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Do you still use Secondary?

naDinMN

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I probably haven't done a secondary fermentation for six years. That is unless I have a specific reason, like adding new fermentables (fruit, etc.) or lagering.

I primary until the beer reaches the clarity I like and I cold crash, with or without clarification.

I skip secondary for four reasons.

1) It exposes the beer to oxygen.
2) More yeast clean up more off flavors. IMO
3) I'm lazy. Maybe not lazy, but I like to make things easier on myself. Work smarter, not harder.
4) I started doing it after noticing multiple micro brewers skipping it and just going from Primary to Cold Crashing.

Not why I do it, but I did find this blog.
https://beerandbrewing.com/homebrewing-dogma-try-then-trust/


Anyway... Just curious what others are doing or not doing. What are your thoughts and reasons why for doing what you do?
 

jomebrew

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Kevin58 said:
No. No. and Never.

Ditto.  I learned a lot from a professional brewer. He advised that there wasn't any reason for me to use a secondary based on my process and the beers I brew. I never do fruit or sour beers and will condition and age beers in kegs if that is was I want for the beer.

Cheers!
 

BOB357

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Can't remember the last time. On the rare occasion that I lager, it's done in the serving keg.
 

BILLY BREW

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Well, now I feel like the odd man out. I have been using secondary for 25 years. Started when I wanted to make sure that my bottles didn't have a layer of spooge on the bottom. But wait, maybe that is the difference. Of you all that don't use secondary, how many keg and how many bottle? That may be the difference.
 

naDinMN

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BILLY BREW said:
Well, now I feel like the odd man out. I have been using secondary for 25 years. Started when I wanted to make sure that my bottles didn't have a layer of spooge on the bottom. But wait, maybe that is the difference. Of you all that don't use secondary, how many keg and how many bottle? That may be the difference.

Both. Keg or bottle. I skip it. Been brewing for 14 years and stopped at least 6 years ago.

Here is the question now - Those nevers, how long have you been brewer?
 

Kevin58

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@Billy Brew: I both keg and bottle and have no issues with excessive sediment.

@naDinMN I have been brewing for over 25 years and stopped using the secondary stage about the time I built my first keezer almost 10 years ago.
 

GigaFemto

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I think the difference is the yeast. In the old days the yeast you could get was not as healthy and if your beer sat on dead yeast for very long it would get off-flavors from autolysis. These days we get better and healthier yeast, so the danger of getting off-flavors from autolysis is very small compared to the risk of oxidation or contamination or just the complication of racking to secondary.

--GF
 

merfizle

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Another no for you. Sold all my smaller fermenters except one I use for sour aging. The rest of the secondary functions I just do in a keg or age lagers in primary for 3 weeks before transferring to a keg.

Cheers,

Mark
 

BILLY BREW

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To answer the question posed "how long have I been brewing" December 1993 . I know this because my lovely wife got me started with a Mr. Beer the year they came out, for Christmas.
Used it twice, and realized there just had to be a better way.

I think she has regretted that choice every brew day since  ;)
 

MSO

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I also skip secondary for the reasons mentioned above. I do have a mini conical so that I can dump my yeast if I think that autolysis could be a potential issue.
 

MSO

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I can also reclaim my yeast and clean it for another fermentation
 

ggltd

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Very interesting discussion. I ferment in a 1/2 keg that I converted with a removable top. This allows instant transfer from the boil kettle. I don't cold water chill anymore. Also I can transfer into secondary or corny using co2. I like the secondary to clear before carbonation. However maybe straight from primary to corny is the ticket.
 

Swampwater

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I probably haven't done a secondary fermentation for six years. That is unless I have a specific reason, like adding new fermentables (fruit, etc.) or lagering.

I primary until the beer reaches the clarity I like and I cold crash, with or without clarification.

I skip secondary for four reasons.

1) It exposes the beer to oxygen.
2) More yeast clean up more off flavors. IMO
3) I'm lazy. Maybe not lazy, but I like to make things easier on myself. Work smarter, not harder.
4) I started doing it after noticing multiple micro brewers skipping it and just going from Primary to Cold Crashing.

Not why I do it, but I did find this blog.


Anyway... Just curious what others are doing or not doing. What are your thoughts and reasons why for doing what you do?
Yup I still do a secondary after about 4 or 5 days, I just feel that it takes a lot of sludge from the primary fermentation I leave it and then I can maybe dry hop for a few days then cold crash and add gelatine finings then maybe leave for a while at lagering temperatures even if it is a pale ale or bitter then bottle when a bottling day is possible, I think it improves the beer and i like a crystal clear beer, but then that's me.
 

Brew Bama

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I xfer from primary into a keg with a few points remaining. Hopefully, the active yeast consume any inadvertent O2 I pick up. I attach a spunding valve and place the keg back into the ferment fridge. That’s my secondary.

Then, I move the keg to the cold crash side of a side-by-side under CO2 service pressure where it will finish carbonating/conditioning/lagering/aging/etc. When I need it I move it to the serving side of the side-by-side.
 
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BeerSmith

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Then, I move the keg to the cold crash side of a side-by-side under CO2 service pressure where it will finish carbonating/conditioning/lagering/aging/etc. When I need it I move it to the serving side of the side-by-side.
How long do you wait between going to the keg and cold crashing? I usually give mine some time as there is still some maturation going on right after fermentation finishes.
 

BeerSmith

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That’s depends on the space available to move it along but usually a week or two.

That should be enough. I've been warned against cold crashing too rapidly as it can halt some of the maturation processes.

I personally don't do a secondary anymore since I've got a conical fermenter and can easily remove the yeast from the bottom. Honestly you don't need to worry about leaving the beer on the yeast unless you are planning to age it for several months - in that case a secondary is needed.

The risk with doing a secondary is that you can introduce additional oxygen during the transfer, which in many cases outweighs the benefits unless you are planning to do extended aging.
 

BrewCat

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well I keg most beers so thats the secondary. If I,m adding fruit or more fermentables Ill secondary. Oxidation is a bigger issue. not hard to make clear beer
 

BernieW

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Is oxygen such a big problem? I use a secondary fermenter and find that it helps in several ways
1 I get clearer beer
2 Little oxygen can restart stuck ferments.
3 The secondary fermenter can be sed as a priming bucket since little yeast is on the bottom. My fermenters have a handy connection for a bottling wand that makes bottling much easier, with less foaming and splashing.
 
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