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Secondary or not?

All,

I know it has been discussed several times, but I would like some advice as I am some what under a time crunch. I am going to enter 2 beers for a competition and don’t have a lot of time to complete the brews.

Generally I let my fermentation go for 14 days, then rack to a secondary for 7+ days (give or take). But recently it appears that some don’t do a secondary fermentation…have read that secondary is to clear the beer and to smooth it out a bit more before Kegging / Bottling. Did I miss something here?

The first beer will be a Saison OG 1.069 the other Wheat OG 1.064. Due date for beers entered June 28th. Will be brewing 5/18 & 5/25…I keg so can make up some time by force carbonation.

Let me know your Thoughts / Opinions,

Tim

Most brewers on this forum don’t tend to do a secondary most of the time. 3-4 weeks in the primary is usually fine on its own.

I was still doing a secondary just out of habit up to my last couple of batches, but it is just easier not to. Only other reason for me would be to empty my primary (Speidel tank) a little sooner to put more beer in there.

Last week Denny did bring an article to our attention that provided evidence that a secondary is preferable for dry hopping.

So if you are dry hopping any of your stuff stick to the two steps.

Personally, I’m skeptical of both those.

When you rack, you take all the sediment that was in the process of settling but hadn’t quite hit the bottom of the fermenter yet, and effectively kick it back up again as part of the transferring process. I’d expect the beer to clear faster if you just leave it in the primary fermenter the whole time without racking. Admittedly if you tend to agitate the fermenter while moving it to your bottling area this means there’ll be more trub for you to kick up at that stage in the game, but in my experience that isn’t too much of a problem as long as you’re mindful about being gentle with the carboy.

And most the smoothing out that happens during secondary fermentation is done by the yeast consuming its own fermentation by-products. I’m not sure how separating the beer from the yeast is supposed to make that happen faster. Seems like the opposite would be more likely.

If I dry hop I go to secondary as I want the beer off all of the trub due to my dry hop process. What I do is 2-3 times a day I shake up the carboy to “infuse” the hops into the beer. I can’t really say it makes a difference, but I like to think it does. I sure don’t want all that trub being swashed around in my beer.

???

Are you shaking the carboy enough to splash the beer around? That would be a “no-no” post fermentation.


I someone can explain to me what process happen in the 2nd vessel that would not happen in the 1st vessel, I might be swayed into transferring my beer.

Otherwise, to get the beer to clear faster, cold crash.

I guess I too have been perhaps a “victim” of always racking to secondary. Makes me wonder why lots of Kit directions would say “this beer benefits from secondary fermentation” Let me throw a wrench in here…I have started washing yeast from my primary, and have had good results…have racked the beer I had in to secondary fermentor. Although I could just rack this beer into the keg.

The next 10 gallons I have are a Bourbon Barrel Porter so I will have to add my wood chips and add bourbon to well the secondary. I guess that i feel it clears better in the secondary due to less trub at the bottom…however I can see avoiding sanitary problems by just leaving in the primary.

Is the “trick” then to just leave it in the secondary longer…say 21 days total? Then Cold crash it, then transfer to the keg? I am a “all glass guy” as well, this would be less to clean in the long run.

???

Are you shaking the carboy enough to splash the beer around? That would be a “no-no” post fermentation.


I someone can explain to me what process happen in the 2nd vessel that would not happen in the 1st vessel, I might be swayed into transferring my beer.

Otherwise, to get the beer to clear faster, cold crash.[/quote]

The carboy is on the table and I just spin it as fast as possibly to swirl the hops around for 1-2 minutes and I hate to tell you…My last batch where I did this for 5 days in a row was my best beer yet and many people at brew club said it was great. The aroma was amazing ! :slight_smile: I guess I have never heard or read that the beer should not be moved around post fermentation. Can you point me to an article or a reason ?

Just a thought…Take one of the beers you have brewed a few times…do what I do in secondary and see if it makes any difference. I have read you should agitate and from my experience, it’s helps add aroma and flavor. We all try crazy things and this is one of them I do and it worked for me so I do it on certain beers.

???

Are you shaking the carboy enough to splash the beer around? That would be a “no-no” post fermentation.


If someone can explain to me what process happen in the 2nd vessel that would not happen in the 1st vessel, I might be swayed into transferring my beer.

Otherwise, to get the beer to clear faster, cold crash.[/quote]

The carboy is on the table and I just spin it as fast as possibly to swirl the hops around for 1-2 minutes and I hate to tell you…My last batch where I did this for 5 days in a row was my best beer yet and many people at brew club said it was great. The aroma was amazing ! :slight_smile: I guess I have never heard or read that the beer should not be moved around post fermentation. Can you point me to an article or a reason ?[/quote]

Splashing, introducing oxygen post fermentation, will “oxidize” the beer. Leading to stale, papery, cardboard flavor after a while.

http://www.bjcp.org/faults.php

It sounds like you are not splashing it though.


If someone can explain to me what process happen in the 2nd vessel that would not happen in the 1st vessel, I might be swayed into transferring my beer.

Otherwise, to get the beer to clear faster, cold crash.[/quote]

The carboy is on the table and I just spin it as fast as possibly to swirl the hops around for 1-2 minutes and I hate to tell you…My last batch where I did this for 5 days in a row was my best beer yet and many people at brew club said it was great. The aroma was amazing ! :slight_smile: I guess I have never heard or read that the beer should not be moved around post fermentation. Can you point me to an article or a reason ?[/quote]

Splashing, introducing oxygen post fermentation, will “oxidize” the beer. Leading to stale, papery, cardboard flavor after a while.

http://www.bjcp.org/faults.php

It sounds like you are not splashing it though.[/quote]

Correct…I try not to splash…I just swirl it…Thanks for the link.

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