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When to transfer to a secondary

Every thing I ready seems to be different. Some things say 5/7 days in primary, others say 2 weeks, up to a month. Im still seeing some bubbling activity from my blow off tube, and as of yesterday there was still some foam inside fermenter. Is it time to transfer? Can i take a gravity reading with the foam still in the fermenter? It started fermenting on 4/9, early in the morning.

If you’re going to use a secondary, transfer when the beer has reached terminal gravity. Easy way to determine this is to take a hydrometer reading, wait a day or two and take another, and if they match, you’re likely done.

can i get an accurate reading when the foam is still on top? Im using a bucket for primary, so I cant tell if the foam is gone unless I pop the top. Which i dont really wanna do to much.

whats the hurry? there is no harm in leaving it in the primary for more time (autolyst is a concern that happens in terms of months/years, not weeks). infact it will give the yeast opportunity to clean up some of their bi-products.

I give ALLL my beers AT LEAST 2 weeks. give it 2 weeks. check the gravity a few days apart, if the gravity is the same. then you can transfer

keep in mind that a secondary is an option. it is not necessary. your beer should go into secondary when fermentation is totally complete. if there is still foam, give it time for the foam to subside.

you can get an accurate reading when krausen is there. but there’s no reason you should be taking readings while krausen is present. for the most part, krausen is a sign of fermentation, and it would be best to give it time to sink

Good point S.S…there is no hurry. The only reason I am using a secondary is to add fruit extract, otherwise i doubt I would be using one. It still has a full week before the two weeks are up. Im going to wait till Friday night to take my first reading.

Thanks :cheers:

Most brewers don’t secondary unless it is for aging or lagering. A month in the primary then straight to keg is my SOP. Get enough primaries and you won’t need secondaries.

:cheers:

I mostly use buckets too and I’ve learned you can remove the airlock and peep inside the hole to see what’s going on, krausen-wise. Good for when you don’t really want to remove the lid.
:cheers:

I still do secondary. And as I’ve stated time and again, just a matter of personal preference.
And also, I have found that there is no negative effect at all in moving the beer from primary to secondary even after only 5 to 7 days. You’re still transferring yeast so they will still do the legendary “cleanup”. Or, as others have stated, you can just leave it in primary and not sweat it.

There’s no right or wrong way. It’s all just personal preference.
I tend to keep my beers in secondary for a month or two, so maybe that’s why I have not experienced any negative flavor effects (if anything, I’ve found that the results are better).

More importantly, if there’s anything I’ve learned in 4 decades of brewing at home it is that meticulous sanitation and time are your best friends.

+1, the truth.

it really is a matter of preference. I just prefer to wait it out in the primary. but if you wanna secondary, and you sanitation is up to par, there is no ill effects. its just a matter of extra work IMO

Being a new brewer, I always follow these secondary/no secondary threads closely. All you folks who leave it in the primary for a month, does this apply only to carboys as primaries or can you leave a beer in a bucket for four weeks with no worry about oxidation?
How long is too long? Obviously, a barleywine has got to go to a secondary. But four weeks? six weeks?

This beer is still actively fermenting through the blow off tube. 7 days of non stop bubbling. Each day that passes, the smell from the jar that holds the blow off tube is getting worse and worse. I pulled the lid yesterday and I about fell over from the smell. Plasticy smell/strong alchohol odor. almost rubbing alchoholish. Im guessing my temps were to high for fermentation.

i used White labs wlp320. wort was 73* when I pitched yeast. Bathroom, where my ferm bucket has been all week, has been between 68*/73* all week.

My whole reason for wanting to use a secondary is to add a fruit extract to my brew before I bottle. Now Im wondering if its even worth it, considering the smell coming from it. Will a fruit extract mask any of this smell? i havent sampled any yet, im waiting till the weekend for that.

So then why would my Brewer’s Best English Brown instructions recommend a secondary? The instructions note is “This will allow your fi nished beer to have more clarity and an overall better, purer flavor.”

It sounds like that’s not necessarily true?

I bought a 5 gallon BB to do use as a secondary and also to free up my bucket for a second brew. Now I with i would have just got another bucket or a bigger BB to ferment in.

So could I ferment a NB Cream Ale in 5 gallon BB with a blowoff? Or is that just asking for a mess?
(Sorry not trying to highjack your thread stitch giver)

[quote=“S.Scoggin”][quote=“The Professor”]

There’s no right or wrong way. It’s all just personal preference.
[/quote]

+1, the truth.

it really is a matter of preference. I just prefer to wait it out in the primary. but if you wanna secondary, and you sanitation is up to par, there is no ill effects. its just a matter of extra work IMO[/quote]

Agreed, but why do extra work? I always have something beer-related to do with that time.

[quote=“johngreg2”]Being a new brewer, I always follow these secondary/no secondary threads closely. All you folks who leave it in the primary for a month, does this apply only to carboys as primaries or can you leave a beer in a bucket for four weeks with no worry about oxidation?
How long is too long? Obviously, a barleywine has got to go to a secondary. But four weeks? six weeks?[/quote]

You can safely go for a month. I don’t know how long is too long, but intuitively once almost all the yeast have dropped, some start to die, so I would hesitate to go much more than 6-8 weeks in the primary. Nothing science-based there, just a hunch-based brewer suggestion.

[quote=“ibeentired”]So then why would my Brewer’s Best English Brown instructions recommend a secondary? The instructions note is “This will allow your fi nished beer to have more clarity and an overall better, purer flavor.”

It sounds like that’s not necessarily true?

I bought a 5 gallon BB to do use as a secondary and also to free up my bucket for a second brew. Now I with i would have just got another bucket or a bigger BB to ferment in.

So could I ferment a NB Cream Ale in 5 gallon BB with a blowoff? Or is that just asking for a mess?
(Sorry not trying to highjack your thread stitch giver)[/quote]

Ignore that set of instructions as to primary to secondary; it is based on the assumption that the alternative is to bottle it after a short primary. The yeast will settle out with time either way, but you risk infection, aeration (oxidation of the beer) and stalled fermentation by moving the beer to a secondary too early. Not that any of that will happen, just the risk is increased with increased handling.

You need a 6 gallon BB to ferment 5 gallons. Otherwise you will be losing beer through the blowoff with too little headspace. Or try it and use Fermcap to minimize the blowoff, if you feel you must use that vessel for 5 gallons.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/7-9- ... ucket.html

This is what I use for primary and typically let sit 4 weeks and as long as 6 weeks once. You do want to watch the room temp it is in for that time. I believe some off-flavors happened in a batch because of leaving in too warm (main floor of my house, not basement) of area for too long. Normally I wait a few days to make sure the ferment is off to a roar then put in basement.

I like those buckets because I do not have to worry about blow-off with the ales (~1.055 OG) I brew.

Brew On :cheers:

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