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Primary/Secondary confusion

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david0161

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I have brewed a couple kits from NB now and had a question about when to secondary if it all.

Cream Ale - NB says 2 weeks, primary 2 weeks in bottles (I did 4 in primary, 3 bottle)

Peace Coffee Stout Porter - 2 weeks primary, 2 weeks secondary, 2 weeks conditioning (it's been in primary for 3 weeks now. This is the first one I've had that recommended a secondary (is to add coffee). It states allow to condition in secondary for 2-4 weeks before adding coffee for a week. Should I just add the coffee to primary, or transfer to secondary at week 4 and add the coffee for a week?

Caribou Slobber - 1-2 weeks primary, 2-4 weeks secondary, 1-2 weeks bottle condition (haven't started this one but was very curious about 6 weeks in primary....) it's not that I wouldn't mind doing a secondary...I've just read all the benefits about leaving it in the primary for longer but 6 weeks I'm not sure.

I want to make great beer while avoiding bad directions/timelines.
 

balzern

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Unless it is a high gravity beer I usually do 3 weeks primary and 3 weeks bottle.
 
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david0161

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Ya, I read through that thread and perhaps got even more confused as it appears there is no proven best method. I suppose I'll just do close to what the instructions say or just do what I feel is best at the time.
 

whatsleftofyou

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You got it. Most people I know don't bother with a secondary at all unless they have a good reason to do one (extended aging, adding fruit, etc), but this can be argued all day. Just do what works best for you since I don't think there is a "right" answer on this one.
 

MikeMayhem

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as long as your sanitation is good and your fermentation temps are consistent you will fine. personally, i like secondaries. some people don't, but i do and make sure that everything is sanitized before transferring. I usually go about 3 primary, 1 secondary, 3 bottle. of course it can vary based on speed of fermentation, dry hopping or other additives.
 

Golddiggie

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Personally, for any ales, porters, stouts, or things using ale yeast, I just go with 2-4 weeks in primary (on the yeast), take hydrometer readings to confirm FG (at least two matching readings, spaced 2-3 days apart), and taste the brew before going to bottles. IF I decide it needs something else, like a flavor element, or to age, I'll do it at that time. IF its going to age for an extended period, or I'll be needing to stop a flavor element's addition, I'll rack at that time (to stop the contribution)... Otherwise, let it ride on the yeast until it's ready for bottling.

I've not seen any need to rack to a bright tank since going to the long primary method.
 
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