I have a Hefeweizen (Wild Flower Wheat pg 135) in the fermenter that is ready to be racked to the secondary. The recipe calls for 5 days in the secondary, however the only secondary fermenters I have are plastic. I have read that plastic fermenters are a poor choice for secondaries because they are oxygen permeable. Should I worry about this? If not, could I simply use my bottling bucket for secondary fermentation, there by saving myself a step before bottling?

I have never used a secondary before, so I would like to try it for the experience. However, I don't want to skunk my beer either.

  • 1
    FYI, skunking is a light exposure issue not an oxygen exposure issue. So unless to rack to secondary in direct sunlight and leave the beer in direct sunlight afterwards...no skunking concerns should there be.
    – brewchez
    Jul 27, 2010 at 12:32

3 Answers 3


Secondary for a Hefe seems silly to me. Leave it in primary for 5 more days is a better idea. Then rack right to bottling bucket for bottling day.

Actually 5 days in secondary for any beer is a waste of time really. Any benefit isn't worth the extra cleaning of equipment and risk of exposure to oxygen or airborne contaminants.

  • I upvoted this. I've never heard of doing secondary for only 5 days for any brew. What's the point? The only good reasons to use a secondary in the first place is for better clarity, dry hopping, bulk aging, or adding oak/fruit/etc. None of this is called for in a Hefe.
    – markskar
    Jul 27, 2010 at 14:32
  • I thought 5 days in the secondary was a bit on the short side. I will take your advice and bottle it this weekend. Jul 28, 2010 at 19:08

Don't worry about it at all. 5 days in a plastic bucket will be fine. I've left beer in a bottling bucket for much, much longer than that, and it's fine.

  • As a general rule, would you say using a bottling bucket for secondary fermentation is acceptable? Jul 28, 2010 at 19:09
  • I almost always use a bottling bucket for secondary. Jul 28, 2010 at 19:25

The problem with using a bottling bucket as a secondary is that when the remaining yeast and whatever else is floating around in your beer settles, it will get churned up when you open the spigot on your bottling bucket. It would be better to leave it in the primary than move it to the bottling bucket, because you are basically negating the whole purpose of using a secondary.

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