I have a Irish Ale extract kit coming in the mail and read on the direction the need to use a secondary fermentor after a week in the primary. Has anyone brewed this recipe without tranferring it to a secondary? What are the benefits of using the secondary as opposed to only a primary in this recipe?
Don’t bother with secondary. Let it sit on the yeast in primary for ten days to two weeks, then bottle. Theres no real good reason to secondary an ale of a fairly low gravity. Getting it super clear isn’t really that helpful because when you bottle condition you’ll grow some more yeast that has to drop anyway. Might as well do some of the clearing in the bottle. The amouont of sludge in the bottom doesn’t really mater, either way you’ll have some and have to pour carefully.
The real reason for the secondary is to remove the initial beer from the trub, and allow the remainder of the trub to settle out in a smaller vessel with less head space. You don’t need a secondary if your safe in not pulling out the trub when transferring to a bottling vessel.
(As far as I know anyway)
Racking off the yeast at one week is more likely to cause problems than prevent them. That cake is still actively sucking up diacetyl and acetaldehyde, two byproducts of fermentation that are flaws when present at significant levels. You can leave the beer in primary for a month, lots of people do and theres no off flavors from the yeast cake. I don’t personally see the need for that long of a primary, but a minimum of ten days tends to get me mature beer that doesn’t have a lot of yeast still floating around, especially if you’re using a British/Irish ale yeast. Those yeasts drop quickly and completely. You might go two weeks for a slower-to-flocculate yeast like US05/Chico.
Thanks for the replies. I will do primary only with this kit.