Rethinking the Rules

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gibfried

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Six months ago I boiled up a bit of Nut Brown Ale. It sat on it's own yeast in the primary for six months! I've always heard that this is a big "no-no"! After about a month the yeast can lay the stink on your beer unless you transfer it to a secondary. Was I surprised. I kegged it, and it tastes like nectar from the gods!

I know, I know. You're probably wondering why... Well, I got a pretty good promotion, and that always spells trouble for the beer. More time at work, less energy, less inthusiasm...what a drag. Well, my beermaking got a little left out. So the Nut Brown sat there in the corner feeling left out until the other day. She was calling to me, so I kegged her - expecting her to smell like grandpa's underpants and taste like yesterday's diapers.

Boy was I wrong. Here's what I'm wondering: Is there anything to this rule??? :mug: :mug:
 

Catfish

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If you give the Brewing Network a listen, they often advise people to not use a secondary. Their reason is 1- you are more likely to mess your beer up, adding O2, adding infection and 2- the yeast is good for your beer (the pros out weigh the cons).

BTW some people like the grandpa's tighty-whitey smell (lambics)
 

Monk

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??? said:
BTW some people like the grandpa's tighty-whitey smell (lambics)
Is that what that aroma is?! There must be a lot of old belgian men contributing their chonies, then. Now that's what I call a country dedicated to excellence in brewing.
 

Darth Konvel

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Well, this gives me a little bit of hope. I've had my porter sitting on a good size yeast cake for about a month now, maybe longer - out of lazyness and I've been busy - and have been fearing it will taste like an old tire. Guess I'll just have to try it and see.
 

Bernie Brewer

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gibfried said:
Boy was I wrong. Here's what I'm wondering: Is there anything to this rule??? :mug: :mug:
Maybe a little, but probably not as much as some would have you believe. Papazian says that the need for a secondary is minimal as far as homebrewers are concerned. If it helps you relax, do it. If you don't need help relaxing, then just have a beer and forget it.:)
 

knewshound

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I have brewed for almost 20 years and in all that time, I have used a secondary perhaps 5 times.

My results have been excellent.

My mentor, an actual BrewMaster, told me I was wasting my time as a homebrewer doing a secondary and he has yet to steer me wrong.

I blow off the first glass as a sacrifice to the Yeast Gods and go on from there.

Off colors and flavors have never been an issue.

Cheers,

knewshound

Homebrewing 101
 

sonvolt

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I guess that I use secondary solely as a way of clarifying my beer. Whenever I rack from primary to secondary, I always seem to pick up little floaties and other stuffies. I can get more of these out of my beer when racking to secondary and then to bottling bucket.

Plus . . . it gives me an opportunity to do another beer related activity . . . which also gives me an opportunity to have a homebrew . . . and another.

:cross:
 

jrp3

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I've definitely got the record for leaving a beer on the yeast cake. I brewed a stout and before I could even rack it to the secondary, I got called up for a tour in Iraq.:mad: A year later I came home and there it sat, untouched. Well, rather than dumping it, I went ahead and bottled it. Believe it or not, it was one of my better attempts at that point. I'm sure if I had submitted it for a competition the judges would have found something wrong with it, but my wife & I enjoyed it so as far as we're concerned, it was a huge success.

I do like to rack to secondary though because it helps with clarity, especially now that I'm kegging.
 
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gibfried

gibfried

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It's good not to be alone. I feel better now...maybe because I just had another one:mug:
 
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