Author Topic: Secondary Fermentation  (Read 6929 times)

Offline dlcbrewer

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Secondary Fermentation
« on: August 15, 2011, 03:57:25 PM »
This weekend I brewed my second batch of beer. It went a lot smoother than last time. The recipe I'm following (Brewer's Best American Pale ale) calls for about 1 week of primary fermentation followed by bottling. Is there any downside to doing a secondary fermentation if I will not have time to bottle this weekend? It would be about 2 more weeks before I could bottle.

Any thoughts and feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Offline DaveinPa

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Re: Secondary Fermentation
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2011, 04:46:25 PM »
Just leave it in the primary longer - it won't hurt.  Every transfer is another opportunity for a bacterial infection.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Secondary Fermentation
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2011, 09:16:51 PM »
I leave everything in primary for at least 17-21 days.  Only exception might be weizens and wits. 

If you can bottle at that point, great.  If your schedule won't allow that, a transfer takes the time pressure off.  With the alcohol and lower pH, risk of infection is reduced.

Offline Mahobbie

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Re: Secondary Fermentation
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2011, 03:54:08 PM »
Anything over 2 weeks will start to give you off flavors that ya don't want. I leave mine in prime for two weeks, then into the secondary for a week or two to finish and clear. After two weeks you're pretty much done bubbling and with the converted alcohol less subceptable to infections at transfer.

maddspoiler

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Re: Secondary Fermentation
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2011, 08:47:03 AM »
Anything over 2 weeks will start to give you off flavors that ya don't want. I leave mine in prime for two weeks, then into the secondary for a week or two to finish and clear. After two weeks you're pretty much done bubbling and with the converted alcohol less subceptable to infections at transfer.

Sorry but autolosys (off flavors from yeast eating dead yeast cells) does not occur for a long time even with ales (a month or even as long as 2 months). Longer with lagers. Primary for 3 weeks and bottle. I stopped doing secondary fermentations after listening to Brewstrong and hearing what the pros have to say about this subject (certain beers do benefit from a secondary though).
Basically racking increases risk of infection(not by much because the alcohol present) and increases the chance of staling due to introduction of oxygen after fermentation has completed. Id be more worried about the introduction of oxygen and staling of the beer than the infection at this stage especially if you have a very clean brewery and sanitize properly.
If you let the beer sit on the yeast it will actually eat alot of undesirable compounds that may be present such as diacetyl and the different adelhydes~Reducing the need for a diacetyl rest during fermentation. I say let the yeast do what it is supposed to do...
Either way the beer should turn out fine if you take the proper precautions.

Offline BobBrews

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Re: Secondary Fermentation
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2011, 10:51:14 AM »
+1 on what maddspoiler said (err wrote)!
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