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General extract kit questions

So, i’ve now brewed 4 extract batches (about to do a 5th) and i’m feeling pretty comfortable with the process. The last kit was the NB Witbier, which was a little different because it had no grains.

My previous kit was the NB Dead Ringer, and I just bottled it. This was my first use of a secondary stage for dry hopping. I totally get the secondary stage for this purpose.

I’m a little confused as to why the Witbier uses a secondary stage. There’s no dry hopping, or much of anything involved. Since it only ferments for 4 weeks, i don’t see getting it off the yeast cake as a huge benefit. The only advantage I see is that it frees up the primary fermenter for another batch :slight_smile:

What’s the reason for a secondary stage on this beer?

Second, I let the Witbeir ferment for the full two weeks, but I found that the yeastcake was very “soft” and by the time i got down to about a gallon left, it was really cloudy. I tried not to stir it up too much, but somehow it still seemed to be mixed. Once i started the rack, i didn’t want to let it sit and settle, so I ended up not transferring about half a gallon.

Should I have gone ahead and transferred the cloudy beer? Or did I do the right thing? My concern was that if i transferred to much yeast to the secondary, it might cause some off tastes.

Witbeir is supposed to be cloudy. It’s a wheat beer and there no reason to move it to secondary. I usually let my witbeir stay in primary for about 3-4 weeks to make sure the yeast is done, then bottle.

my last Wit:


So why do the instructions say to use a secondary stage?

Dogma. I rarely use a secondary for any beer myself (fruit beers being about the only exception). I even dry hop in the primary after 7 or 8 days.

TBH, I don’t have any idea. i do secondary all my non-wheats, seems it would be counter productive in a wheat…I mean, who wants a clear wheat?


I do like the fact that I can push it off to the secondary and free up my 6 gallon carboy for another batch. I understand there’s risk of contamination, but i’m good with it.

Just finished brewing the NB Black IPA, it’s quite tasty unfermented… can’t wait till it’s finished.

Just an idea, if you have to move your fermenter to rack try moving it 2-3 hours before hand to allow any sediment that might have been kicked up time to settle. This should help you out. But, you don’t have to get too crazy about that because it will settle in secondary and you could also use a fining agent to help settle.

I secondary nothing except when oaking or adding fruit… Dry hopping and everything else gets done in the primary and kegged in 3 weeks give or take… I don’t see the need to risk infection, increased oxidation and extra time and cleaning for secondarying anything. However like anything else In this hobby, do whatever works for you.

do you do many high OG brews?

Viking, I wouldn’t secondary the Wit unless you were adding more fermentables. most of the time you hear of a “secondary”, it’s really a bulk age process. some use it to help clarify the beer. most of the time it’s completely unnecessary. let the gravity readings tell you when the beer is done & drink it when you like it. time lines are merely guidelines, not set in stone. hope it helps.

It’s been considered a step from beginner to intermediate for years. Like dry yeast v. liquid, partial boil v. full, extract v. all-grain, :blah: .
This forum proves that following basics, such as sanitation, temp. control, healthy yeast, etc., is more important for good beer than a particular method.
Over time you’ll learn what works best for you.

Well Spoken mrv;

To each their own as long as the beer tastes good, I say do whatever works for you.

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