Secondary Fermenter Questions

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Feb 4, 2009
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I'm on an IPA (OG 1.055) and it's been in the secondary for 2 weeks now. A couple of questions.

1. I'm on my second brew. The first was a red ale (OG 1.037) and it settled very nicely, with no residue on top or floating. The IPA has numerous "flakes" floating near the top. They really look like yeast, but my experience with the Red Ale was that the yeast settled to the bottom. Does the type of brew/yeast dictate if the yeast settles? The recipe uses Fermentis Safale US-05.

2. I introduces a large air bubble into the beer during the racking to the secondary. It doesn't appear to have caused a problem, but could this cause an issue?

3. I'm getting ready to bottle it in a couple of days. Is there a minimum/maximum for time in the secondary?

Thanks a lot. This site is very helpful.


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Nov 27, 2008
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Madison, Wi
1) Different yeast have different clumping properties, so I wouldn't worry about that too much. I can't say for this yeast as I haven't used it, but little floaters are unlikely to mean trouble.

2) The large bubble could lead to oxidation, but A) I don't think it is affecting your yeast and B) It will probably not lead to oxidation.

3) You don't have to secondary at all if your fermentation is quite finished. If you are going to use one, I think the whole point is to let the beer clarify, so let it clarify.

I usually leave it for at least a week in the secondary, usually 3, sometimes longer as convenience dictates.

Trust your hydrometer. Once it says you're done, you can bottle.

Many here use the "1,2,3" rule of thumb. 1 Week in the primary, 2 in the secondary, 3 in the bottle. Pretty handy, and just matching brewing to convenience and life seems to fit will with this rule.