argument for secondary?

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argument for secondary?

I didnt try to do an experiment here, just something I noticed thought I'd share. I brewed a vanilla porter 3 weeks ago with wyeast 1450, checked gravity today 1.016 73 % attenuation and with the grain bill and mash temps its probably done, tastes amazing by the way . However the hydrometer sample was very very cloudy. As i sat here with my sample still sitting on my computer desk in front of me I noticed the sample had about an inch of yeast at the bottom and the sample was relatively clear. This was only after about 30 minutes. Would this translate to a whole batch, I dont know? But being someone who bottles and has no fermentation frig to cold crash I might re look into doing secondaries as a way to drop yeast out much faster without adding anything to the beer.

I believe I read in Chris

I believe I read in Chris White's yeast book, that if anything, the beer might clear a LITTLE faster in a primary only beer. Might be akin to the beechwood aging in that there is more there for the yeast to bind to and get them out of suspension. Using a secondary is probably not going to make a big difference in how well a beer clears.

A secondary does make it easier to not pick up much yeast when transferring to a bottling bucket or keg if that matters to you. To me a big reason to chose to do a secondary (or not) is to control the amount of time the yeast cake can influence the flavors. Many folks like the flavors sitting on the yeast longer add, others do not. Definitely a personal preference, and can depend on the beer style. The lighter and less bitter the style, the more noticeable the difference

Bugeater's picture
I normally use an extended

I normally use an extended primary instead of using secondary. The change in flavor from extended time on the yeast is the result of giving the yeast the time to clean up the esters created during the initial fermentation activity. I like leaving that higher volume of yeast in contact with the beer to help with that process. Fears about picking up bad tastes (burnt rubber, etc) from autolysis are overblown and lead to folks racking their beers off the yeast before the yeast is done working. I have yet to run into this problem and have left many beers on the yeast for a month. I would start getting worried at 5-6 weeks. Good yeast health also helps fight the problem.

Bugeater Brewing Company

I think the only way to get

I think the only way to get strong off flavors from autolysis is to also have an infection. The bad smell come from other microbes feasting on the dead yeast, not the dead yeast themselves - that flavor is more subtle.

The yeast that settle out are pretty much dormant and contribute very little to the clean up of esters. It is the yeast in suspension that are doing the clean up. There are plenty of reasons to do an extended primary, but extra help with the clean up is not one of them