2ndary fermenting a Stout?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by ChilliMayne, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. ChilliMayne

    ChilliMayne New Member

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    Hi,

    those of you who regularly siphon your batch to a secondary for better flavouring/conditioning etc...
    I just wanted to know do you bother to do so for a stout?
    I always do a secondary for my Ales/Lagers/Ciders but this is my first stout and was wondering if it was worth doing. I will be priming with a speise/gyle method too.
    Let me know your thoughts
     
  2. Conservidave

    Conservidave New Member

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    while i have never brewed a stout i dont see why you wouldn't reap the same benefits you get for your ales and lagers. when i dont secondary it's because i got lazy or too anxious to get my beer bottled and drank.
    patience grasshopper!
     
  3. Scrumpy

    Scrumpy New Member

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    I tend to treat my stouts as if it were an ale. :shock:
    The biggest benefit for me to rack from my primary, after the vigorous fermentation has subsided, is I can then fill that bad boy back up with wort and yeast. :D
     
  4. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    Stout is an ale.
    That being said, I never secondary unless I'm adding fruit. You can just leave it in the primary until fermentation is complete. Three to four weeks is fine. Transfer to secondary if you want to. It certainly wont hurt anything.
     
  5. Krimbos

    Krimbos Member

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    Does secondary prolong the process, ie, is 2 weeks in a primary different than 1week primary, 1 week secondary?
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You're actually going to secondary-ferment anyway, regardless of whether you rack or not. Secondary fermentation is what is going on once the yeast have consumed the sugars and are working on the other chemicals in the brew. Don't worry about the time, take a sample of your beer, taste it and determine when it's done by taste. I've always racked the beer off the trub - the gunk at the bottom of the fermenter. I don't know that it's absolutely necessary in ales that will be bottled in two or three weeks and it creates the chance of introducing oxygen into your beer - not desirable. But it also lessens the amount of gunk at the bottom of the fermenter or at the neck if you use a blow-off tube, lessening the chance of getting that into your beer at packaging. It's more important to know why you do something and the risks and returns of doing it than to do it because a procedure tells you to. That said, out of force of habit, even though I know there is a risk and there may not be an appreciable return for the risk, I rack my beers.
     
  7. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    Back in the old days of home brewing, we didn't have the quality of yeast we have today, and the theory was that you needed to get the beer off the trub and dead yeast to prevent off flavors from atolysis. Also, racking to secondary would invigorate the yeast remaining in suspension, and get them to finish off any sugars that were left behind. I believe that English breweries did this because their yeast sometimes stopped too soon, and transferring to another vessel would rouse the yeast and perhaps add some oxygen that would kick off a "secondary fermentation" to finish the beer. With today's yeast this is unnecessary.

    Racking for clarification doesn't make sense to me if you are only going to leave it for another week. I understand if you were going to let the beer clarify in a second vessel for three or four weeks. Then it would make sense to get it off the trub and dead yeast. but if you plan to "secondary" for only a week for clarification, the act of racking, churns up the beer and you have lost any clarification that began in the primary. I would think that would hinder clarification.

    When I started home brewing I always racked, because that's what you did. After many years I got lazy and occasionally skipped this step, and found no ill effects. Now, for ales, its two weeks, or three weeks in the primary, and on to packaging. For lagers its four weeks primary, but that's at 48 to 55 degrees, and the yeast works slower, but also would break down slower. I use a keg for the lagering stage, so I guess you could call it a secondary

    In the end you do what works for you. If you believe racking makes better beer than it does. However, as Nosybear said, know why your doing it.
     

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