secondary temperature control

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TrannyRock

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While I realize that many of you do not use a secondary for most beers, I currently use them because:
a) a carboy can provide a few weeks of bulk aging, which might be beneficial
b) I like having a pipeline
c) I don't have a way to cold crash
d) I have 3 5 gallon carboys anyway.

With that said, is there any reason to employ temperature control for secondaries? The fermentation is complete (beyond any mop-up that might occur) so I shouldn't have to worry about unwanted yeast byproducts. If tight control is not beneficial, is there an acceptable range of temperatures?

I often wonder the same about bottle conditioning - I get the impression that 70F is good for carbonating, but beyond that is there a benefit to "cellaring" at 50F, 40F (refrig. temp), etc.?
 

theonecynic

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I secondary at room temperature, and there's certainly no benefit to secondarying at higher than this. However, your yeast is still active (although at a much slower rate) and so keeping your secondary at room temperature will allow the flavour to develop more.

Pipelines are good, they're a useful treatment for impatience!
 
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TrannyRock

TrannyRock

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Is there any reason I would want to keep an ale secondary at a lower temperature? How big of a deal would +/-5F fluctuations from room temp be at this stage?

I'm gearing up to build a fermentation chiller, or maybe buying a chest freezer, to maintain fermentation temps. Just wondering if there's any reason to have similar control over the conditioning stage(s).
 

steelerguy

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I have had a 5 degree swing wake yeast up before, even in secondary, and they chopped on some more sugar. Nothing major, didn't notice anything I would consider an off flavor from it, but I know the yeast got a little more active.

Personally, I don't think there is much of a reason to build any kind of secondary temperature controller unless you get a major drop out of yeast in the secondary or you plan on having it sit around for months and don't want the gravity to creep down a little more.
 

TwoHeadsBrewing

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You just want to keep the temps below 85F in secondary. The active part of fermentation is over where almost all of the esters are produced. I have a fermentation chamber that fits 3-4 carboys, but that is just for primary fermentation. Once that is complete, I'll move the carboys inside or in the garage for additional or secondary fermentation. As for storing bottles, 70F for 3 weeks and then do whatever you like. I prefer to get them in the fridge as long as the taste is right. The longer they are in the fridge the clearer they get, and I like a clear beer.
 

mtnagel

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BUMP

I just want to make sure everything will be fine. I'm brewing a double IPA that is supposed to be in secondary for 2 months. The coldest my basement gets to is about 60F. Is it okay if I go from primary at around 68F to secondary at around 60F?

I could keep the secondary in my dining room where the primary is now, but if I could, I'd rather keep it in the basement.
 
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