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Witbier Primary/Secondary

I brewed a witbier 9 days ago and read here about skipping the secondary and just let it sit in the primary. I’m not in a rush because I know time is my friend when it comes to brewing beer. Now I have second thoughts and wonder should i move it to a secondary or is it too late. This is my first Extract Kit w/ Specialty Grains and I respect experienced advice. Thanks

Transferring to secondary can help clear beers up, and is good for lagering or conditioning strong beers, none of which is important for a wit, which is supposed to be cloudy and have a little yeast in the bottle. I usually keep wheat beers in the primary for 2 weeks or a little longer, then bottle. You won’t have any problems with autolysis of yeast cells in the primary in the first 3 weeks or so.

Is there a reason you are moving this to a secondary (i.e., is it going to be sitting on fruit?). The prevailing opinion tends to be that you don’t need to rack to a secondary unless you are going to be bulk aging for an extended period of time or you are doing a secondary over something like whole fruit or oak chips. A lot of homebrewers will even dry-hop in the primary.

I’d say once you hit a stable FG, then just go ahead and bottle your brew. But it will be fine if your beer sits as long as 3 weeks or so in the primary.

No I’m not adding anything I just don’t know if I should be moving it. I’ll take your advice and let it sit for a couple weeks more than bottle. Thanks for your replies.

I’d leave it on the yeast for two weeks then bottle. Wit isn’t a big beer and the yeast is fairly active. Freshness is a positive factor in wheat beers.

If I’m going to do a secondary, I tend to try and transfer before fermentation is all the way done so there is CO2 to protect the beer in the secondary, and I’ll transfer a good amount of the yeast cake so there is yeast to finish cleaning up. I’d only do this if I were fermenting in a bucket since they tend to leak air in after fermentation is done.

I brewed a wit on 19 Feb,11 days ago (1 bubble/minute now). Although I always xfer my brews to seconday, I do make an exception for wheat beers like this Wit as cloudy is preferec.

I checked my past witbeir notes and see that I’ve never bottled/kegged before the 3 week period and almost alway bottle/keg by 6 weeks with the vast majority in the 4-5 week range. All have been great and family/friends are always asking for more (hence current wit in primary.)

Here’s a pic of one of my previous Wits: dirty golden and a tad cloudy…and delish!


Try bottling after two weeks, I think you’ll find you have the same end product. Some of the bubbling at the end of the primary is just the CO2 gassing out.

Nice looking wit. My wife loves them so I make one every so often.

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