Skipping Secondary

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rancidcrabtree

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It seems like the common advice around here is to skip the secondary and just let it sit in the primary so I'm planning on giving that a try. The problem is that I got a little carried away when I transfered the wort to the primary carboy and I currently have about a half gallon of hops and junk on the bottom. In this case would it actually be better to rack to another carboy for secondary since there is so much crap on the bottom already?

BTW, this is the Caribou Slobber kit from Northern Brewer, I'm thinking of dry hopping with an extra 1oz of Mt. Hood pellet hops that I have sitting in my freezer. Any thoughts on that?

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Revvy

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This should give you an idea....This is my yeastcake for my Sri Lankin Stout that sat in primary for 5 weeks. Notice how tight the yeast cake is? None of that got racked over to my bottling bucket. And the beer is extremely clear. It compresses as it sits.



That little bit of beer to the right is all of the 5 gallons that DIDN'T get vaccumed off the surface of the tight trub. Note how clear it is, there's little if any floaties in there.

When I put 5 gallons in my fermenter, I tend to get 5 gallons into bottles. The cake itself is like cement, it's about an inch thick and very, very dense, you can't just tilt your bucket and have it fall out. I had to use water pressure to get it to come out.



This is the last little bit of the same beer in the bottling bucket, this is the only sediment that made it though and that was done on purpose, when I rack I always make sure to rub the autosiphon across the bottom of the primary to make sure there's plenty of yeast in suspension to carb the beer, but my bottles are all crystal clear and have little sediment in them.

Half the time I forget to use moss, and you can't tell the difference in clarity.

I get the barest hint of sediment in my bottles....just enough for the yeast to have done the job of carbonating the beer.

So the answer is no...it will do what it needs to do in your primary.
 
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rancidcrabtree

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Thanks Revvy! out of curiosity, how long did you have to let it sit in primary to get a rock hard yeast cake like that?
 
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rancidcrabtree

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I'll spend more time reading in the future so I don't have to ask questions twice... Quick update, I let it sit for a little over 4 weeks and then bottled. After 2 more weeks in the bottle this is the clearest, best tasting beer I've made so far. It is only my 5th brew so some of the improvement could be attributed to me naturally improving with each batch, but I must tell you I am now 100% sold on long primaries with no secondary at all. I've got 2 more (Rye P.A. and and an Irish Red) sitting on primaries right now, and that is where they will stay until bottling day. Thanks for the great advice!
 

aygov

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I just bottled a spotted cow clone that I did a 4 week primary on (I've done it on all my brews) and my yeast cake looked exactly like Revvy's. Tight and compact and the only way to get it out was with water pressure. The beer was dead clear when I was racking it to the bottling bucket and I cracked a bottle last weekend to taste it it was almost completely clear. The only time I've done secondary was when I dry hopped an IPA.
 
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rancidcrabtree

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I've got an IPA in primary right now and I'm thinking I might just dry hop into the primary. The directions say to do it 7-10 days before bottling, I'm wondering if doing it for longer will help clear the beer before bottling. My plan is to toss the hops in right before I leave for my two weeks of annual training with my reserve unit and then to bottle when I get back. Any thoughts or advice?
 

aygov

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I've got an IPA in primary right now and I'm thinking I might just dry hop into the primary. The directions say to do it 7-10 days before bottling, I'm wondering if doing it for longer will help clear the beer before bottling. My plan is to toss the hops in right before I leave for my two weeks of annual training with my reserve unit and then to bottle when I get back. Any thoughts or advice?
I did 10 days for mine. I've heard dry hopping over two weeks can leave some grassy flavors behind, but I don't have direct experience with it. If you search around I'm positive you'll find some dry hopping threads with duration heavily discussed.
 
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