Refers to both the phase of fermentation after primary fermentation, and a continuation of fermentation in another vessel.

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3answers
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What's the point of secondary fermentation?

I've always bottled directly after the primary fermentation has finished. What's the point of the secondary fermentation? Can I use a bucket or is it something that really necessitates a glass carboy?
31
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9answers
55k views

If/When to move to secondary fermentation

Digression from What's the point of secondary fermentation? What are the good rules of thumb for determining a. whether to use secondary fermentation at all and b. when to move from primary to ...
15
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6answers
16k views

What is the secondary fermentation debate?

This question mentions a debate about secondary fermentation. Sort of like the existence of dark matter, everything I have read about homebrewing points to there being some disagreement about ...
14
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3answers
2k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of transferring to a secondary vs. a long primary?

The conventional wisdom in homebrewing has been challenged in recent years. This wisdom held that a beer should be transferred from the primary fermentation vessel to a secondary one after 7-10 days. ...
11
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3answers
2k views

What is the best way to sanitize vanilla pods?

I Am planning on adding a vanilla pod to secondary in my next brew. What is the best way to sanitize it before it goes in?
10
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8answers
20k views

How to clear beer

I am brewing my first homebrew an American cream ale. Was just reading into secondary fermentation. In the directions and books I've read it seems to suggest doing this. But as I search online and ...
10
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6answers
12k views

Why is a carboy used for secondary fermentation?

It seems like you could a second bucket for the secondary fermentation. Is there any drawback to not using a carboy for this purpose?
9
votes
2answers
548 views

Should I dunk my dry hops?

When dry hopping, should you try to submerge the hops after you add them to the secondary? Half the hops in my last IPA weren't wet after a week, so I'm thinking they couldn't contribute much flavor.
8
votes
7answers
15k views

How to strain wort before primary fermentation

I recently made a big beer (Dogfish Head 90 minute clone) with an OG around 1.11. I had never tried to strain wort before moving to a primary fermenter, but thought it would be a good idea since this ...
8
votes
1answer
11k views

How to Dry Hop when Forgoing Secondary Fermentation?

I've decided to stop doing secondary-fermentations on the recommendation of users on this stackexchange. A Dead Ringer IPA from Northern Brewer suggests 1-2 weeks primary, and 2-4 weeks secondary, ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Can fruit be left in secondary too long?

I just put 5 pounds of blackberries in secondary fermenter with 5 of the 10 gallons of a Belgian wit. I was going to bottle it all one week from now, assuming fermentation has died down. Are there ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

When brewing a chocolate stout, should the cacao nibs be added in the boil, the secondary, or both?

When using cacao nibs to brew a chocolate stout, should they be added in the boil (if so, when?), in the secondary fermenter, or both? Is there a better ingredient to add to produce the chocolate ...
8
votes
2answers
969 views

Fruit Beer: When to rack to secondary?

Right now, I'm working on a peach wheat beer. I pitched about 5 days ago now, and the airlock stopped bubbling yesterday. I'm going to do a gravity reading later on today to see if it's finished. My ...
7
votes
1answer
729 views

How can you use an oaken barrel for secondary fermentation?

I may be able to get my hands on a oaken barrel that I'd love to age a Scottish ale in. What can I do to sanitize it adequately and minimize oxygen exposure?
7
votes
1answer
321 views

Steps in Secondary Fermentation

I just picked up my Better Bottle Carboy... and will be racking to it in a few days. I have a few questions to ask since I did not use a secondary during my first few batches: 1) Do I add yeast at ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Recover a brew that quit fermenting after I moved to secondary fermenter

I started my first batch of beer, a "Nut Brown Ale", 2 weeks ago. Its initial gravity was 1.040. As per the instructions, I siphoned the beer into the secondary fermenter (a glass carboy) after two ...
6
votes
2answers
92 views

Putting a stopper in a fermenter if you leave it for a long time

On another question about leaving brew longer in a second or primary fermenter for a long time, many state they have done this with little to no negative affects as long as you keep your breather full ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How long can I let my fermentation go in the original bucket?

I'm brewing a Belgian Tripel. I don't typically use a secondary fermentation. The Tripel however, is my biggest beer so far, and requires much more time. Should I transfer to a secondary? All I have ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Help! My secondary fermenter exploded!

So, I was brewing a nice IPA the other day. I walked in to check on the carboy and the stopper had popped out and there were hops everywhere! I stopped it back up and bottled it a few days later ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Secondary Fermenter Temperature — Colder?

My American Pale Ale has been fermenting away nicely for the past few days and I'm certain I'll be racking to secondary within a few days (after SG gets stable). I'm curious: I've been keeping my ...
6
votes
2answers
789 views

How long is too long to condition a beer in secondary without having to pitch bottling yeast?

How long is too long to condition a beer in secondary without having to pitch bottling yeast? What factors do I need to consider when deciding whether or not to pitch yeast at bottling?
6
votes
3answers
743 views

Can I put a secondary fermenter in room temperature without creating any off flavors?

I would like to have more brewing capacity, but I am limited by the amount of temperature controlled storage that I have. Do you only need temp control in the primary fermentation process? I'm ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

How long should a barleywine be aged before bottling?

I generally rack my beers to secondary for about a week before bottling just to clarify them a bit, but as I understand it, barleywines should be aged much longer to allow some flavors to develop and ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Temperature swing of 10+ degrees during fermentation

I'm fermenting a porter, and pitched the yeast at about 75 on Sunday night (4 days ago). Lively fermentation started the next day, and though the wort had cooled to about 68 the first night, the ...
5
votes
2answers
178 views

How many pounds of frozen strawberries in a Strawberry blonde?

I'm brewing a 5 gallon all-grain strawberry blonde ale. I'd like to leave it for two weeks in primary, then rack on top of frozen strawberries in secondary. Would anyone have an estimate of how many ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How long do I roast chocolate nibs to use in cider?

Read several posts about chocolate stouts and it seems that using nibs as a secondary flavoring without adding to the boil is the consensus. Roasting them first has been suggested, as well as soaking ...
4
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4answers
1k views

How can I reduce the ABV?

I have a batch fermenting at the moment. I had expected the OG to be 1.05x but it was 1.06x. I generally have little problem with fermentation and expect the batch to come out at somewhere like 1.0....
4
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3answers
425 views

Post-Secondary Fermentation

I've heard mentions of people using tertiary, quaternary, quinary, etc fermentations. Does this really provide any significant benefit beyond secondary?
4
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3answers
83 views

What woods can be safely used to flavour/age beer?

There is a history of people using oak barrels to age and mature beer. These days people often use bourbon soaked oak chips to flavour beer in the secondary. Also I have seen people asking about ...
4
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5answers
5k views

Is there a good way to estimate/calculate volume lost in fermentation(s)?

Last night I bottled a batch and realized that I lost a significant volume from the boil size. In the primary, I filled my 6 gallon carboy, and after the trub lost in primary and secondary, I bottled ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Can I bottle ale after 2 weeks in keg?

I've primary fermented my Woodfordes Admiral Reserve for 4 days, kegged with 3oz if sugar and it's now it's been in there a week. I don't want sediment in my beer. Can I bottle it after 2 weeks in the ...
4
votes
2answers
617 views

Would adding a small dash of whisky when bottling kill secondary fermentation?

I assume that secondary fermentation's upper limit is set by some balance between sugars remaining and alcohol content, is that fair to say? Would giving just a dash of flavour potentially wreck the ...
4
votes
4answers
663 views

What solution of hard alcohol is sufficient to sanitize and infuse something for addition to a fermenting beer?

Context: I'm brewing into small, split batches lately to test the effects of various additives. I've got some true cinnamon bark and cacao nibs which I am planning on crushing up, letting steep in ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Anyone ever had their secondary fermentation bubble for 3 weeks?

So first fermentation went smoothly, solid bubbling from the airlock for about 5 days total racked into second fermenter and dry hopped on the seventh day. First day nothing. Second day it started ...
4
votes
3answers
855 views

Racking a carbonated beer from a keg back to the fermenter

Long story short, I have a wheat beer that has a weird band-aid phenol that isn't going away. Rather than dumping, I thought I would try racking to a new fermentor, adding chopped dried apricots, and ...
4
votes
2answers
923 views

Secondary fermentation including carbonation in a Corney keg

I am making my third batch of cider using juice from a local farm, so far its worked out well other than a persistent haze in one batch. I want to try and simplify / improve by process by removing a ...
4
votes
3answers
366 views

Removing Fruit From Secondary

I recently brewed a peach hefeweizen and I added 7lb of fresh peaches to the secondary. I just chunked the peaches and popped them into the carboy. I have siphoned the beer out for bottling and now ...
3
votes
3answers
681 views

Racked too soon. How do I fix?

I'm brewing a Kolsh ale, and, I made the mistake of following the recipe that the brew shop provided. It said that I should rack the beer to a secondary fermenter after a week. When I opened the ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

after fermentation (carboy) if I put it in the fridge what do with the air-lock?

listening to an interview with John Palmer he suggests putting the fermentation vessel in the fridge (after fermentation is complete) to drop out some left over trub and yeast. I figured I would give ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I add water to an already fermenting batch?

I just moved my (first) batch to my secondary fermenter. While doing so it became apparent that I did not top off to five gallons like I thought and instead it seems closer to four gallons. I now have ...
3
votes
2answers
319 views

Bottled and right into the fridge

I added sugar, bottled, then put them into the fridge instead of leaving them at 68-76 degrees for a week. What should I do now, or is it too late to save the batch?
3
votes
2answers
90 views

Yeast not settling or contamination?

Having trouble understanding what I'm looking at here (see pic): http://imgur.com/1OH9TQj Made an Amber ale with LME and used Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale. Racked to secondary after 2 weeks to get ...
3
votes
2answers
51 views

Carboy size 3 or 5 gallon? please

I've got a 15 litre, 3.9 gallon batch of hard cider (I juiced the apples myself and lost the will to live after 20kg). Should I get a 3 gallon or 5 gallon carboy? I read that when moving the cider ...
3
votes
1answer
341 views

Wine max secondary fermentation time

I started my first batch of wine a year ago, and got up to racking into secondary fermentation, but never bottled it, and then forgot about it. Is it a lost batch? Is it even safe to try?
3
votes
2answers
83 views

Stuck second fermentation - suphites to blame?

I'm making a sparkling elderflower wine. It's in a 25l plastic bucket with a trap. The first fermentation went well. I racked it, added sulphites (Campden tabs), added fining, left for a couple of ...
3
votes
2answers
392 views

Belgian golden strong

I'm working in my first high gravity beer. Its been in primary for two weeks in the yeast cake. Looking for pointers on when to secondary.. How close to f.g. should I be before I transfer for the rest ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the minimum time required to have drinkable beer?

From reading What is the secondary fermentation debate? and If/When to move to secondary fermentation it appears that beer can be considered ready to consume (assuming force carbonation or a love of ...
3
votes
1answer
34 views

under pitched (1st) yeast-aerate into fermenter on 2nd (new) pitch or no?

I brewed an all grain stout 2 weeks ago, OG was 1.087 which was almost spot on for where I'd hoped. However, I mis-calculated the pitch rate for my starter. Racked to secondary to dry hop with mint (...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Clarity for the sake of impatience

I've been in the winemaking industry for over a decade, but this is only my second homebrew, and only the first that I have fermented at home. You would think I'd be more patient working with a ...
3
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1answer
590 views

Filtering out the dead yeast cells and other trub during transfer from primary to secondary fermentation

Typically, when I transfer my wort from the pot to the bucket/carboy for primary fermentation, I like to use a very fine knit mesh reusable grain bag to catch all the hops, and other trub that has ...