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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Fermentation complete? When do I move to the secondary fermenter?
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:02 PM   #1
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Default Fermentation complete? When do I move to the secondary fermenter?

I am new to brewing and I would like some advice on (1) final gravity and (2) when to move to the secondary fermenter.

(1) Final gravity
I originally thought that final gravity was the measurement that you made (to calculate alc. content) as you were bottling the new beer, but... after reading posts on this forum I now believe that final gravity has to do with letting me know when fermentation is complete and tells me what the alc. content is.

Do I have this right?

(2) When to move to the secondary fermenter?
Should I wait until fermentation is complete, in the primary fermenter, before I transfer the beer to secondary fermentation/clearing vessel or does it not matter?

Thanks
Chad

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Old 01-01-2009, 08:05 PM   #2
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When you read this Sticky...http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/when...-if-all-43014/ And decide for your self.

Or you can do what a vast majority of us do and leave in primary for 3-4 weeks then bottle...it's actually better this way.

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Old 01-01-2009, 08:12 PM   #3
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My general rule is 7 days to secondary unless it is still bubbling (high gravity brews). Also keep in mind I generally keep brews in the secondary for anywhere from 3-8 weeks before kegging (this is a function of how many kegs I have and how much is getting consumed)

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Old 01-01-2009, 08:17 PM   #4
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Do I have this right?

final gravity has to do with letting me know when fermentation is complete

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Old 01-01-2009, 08:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cootr_brn View Post
Do I have this right?

final gravity has to do with letting me know when fermentation is complete
Yes. Each recipe should have a target final gravity. When it reaches that, you know fermentation is complete.
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cootr_brn View Post
Should I wait until fermentation is complete, in the primary fermenter, before I transfer the beer to secondary fermentation/clearing vessel or does it not matter?
It definitely matters. If fermentation is not complete and you rack it off most of the yeast, it will either take much longer to finish or it may not finish at all. I've taken to waiting at least 10 days before going to secondary, and of course I check the gravity first. Almost all of mine have been finished by then.
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:44 AM   #7
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BUT - just because you've reached your FG, it doesn't mean that the yeasties are done yet - give 'em a week or more to clean up things and settle out...

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