Secondary for my second batch?

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LovesMeSomeBeer

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It seems like the general consensus on using a secondary is that there is no consensus, so I thought I'd post the specifics of my second batch to solicit opinions on the use of a secondary for it.

It's a trappist ale kit from Midwest and it's going good. I used the WL500 yeast and after 2 days it was bubbling away. Now it's been 5.5 days and it's still bubbling, but down to maybe 2 bubbles per minute.

The SG was 1.053 with a target for FG of 1.010 - 1.012.

My plan is to wait on the bubbling to stop, the check the hydrometer over 2 days then .... what?

Leave it in the primary for X amount of time longer? Then what? Bottle? Secondary? If secondary, for how long?

And I seem to gather than if I use a secondary, it will need more time in the bottle. Is that true?
 

JuanKenobi

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I'm not going to advise you on whether or not to use a secondary as I am still on the fence myself. I will say that the only reason to look at the airlock activity is because it's cool. Don't consider the bubbles at all when it comes to fermentation. Wait at least 10 days (I usually wait 2 weeks) and then check your gravity over 3 days. If it's constant then proceed. If not, wait another week and check it again.
 

double_e5

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It's really up to you. If it were me. I wouldn't even crack the primary until 3 weeks then check the gravity. If it is where it should be, bottle it.
 

ericm

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It's really up to you. If it were me. I wouldn't even crack the primary until 3 weeks then check the gravity. If it is where it should be, bottle it.
that's pretty much what I'd do too.
 

jamesnsw

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Something I've been wondering...
If I check the specific gravity on Day 7, and then check it again on day 14, and it's the same, does that give me reason enough to think it's ready to bottle? Or is there something special about the 3 consecutive days besides proving that it is stable?
 

RCCOLA

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Something I've been wondering...
If I check the specific gravity on Day 7, and then check it again on day 14, and it's the same, does that give me reason enough to think it's ready to bottle? Or is there something special about the 3 consecutive days besides proving that it is stable?
If it's the same for at least 3 days then it is done.I primary ferment in a 6.5gal bucket w/ a spigot on it.I NEVER used to 2ndry my beer-just wait 3weeks then bottle.The last 2 beers I racked to a cheap 5gal. bucket w/ a spigot after 10days in primary and secondaried it for 2 weeks and my beer is much cleaner and clearer with the tiniest white film on the bottom of the bottles after carbing.You can pour all the way down w/o getting any sediment.I checked my time to do the transfer and clean up and it came to 30mins.For me that's 30mins well spent.:mug:
 

SmilinGoat

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when you go to secondary do you want air to get in, like when putting the wort into the primary, or do you want to keep the air away, like when putting it in the priming tank?

if i wasnt leaving in 2 weeks i would like to spend more time on my current batch, it is currently "done" after 12 days. no more activity at all. however when i tasted it it wasnt very "strong" its a weizenbeer but im not sure what its supposed to taste like at this stage...

anyway, i just wish i could do the secondary fermenter this time, as it is still VERY cloudy.
 

RCCOLA

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when you go to secondary do you want air to get in, like when putting the wort into the primary, or do you want to keep the air away, like when putting it in the priming tank?

if i wasnt leaving in 2 weeks i would like to spend more time on my current batch, it is currently "done" after 12 days. no more activity at all. however when i tasted it it wasnt very "strong" its a weizenbeer but im not sure what its supposed to taste like at this stage...

anyway, i just wish i could do the secondary fermenter this time, as it is still VERY cloudy.
You do NOT want air to get in at this stage.The oxygen in the primary is to help the yeast start off healthily and quickly.Now the yeast is finished and x-tra O2 would cause off flavors in the finished beer.This is why a secondary vessel should have as little headspace as possible.
 

RCCOLA

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How do you tranfer from primary to secondary without allowing air to get in?
Put your transfer hose all the way to the bottom of your 2ndry vessel and tilt it in the corner to keep the end of the hose submerged.Once the bottom is covered you can let it sit flat on the floor.Never let the hose end out of the liquid and you'll be fine.Then put an airlock on and you will notice that the beer will push a little pressure on the liquid in it.This is co2 being released out of solution from fermentation and will protect the beer from oxidation.
 

RCCOLA

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Is the best way to do all of this with a siphon?
For me having spigots on my buckets eliminates having to siphon but if you don't then yes siphon is the best way.Just make sure everything is sanitized.If you don't have a siphon starter then you can boil and cool some water and fill your sanitized hose up w/ it in a loop,dunk one end in the beer -the other in the bottom of your 2ndry and the flow will start itself as long as the 2ndry is lower than the primary.I wouldn't put my mouth on the hose-too ez to contaminate.
 
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LovesMeSomeBeer

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Okay, it's decision time. Tomorrow should make 3 days of identical hydrometer readings and now I have to decide what to do. Right? I will have some time Friday and Saturday. This trappist ale will have been in the primary 13 days this coming Saturday. Would you move it secondary? Or bottle it? I won't have a chance to bottle again for 2 more weeks so if don't bottle it or move it, that would have it in the primary for 4 weeks total. So would I be better off with
1) 12-13 days in primary, then bottle
2) 12-13 day in primary, then 14 days in secondary, then bottle
3) 28 days in primary, then bottle
 

ifishsum

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I'd do either #2 or #3, most often #3 because I usually want to start another batch right away in the primary. But 4 weeks in the primary won't hurt anything either if you don't need it for another batch. Either way will make good beer IMO (except for option #1)
 

RCCOLA

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I'd do either #2 or #3, most often #3 because I usually want to start another batch right away in the primary. But 4 weeks in the primary won't hurt anything either if you don't need it for another batch. Either way will make good beer IMO (except for option #1)
+1 to that.I would do option#2 and you will make good,clear beer.
 
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LovesMeSomeBeer

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Thanks, y'all. I'll probably do #2 -- I have another recipe kit in the basement begging to be made so I could use the primary for that. Thanks again.
 
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