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Skip the secondary?

I’ve seen a lot of posts in the forum suggesting to skip the secondary and just let the beer sit in the primary until bottling. Why do you guys suggest skipping the secondary?

As a new brewer, the idea of using a secondary sounds logical to me to clean up the sediment that develops and prevent any off flavors that can accumulate from leaving the beer on top of the yeast sediment in the primary.

It sounds like it would be personal preference, and I am looking for different viewpoints on the subject to assist in making my own assessment as I continue on my own homebrewing.

[quote=“carmello”]I’ve seen a lot of posts in the forum suggesting to skip the secondary and just let the beer sit in the primary until bottling. Why do you guys suggest skipping the secondary?

As a new brewer, the idea of using a secondary sounds logical to me to clean up the sediment that develops and prevent any off flavors that can accumulate from leaving the beer on top of the yeast sediment in the primary.

It sounds like it would be personal preference, and I am looking for different viewpoints on the subject to assist in making my own assessment as I continue on my own homebrewing.[/quote]

Transferring the beer gives you one more chance to oxidize the beer and infect the beer.

The sediment/yeast will drop in the primary, the same as it will in the secondary. It takes quite a while to develop any autolysis of the yeast.

Yep ultimately it is up to you. In my brewing experience normal beers (Pale Ales, English Browns etc) gain nothing by a secondary transfer. Some of my sours, and Barleywines get secondary

It comes down to personal preference.
If you siphon well, you don’t have to worry about sediment.
A secondary will not clear a beer faster than if it stays in the primary.
You have to leave a beer sitting on a yeast cake for a very, very long time for the yeast to start eating themselves creating off flavors.
It’s an extra step for not much benefit.
New brewers often secondary too soon resulting in stuck/stalled fermentation.

Now, I will secondary for these reasons:
I need the fermenter for another batch.
I want to reuse the yeast before the beer is ready to bottle.
I’m adding something to the beer that I don’t want in the yeast (hops, fruit, wood, etc.). Again for yeast harvesting.

My first few batches, I did secondary because I liked the hands-on aspect. Since then, I’ve found that leaving it and “forgetting” about it helps in my process of patience. Treat your beer how you want. To secondary or not to secondary is totally up to you.

Cheers!

+1 to the above statements

Reasons I don’t transefer to secondary:

  1. It allows the yeasts more time to “clean up” after themselves
  2. It helps to ensure complete fermentation
  3. It eliminates another potential source of contamination or oxidation
  4. I’m lazy
  5. As long as I planning to bottle the beer within 8 weeks, there’s no reason to. I don’t have any problems with “off flavors” due to autolysis. (8 weeks is the longest I’ve gone with this…I’m not sure exactly when autolysis becomes a problem)
  6. The beer clears up just fine
  7. I have confidence in my ability to siphon into my bottling bucket without picking up too much gunk
  8. I hate washing and sanitizing more that I need to. Why mess up two containers when one will do the job?
  9. None of the 'experts" have given a compelling argument why it is necessary (in fact, they seem to arguing that it isn’t these days) and thousands of homebrewers - myself included - have direct experience that an extended primary is fine.

Reasons I DO transfer to a secondary:

  1. I need the fermentor for another batch
  2. Dry hopping
  3. Lagering/extended aging
  4. I want to harvet the yeast for use in another batch
    5)…ummm there is no #5. Those are all of the reasons, although I am beginning to wonder why I can’t dry hop in the primary…

You can as long as you plan on dumping the yeast.

[quote=“mvsawyer”][quote]…although I am beginning to wonder why I can’t dry hop in the primary…[/quote]You can as long as you plan on dumping the yeast.[/quote]Or rinsing it. Or not caring if there are hops in the next fermenter in the first place. :wink:

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