Author Topic: Secondary Questions  (Read 2653 times)

Offline Xavier8425

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Secondary Questions
« on: January 18, 2015, 06:51:06 PM »
I just wrapped up the primary fermentation and racked my first batch into my secondary yesterday afternoon. Everything seems to be going well, SG was really good, etc. Now that I'm playing tge waiting game in the secondary fermenter, I have two questions:

1. I just read a recent post recommending  cooler temperatures for the secondary phase - my carboy is in my kitchen pantry and the  fermometer is reading about 70 degrees...is that too warm? What's the advantage of cooler vs warmer? Is there a max. temperature that I should stay under?

2. I know that light is bad for beer, but I was wondering if that was true for all light or just UV? My pantry is an interior room w/ no windows (no sunlight), but the lights are on quite a bit during the day - would leaving the light on cause problems? If so, can I just cover the carboy w/ a paper bag or something?

Thanks for any feedback,
X

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Secondary Questions
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 02:41:44 PM »
I'll take your questions one at a time. 


1. I just read a recent post recommending  cooler temperatures for the secondary phase - my carboy is in my kitchen pantry and the  fermometer is reading about 70 degrees...is that too warm? What's the advantage of cooler vs warmer? Is there a max. temperature that I should stay under?

The answer depends on what you're trying to accomplish.  It also depends on if you are talking about a lager or an ale.

If you're trying to help the beer clear for bottling or kegging, you can lower the temperature.  Since you mentioned 70F as your temperature, I'm going to assume you made an ale.  You can bring it down to about 60F to help the yeast drop out of suspension, allowing the beer to clear.  With lagers, you'd already be at about upper 40sF or lower 50sF.  For lagers, you'd drop it down into the 30 to 40 F range. 

If you want to perform a diacetyl rest, then you'd raise the temperature about 4-6F.  This will make the yeast more active and allow them to clean up the diacetyl that they create during primary fermentation.  A diacetyl rest is almost always recommended for lagers.  For Ales, maybe.  It doesn't hurt to perform a diacetyl rest on ales, so I always do them.

So, as an example, lets say that I'm making an ale that had a primary fermentation temperature of 66F.  Once the yeast activity slows down to about one bubble every 1 to 5 seconds, I'd raise the temperature 4-6 F.  This will help the yeast clean up after themselves.  After 1-2 days, I'll then slowly bring the temperature down to about 60F.  When I get consistent final gravity readings over three consecutive days, I'll then bottle or keg.


2. I know that light is bad for beer, but I was wondering if that was true for all light or just UV? My pantry is an interior room w/ no windows (no sunlight), but the lights are on quite a bit during the day - would leaving the light on cause problems? If so, can I just cover the carboy w/ a paper bag or something?

I am in the habit of keeping all of my fermenters covered at all times.  I use bath towels, wrapped around them.  You could use a paper bag, t-shirt, custom made covers.  Anything that will block out light.  The reason I use cloth, is because if it gets wet, it doesn't get soggy and fall apart.  My fermenters are on a bench in my garage, so during daylight hours, the room is lit up.  The towels block the light.

Here's more on this from John Palmers book "How to Brew".

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter10-4.html
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Bottled
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 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline haerbob3

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Re: Secondary Questions
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2015, 07:35:54 PM »
An ale most likely does not need a secondary.  I very rarely secondary ales.  It all depends on the dry hop schedule.  I have found with doing steeps and/or a whirlpool @ 140* I often don't need to dry hop.

Offline Xavier8425

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Re: Secondary Questions
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2015, 08:42:52 PM »
Thanks, guys. I really appreciate the feedback...

 

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