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Old 07-21-2008, 02:04 PM   #1
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Default New fermentation activity while in secondary..

I'm brewing an all-grain nut brown. I let it ferment in primary for about a week... then transferred it to secondary. After letting it sit in secondary for a week, I added some oak cubes that I had been soaking in bourbon for a few weeks.

After about a week of sitting in secondary with the oak cubes... I've noticed some fermentation activity picking up. There's some bubbles on the surface... and the airlock has started bubbling every 20 seconds or so.

I'm curious if there were some residual sugars in the bourbon that wound up starting the fermentation again... or if perhaps I have some sort of infection. I didn't sanitize the oak cubes... as they've been soaking in bourbon for a couple weeks.

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Old 07-21-2008, 02:43 PM   #2
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What were your gravity readings?

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Old 07-21-2008, 03:11 PM   #3
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First thing that comes to mind is infection. But I wouldn't think Oak soaked in burbon would cause that. It might be something elsethat caused an infection, or could just be the release of CO2. But htat usually happens right after racking to secondary.

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Old 07-21-2008, 03:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bike N Brew View Post
What were your gravity readings?
OG: 1.052
Gravity when I racked to secondary: 1.015

BeerSmith calculated a Final Gravity of 1.013... and there wasn't any additional fermentation activity in secondary until a week after I added the oak cubes.

I guess it is entirely possible an infection did occur. I was hoping the bourbon would kill any type of bad stuff on the oak cubes... but who knows. Perhaps the infection took place when I removed the stopper... it's hard to tell.

I'm planning on letting the beer sit in secondary for another week with the oak cubes. When I go to bottle... if it tastes like there is an infection... I supposed I'll just dump the batch.
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:58 AM   #5
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If there is an infection, bottle anyway and just give it month to four in bottles. It may be a fantastic bitter, or it may taste like hell unleashed. But don't dump the beer until you know for certain.

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Old 07-22-2008, 07:50 AM   #6
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i'm sure it's fine. yeast are not entirely predictable...

RDWHAHB and don't dump that batch!

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Old 07-22-2008, 05:14 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I've left the beer alone and am going to stick to the aging and bottling timeframe I had already planned.

All is good.

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Old 07-22-2008, 05:35 PM   #8
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OK... so I was just reading another thread... and saw this one:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=71379

Well... the bubbles on the surface of the batch... look somewhat like the picture in the thread listed. While my bubbles were no where that big... it had a similar consistency.

So... it looks like infection is what happened. Bummer.

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Old 07-22-2008, 05:42 PM   #9
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accidental sour beer! stick with it man, it may be good! just make sure you thoroughly clean and sterilize all your equipment after you're done. you don't want those bugs infecting your brewery and getting in every batch.

no matter what, be sure to taste before you toss.

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Old 07-28-2008, 02:08 AM   #10
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Quick update...

So, I was out of town for a week. When I came back... there was no more bubbles on the surface... and the beer looks completely normal. I don't see any strange funk floating on the surface or anything.

Could it still have gotten infected, or would there be some type of visual evidence of the bacteria, etc.?

I'm wondering (hoping)... that somehow the Jim Beam Black that I soaked the oak cubes in (3 weeks)... had residual sugars that caused the extra fermentation activity...

Thanks everyone for your feedback!

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