Question about secondary fermenters

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

harryh654

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
13
Reaction score
0
I brewed a wheat beer recently and it is only my 4th brew. I used an extract recipe and fermentation started quickly and the beer looked great. The problem is it tells me to put it in a secondary fermenter after about a week and I don't have another carboy. What exactly does transferring the beer to a secondary fermenter do? And is it bad if I don't do it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

Pharmguy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
253
Reaction score
0
Location
Michigan
It could help with clarity. You dont need to do it with a wheat....you want it to look like a dirty urine sample.:)
 

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
53
Location
Nebraska
First point to clarify: its not actually a secondary 'fermenter'. fermentation should completely finish in primary (when making beer), so our secondary vessel is a clearing tank, sometimes called a 'bright tank'.

Some aging occurs in secondary (really as soon as fermentation completely ends, the aging/mellowing begins). racking to secondary gets you off the sediment and helps promote having a clear beer.

its easy to get sediment racked to the bottling bucket from primary...secondary has so little sediment its easy to avoid.

That said, plenty of people here just go for a longer primary time, like three weeks from pitching yeast, to racking to the bottling bucket. I myself prefer using a secondary.

Wheat beer does not have to look like a dirty urine sample. A hefewiezen should be cloudy...but many American wheat beers are crystal clear. So it depends on the style.

I made a great tasting wit, but because I decided to give it a 5 day secondary, it ended up a little too clear for the style. Luckily I don't enter competitions...I just drink. My stomach doesn't know the difference between hazy beer and clear beer :)
 

Rick500

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2008
Messages
2,599
Reaction score
21
Location
KY
I'd just leave it where it is.

I never use a secondary unless I have a specific reason to, and usually, there just isn't.
 
Top