gets close to 50 at times...
 

Corkster

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As far as yeast surviving, they are pretty hardy little buggers and can withstand low temps... the big problem is that they are only active at certain temps... usually somewhere between say.. 60-75 (for an ale yeast... lagers ferment much colder) degrees Fahrenheit.... depends on the type of yeast used..... generally the package the yeast came in will tell you the best fermentation temps for that strain....
 

springer

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Now that I think about it though, week two of my would-be next batch in the primary I'm going to be gone...which means there's going to be no temperature regulation in the house. At how low of temperatures can the yeast survive? This place probably gets close to 50 at times...

two weeks into the batch your primary fermentation should be over then it really has no bearing on the yeast ... there have been guys that their beer had ice crystals in it because the temps dropped they just thawed it out and was good to go.. Same as cold crashing. I store my liquid and dry yeast at 38° and they survive
 
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arover

arover

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Yeah, I'm going to be able to regulate the primary at 60-70 fine for the first week of fermentation, but the 2nd week for the 7 days I'll be gone, it's going to drop off to probably around 55-60. I just don't want the low temps to kill my yeast by the time I come back.
 
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arover

arover

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two weeks into the batch your primary fermentation should be over then it really has no bearing on the yeast ... there have been guys that their beer had ice crystals in it because the temps dropped they just thawed it out and was good to go.. Same as cold crashing. I store my liquid and dry yeast at 38° and they survive
Good to know. I think I'll be fine then.
 
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