How much time should be spent in fermenters?

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How much time should be spent in fermenters?

Postby cutchemist42 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:02 am

So I've heard that lagers should be primary fermented then secondary fermented for about three months. I also read the Joy of Homebrewing and some Brown Ale recipes say to only do primary fermenter then pitch staight to bottles after the first fermentation activity is over. Do all ales not need secondary fermentation?
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Secondary

Postby Legman » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:44 am

Like a lot of other brewing questions, there are many opinions about this. I don't think that there is one correct answer to this......believe me, I've looked.

Speaking only of ales, I don't think you need to secondary at all. I leave mine in the fermenter for 3 weeks, then bottle or keg. This has worked great for me.

The beer has plenty of time to clear and the big yeast cake it's sitting on, speeds up the "clean up" process. When fermentation is done, the yeast starts to eat up all the byproducts. The byproducts from fermentation is what give you that "green" beer flavor.
The yeast will do this both in the primary or secondary.

I find it does this faster in the primary and I don't have to mess with cleaning or racking into a secondary. The easier the better.
That's just my 2 cents.
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What about re-using yeast?

Postby brewmeisterintng » Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:16 pm

I secondary so that I can collect the yeast off the primary before it dies too much and get it into the refrigerator for use later. I don't think that collecting it after it has been sitting in the primary after three weeks will work but I may be wrong.
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Re:What about re-using yeast?

Postby Legman » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:24 pm

Well good thought, brewmeisterintng. I'm not sure if the yeast would still be good after 3 weeks in the primary. I haven't ventured into reusing the yeast yet, so I would have no idea.

If anything, the yeast in the secondary would have a lot less crap in it when collecting than the primary would.
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