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Why do a long secondary fermentation?

I’m a newbie, and have been reading a lot. I’m finding out that the main purpose of secondary fermentation is for clarity. I don’t do dry hopping or flavor additions yet. I’m going to start experimenting - just make sure primary is finished and then do secondary for only 4-5 days, then bottle it. Then compare it to a batch that had a full 2 week secondary (for a 6 week batch). See what the differences are.

I look forward to your results. I don’t secondary my beers unless I’m bulk aging a big beer, adding fruit, or doing a massive dry hop. I’ve found that the risks (oxidation, contamination) don’t necessarily result in better beer. Then again, I guess I do secondary for clarity purposes by going straight to keg.

You might also want to compare those results to a batch with no secondary, in fact if just comparing 2 batches I would compare 1 with a longer secondary and 1 with no secondary. Then if you find that you prefer the longer secondary you can start to experiment with the length of the secondary. On the other hand you might find that the secondary isn’t worth the effort to begin with.

That’s a great idea - thanks!


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