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Secondary Fermenter indecision

At the risk of beating a subject to death . After reading other threads regarding the use of primary or primary / secondary fermenters I must admit I’m no closer to understanding if their is a consensus on the topic or if the jury is permanently out . I’m just getting reacquainted with homebrewing after a 13 year hiatus and am realizing quickly that things have changed . I was given a LME kit for an American IPA ( which I immediately bastardized ) Its been going strong for a week now and am anticipating it slowing down in the next few days ( currently at a bubble every 6 seconds ) so need to make a decision whether to rack or not . It doesn’t help that both sides of the debate present good points . I do plan to dry hop FYI . Any and all thoughts appreciated

I dry hop in the primary. Usually about day 14 after active fermentation started. Bottle at day 21. I’m usually using Cascade or Centennial pellets for dry hopping. By the time I bottle the hop debris has settled out. I hedge a little bit by adding a catch bag at the end of the siphon tube inside the bottling bucket. Once the catch bag had almost a quarter teaspoon of hop debris in it. Link to a picture of the catch bag. Post 11 in this topic.

Your right hung jury your free to do what you like. I do as @flars does.I only do a secondary for fruit additions.

@brew_cat is right. It will be a hung jury today, next week, next year, next millennia.

I on the other hand “secondary” everything other than Wheats and Wits.

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I’d dump the dry hops into the secondary and rack the beer over them just before fermentation is done. Helps keep the oxygen out of your beer, as the hop particles will knock a bunch of CO2 out of suspension and purge the headspace. Gotta watch out for oxidation when brewing IPA!

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Here’s my input: When I 1st started (5 years ago) I ‘secondaried’ everything because that was the thing to do. Now I cold condition my altbiers and lagers, and do an actual secondary fermentation only when I’m adding fruit. I cold hop in the primary.

It’s absolutely a personal decision. The deciding factor might be whether or not you need to free up a fermentor for your next beer.

Me still do secondary fermenting. Dry hop add them first before i rack to second. Or i do use them for condition the beer in secondary.

One other thing to consider is if you are a lazy brewer or not. I’m lazy and I have plenty to do so I don’t bother. If you’re torn about it I say don’t bother. But if you feel a need to play go ahead. Like I said hung jury.

Loopie, didn’t you say you use a conical fermenter? How then would you dry hop? Remove the yeast before complete fermenting, then add hops? Curious… Sneezles61

I have 3 conical fermenters. I’m a firm believer that you lose more oils to yeast stripping rather than the risks involved with O2 exposure. Therefore I dump the trub, allow it to settle for a few more days, then add the dry hops in a nylon hop bag. Cold crash it to get yeast and free floating hop particles that escaped to settle out, then keg it.

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So funny thing here, just a few weeks ago I was spouting off about all these things you can do to save the hop aroma from whirlpool hops by limiting O2 exposure. Recently brewed a beer with really high ibu but really low alpha acid hops. Followed all the rules about keeping the yeast from stripping the hop oils. No hop additions after 30 minutes, but large amounts added.

This beer has yielded more hop flavor and aroma than anything else I’ve brewed in the past.

Color me confused. :confused:

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So no hop additions past 30 mins? No late hops at all? Dry hops? That is interesting. But I do agree that IPAs benefit from a 30 minute addition and this is often overlooked. Just like everything homebrewing many follow the next hyped method. I’ve never had good luck with whirlpool additions and find them grossly unstable.

Yep, traditional IPA with hop additions of 5% EKG at 90, 60, and 30 minutes. 4 oz at 90, 6 each at 60 and 30. Most unbelievably hoppy, resiny, pithy hippiness I’ve ever tasted. Mind blown.

Edit - but you’re right about everyone jumping on the next big thing. I’m just as guilty. Most of the time it doesn’t really work, it seems.

Dang… after drinking this year’s Hopslam, wondering where the hell the hops vanished to, I’ve come to the conclusion that hops are weird. Everything’s counterintuitive.

So again, I was talking about how great it was. My first 6-pack was really nice. Bought it the day it showed up in my area. My second of the year, the next week, was really not so hot. Hops are weird. And they just don’t last with the new age methods.

But those old school methods… dang, they knew something we don’t recognize, I think.

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So, new fangled is the whirlpool and D’hopping, old school is nothing after the 30 minute addition… And you are adding a considerable amount too. But as I think about it, I too, but very late… Time to ramp up the 001 yeasty bucket! Sneezles61

Old school, like 19th century, is packin’ the cask with dry hops for several months of aging. Not quite the same as today! :laughing:

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Yes, that would also bring up the hop enticement too. Now you’ve got me wanting to get a head start with some casking examples… I’ll try your latest, and also D’hop in a cask with cones. I sometimes wonder how much actually a hop looses from being crushed/compressed into pellets. I haven’t played with golding for some time now… Sneezles61

Freudian Slip when talking about craft beer?

I’ve had much much better luck at loading up late hops between 10-5 mins remains then I have whirlpooling hops. Just as much hop aroma and much more stable.

O2 is a huge factor on hop forward beers, but so is hop stripping. I’m a firm believer that the NEIPA style uses less flocculant yeast so they can
a) not deal with yeast stripping
b) get the beer out quicker

Of course, from my understanding, they do an exceptional job at eliminating O2 uptake after fermentation. I once read a story where someone testing a batch of Heady for The Alchemist thought their DO tester was malfunctioning because the O2 was parts per BILLION, not million as we are used to. True?

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