moving to secondary??

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dadofecs

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Hello all, I am new to all this and I have made a few 2.5 gal extracts and my first 5 gal extract. I will be making a 5 gal grain batch this weekend and I have been doing a lot of research on this forum and I have a question about something I have found on here...

What does it mean to move to the secondary? If I put my wort in the fermenting bucket would this be the first stage? would the second stage be the bottling bucket?

Thank you for the help....
 

kh54s10

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Secondary fermentation is a misnomer. It is more accurately described as a bright tank. After you reach final gravity you "can" do a secondary. This used to be considered important. To get the beer off the yeast cake and any associated off flavors. This is no longer considered necessary.

To do it you siphon the beer to a second (smaller) carboy leaving as much sediment behind as possible. The beer then sits, precipitating any further debris for a week or two before doing the bottling. You want a smaller carboy to there is not a lot of air above the beer. So a 5 gallon carboy is usually the choice for a 5 gallon batch. Only a couple inches of head space would be there.

In your case you have not been doing a secondary, there is really no reason to do one now.
 

emyers

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I agree, secondaries are not needed. Allow 1-3 weeks to ferment then transfer to kegs or bottle. Secondaries just add chances of oxidizing and contamination.
 

soccerguy83

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Maybe my search-fu is off, but I know the benefit vs risk of transferring to secondary has been discussed at length around here, any good links to reads? I'm contemplating this right now as I prepare for my first brew, just want to make an educated decision for myself.
 

McKnuckle

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In terms of simply defining the word "secondary," it means a second vessel to which your beer is moved during fermentation or after it is complete, but before packaging. A secondary is often used for clarifying, dry hopping, adding adjunct ingredients, or just because it's the brewer's preferred practice. Use of this step as a process requirement is sometimes debated, but is generally considered to be not necessary.
 
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dadofecs

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Thanks for the input guys, I have How To Brew by John Palmer and in the beginning of the book there is not mention of it. I have made 2 batches and I have 2 in process but without a secondary.

What are the benefits? will I get a clearer beer this way? the best I can find is a secondary is for lagers?
 

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