Alrighty, Hiya there! I’m returning to the brewing fold after a ~8 year hiatus, I’ve only ever done extract w/ specialty grain so not exactly pushing boundaries. Anyway, I was in my LHB yesterday picking up a couple things and got to yacking, as it wont to happen. Anyway, one of the things that came up was a question on the Primary/Secondary thing… and of Course I secondary, I mean… that’s just the way it’s done, get the beer off the trub so you don’t develop off flavors, have a cleaner transfer, etc… Eeeerrrrrr, seems that’s an outdated method now (at least according to the guy tending the till at the shop, though a quick google shows that even John Palmer is against secondary now). That’s forcing me to think that Other steps in my brewing are now also outdated and perhaps the beer I already love could be better with less work/chance of going afoul of mistakes.
So, I’m begging for a quick critique of what I do and if there are updates in ideology. Hey, if you have a thought on the best way I can up my game with small steps, I’m game for knowledge.
My brew day starts with cleaned, but not sterile, equipment.
5 gallon batches, full boil and from kits (extract w/ specialty grains) and normally a 50~60 minute boil time depending on the instructions.
During the boil, I use StarSan on my CFC chiller, all lines, the 6.5 gal primary, airlock, etc… (this is an area where I’m through to the point of being anl).
When the boil is done, I remove whatever hop bags are in the kettle and siphon out to the CFC, and into the carboy.
Top up to 5 gallons with fresh water if I happen to be low
Once there I use an oxygen stone (new to me since returning, came with the “bundle” of used gear I bought, seems to really kick the fermentation though).
Pitch tube of white-labs whatever yeast
Cap the primary and let sit for a week
Grab a little of the remaining wort to take an OG reading/temp, mostly to verify I am where I should be with that kit (never been off though)
After a week, I re-sterilize the auto-siphon and a secondary
Transfer the beer
Take another SG reading to see how close to finished it is
Let sit a 2nd week
Sterilize the auto-siphon and keg
Transfer to a keg (normally I’ll purge the keg with CO2 before the transfer)
Let keg sit at room temp for a week or two (or more, depending on space in the keezer), hitting it with CO2 on occasion ~ not expecting carbonation here, just making sure the contents stay under some pressure.
Put keg in cooler, connect sanitized/cleaned tap (still using picnic taps), let carbonate and then enjoy.
I’ve only made 2 brews since getting back in, and I haven’t really given much thought to reading books/forums as the extract kits are pretty darn simple and good enough for me. But, like I said, if there are updates that I can make to the process that streamlines it and makes even the Same quality of beer, I’m all in.
In browsing, I did see mention of “whirlpooling” to get the trub more into the center of brew kettle and less in the primary which I have yet to try. Other than that though… I’m open to suggestions on how I might make an improvement to my extract brewing (while staying an extract brewer… I do own a 10gal mash tun w/ false bottom, just not ready to try it yet.)
Thanks for taking the time to read my long winded post! :cheers: