Time to learn

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

Gunkleneil

Active Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2022
Messages
25
Reaction score
23
Hello all from CT. I just started learning about brewing. I found my local Homebrew shop and made friends with the owner. Turns out he lives walking distance from me. I purchased your basic plastic bucket brew kit and a TruBrew Red Ale extract beer kit for my first beer which is currently on day 2 in the Secondary following the modified directions given to me by the Owner of the Homebrew shop. So far so good. I also on impulse picked up a Mead making kit and some local honey. Just started that today.
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,755
Reaction score
1,892
Location
Living free in the 603
First thing... Any beer that's going to be ready to drink in less than several months has zero need to go to 'secondary'. I only move a beer, to something other than packaging (keg/can/bottle) IF it's going to age for several MONTHS. Moving it otherwise just opens up the risk of infection and contamination. Any recipes that tell you that moving something to 'secondary' in days (or even a couple of weeks), and doesn't say that's 100% OPTIONAL should be called out (the source) and the person who wrote it bitch-slapped.

Recipes with this still included in them haven't been updated in DECADES. Which calls a lot into question about them.
 
OP
OP
G

Gunkleneil

Active Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2022
Messages
25
Reaction score
23
@Golddiggie the owner of my LHS took the instructions from the kit and wrote changes on it. The secondary was one of the changes that was added. I see that it's a bit of a debate on the Internet wether or not it's needed so I decided to go with his suggestions for my first batch. I will do some more reading on it before my next batch.
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,755
Reaction score
1,892
Location
Living free in the 603
IME, using a secondary for a beer (see parameters above) is most often not needed. To me, having the HBS owner ADD moving the batch to a secondary is a HUGE red flag move. Again, unless he put it as OPTIONAL (and not necessary by ANY stretch) I would question any recipe he created.
 

Homebrew Harry

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2021
Messages
375
Reaction score
374
@Golddiggie the owner of my LHS took the instructions from the kit and wrote changes on it. The secondary was one of the changes that was added. I see that it's a bit of a debate on the Internet wether or not it's needed so I decided to go with his suggestions for my first batch. I will do some more reading on it before my next batch.
I agree with Gold. No need to transfer beer. Wine on the other hand needs more time to clear and is usually transferred to a carboy.
 

D.B.Moody

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2020
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
2,284
Location
Kirkwood
@Golddiggie so I decided to go with his suggestions for my first batch.
Good for you. The current dogma of no secondary is just that. I think, if you ask, you would find that your shop owner and neighbor has found that a beginner will be better off, happier with his brew, if he does not bottle after just one week in the primary. (BTW: that is what the instructions suggest.) More time and the secondary will ensure complete fermentation and help the beer clarify so the bottles will have less sediment.
I have been brewing for over 28 years. In 292 batches I have never had an infected anything, and all but seven of those batches went through a secondary. I actually compared batches that were and were not put through a secondary. I did this four times last year. I discovered that I like using a secondary better. (I posted about this on "What does a secondary do?") I do not brew lagers, I do not brew fizzy, hazy, hop bombs. Your results may vary.
My point is that not doing a secondary is optional, not a rule.
Welcome to the hobby and HBT. :)
 
Last edited:

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
22,705
Reaction score
13,252
Location
S.AZ
Guess it's straight to the drinking part then. :bigmug:


wish i could find that meme about the extract brewer and the all grain, beating up the lodo brewer.....

But it'd be like..."I brew ales.., i brew lagers....i drink BMC...." you might see what i'm talking about someday if you stick around....
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,755
Reaction score
1,892
Location
Living free in the 603
IME, longer in primary does the same thing as what people think moving to a 'secondary' vessel does. I've had zero issues and great beers by NOT using secondary. Giving the brews the TIME they need to clear and everything else does the job. NOT moving things around unless there's a DAMNED good reason is a far better (IMO/IME) method. I don't transfer once the yeast goes into fermenter until the beer goes to keg/can (not sure if I'll ever bottle a batch again, but it's an option). I get VERY clear beers every time.

Keep in mind, EVERY time you move a batch, you have to sanitize everything used. Which also means that if you didn't do one item correctly, you risk infection/contamination. Not to mention oxidizing the beer (depending on the transfer method). IME/IMO NOT worth the risk for the questionable (at best) "gain" from doing it.

Do what you want, but at the very least do a few (or more) batches without transferring to secondary. Give the beer enough time to finish, plus time for the yeast to fully settle. Most of my <6% ABV brews are 3-4 weeks from pitch to package. That's with 3-5 days of carbonating time added. Temperature control plays a role in that time frame.

I've been using conical fermenters for about a year now (maybe a bit longer) which has helped there too. With the racking arm inside you can rotate it around to make sure you leave the trub behind. IME, a LOT easier than using a racking cane in a bucket. Kegmenters are better than buckets/carboys as well.
 

D.B.Moody

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2020
Messages
1,348
Reaction score
2,284
Location
Kirkwood
Keep in mind, EVERY time you move a batch, you have to sanitize everything used.
No you don't. I never sanitize anything. I just wash stuff. No infections and no problems in 28+ years. Not best practice, but good enough.

Can't you see that you are giving advice to a new extract brewer with a bucket and bottles and no temperature control when you use a conical fermenter and keg. In all likelyhood you cold crash and do closed transfers.

BTW: I'm an extract brewer with a bucket, bottles and no temperature control. I don't use a racking cane in the bucket, just the siphon hose. I use the racking cane to go from my secondary carboy to the bottling bucket.
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
G

Gunkleneil

Active Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2022
Messages
25
Reaction score
23
Thank you both for the information. I've seen this can be a heated debate at times. So far I have done what my LHS said to do. I am a person that likes to try doing things different ways to find out what works good for me. So far I can see the pros and cons of both methods. As I move on I will try some with secondary and some without. D.B. is correct that I'm very new with buckets and bottles. The closest thing I have to temperature control is a room that is controlled to be 70F year round for our reptiles. I Fermented this Red Ale in that room and it stayed constant at 72F the few times I checked it.
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
22,705
Reaction score
13,252
Location
S.AZ
The closest thing I have to temperature control is a room that is controlled to be 70F year round for our reptiles.


i'll try to remember that if you post a pic asking if it's a pelicle...and remember to say it's scales! ;) i just had a thought that at 70f..if you get into and want to keep costs low, you could probably pressure ferment in your bucket with a spunding valve, if you use a gamma lid? they say pressure helps with warmer ferments, and it'd be a cheap alternative to some fancy SS bling....(just pointing out how creativity can come in handy)
 
Top