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Niblick

LBK as a Secondary Fermenter?

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Was at my LHBS, talking Mr. Beer, and the proprietor suggested transferring contents from one LBK into another that I have on hand about halfway into the first part of the process and using it as a secondary.  Said I should be careful to transfer as little of the sediment from the first, and that it would make a big difference as to taste and clarity and generally improve the overall quality of the batch.

 

I hadn't really ever considered that before, so I'm here to ask, has anyone tried this, and is he right?

 

 

Spoiler

 

 

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This is strictly opinion here, but I wouldn't bother to do a secondary on a Mr. Beer recipe.  As far as I know racking a beer to a secondary does nothing for taste, but improves clarity and allows more time for big beers to finish up the fermentation process.  I think that moving a Mr. Beer recipe from one LBK to another would increase your chances of it getting contaminated or oxidized.  Keep it in the original LBK for the entire 3wks and you'll be golden.  Good luck!  ?

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46 minutes ago, AnthonyC said:

This is strictly opinion here, but I wouldn't bother to do a secondary on a Mr. Beer recipe.  As far as I know racking a beer to a secondary does nothing for taste, but improves clarity and allows more time for big beers to finish up the fermentation process.  I think that moving a Mr. Beer recipe from one LBK to another would increase your chances of it getting contaminated or oxidized.  Keep it in the original LBK for the entire 3wks and you'll be golden.  Good luck!  ?

Yes, Sir!  The only reason why I would use a secondary when I used either an LBK, bucket or carboy, was if I wanted the beer to stay in a vessel (non kegged or bottled), for longer than 2-3 weeks and thus I would want to get it off the yeast cake.  That was pretty rare, honestly.   Now, with conicals, I can do it all in 1, all I gotta do is open the valve on the bottom and drop all that out and away I go!  :)

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Hmmm...not a Mr. Beer recipe, it's actually two Brewer's Best one gallon kits combined into one LBK, if that makes a difference?  He didn't carry any MB products but thought the BB kits might be a way to ease me into the next step involving steeping grains and hop boils.  Sounded reasonable to me, since I don't have a ton of room to set up a brew shop with lots of other hardware laying around.

 

(BTW, he said he got his start through MB as well, and in no way was he dismissive of anyone going the MB beer route.  Given some of the reports I've read about the attitude of some in the LHBS community, it was nice to see.)

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5 hours ago, Niblick said:

Hmmm...not a Mr. Beer recipe, it's actually two Brewer's Best one gallon kits combined into one LBK, if that makes a difference?  He didn't carry any MB products but thought the BB kits might be a way to ease me into the next step involving steeping grains and hop boils.  Sounded reasonable to me, since I don't have a ton of room to set up a brew shop with lots of other hardware laying around.

 

(BTW, he said he got his start through MB as well, and in no way was he dismissive of anyone going the MB beer route.  Given some of the reports I've read about the attitude of some in the LHBS community, it was nice to see.)

 

No, it doesn't make a difference.

 

Racking to a secondary is one of those things that seems to be "location" dependent. Some forums/communities it is absolutely gospel to rack to a secondary. Here, most of us don't seem to do it.

 

I think that the "secondary" crowd comes from three things - bigger brewers, kegging, clarity.

 

Here is how I see it - I've got my beer fermenting. I am going to let it do it it's thing for three full weeks. Then I am going to put it into bottles with priming sugar and let it do it's thing for another X weeks...maybe three....maybe a year. That is my secondary phase. Yeast is going to eat the sugar and whatever else it needs to.

 

But if you are a bigger brewer, you have a LOT more yeast. You are brewing 60 gallons.....you might not be able to let your beer sit on 60 gallons worth of trub any longer than necessary. I can afford an extra week. It is not going to hurt anything. I'm dealing with what.....a quarter gallon trub in an LBK? I'm not too worried about it.

 

Also, I have bottle conditioning in my favor. My beer is going into bottles with some priming sugar. The yeast is going to keep doing it's thing. I don't need to bottle it and get it out for consumption. I bottle and wait. I think if you are not doing this...you are going to keg it, or bottle it and then sell it....you might need to rely on a secondary phase differently.


Lastly, I think clarity is something that is much more important on a professional/semi-professional level. These guys NEED to make clear beer. I don't need my beer to be clear as possible.  Regardless, it seems like brewers here are able to achieve solid clarity (OXYMORON!!!!) with a good cold crash.

 

In short, I've found no real reason to go through the time or trouble to rack to a secondary fermenter.

 

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I rack to secondary based on scenario. I don't usually plan on it but if my beer looks super cloudy or something then ill do it. The rule of thumb is that the CO2 in the primary messes with the dry hopping so most people who dry hop so a secondary religiously. It all boils down to this: its your beer, if it tastes good to you then do what you want. Lagers usually require a secondary but not if youre doing a fast lager. Its all situational. For me its usually that the more tlc you put into a beer the better it is. Is liquid yeast a must? No. Does it give you a wider range of styles? Yes. Do you need to keg? No. Is it 10 times easier? Yes. Its your beer, do what you want

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