I transferred my American Ale from primary to secondary after 10/11 days. I guess fermentation is pretty much complete. I might be going away for 3 weeks and so I didnt want the beer sitting in the primary for that long since I wont have time for bottling. After reading this: If/When to move to secondary fermentation

I am wondering how likely it is that I have gotten some off flavors from oxidation? The second fermenter 30 liters with 23/24 liters of beer and so there is a good amount of oxygen inside but I was careful not to splash the beer during transfer.

1 Answer 1


As long as you practiced good siphoning technique and minimized splashing of the beer I think you should be just fine. I personally rack most of my beers to secondary (This isn't actually considered "Best Practice" anymore) because I dnjoy really clear beer.

I have never experienced the effects of oxidization but am very careful to let the fluid drain along the side of my container until the level is high enough I can submerge the end of my siphon.

Make sure your secondary container has as little head space as possible to help minimize oxidization as well.

The post you references has this quote

Autolysis (the process by which yeast break down and die) isn't really a problem for homebrewers, unless you're keeping your beer on the yeast cake for many months to years

Keeping your beer in primary for over 3 weeks is really pushing it in my opinion. Sure some people may have success but its not a good practice. It is definitely possible for a beer which has sat on primary for over 3 weeks to see some effect of autolysis. I would rather rack my beer then risk autolysis.

  • 2
    One other thing - store it cold. If there is any oxygen in there, each 18F/10C drop reduces the oxidization rate 3-fold. And of course, this will help the beer clear also.
    – mdma
    Apr 4, 2013 at 15:15
  • 2
    I agree with everything in the answer except the risk of autolysis at 3 weeks.
    – Denny Conn
    Apr 4, 2013 at 16:45
  • To clarify, I typically leave all my beers in primary for 3 weeks. It probably could be better stated. but anything approaching 4 weeks I feel isn't worth the risk. Would you feel differently on that? Apr 4, 2013 at 16:50
  • Nope, I wouldn't. I have personally gone 2 months without a problem and know others who have gone far longer. Is it a great idea? Likely not. Is it a problem? Not in my experience.
    – Denny Conn
    Apr 4, 2013 at 17:03
  • I wonder if the quality of yeast & malt is such that problems with long primaries have disappeared, or if it was some other factor causing autolysis all along.
    – GHP
    Apr 4, 2013 at 17:33

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