questions on secondary fermentor

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questions on secondary fermentor

Postby joemez » Sun Jul 20, 2003 4:51 am

I ferment in a 6.5 gal glass carboy. I purchased a 5 gal glass corboy a while ago and used it once for a secondary(that was a batch that went bad from light or too high temp). Anyway, I havent used it again. My question is, does using a secondary make a distinct difference in the outcome of the beer? And, at what point should I transfer?
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Secondary rule of thumb

Postby Azorean Brewer » Sun Jul 20, 2003 9:03 am

Joe,

This is right out of the "Brew Master's Bible".

"Whenever possible, use a secondary fermenter. Even when crafting the fastest turn around British ales, a day or two in a secondary can greatly improve a beer's maturation time and smoothness of character. In brewing lagers a secondary is mandatory in achieving clarity and clean flavor profiles, without the use of artificial aids."

I use it 7 days after the beer has been one the primary yeast cake. You want to get the beer off of that yeast at around 5 days minimum and 10 days maximum. If you leave your beer on the primary yeast cake for more than that, off flavors can develop. You should secondary ales for 7 days as a good rule of thumb. You can literally see the dead yeast falling day by day. There is no limit on how long you can secondary lager, 7 days to 3 months is ok, providing you keep it cold. I have found that the last 2 days of an ale in the fridge at around 40-45 degrees before bottling reduces chill haze considerably.

If you do not secondary ferment and bottle off of the primary yeast cake chances are that your beer may not have fermented out all the way.

If you only have one 6.5 gallon vessel, and you have a bottling bucket, carefully rack off the primary into the bottling bucket, clean the primary and rack it back in there. I promise you will notice the difference is taste and character. Good luck and keep asking those questions.

Paul.
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will do

Postby joemez » Sun Jul 20, 2003 5:12 pm

thanks Paul. thats the info i need to motivate to use my secondary. I will do it this batch.
P.S. The latest batch I just started is a Continental Light Kit which uses suger and rice extract as well as some light malt extract. I always thought that using a non all malt kit is not a good idea. what are your thoughts on that? (I am trying to appease some of my bud drinking friends and make a really light beer)
joe
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Brew On!

Postby BillyBock » Sun Jul 20, 2003 8:08 pm

Well, Joe, let me chime in here. To answer your question, using a non-all malt kit isn't a good idea if your intention was to get the flavor of an all-malt kit. Quite honestly, there is no right answer. The truth is in the beerholder....ie. you.

The great thing about this hobby is you can brew whatever your heart desires and whatever your taste buds enjoy. If that's a Bud clone, so be it. If it's a barleywine, so be it. But brew what YOU want. If your pals don't like it because it has "too much flavor", hey that's more for you. In this situation, I find it easier (and cheaper) to keep Bud/Miller/Coors on hand just for them. There are some folks you'll never "convert"--don't waste your time with them. However, you could brew an all malt, light gravity, beer like a British Bitter. Or you can take your higher gravity all malt beer and cut it with water to thin it out like Miller does when they make Miller Lite. There are many ways to skin this cat.

As an experiment, I brewed a lawnmower beer this summer to see if I would like it, and to have a "transition beer" for the Miller Lite crowd, in addition to two other higher gravity beers at my promotion party this summer. I wanted to make something that I wouldn't mind having around if there were leftovers. It was 90% malt, 10% corn sugar, an OG of 1.037, FG of 1.009 (about 3.8% ABV), and hopped to 15 IBUs. It hit the spot in the Texas heat and was a thirst quencher for sure, but not something I would want all the time. But it definitely had more flavor than Bud and everyone loved it (it was 103*F that day). If I had to do it all over again, I would've made it 100% malt (personal preference).

Remember....it's your beer, it's your time, and it's your hobby. Brew what YOU want.

Just my 2 cents.

v/r
Bill
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Brew what you like

Postby Azorean Brewer » Mon Jul 21, 2003 2:08 am

Joe,

I agree with Billy, the only time you should be brewing something that your friends like because they prefer lighter beer, is when they are paying for the ingredients, and for you to make it.

When I first started out and found myself low on cash and could not afford beer ingredients vs. food,bills, etc ... I would put together a recipe or have my friends pick one out that they wanted to try and they would pay for it, I would brew it and we would split the results, IE: one case each, they were happy because they had homebrew, and I was happy because I had home brew LOL ...

Regardless, some of your friends will come around and other will not, but brew what you want to drink and what YOU like OK? If that is the light beer, cool, no one will judge for it, keep asking questions and keep experimenting. The nice thing is you made it.

Cheer,
Paul.
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Secondary is the way to go.

Postby Desert brew rat » Fri Jul 25, 2003 10:51 pm

I have to agree with all the previous posts. I use to rack off the primary when I first started ( 2 years still learning) and the end result was less than I expected. I started using a secondary and WOW what a difference. I would like to mention to that if you use hop pellets or leaves, and also grains that racking to a secondary helps leave the trub behind. Secondary is the way to go.
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