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Do you still use Secondary?

BeerSmith

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Is oxygen such a big problem? I use a secondary fermenter and find that it helps in several ways
I'm not saying a secondary is bad as long as you are very careful not to introduce oxygen.

However yes oxygen introduced after fermentation has started is bad for your beer. It affects the flavor, clarity and long term stability of the beer all in a negative direction. Ideally you want to minimize oxygen during transfers as much as possible.
 

BrewCat

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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.
I didn't say it was a BIG problem. If done correctly no problem at all. But more of an issue than autolysis.
 

BrewCat

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I didn't say it was a BIG problem. If done correctly no problem at all. But more of an issue than autolysis.
Hey I'm not anti secondary at all. I personally just leave it in my fermenter for 3 weeks and forget about. That said if after that I think it has stalled I'd recommend transfer to jump start
 

Brewmaster Mike

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I have always used a secondary and never had problems with anything oxidation or otherwise. At home, I do not have the ability to cold crash, so the secondary is purely to leave most of the sludge behind. Old habits die hard after 30 years of brewing and my beer brewed at home tastes identical to the same recipes I brew on a 7BBL scale with closed transfer systems at the brewpub. All that said, if I could cold crash, I would probably skip secondary.
 

BrewCat

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another reason to do a secondary is if you want to pitch to the cake. If you move the beer during active fermentation ( which is the only time I transfer) you can drop a new beer on it and get zero lag time.
 

Kevin58

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another reason to do a secondary is if you want to pitch to the cake. If you move the beer during active fermentation ( which is the only time I transfer) you can drop a new beer on it and get zero lag time.
I did this using Kveik Lutra not long ago and that second beer took of fermenting within an hour of pitching the wort on top of the yeast cake.
 

Pirate Brewer

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Been brewing 28 years. At first I always did a secondary because that is what the books taught. Then I learned it isn’t always necessary. If the fermentation is long, about a month or more, I’ll do a secondary. I do inject CO2 into the secondary before transfer (my system is all gravity, no pumps). Another time I use a secondary is after dry hopping. Once I transferred direct from primary to keg and the hop bits that got through were enough to clog the keg fittings. That leaves over 90% of my beers only getting the primary. It has all been successful for me so far.
 

MaxStout

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Only time I rack to a secondary is if I plan to bulk-age the beer several months. Like an imperial stout, or wood-aged beer. I'll fill the secondary vessel with Starsan, push that out with CO2, then rack beer into it.

The belief that it's detrimental to keep a beer on the cake for a few months is a myth that just won't die.
 

Finn Berger

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Only time I rack to a secondary is if I plan to bulk-age the beer several months. Like an imperial stout, or wood-aged beer. I'll fill the secondary vessel with Starsan, push that out with CO2, then rack beer into it.

The belief that it's detrimental to keep a beer on the cake for a few months is a myth that just won't die.
My procedure, too. I've just bottled a triple that had been sitting in room temperature for almost half a year after I racked it, and it seems to have suffered no harm from that. On the contrary, if I'm not wrong.

Actually that was a beer that I thought I would have to dump. It was with Westmalle-yeast, which is not a diastaticus type, but it just went on fermenting for a long time, and ended up at 0.996. 11% ABV. But then I never got round to deciding what to do, and when I tasted it again not long ago, it had miraculously turned rather nice.

It's not carbonated yet, so it's a bit early to taste the result, but at least I'm certain it did not suffer from autolysis off flavors.
 
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