Secondary necessary for Belgian Tripel?


Just learning about the secondary debate. I’m planning not to use a secondary for my next batch (IPA), but am wondering (albeit retrospectively) about racking my Belgian Tripel to a secondary. Instructions for the tripel state to leave in secondary for two months before bottling. To those who think secondaries are not necessary, what would you do in this case? Just bottle after three weeks in primary and leave to condition longer? Something else?

The great debate to secondary or not. I’m one of those that’s just not a fan of using a secondary. The cons are risk of infection and oxidation and ruining your beer and the extra cost of another carboy. The only pro to it is you get the beer off the old yeast and you beer will be more clear and less sediment in your bottles. But there is other ways to get clear beer with out using a secondary that’s in my opinion less risky. First let’s start with the boil make sure you have a good rollng boil to get those hot breaks and other haze particles taken care of. Next use Irish moss or worfloc close to end of your boil and last and final cold crash your beer once you have reached the final gravity. Also Iforgot to add that you can also use a finning agents like gelatin and others to help clear your beer. But I’m not a fan of those either. I get crystal clear beer ever time with the cold crash and no risk of infection and very sediment in my bottles.

I don’t think you should need to condition for two months. When fermentation seems like it is complete, take a gravity measurement. Then wait a week and take another reading. If the gravity hasn’t changed, you can bottle or keg right away and not wait longer. If the gravity does change by even just one or two points, then wait another week and repeat until it stops changing. This won’t take two months. Maybe one month. And you can safely leave it in primary for one month. No need to rack it at all.

About 2 yrs back, I started ‘lagering’ my tripels. Once the beer gets to terminal gravity, I rack and do cold crash to < 40F and hold for 3 weeks. That made a huge difference in the finished beer. I can’t recall where I read that this helped, may have been in BLAM. Won’t do it any other way from here on.

I have always racked to the 2nd because I reuse the yeast but believe that keeping it in the primary would give the same result.